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This past weekend, my sister arranged a trip for us (just me and Jason!) to southern Massachusetts to stay in a bed & breakfast inn and see the sights.  It turned out to be possibly the best weekend of my life.

For one, the scenery was incredible – dramatic streams, picturesque farmland, rugged mountainous terrain, and the weather cooperated fabulously.  For another, it was only a 50 minute drive from our home in New Milford.  How convenient is that?  We stayed at the Race Brook Lodge, which was awash in rustic charm and adjacent to an area of state forest that featured some dramatic waterfalls.  We were able to walk behind the B&B, up the side of the mountain, and see the following sights:

Race Brook

frog spectator

water cascade

Race Brook waterfall

All this we saw right after arriving at the B&B at 5 pm.  Not a bad start, right?

The next day, I drove down to South Salem, NY for a 3 hour wedding shoot.  The drive back up was beautiful with dramatic late afternoon light:

NY FarmI may or may not have pulled over a few times to take pictures of the beautiful countryside as we were driving through. 😉

We got back to the B&B in the evening, but drove right by it to see something new.  We didn’t have to drive far before we noticed signs for BashBish Falls.  Naturally, we followed them.

Close to sunset, we found the parking lot for the waterfall and scrambled down the hill to see it.

sunset through the trees

bashbish falls

BashBish FallsDue to the difficult terrain, I left Jason sitting on a rock upstream, closer to the car, and literally jogged my way down to the waterfall.  It was worth the arduous hike back up the hill – the light at dusk was surreal, and the waterfall was so much more amazing than I had expected.  I rapidly took a few shots with the tripod before scrambling back up the mountainside to Jason.

Here is where I left Jason:

heading to the fallsThis stream runs down the hill to the waterfall.

After we climbed back to the top of the mountain, I noticed a lookout point up just a little past the parking lot.  So we scrambled up that too and saw the sun set as the wind whipped around us.

sunset in the BerkshiresNow THAT was romantic.  It was incredible to stand there atop that mountain and see the sun melt clouds into pink lava on the horizon.  Beautiful.

We slept like babies that night.

I woke up at 7:30 am and my first thought was “We get to see more beautiful stuff today!”  I made myself wait 30 minutes before rousting Jason.

We followed signs for “Copake Falls”, which we eventually realized was the name of a town in NY, just over the border from BashBish Falls.  In the process, we discovered another parking lot for BashBish Falls – one that was much easier to hike.  So we parked and walked together to see the waterfall Jason had missed the previous night.

He confirmed afterward that it had been worth the second look.

bashbish fallsWe hiked downstream a bit and took our time.  It was a beautiful day, and we didn’t have to pick up the girls until the afternoon.

bashbish falls

leaf in the stream

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Couldn’t help myself, I took a few shots of the water making incredible designs on the rocky stream bed.

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We took the scenic route home. 😉

Tip: to photograph the rushing water, I mounted the camera on a tripod, put a polarizing filter on the lens, set the aperture to f/16, set the ISO all the way down to 100, and allowed the shutter speed to be pretty slow (longer exposure).  I used the self timer on the camera so as not to disturb the camera during the exposure.  I am not a fan of water frozen in time, I prefer to shoot it as it really looks when you are there – flowing!

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