Tag Archives: Farm

Boiling Sap @Williams_Farm

Sap runs when it runs and nothing–not even an Easter dinner–can keep a maple syrup man from his work. Here are some shots from last weekend’s maple syrup boil.


Above, John Williams inspects the sap lines for leaks. The sap is “encouraged” by a vacuum pump and, if there are leaks, the suction, uh, sucks. This is a Brigadoon moment. Typically, the stream flows only once a year as the snow melts. Because of erratic weather this year, there have been two Brigadoon moments.


After Easter dinner, John goes out to the barn and fires up the evaporator. They’ll be boiling long into the night.


Deer know that something’s up. They appear by the barn’s open door.


Liquid gold! Maple syrup pours out from the evaporator.


John’s father, Howie Williams, gives his nod of approval. He’s the man who first got the family into this.

CTV Barrie’s regional news does a clips on local maple syrup producers, including statements from both John & Oliver Williams.

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Williams Farm At Sunrise

Note that the shots in this post are NOT shots of sunrise at the Williams Farm; they’re shots of Williams Farm at sunrise i.e. I took them all within a few minutes of one another on either side of sunrise. Although I didn’t intend these shots as an illustration of anything, I do think they stand as an illustration of the fact that when you’re shooting landscape/nature/rural type shots, the best results happen within a narrow stretch of time when the sun is just below or just peeping above the horizon.

For the sake of accuracy, the 3rd photo is not a shot of the Williams Farm. It’s a shot of the farm immediately to the south. The pinky clouds were irresistible so I popped into the next field. Also, since you asked, it’s a composite of 5 different shots blended using the HDR tool in Adobe Lightroom.





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Early Morning Frost

Here’s a sampling of early morning shots taken at the Williams Farm after a good frost. These come from either side of the 2015/16 winter season. I shot the first two on boxing day, 2015. I shot the second two on the first day of spring 2016. On both occasions, I was inadequately dressed and inadequately coffee’d. Note that none of the images would have been possible without a tripod, an alarm clock, and a good pair of boots.





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Maple Syrup @ Williams Farm

The sap is running at Williams Farm in Wyebridge, ON. March offers a sweet spot (so to speak) when the temperature rises above freezing during the day and dips below freezing at night. If the timing works, then the sap flows each day without pouring out all at once and overwhelming the operation. I went up to Williams Farm last week while John was scrambling to get everything in place. I went up again yesterday to watch as another syrup season gears up. I tried to take photos of each stage in the process, though I didn’t get to witness the bottling (or selling) this year.

Sap lines running from tree to tree in the sugar bush.

Sap lines running from tree to tree in the sugar bush.

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Williams Farm, Midland, Ontario

My brother-in-law, John Williams, has a certified organic farm near Midland. You can visit his web site here or follow him on twitter here. Apart from fresh produce and maple syrup, the farm makes a lot of good photographs. Last weekend, I caught John doing some weeding. Before the seedlings come up, he passes a propane-fueled flame over the ground and sears all the weeds. Although more time-consuming than spraying, it’s just as effective and, more importantly, it means you don’t get chemicals in your food.


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