Monday, September 24, 2012

Documenting Place: Simmon's Farm

My assignment for this week for Documentary Photo was to photograph an interesting place and the people in it.  I tried to think of an interesting place that was going to be visually appealing and have people around it.  After tossing around a few ideas, my sister helped my come up with the one I really liked: Simmon’s Farm.  It is a farm in McMurray and this past weekend it opened up all of its fall activities.  The farm itself is set on a larger piece of land, surrounded by a few of McMurray’s larger homes.  It features a hayride, a corn maze, a petting zoo, pumpkin and apple picking, and a variety of other events for the fall season.

For pumpkins, they offer pick your own.  I didn’t see where exactly they had this set up so I just browsed the pre-picked ones that they had.  They had a bunch of different little pumpkins along with miniature gourds.  They had regular old orange pumpkins in all sizes and a bunch of strange looking ones, some of which I had never seen before.

The next interesting event we stopped at was the butterfly tent.  It was sort of aplastic greenhouse where they had hatched hundreds of butterflies.  They had some larger Monarchs, and similar looking Painted Ladies.  The young child working in the tent showed us how the Painted Ladies looked like Monarchs with their wings open but when they were closed, they looked like moths to protect themselves from predators.  You can also feed the butterflies nectar from your fingertip or just pick them up if you wanted.  This would be a great place to bring kids!

After the butterfly house, we decided to pick apples, since it was something we hadn’t done before.  We got our bag, watched a short instruction video, (err…or not.  We decided to skip this) and headed out to the orchards.  They had a few varieties that could be picked, the only one I remember they for sure had was Jonagold.  It was interesting to go out and try to pick the “perfect” apples – or just pick them at all! It is definitely harder than it seems like it’d be!  We were a little unsure of how many apples we were getting, and it seemed a little pricey ($10.50 for a peck), which turned out to actually be a lot more apple than we expected.  We also had a fun time trying the different apples out in the orchards (probably not safe…) and figuring out which we liked best.  Who knew there were so many varieties of apple and that they all have different tastes.

Last, they also had hay rides.  We didn’t go on one, but they were pretty crowded.  I would like to go back and go on one to see how far the farm actually goes and see the great views.  I wish I would have gotten more photos of people, but I am shy, and people have a tendency to assume you are a creep if you start taking photos of them and/or their kids.

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