• Ariana Velazquez

Apple Picking & Farmers Market

Updated: Feb 13, 2019

Oh magical, magical fall.

Not sure if it's the quickly fleeting warm days, the spectacle that nature puts on in Virginia, or the fact that it's my birthday season, but I find fall is the last great thing that happens before the end of the year. Don't come for me about Christmas or snow, I can get in the holiday spirit from time to time, but I can't say it weighs out the plethora of uncomfortably cold, rainy, windy days that stop me from exploring, or the whole nighttime at 5pm thing. Today however, there was still enough sunlight and warmth in the mountains to bring out families, friend groups, and couples alike to go on one of the most fall activities you can think of.

My boyfriend, Brian, and I found ourselves at Stribling Orchard, a beautiful place out in the Shanendoah. As soon as we got there we found our way around, got some mandatory fresh baked goods (since the best ones always seem to be out in the country), and made our way to get an apple picker.

Brian handled the apple picker most of the time while I happily took pictures and held the bag. He quickly turned it into a game and only went for the most rare, difficult apples at the top of the tree. Very classic Brian.

Fall aesthetic was on level 1000. For the most part, I was happy just taking pictures of the details around me, but considering orange is one of my favorite colors I had to throw myself in a pumpkin picture. A cliché mini-shoot indeed but fun nonetheless. A random good samaritan even got in on the fun (top left photo) and thought a massive pumpkin on the head would spice up the composition, he was correct. His striped on-theme sweater was also a welcome addition.

Brian was a top-notch photographer, capturing the pumpkin/head moment and even managing to get a couple different angles that didn't include the eye sore that was the parking lot. He has come a long way since we started dating, his initial shame and reluctance to take photos whether it be behind or in front of the camera has definitely lessened. I feel a single tear stream down my face every time I come home from our outings with a SELECTION of focused, well-framed photos of me. My little grasshopper is evolving.

Fun fact about our apple picking trip: it was one of our first adventures alone since we got our new puppy, Rigby! Having a puppy has been exhausting to say the least, but somehow I still manage to love him just as much, if not more, the next tiring day. With those aforementioned warm days fleeting fast, we do our best to take Rigby out as much as we can. The next day we took Rigby to our local farmer's market where he got enough attention to last him through the winter. He's a mini long-haired dachshund and his red hair glowed all throughout this market. It's funny being on the other side of the experience, seeing all the shocked faces and freak-outs as we walk past with him, considering I'm always the one freaking out of course.

The farmer's market stuck to our heavily fall themed weekend and Rigby got a taste of his first changing of the seasons while being carried around like the king he somehow already knew he was.

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