Ellie’s first rangefinder camera

I’ve been wanting to learn how to use a rangefinder for a really long time. When I found this one (a Yashica Electro 35) on eBay, my aunt got it for me as an early birthday present. I’ve gotten one roll done with it so far, and I can already see the difference in my photos. I can’t wait to shoot more with it!

Wandering around Westfield

I love this town, so I’ve been making a point on all of my days off to wander around it at least a little bit. Yesterday, I walked to the library and took out a few books. Today I wandered around a few wooded areas and took a brief walk along a small river. It was raining though, so I unfortunately had to keep it brief.

Santina King featuring my good friend Dave at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton

Last night my good friend Dave performed with his good friend and amazing singer/songwriter Santina King in Northampton. He provided the drums to back up her singing and guitar playing. Her dad played guitar with her as well. It was insanely cool to see Dave playing there because I’ve seen a lot of my favorite bands play at this venue and others run by the same group of people. It was kind of hard to shoot this venue since it was so dark, and even though not a lot of shots came out of it, it was still a very cool experience.

Apple picking and wine tasting at Nashoba Valley Winery

It’s been years since I last went apple picking, so when a few friends started talking about it and I was reminded that it was a thing, it was decided that I needed to go.

Nashoba Valley Winery

Brian and I found the Nashoba Valley Winery by accident. A friend of his had suggested another place — I’m fairly sure it was an orchard and winery much closer to where we live. But our Google searches brought us an hour and a half away from home to this one in Bolton. It was serendipitous, really; I couldn’t imagine having a better day somewhere else. First, we picked a bushel of apples (and in doing so learned what a bushel is).

A lot of the lower branches were already bare from frequent picking. Thankfully, Brian is a giant and with me on his shoulders, it was super easy to reach those top branches. Our plans for the apples we picked include pies, pies and a dozen more pies. One side of the orchard also had row after row of grape vines. They lined an entire edge of the place, perfectly symmetrical lines of vines filled with wine babies. (That’s what I call grapes sometimes.)

Then it was time for the wine tasting. It was $5 per person, and each person gets to sample five things. At the end of the wine tasting, you get to keep the Nashoba Valley Winery wine glass with which they served your samples. They also have a variety of beers brewed on-site, as well as a cider. We decided to each get a growler. Mine, naturally, was filled with the cider.

Possibly the best thing about the growlers is that you can come back and have them refilled. It was about $25 to buy the growler full of booze, and if you come back for a refill it’s only $7-$10 depending on what you want in it. Which means we have to go back soon, right? Because I’m already just about out of cider.