Image 05I was privileged Sunday to attend the 200th anniversary of Cropwell Friends Meeting House.  My friend, Nancy, organized it with her husband, David.  Her father had organized the 150th anniversary and her grandfather had organized the 100th anniversary.  What a great sense of continuity.  One of the principal speakers was Arthur Larrabee, General Secretary of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting who spoke on significant events in the history of the Religious Society of Friends.   Joseph Laufer, Burlington County’s Historian, gave an excellent presentation on the Quaker meeting houses in Burlington County.  There were other reports on the activities of the meetings in search of peace and in service to humanity.  It was for me an uplifting afternoon in the sense of the long history of the meeting and of the good works of the Society.

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Here, visitors are leaving after the meeting.  I was struck once when Nancy’s father , Louis Barton, said he had sat in this room and could picture six generations of his family sitting there also over the years.

I know my friend, David, has risen early on many winter mornings to go build a fire in the stove for meeting.



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Visitors enjoyed the program after the meeting.





And the concluding treat, home-made ice cream churned right there with an antique gasoline-powered engine, and a bounteous supply of fresh strawberrys.

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Just one of those moments that can’t be ignored.


The annual Blueberry Festival was held last Saturday at Whitesbog near Browns Mills in Burlington County.  It seemed successful as the parking lot was full by 11:30.  Lots of people, crafter booths, public interest booths, food, music, blueberry picking out in the bogs and all manner of blueberry foods.  Fun and good eating.Image 01

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Last night I sat on my roof deck at the shore house and enjoyed a drink at the end of the day.  Not a sensational sunset…more typical of the sun quieting behind the clouds of an incoming cold front from the north. 

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I sat and watched, and listened to some tracks from my new toy, my Archos Media Tablet.  the music was excerpts from the sound track of “Room With A View” which my daughter, Sigrid, recorded for me a number of years ago.  How well I remember those sounds playing on the aft deck or the flying bridge of the Friendship at many sunsets while anchored up Langford Creek on Chesapeake Bay.  Many of you shared those moments.    Click the arrow below for a memory.


Last Tuesday, the 16th, the South Jersey Camera Club held its last meeting for the year.  Our speaker was the distinguished LBI photographer, David Gurtcheff, and he also judged our monthly competitions.  It was ironic that I mentioned my Lake Placid images in my last journal entry because he awarded one of those images first place in the Digital Category A Competition.  Here’s the scene.  It’s a great coming together of wonderful scenic elements; the boat and dock in the foreground;  the grasses at the lower right; the ducks just emerging at dawn; the dawn sky;  and the misty mountains in the background.  One of my favorites.

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These monthly competitions are tough because of the talent and skill of our 100+ members.  I’ve had only one other first in my five years with the club.

I’m also pleased to share with my friends that, as a result of that First Place I have earned a Third Place Medal for my submissions over the year that have been accorded a monthly place or Honorable Mention.  That’s my first medal in five years and I’m pleased.  My only regret is that it squeezed out my friend and excellent photographer, Denise Bush, by only one point in some Camera Club High Drama.  She plugged my work in her Photo Blog and I can absolutely do no less.  Here it is:  The photo of the rusting gas pump and leaning shed was taken in the Delaware Water Gap area.  I overheard the judge telling his wife that it’s the kind of picture he’d like to hang on his wall.  She’s good.


Last saturday I ventured into the Franklin ParkerImage 02 Preserve in the Pinelands.  This 14 square mile tract was acquired in 2003 by the New Jersey Conservation Foundation.  It features sandy trails through a pitch pine forest, and wild blueberry alongside pristine streams.  There are two public entrances, one south of Chatsworth on county route 563, and one west of Chatsworth off the Tabernacle-Chatsworth Road












It was an overcast morning but plant material was lush from the recent rain.  Here are a couple of specimens.  I don’t know what the dark pink flowered plant is although the blossoms certainly resemble those of mountain laurel  but the leaves are different.  The bells on the right are, I believe, blueberry blossoms

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So much for the flora; the only fauna I encountered were four ticks who opted to come home on me.   Lesson: USE DEET. 

The woods on either side of the Chatsworth-Barnegat road on my way to LBI are laden with ferns.  Here’s a nice example:

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Last night’s program was near perfection for me: ravelpic

Ravel’s Piano Concerto For The Left Hand,

his La Valse, Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances

(which I hadn’t heard before but enjoyed as I do most of his work)

and Liszt’s Totentanz.

For those of you who can spare the four minutes for a lift here’s a video of  the concluding section of the Piano Concerto. 

It was written in 1930 as a commission from pianist Paul Wittgenstein who had lost his right arm in World War I.

Another well-known favorite by Ravel is his Pavane For A Dead Princess, which can be heard here:

I was struck by this video because the 1889 painting _MG_0704 300of White Face Mountain is the same vista seen in some of my Lake Placid images.  (There.  I’ve gotten a picture of mine into my photo journal!)  More Lake Placid scenes here.

An overwhelming feeling I had during the concert is that there is still such beauty and magnificence in a world in which we are too often confronted with brutality and evil.  There is hope.