VALLEY FORGE IN WINTER – 02/20/10

I went to one of the big Greenberg Train Shows last Saturday at the Valley Forge Expo Center.  A good show and I was separated from some of my money.  Afterwards I always enjoy driving through the nearby Valley Forge Park.  Especially with our unusually snowy winter one appreciates what they endured there in the 1777-78 encampment.  Washington is quoted as saying ” . . . you might have tracked the army from White Marsh to Valley Forge by the blood of their feet.”  Now, it’s a lovely place to visit, to hike, run, or to run your dog.  The park has either a deer problem, or beautiful deer depending on your view.

Here were a couple running their dog.  In the background, the 1953 National Patriots Bell Tower and Carillon, an outgrowth of work begun in 1926 and part of the Washington Memorial Chapel.

Winter and the snow silence the park.  The cannon seem anomalous but silenced also.  Here one has taken aim at the National Memorial Arch dedicated in 1917.   I remember running down the hill in front of this arch during a grade school trip there…….

ANTIQUES AND A VALENTINE’S DAY TRAIN – 02/14/10

First, my Valentine’s Day Card(inal).

I drove up to Lambertville for a nice lunch and to browse the antiques shops.  I didn’t buy anything but I did find some fine engravings by Axel Haig which made me appreciate mine a little more.  It was a gift from a childhood friend whose father had acquired it while studying architecture in Paris.  ( Haig had been an architectural draftsman as well as an artist.)  It’s a scene of a gothic cathedral interior, signed and dated 1895.  Unfortunately it got  torn and, so, hangs only in my basement.  I’ve always liked it.

In crossing the bridge to New Hope I spotted this colorful holiday arrangement in the window box of the bridge tender’s office.

I then headed up Bridge Street in New Hope and crossed this snowy set of rails. 

I was able to park right there and as I got out to photograph the tracks, wow!…came the body-vibrating blare of a diesel locomotive’s horn.  What joy for a train enthusiast.   Here came the New Hope and Ivyland train returning from an excursion trip through the Bucks County Farmland.  Lucky Ducks!

A COLLLLD DAY ON LONG BEACH ISLAND – 02/08/10

Two South Jersey Camera Club colleagues and I headed for LBI, primarily to photograph the Harlequin Ducks which enjoy Barnegat Inlet this time of year and had been photographed there by others.  It was a stunningly beautiful day with the high pressure bringing in a deep blue, clear sky.  But, oh, the wind and the wind chill, roaring in from the northwest.  It was painful to be on the walkway that parallels the inlet.

We didn’t find any of the Harlequins but we were rewarded by small flocks of Oldsquaws or Long-Tailed Ducks, identified for me by a colleague.  These distinctive ducks breed in the Arctic and come south for the winter.  They were fun to watch as they dove as a group to feed on whatever was being washed out by the tide, to surface twenty or thirty seconds later.

 

From the lighthouse we drove to the nearby commercial fishing marina, Viking Village, where there was lots of activity, including shovelling the snow from the deck of Miss Maddy, a fine boat named for my granddaughter 😉  due to go out for more scalloping.  We had a pleasant conversation with the boat’s owner, one of the Larsen family descended from the Norwegians who founded the commercial fishing industry on LBI.   I was saddened to hear of his father’s recent death.  I had met the man twice and he was pleasant, interesting and informative (typical for us Scandanavians) about their life on the sea.

 

After an excellent lunch (fresh scallops for my friends) in front of a (gas) fireplace at Kubell’s we headed south on the island.  We wound up at the end of Long Beach Boulevard in Holgate in the parking area that overlooks the Forsythe Refuge which begins at that point.  Lots of sea gull and sanderling activity including these two.  

For some more images taken during the day, click here.

THE DAY AFTER THE SNOWSTORM – 02-07-10

The morning-after dawned with full sun and everything sparkled.  At a camera colleague’s  suggestion I headed down to Smithville Park near Mount Holly, a pleasure to visit any time of the year.  Yes, it’s more snowy pictures but, this time, with moving water which always draws us.  Here are some of the results:

The ruins of one of the 19th C. factory buildings.  It made me think of the ruins at Heidelberg Castle, destroyed in 1633 by (I’m sorry to say) the Swedes during the Thirty Year War.

MORE BIG SNOW – 02/06/10

Another major snowfall is underway.  It shot down our plans to go photograph the Harlequin ducks at Barnegat Light House.  Another day, perhaps.  Here’s the first image of the storm.

Big Hair in the Backyard

 

I just waded out to the bird feeder which I had neglected to fill before the storm.  We’ve got 20″ measured.  At 4:30 it has tapered off to almost nothing.  Bobby, Jack and John have dug/plowed out my driveway and the entry walk.   The (excellent) Cherry Hill plows will appear soon. Meanwhile I can walk in the tire tracks of more adventuresome souls.  Some more images:

 

 

Looks like more snow on top of the mailbox than after December’s storm.