I was worried that my shutter release might be rusted in place.  I haven’t used it for a month and no serious photography for two months.  A root canal put me out of action for one weekend.  Other opportunities were impacted by …. life ….. and by the heat.   Yesterday I was bent and determined to get out.  Some thought was given to Gettysburg until I spent some time Friday morning on an outdoor project  which made it clear that a weekend trip in this heat was not a “cool” idea.  So, instead, a short trip to the Philadelphia Zoo which I haven’t visited for too many years.  Yes, it was hot, but it was a pleasant experience until I finally gave in to the heat and, wilted, returned to the airco.  My first sight was this handsome fellow above, doing what we all should have been doing … cooling off.

I had hoped to see the elephants but this was the best I could do.

 The zoo had to relocate its elephants; one to the Tennesee Elephant Sanctuary in 2007, and the last two to the Pittsburgh Zoo in 2009.  The problem?  Money.  The Zoo concluded they needed $22 million to build a proper environment, and it wasn’t in the cards.

The big cats were next on my list but they were, prudently, sleeping.  It was a good idea. 


This fountain also seemed like a good place to be.


The heat began to have its effect on me so I skipped the face-painting opportunity and called it a day.  BTW, I enjoyed getting there via the Philadelphia Phlash trolley which runs every 12 minutes on a 27 stop route from Penns Landing out to the Please Touch Museum in Fairmount Park’s Memorial Hall.


The three prints below were selected to hang in the Burlington County Juried Photography Exhibit at the Annex Art Gallery of Smithville Mansion in Eastampton, NJ.  This is an excellent show that draws high quality talent from much of South Jersey, not just Burlington County.  The show will be on display through August 25th and is worth a visit for all of the accepted entries, many from my colleagues at the South Jersey Camera Club. 

The mansion and the grounds are also well worth a visit at any time of year, and there are several Smithville posts on my journal including area wildflowers and winter scenes.  I first visited the mansion site probably in the 60’s, my wife having discovered it and urging  that we visit it.  It was still privately owned at that time, and was acquired by the county about 1975.  I was caught up with Reverend Beck’s Forgotton Towns books in those years and I was delighted to find remains of the bicycle railway that Hezekiah Smith helped create, which ran to Mount Holly to facilitate workers getting to his factory.

Bubbly Froth

A bubbling stream with reflections of the sky and tree leaves.

Great Smokies Stream

After the Storm

Taken after Hurricane Bill, late August 2009 at Beach Haven, NJ