Early Autumn in the Vineyards of Naples, NY
Pond at Camp Cutler, Naples, NY
Old Barn on the Road into Naples from Camp Cutler
Autumn Vines in Naples, NY
Vineyards in the Fall in Naples, NY
Grapes on the Vine in Naples, NY in October
I love the fall. My birthday is in October, and it has always been my favorite month. I love the crisp, cool air; the beautiful color; the apples and cider; the Harvest Ales and Pumpkin Beers. I lived in Northern California for 9 years and what I missed most was the Autumn. Autumn in Upstate New York is a Photographer’s Dream.
I have taken tons of Photos all over upstate NY in the fall; Letchworth and Stony Brook and Ithaca are some of my favorite places to take Fall Pictures. Naples, though, has a special place in my heart. Because of my 9 years in Northern California, I developed a special regard for viticulture and vineyards and wineries. The Finger Lakes has several fantastic Wineries and there are countless incredible photo ops throughout the region.
The above pictures were taken in a one month span, mid September to mid October, in and around Naples. The first photograph was taken during the Grape Festival in the town of Naples. If you live in upstate NY and have not been to the Naples Grape Festival, you are missing out!! We went down for the day, to walk the festival and experience the delicacies. Everyone talks about Monica’s Pies. Don’t get me wrong; Monica makes a great pie, especially the Chicken Pot Pies. But, we found another pie master in town; Cindy. Cindy makes and sells her grape pies and cookies out of her home, next to the High School. They are AMAZING!!! We got a pie and some cookies and sat down at a nearby playground. The kids played on the playground and I brought out the camera. Just past the playground was a huge Winery. It is now Hazlitt 1852 Vineyard, the maker of Red Cat Cellars Wine, but it is the old historic Widmer Wine Cellar. it had been a warm september and the leaves on the vines were just barely starting to change color. The clouds in the distance were dark as a storm was rolling in a ways north of Naples.
The Second Photograph was taken just a short 3 weeks later. The weather had finally changed; we had the first frost and the leaves were at their peak. I was at Camp Cutler in the hills above Naples with my oldest son and his Cub Scout Troop on an overnight camping trip. WE woke up that morning early, and this was our view. The rain we had the night before was gone; the sky still looked a bit gray and ominous in the distance, but the sun was peaking out and lighting up the hillside behind the pond. Unfortunately, about an hour later the sun was overtaken by the clouds and it got very cold. We decided to leave the campout early and ventured back down the hill, towards Naples.
I missed a turn along the way down the hill. Thankfully. Had I stayed on the route I had intended, i would have skirted around Naples and missed out on some of my wife’s and my favorite pictures. As we worked our way down the hill, we passed the barn in the 3rd photograph. I came to a quick stop after passing it, much to my son’s surprise and dismay. I think he thought we were going back to the camp where he had been miserable and cold for the last 2 hours!! I put the car in reverse and raced back about 50 yards. I grabbed the camera off the passenger seat and jumped to grab some shots; one of which is the 3rd photograph above.
We continued down the road and it turned out that it lead right into the heart of the town of Naples. We headed north along the main road and I thought about pressing my luck with my 8 year old and stopping for another grape pie. We passed a small vineyard on the right hand side of the road (Inspire Moore Vineyard) and I knew i had to stop, even though I knew it meant my son would never agree to a 3rd stop for pie (he has no taste for sweets, unlike his father). This is where I took the 3 remaining photographs above. The final one, which I have named “Late Harvest” in this blog is a version of my wife’s favorite photo. Her version (after some tweaking and editing and interesting effects) is called “Her Choice” and is on a 16 x 16 canvas on the wall in my living room, just above the desk that I am sitting at right now as I write this.
I hope you enjoy the photographs and if you are ever in the neighborhood of Naples, NY you should stop and get a pie at Cindy’s…or Monica’s. Really you can’t go wrong with a grape pie anywhere in Naples!!