Summer Gardens at the Pruyn House

Sunday, July 16, 2017

One of the treasures that John and I discovered when we retired and started to explore parts of the area we hadn't explored be for was the Pruyn House in Latham, NY.

It has become one of our favorite local destinations, especially in the summer months when we can enjoy the beautiful flower gardens that are maintained by the Fort Orange Garden Club.  Founded in 1923, the Fort Orange Garden Club plants and maintains three gardens at the Pruyn House and 50 active members engage in a variety of activities throughout the region.  This is my third blog post about the Pruyn House, one featuring the beautiful tulips in spring and another highlighting the spectacular period holiday decor.  I'll leave links to those posts at the end of today's post.  I urge you to read about the Pruyn House History - and the Garden Club -


It is still a little early for most of the perennials in the garden, but I think you can tell from the photos, it's going to be spectacular in a week or so.  I suggest you consider attending one of the concerts in the barn.  Dates for those remaining this season are July 20, 27th, August 3rd, and 10th.  You can read more about them on their website.  Their Old Fashioned Sunday, held the first Sunday after Labor Day is also a great event.  

This area is so rich with wonderful places to visit and the Pruyn House is a one of them for visitors of any age.  If you haven't been, I hope today's post encouraged you to check it out this summer.  If any of the members of the Fort Orange Club happen to be there when you do, pat them on the back for an amazing job!  How lucky the Pruyn House is to have such talented, dedicated folks tending the gardens of this lovely estate.  I know I appreciate their hard work and enjoy being able to photograph the fruits of their labor all season.  To read previous Pruyn House Posts:
Thanks for reading.  I hope you'll share this with a friend and that you'll come back soon to Life As I See It.

share this on »

Windows on the World

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Note:  This blog was originally published in July of 2014 when my blog was brand new.  Updated, revised and new windows added, this is a beautiful collection of windows I know you'll love!

Good Morning!   
In my last blog entry I featured the Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown.  Hope you saw it and enjoyed your walk down memory lane imagining what life would be like in the 1800's.  At the end of that feature, I promised another museum installment highlighting 'windows' from the museum.  I don't know why, but this year I began capturing windows at various venues, and their 'views'.  I kind of find them interesting.   See if you agree............
This is one of my favorites, taken in the General Store.

I think each and every window had a pretty wonderful view, don't you.
And sometimes,  it's the 'outside' of windows that catches my eye.

Hammond Castle, Gloucester, MA

   In Historic Deerfield, MA
At the Adirondack Museum on 
Blue Mountain Lake

At the Historic Deerfield Inn      

Pruyn House, Loudonville, NY  

Old Palatine Church

In Historic Deerfield

Beauport (Sleeper-McCann Estate) Gloucester, MA

From Edith Wharton's bedroom at The Mount in Lenox MA

Hancock Shaker Village

   And one of my favorite views, from our room at the Bearskin Neck Motor Lodge in Rockport, MA.

I hope I've inspired you to look out 
your window today, and when you do, enjoy the view!

All photos, unless otherwise noted,were taken by Gail A. Welter.  All Rights Reserved. Photographs in this blog may not be reproduced or manipulated in any form or fashion without my express written consent.

share this on »
Add a comment »

An Artist's Inspiration from the Past and Present of Her 1700's Farmstead

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Have you ever followed a talented person's work and been so impressed that you thought, "I just want to spend 5 minutes inside that person's head?"  You know what I mean.  Sometimes that person has a gift for decorating, or gardening, or arranging frames on a wall.  Whatever their talent is, you just long to have a drop of that talent rub off on you.  You want to pick their brain, see how they live, understand where their creative genius comes from.  Well I have a list of those people who I admire and look up to and last week John and I got to spend an hour getting a behind the scenes look of one of them.  We got to meander around and soak up the Wonderland, otherwise known as Devil's Hop Farm, where Alice is known as Jennifer Lanne, artist extraordinaire.
Jennifer and Dick Lanne
Jennifer and Dick Lanne
You might remember that I featured Jennifer's Studio Open House last fall on the blog, (inside-art-studio-of-jennifer-lanne.).  If you aren't familiar with Jennifer's work, I suggest you take a moment to read that post before this one, because I'd be hard pressed to properly describe what Jennifer can do with a paint brush and some paint.  The result of that union is unique, gorgeous and colorful.  On her website, Jennifer describes herself as 'an artist living in layers of paint in an Upstate New York 1700's home.  She works in a barn, has a mad crush on color and loves anything honestly old.'  Such an accurate description of a woman as beautiful as her artwork, inside and out, who was blessed to have found her soulmate, Dick, who shares her passion for beauty, and has a laundry list of talents of his own.  What the two of them create when they put their hearts and minds together is a homestead that feels like something out of an old novel, a sort of storybook sort of place, and a variety of animals that are the perfect addition to the romance and serenity that is palpable in every corner of Devil's Hop Farm.  I follow Jennifer on social media, so I've seen glimpses of her farm.  Knowing what her studio looks like, I couldn't help but go out on a limb to be so intrusive to ask to feature her property in the blog.  I was ecstatic when Jennifer graciously agreed.
When Jennifer and Dick first purchased the property fifteen years ago, the buildings were run down and faded red.  Lots of sweat, muscle and ingenuity went into rehabbing every bit of the property, as well as the buildings on it and that rehab included adding a stone foundation to the barn (that houses the studio) and changing the faded red to a soft and subdued green.  I don't know about you, but I've never seen a barn this color, in fact, every building is this color and the result is beautiful.  Every building blends into the lush foliage of the property, blending so well it's hard to notice one from the other.  The result is calming and almost mesmerizing.

 Above, a doghouse with a mirrored back wall and twinkly lights adds interest and surprise as you walk to the chicken coop.  The sun and shadows on this morning complimented the already beautiful scenery that begged to be photographed.
Old Outhouse

The Studio Entrance

Above is where the newest additions to the family live in what is known as the pigpen.  Jennifer says they needed a little 'life' on this part of the property so now this is where new members of the Lanne's household live. Let me introduce Pippin and Alfie!

Pippin and Alfie are Kunekune pigs, one of the smallest domesticated pigs, originally from New Zealand.  Kunekune pigs are grazing pigs with a friendly personality much like a dog.  I can tell you they were quite friendly and were very interested in saying hello and getting a good scratch.  There's a whole lotta life and personality in these two creatures, so I'm pretty confident Jennifer accomplished what she set out to when she added these two to the farm.  In addition to the pigs, the Lanne's currently have five cats (although that number fluctuates) and chickens.
This is Dick's workshop where he does blacksmith work along with a variety of other talents.  All around the property are beautiful gates Dick has fashioned out of trees.

While I recognize that of all of Dick's talents, this gate probably took the least amount of effort or ingenuity, but it just demonstrates how perfectly their taste and talents blend together to create the most perfect atmosphere.  Take this covered space......
 From the outside it looks like a vine-covered pergola from a distance.  Then upon closer inspection one finds the most charming, secret space.  Can't you imagine this space filled with candles and twinkly lights, some wine and a romantic dinner?

Alfie demonstrating how relaxed one feels on Devil's Hop Farm!

Even the chicken coup is loaded with charm!

 And a little peek inside the studio.......

Notice even the chairs are green!

What's left of the original silo.....
I'm sorry, I can't stop!  If, like me, you can't get enough, Jennifer has been featured in Country Living Magazine ( in 2006, and in the Times Union (Life at Home) (  She's also going to be featured in BoHo Style Magazine soon.  Her beautiful artwork, her Art at Home Collection, her canvases and her landscapes on linen are available on her website and through a number of sources.  Check out her website at:

After spending time on Jennifer and Dick's Devil's Hop Farm, it became apparent where Jennifer draws her inspiration from.  Together they have created a private and serene wonderland filled with beauty, nature, and living things.  Her artwork is an extension of the world outside her many windows, a world that is filled with love and life and color.  I feel so lucky to have had the chance to be a part of that and to be able to share it with you here on the blog.  If you're interested in seeing more, Jennifer is hosting another Studio Open House on September 23rd and 24th.
Keep an eye on her Facebook page: 
and her Instagram: @jenniferlanne.devilhopfarm

Thanks for reading. Come back soon because you never know where life will take me.  But I can promise wherever it takes me, I'll be sharing it with you here at Life As I See It.

share this on »
1 Comment »

Never Miss A Post - Follow by Email

Sign up here to get the latest blog post delivered to your inbox.
Never miss a post again!