I recently attended a presentation on Burlington County’s Parks given by the County Naturalist, Jen Bulava, who is also a colleague in the Pinelands Photographic Group.  Based on her presentation I mean to explore more of the parks than Smithville which appears frequently in this journal.  First on my list was Amico Island Park, a 55 acre peninsula at the confluence of Rancocas Creek and the Delaware at Riverside, NJ, with two miles of well kept trails, lots of birdlife, and a few whitetail deer. 

The interior pond.

It was a delightful 1-1/2 hour walk to circumnavigate the island, including some time for photographs of the wild flowers.



The Pinelands Institute for Natural and Environmental Studies (get it? P.I.N.E.S.), is a unit of Burlington County College with offices at Whitesbog Village.  They conduct a number of activities during the year and I attended one of them, a van tour through Whitesbog to look at wildflowers.   It  was a beautiful day and the tour was enjoyable.  One of the party commented that they were impressed that I was getting down so low to photograph; the trick, I replied, was getting back up again.

Pyxie - Five petals, five stamens

The Pyxies were the first.  Our three guides were excellent as these tiny blossoms, less than a dime in size do not leap out at one amidst the ground cover and dead leaves.  But get closer and there they are.

What the area's all about: blueberries

The blueberry blossoms above were on bushes alongside the trails that keep getting trimmed down to keep the trail open so they were really low, lowbush blueberries.

Sand Myrtle, a small delicate evergreen shrub.

A WALK IN SMITH’S WOODS – 04/10/2010

Yesterday I hosted a camera club how-to-do-it work shop on Pbase, the on-line photo gallery service which I’ve used for five years now.  I’ve mounted some 150 different galleries, hosting over 1400 images, plus a private set of 34 galleries for another group, and I’ve had over 176,000 views over the years.  You can visit the galleries here.    It was a pleasant and I think useful gathering.  What was also nice is that the group stayed on for a spirited and useful discussion of whether photos containing added elements should be allowed in competitions.  Such elements, e.g. storm clouds replacing a bland cloud cover over a rough sea can be readily done in Photoshop.  The ethical question is: Is that Photography or Photoshoppery?  The operative word for me is competitions since I think it’s perfectly acceptable to add to images to improve them for “art’s” sake,  personal enjoyment or sale, and I’ve done some of this, myself. 

Anyway, after all of that intense thinking and discussion it was such a beautiful day that I knew there were scenes needing to be photographed.  I drove over to the Smith’s Woods part of the Burlington County Smithville Park and enjoyed an hour and a half there, taking in the scene on a nice walk.

A creek runs alongside the woods on its way to the falls at Smithville.

There’s a lot of bright green emerging although we’re a few weeks away from any wildflowers.


Finally, reality occasionally but necessarily intrudes.  Oh well, simply turn around and return through the woods.

Smith's Woods' Power Line