WELCOME TO BergiesPlace, MY PHOTO JOURNAL….

…of commentary and images of places, things, or events that I’ve photographed or remembered. On the right are posts from the past few months; click on one and you’ll be taken to it.  ALL earlier posts can be found by clicking here for an alphabetical index..  if If you’d like to get an automatic email whenever I add a post, simply click under Email Subscription at the lower left. You can always unsubscribe.
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In addition to the photographs here in my posts I maintain galleries from sixteen years of shooting digitally.  They are organized by topic and can be seen by clicking here.
 

WHERE MY CAMERA TAKES ME III – Scenes from here and there.

This post is low on chatter (probably good) and long on miscellaneous images.  Every day-trip is not a photo workshop but we can bring home images that are nice and that jump out of the hamper when reviewing past trips, clamoring for their moment on the web.

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Fall is many things.  As with winter, and in contrast with spring and summer, most of fall is more striking and dramatic.  Contributing factors are the clarity that low humidity brings, and the power of stately cumulus clouds.  Add these to the red hulls of the Larson fishing fleet at Long Beach Island’s Viking Village and you have a classic fall scene.

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Fall is seasonal shapes and colors.
Here’s a table full of them at Russo’s farm market in Tabernacle.

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Fall is color, presented here abundantly by the most prolific, colorful weed I can think of.

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Fall is a time of special weekends, for art and craft shows and for people festivals for one reason or another.  It’s almost as though we sense the gradual fading of the daily light and the impending arrival of the cold and we want to dance and celebrate while we can.  (We are already at less than 12 hours of sun daily.)

My camera took me to one such festival at the Philadelphia Seaport.  While there I was taken with all of the lines of the 1901 tall ship Gazela.  There were men doing some kind of maintenance up there and I thought I even heard Captain Bligh scolding them.

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Two nearby ships provided contrasts between the three;  the seventy-three year-old New Jersey and the twenty year-old Ben Franklin vs. the 115 year-old Gazela.

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And, as long as I’m talking about boats, here’s another from the Larson fleet in a dreamier presentation.

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One more from the boat files.  This is left over from my spring trip to Tangier Island, cropped to emphasize the ripple reflections.

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Getting back to fall scenes, here’s a dewy web in early morning warm light.  I guess the maker knows how to get in there for a snack if it comes along.  Colleagues: this was a four shot stacked image blend taken with a 100mm macro lens.

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Finally, fall greatly enhances sunrises over the beach.  It’s that crystal clear air again plus those puffy clouds.   I had just gotten up when this scene smacked me in the face.  I previously posted this on Facebook but not everyone gets to see that work so here it is again.  The stunning feature here is the “shadows” created by the clouds, i.e. the darker blue that seems to be radiating from the clouds.  Equally strong is the back- and side lighting of the clouds.

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“Oh, what a beautiful morning!”

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Happy Fall, Y’all!

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SUMMER SLOWLY SLIPS AWAY

Labor day’s over …. Hermine pulled out … the end-of-season Commodore’s Ball is over … the weekly rentals are gone home … the Purple Martins left town a few weeks ago … there’s no weekday morning headboat, in fact, only an occasional boat at all … there are ginger snaps, mums and candy corn for sale … the cicadas frantically buzzed their way back to Middle Earth, replaced by the crickets, embarrassed to be noisy in the post-Labor Day quiet … school buses are on the streets … and the Canada Geese are honking.

Yep, summer’s slippin’ away.  It always makes me think of this quotation which I’ve used before:

“Summer afternoon – summer afternoon.  The two most beautiful words  in the English language”

                                                                           Henry James

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Well, I’ve got a few pixels left from summer to help me remember what it was like.  Here are some.

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I love this piece and the image.  Besides Royal Blue being a favorite color I’m hooked on the many-lenses effect giving me lots of views of a favorite place.  Even the puff of cloud overhead was captured in the stem.  My daughter, Sigrid, bought some of these including tumblers this summer so that they could always identify their glasses at the BYO parties.  We’ve seen this kind of glassware, typically thought of as Bohemian, where a color flashing is artfully cut away to create the lenses.  This one, however, is plastic and a beautiful job.

Way back in August I mentioned that I had gone to the beach to photograph a rainbow but I wasn’t too enthusiastic about it.  However, I keep tripping over it and it’s grown on me.

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I like the warm misty tones, especially on the new hewn railings that guide us over Mt. Dune.

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Next, a summer treat from my youth (I wonder when that was).  Every summer when the Jersey tomatoes were in, my mother would prepare a feast by frying them, then making a milk gravy with the leavings and serving it all with bread.  What a great memory.  Then a few years ago I found out that Barbara’s mother also made them so now once a summer Barbara prepares this treat for us.  Yum!

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Another August, season-ending event is the art show held at the club.  Members showed their talents in painting, photography, decoy carving, and sculpture.  Here were my offerings.

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 It was an all-canvas array including the largest I’ve done.  I had the two larger pieces done by a lab but printed and stretcher-mounted the two smaller ones myself.  Except for the lower right twilight scene they were all worked up with software to create a painterly effect.

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The four cat boats scene was from last year’s Twilight Sail , and the image was selected for the club’s 2016 events calendar.  The selection was made by my long-time friend (and powerful tax advisor) (and son of long-time friends Fran and Joe) Vice-Commodore Joe O’Neill.  The painterly version canvas went home with the lead boat’s owner.  (Honest, Ken, I didn’t set you up. 😉 )

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Sunsets and sunrises are an important scenic focus all year round but summer seems to bring more drama and opportunity.  This one is iconic which is a fancy way of saying, yes, I’ve seen this kind of scene before.  But it appealed to me to have the chairs off-center and closer to the viewer, the sun centered between them, and that boat on the right for tension.  Also, Barb and I saluted a lot of sunsets this summer from these chairs.

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Finally, here’s another favorite of mine from past posts.  I’ve not come across a more moving way to say again,

Shucks, the season’s over.

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HERMINE TAKES BACK THE SEA’S SAND

For many months there has been a major beach replenishment project underway along Long Beach Island.  The cynics among us (moi???) were waiting for the first big nor’easter to return things to normal.  Well, Hermine certainly tried, and did a lot of its own reclamation around Holgate at the southern tip of the island.  But, there’s still a lot of dune left to protect the island.

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The Friday night before the storm was stunning.  I swear to you that this sunset is right out of my cell phone … no enhancement, and just awesome.

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The image, however, belied the old sailor’s comfort:  “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.” as Saturday morning brought an undelightful sea.

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For both of the above shots I had waded out into the (warm) water.  The turbulence threatened to knock me over along with my $$$ camera and $$$ lens but I made it back to shore.

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There were a few other souls on the beach; after all, the sun was shining.  This sandpiper was among them, thinking, perhaps that my flip-flop was its mother.

Excuse me; those are my flip-flops.

Excuse me; those are my flip-flops.

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Sunday morning dawned beautiful.  Crowds gathered at the end of the island to witness the drama of the still-angry sea.

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Here’s the famous wooden jetty which had been covered by the adjacent dune.  It’s what we expected but it’s still sad and a loss.

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Here we see a 10′ cliff on the dune that used to COVER the wooden jetty, kids and big kids enjoying it but also adding to the destruction.

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 The exciting sea made great opportunities for the enthusiastic.  This would be a fearsome prospect for me.  Maybe two or three years ago …. when I was only 80 …

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And, how exciting to climb the sky!

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We survived the storm.  We had rain only late Friday night, and we dined in the wind (under a tent) for the Saturday night season’s-end ball.  We brought in all of the porches’ furniture; Sigrid managed everything nicely for the annual trophies presentation Sunday morning, culminating a year’s work by her to prepare them all (ninety active trophies plus keepers).  My family raised everything off of the first floor onto cinder blocks and moved the bicycles up a half flight to the entry foyer, and some of us (moi, again) evacuated.  Yes, we lost some sand but some of that will come back, and we still have much more protection than we did before Sandy.

LIFE ON A SANDBAR!

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DOWNBAY 2016

The Downbay Regatta is an annual summer highlight at Beach Haven’s Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club.   A many-yeared tradition, sailboats come “down-bay” from several other yacht clubs on Barnegat Bay to compete in their classes, i.e. A-Cats, B-Cats, E-Scows and Lightnings.  It is always colorful, always a weekend of camaraderie,  of renewing friendships, of hard-fought races, and not a little partying.  Although I had retired as the club photographer, my camera wanted to go take a look; what could I do?

The weekend opened bright, hot, and windy with some question as to whether there might be too much wind.  That was a new concept for a power-boater like me … too much wind to sail?!? Anyway, a great start for the weekend.  Here’s the traditional lineup of the romantic A-Cats, with two more on moorings out in the thorofare.

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On the dock were the colorful “marks and pins” which are taken out to the sailing grounds and moored to mark the turning points of the various courses.

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The harbor horn sounds … a kind of mount-up signal which triggers all kinds of boarding, and sail raising activity, some of it frenetic.  I heard lots of “Pull that line …. Jack, don’t tie us up … The sail’s caught … Can we get a tow … “

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Will somebody let go the bow line?

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Third generation Little-Egger Sam Flagler was invited to skipper the A-Cat, Ghost. This boat was generously donated last year to the NJ Maritime Museum in Beach Haven.  (A splendid museum, WELL worth a visit.)  The boat is “mothered” by past yacht club commodore John Coyle, an inveterate supporter of lots of good things for Beach Haven and the island and the area (e.g. the Tuckerton Seaport Museum.)  Anyhow, Sam invited my granddaughter, Gretchen, to crew with him.  They’ve been sailing buddies since their learning days in the Junior Sailing program.  Here they are as young teenagers in the 2008 Quill-McCarty race around Mordecai Island.

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And, eight years later, boarding Ghost for the races.

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Finally, they begin their tow to the sailing grounds.

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 Torch decides to sail her way out, dragging her reflection behind her.

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Finally, a Lensbaby view of the morning dock and preparation.

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WHADDYA MEAN IT’S AUGUST???

Sigh, it is.  I’ve said it before but endless summer isn’t.  I moved to the beach mid-June and had the whole summer ahead of me.  But that was then, and now it’s August.  Actually, things don’t change that much.  Gregg Whiteside on WRTI tells me every morning that the day’s going to be another two minutes less of sunshine.  Two minutes a day I can deal with, and I’ve still got two months before I have to return to the Old Folks Farm.

The beach and the bay still beckon, whether a perfect day or one with a stiff wind out of the west with whitecaps.  Here’s the view we’ve enjoyed looking west from Barb’s place in Holgate this summer.

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Sunrise at the “new” beach?  Priceless.  The reclamation project is pretty much done at the southern end of LBI, with some fine tuning such as gravel walkways over the new dunes.  The scene below is from the parking lot at the end of Holgate.  The beach chair occupant?  He’s the over-night guardian to protect us from the replenishment pipes and equipment on the other side of the dune.

 

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By early July the project had extended this dune to cover the old wooden jetty that bordered the surfing beach at the beginning of the Forsythe Refuge.   The dredges at sea pumped tons of sand sludge onto the beach, and dozers such as this one moved it as the Corps of Engineers had decreed.  This took me back to my Sea Bee days.

Farewell to the jetty and also to the surfing beach because the jetty had created the surf.  Sic transit gloria.

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Being a photographer at the beach summer after summer is challenging;  where’s the new scene or the new perspective?  Well, you have to keep your eyes and your head open and hope you’ll luck out once in a while.  Here’s one that surprised me.   Sitting on Barb’s deck at sunset I noticed the bay’s reflection in the windows of the house next door, and I loved it.  Even more when I developed it and discovered that the undulations in the window glass had created a rolling sea on the quiet bay surface.

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Another surprise grab shot was this scene.  I had gone to the beach to photograph a post-storm rainbow.  Beautiful? Yes.  Impressive? Sort of.  But, (yawn) another rainbow on the beach.  When I turned around and climbed the dune to return, however, here was a reminder of how narrow this sandbar is on which we live.  I’m on the beach dune and one can see the end of the street at the bay, only 1900′ away.  Composition Guideline:  always look behind you after you’ve taken your shot.

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My favorite summer event is the Twilight Sail.  This year some heavy duty thunder storms were smashing the mainland so Barb and I demurred.  I felt it confirming when our Fleet Captain also declined.  Anyway, four vessels took off for the edge of the world, including our now Beach Haven resident A-cat, Ghost (the taller mast below).  They all returned safely.

I was impressed with the blue world into which they were sailing.  Made me think of a colleague’s photography business, Twilight Blue Photography.  (No charge, Pat.)

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Well, so what if it’s August.  Summer’s still here and I’m stickin’ around, too.

Here was the month’s first sunset;  Well Done August!

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UNLOCKING SUMMER’S FRONT DOOR

It’s time for me to leave the cave and head back to the island.  After two trial weekends, yes, it’s good to be back.  Here’s what I unexpectedly, gratefully, captured at sunset last week.

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It wasn’t shaping up as a great sunset.  There was, in fact, a cloud bank above the mainland, and the setting sun was above that.  By shooting with my telephoto lens, however, I was able to mask out the sun, leaving only this magnificent scene and color.  The foreground grasses provide an anchor for the viewer, and the four men fishing on the boat say,

Yes! Summer’s Here!

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Another major sign of summer’s arrival is the blooming of the Rosa Rugosa or beach roses.  The dune makers (more on this below) spared the extensive clusters of the roses on either side of the ramp to the beach, making a beautiful entrance when in bloom.  They also have a lovely fragrance; it made me wish my camera could capture it.

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Another sign of summer for me is the return of the Purple Martins to Cotov’s Condominiums along Liberty Thorofare.  So is the morning fog.

They’re Back … and their eggs have already been laid.  More to come.

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But the Big Story on Action News is the $128 million beach restoration project, a very impressive, 24/7 engineering project.  Security guards prevent ageing photographers from getting too close but here’s part of the feel of it.  The gulls ignore the Danger sign to feast on bits and pieces that come along with the sand being pumped in; the lady is heading for ignoring the sign but not, one hopes, for the bits and pieces.

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Beach toys for big boys.

Beach toys for big boys.

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A block or two north the beach is open alongside the pipe carrying bottom sand from an off-shore dredge.  The pipe is marked “High Pressure.  Danger.  Stay Back” but the crew has created sand walkways over it.  Oh, well.  Frisbees must fly.

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Did I mention summer fog?  Oh, yeah.  On this morning the pipeline was pumping in off-shore fog.

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The pathway to the beach is now daunting.  A compacted gravel bed has been put in place which is so much easier to walk on rather than just the sand.

This family made it to the top.  They’re settling in but I expect signs soon to keep off of the dunes.

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Anyway, once you get to the top of Mt. Dune an amazing vista opens up.

Plenty of room until the first nor’easter.

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TANGIER ISLAND, VA – A STEP BACK IN TIME

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A PLACE AND A WAY OF LIFE RECEDING IN THE FACE OF TIME AND TIDES

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Tangier Island consists of about 900 acres of which about 83 remain suitable for habitation; the rest is marsh.  It is located on Chesapeake Bay, a thirteen mile boat ride from Crisfield, MD on the Eastern Shore.  It was first charted by Captain John Smith in 1608, and my family and I followed him in 1973 by ferry, and again on our own boat a couple of times in the 80’s.

I came across a notice about a workshop guided by Irene Hinke-Sacilotto of Oprey Photo.Com, and I decided it was time to return.  My photography had been dragging thru fallow fields and I needed a restart.  A trip to the island would do it along with a return to pleasant memories.

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No one knows the source of the island’s name but the first recorded reference to it was about 1682. An 1800 census lists 79 inhabitants, most of them named Crockett.  Over the years they were joined by other families from southwest England including the Pruitts, Thomases, and Parks.  If you seek a wi-fi connection there you will encounter many of these names, and you will find them on above-ground burial vaults in their front yards.  Here is one such burial site, that of Lillie M. and John L. Crockett, and,yes, right on Main Street.

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On that first visit to the island in 1973 we stayed at Hilda Crockett’s Chesapeake House.  Meals were served family style on long tables laden with crab cakes and corn pudding.  There was no air conditioning so we stayed up late, reading on the front porch by the soft light of the Pepsi machine.  It’s been moved but not much else has changed.

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As we sat on the porch during the day we watched locals strolling up and down the main street (below), the ladies with their hair in curlers for Saturday night’s entertainment: the bingo games at the community center.  Yes, that’s the main town street, wide enough for two golf carts or one very occasional car.

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We also trudged out to the community center later that night to play Bingo.  We had to cross the tidal creeks that divided the island;  at that time the bridges consisted of pairs of 8″ x 10′ planks that wobbled up and down as we crossed them.  My late wife, Marty Lou, won a necklace at the Bingo game and we were the object of some stares for detracting from their Saturday night escape.  The planked bridges are a great improvement.

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In the 70’s the census reported a little over 800 residents; today it’s down to 700+.  Of these, something like 65 are still engaged in harvesting from the bay.  The original activity was live stock and farming but from about the 1840’s seafood became the focus, particularly with the advent of train service at Crisfield to haul their product to markets.

Those that still work the bay are out there early and, at times, in terrible weather.

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The main entrance to the harbor area is from the northeast, leading out to Tangier Sound.  It is lined on either side by fifty or more so-called crab shanties.  There are no streets leading to these shanties; they’re out there on pilings to provide a base for the waterman’s daily operations.  This particular shanty has been outfitted with trays to contain soft-shell crabs until they fully shed, or to keep shedders fresh for market..  Bay water is pumped over them, and you can see the netting to protect the crop against marauading seagulls.  Another shanty can be seen in the opening picture.

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Here we see one of the tidal creeks that break up the island into its three ridges, the village being on the center or “Main Ridge”.  The daytime-only, single runway and several homes are on the next ridge to the west where I stood for the below image.

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The island is halfway out of this world but, on the other hand, it’s been that way for a few hundred years.

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The calamities these days: the drastic reduction of the crab crop, and the erosion of the island.  In addition to the rising sea level from global warming the island is exposed to stormy seas.  On our last morning there we had to abandon sunrise photography because of the storm that had arisen during the night.  Here’s a view of the bay towards the northwest as the seas from winds of about 15 knots continued to pound the breakwater.

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It was great to revisit this old friend of a place.  I remembered a Memorial Day visit in the 80’s.  There was a gathering with a modest honor guard at the Methodist Church cemetery and someone read aloud the name of every Tangier-man who had served his country since the Spanish-American War.  As a name was recited a young girl would remove a rose from a basket she was carrying and place it on the cemetery grounds.

They have survived; they will be there for a long time to come.

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There is a gallery of these and more images from my weekend.  Please visit it by clicking here.

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A FUN PHILADELPHIA FLOWER SHOW – 2016

I really enjoyed the show this year.  My attendance record goes waaaay back into the late 50’s … long before blogging but I have posted about five previous modern shows, all listed under “Flower Show” in the tab at the top of the page marked  “An Index To My Posts”.  Anyhow, the first impression is always important and I was pleased with it this year.

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The theme was the hundredth anniversary of the National Park System.  I’m a great fan of the Park Service and I’ve enjoyed a lot of the major parks and preserves and refuges.  I think the service does such a great job that I’ve said for years that I wished they ran the whole government.  When I saw this entrance of stone columns and beams I felt at home.

Well, it’s supposed to be a flower show but sometimes the flowers get lost in the spectacle; this year I thought that there were more than last year.  There were lots of scenes like this to enjoy.

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Under the theme of the national parks I thought everyone did a good job with their entries.  A few even included marshy and pine barrens scenes reminiscent of the work that people like Jud’s Nurseries used to do in the 60’s, with wild azaleas and struggling cedars.

I had a couple of quibbles.  Long time supporter E. P. Henry (hardscaping materials) has been replaced by Belgard, the largest hardscapes manufacturer in the nation.  They provided pavers and block work and stone for exhibitors and they also had constructed what they called a Chesapeake Bay garden with their materials.  It was nice but as a bay veteran it didn’t make me think of the Chesapeake.  In fact I asked one of the hosts where the crabs were.  I was politely humored.  Another quibble:  there was a giant decorated bell shape representing the Liberty Bell.  It was positioned in a pleasant resting area on the back wall of which was emblazoned … not words from the Declaration of Independence … rather, from the preamble of the Constitution, written thirteen years after that bell was rung so symbolically.  Oh, well.

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There are the whimsical exhibits, generally always enjoyable.  Here’s one made of some kind of conifer branches.

(Techy comment:  Judges, note that there is a catchlight in its eye.)

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And there are the dramatic scenes here and there.

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Here’s some more whimsy which I couldn’t leave alone.  This was part of the Waldor Orchid display, a long time orchid cultivator and PHS supporter.  The exhibit had a central pond surrounded by orchid plants.  In the pond there were three illuminated translucent buckets upside down in the water, each with a further lighted bucket on top with water bubbling out of them.  It was too difficult to get close enough to capture the bucket scene so I chose to do this impressionistic capture (made with a Sweet Spot Lensbaby).

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The so-called Horticourt is a place where members may exhibit their specimen plants in competition.  I think that the area was larger this year, and I enjoyed seeing all of the entries.

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I’ll close with some more whimsy.  These unusual plants were all over the place, adding romantic colors to displays.  They were of the Electricus family of plants.  (Please, no emails or phone calls, yes they were electric lights but pretty.)

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Finally, there was a creative exhibit representing the Redwood National Forest.  One could walk through one of the simulated redwoods and look up at the lovely artistic effort.  Fun!

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A NICE JOB, PHS.  ONLY A YEAR UNTIL THE NEXT ONE.

(BTW, and maybe just a rumor but I think that next year’s theme may be the Netherlands.  Wow!  Keukenhof Gardens!)

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WINTER WHITE STUFF (THE FLORIDA KIND)

We managed to escape on the last flight out of Philadelphia before winter storm Jonas (OK, maybe not literally the last but it felt that way).  Even with the last minute struggle to change our flight to Friday night and to make sure there was a car and a room in Sanibel, we were still apprehensive.  Indeed, after taxiing out to the runway the pilot announced a further delay in order to DE-ICE THE WINGS.  How comforting was that??  I was convinced he would abort but we made it and slipped in to our cottage about 1:00 in the morning.  Our first view of the beach the next morning (while Jonas was howling at home) …. WHITE STUFF …  but, a very comfortable kind.

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Yet more white stuff is seen here.  Sanibel Island is known for being a shelling paradise.  For some reason the shape and position of the island in the currents of the Gulf of Mexico result in extraordinary deposits of shells with each high tide.

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It’s something to do every day.  The fanatics are on the beach before sunrise with headlamps, searching for the elusive and therefore prized Junonia.  It’s so rare, finders wind up with their pictures in the paper.  Aside from the Junonia, however, we enjoyed our beach walks and inevitably came home with shells that caught our eye.  The above sight is typical.  The image is now a part of my place mat collection.

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Another exciting activity is photographing the sea birds that meet daily on the beach.  Aside from the routine gulls we also enjoyed Willets, Ruddy Turnstones, skittering Sanderlings, and clusters of Royal Terns having bad hair days.  The terns are tolerant of walking humans ( dogs, another story) and gather in groups at sometimes the same spots along the beach each morning.  I’ve enjoyed photographing them over my fourteen years of occasional visits.  I posted recently about the need to get prone to capture some scenes and the terns are certainly in that category.

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I particularly love this image below.  He seemed to be zoned out in the joy of the morning sunlight and breeze.  I heard him murmuring, “Hey, Dude, is this cool or whaaat?”  I absolutely agreed.

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The tern was chillin’ in the sunrise along with others also drawn to dawn.  Most of us react to the drama of sunrises and sunsets and though I’ve seen and photographed lots of them I’m not immune to the next one.  Here’s one morning in which the sun was filtered more than usual but there was still light for the early morning shell seekers.

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And at the other end of the day, the sun’s farewell.

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Not every day was warm or clear or sunny, but at its worst it was better than being up home in February.  Even a foggy morning calls a photographer.

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Another major attraction of Sanibel is the 5200 acre “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.  We managed to drive through on the eight mile Wildlife Trail almost every day.  It’s best to do so slightly before and after low tide as the bird life is then feasting on creatures from the exposed sand flats.  One sees a great deal of White Pelicans, Ibis, Herons, Willets, and Cormorants.  In fact they report over 200 species of birds.  Here are some selected captures.

Wilbur and Wilma Willet

Wilbur and Wilma Willet

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Doc, I have this really bad neck pain.

Doc, I have this really bad neck pain.

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This one made me literally laugh out loud.  They tolerate humans being close and I was about six feet away from his bath.

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Finally, an after-breakfast Cormorant Cleanup.

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This was a nice experience for us, and certainly warmer and sunnier than February at home.  We thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed and informal atmosphere at Beachview Cottages on Sanibel Island.  As always, glad to be home but also wondering why??

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There is a gallery of additional images from the two weeks.  To view it please click here.

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WINTER ON THE BEACH

When a recently ordered item didn’t arrive I found it had been shipped to my summer address.  My fault, but grrrrr!  It became, however, an excuse to drive down there on a beautiful day.  The package was enjoying the sun at the front door and all was well inside the house so … off to the beach.  It was in the 30’s and the wind was sharp from the west at maybe 15 knots.  That was enough to blow spray backwards as the waves broke, creating dramatic scenes.

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_MG_0987 Nik TC + Vign

 

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The jetty below Nelson Avenue in Beach Haven looked to be a good spot from which to record the blowing-back spray  as well as the specular highlights.  I shared the jetty with a group of gulls looking for summer.  I looked around but I couldn’t see it coming anywhere.

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The jetty was, indeed, a good platform from which to capture the surf and the sun’s reflection.

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I then headed down to the Forsythe Refuge below Holgate.  I had seen a report of a Snowy Owl along the beach and I had my fingers crossed.  First, however,  I parked at the refuge entrance and put myself outside of a Wawa sandwich.  While sitting there eating I was amused by a couple of surfers wriggling into their wet suits in the parking lot while complying with the posted sign warning against disrobing.  Turns out they wrap a beach towel around their waist for the final step.

I was warm in my car; they were changing in the wind chill;  I prefer my hobby.

One of them looking up at me as he raced off with his board  said, “Well, it beats video games.”

Refortified and well covered up in my dry suit I headed down the beach.  It was a brilliant day and there was much to look at but no snowy owls.  In fairness, the report said the owl had been seen about three miles south, almost to the inlet.  I don’t do three miles, particularly in 15 knot, 30+ degree winds so it is left to others to photograph the animal.  Nevertheless, it was a magnificent day and there is usually something to see along the way.  About a mile down, I came upon this sand-polished and sun-bleached tree carcass.  It made me think of a deformed dolphin on a bad hair day.  It is the kind of thing I used to have nightmares about running into in my boating days, a real prop dinger.

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Elsewhere, the specular sea through wind-blown grasses caught my eye.  The fact that there’s a ridge here shows how dune grass can hold the sand.

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A word about the rigors of photography with which painting artists don’t have to deal.  Obviously, I had to get down low for this composition.  My friend, Barbara, loves to tell of traveling with me and, losing sight of me,  scanning the ground to find where I’m lying to photograph some turtle face-on.

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Here’s an example.  Barbara caught me photographing the civil war gravestone of a friend’s forebear.

Bergie at work crop-600

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That doesn’t happen as much anymore, and the getting back up is also a challenge.  And even when prone, the head-to-the-viewfinder must still be raised up and the neck arthritis is not enthused.

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Nevertheless, it was a fun, beautiful and satisfying day.  The endorphins were flowing.

I plan to misaddress packages more often.

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