There are about five miles of woodland trails on our 165+ acre campus and I thought I’d better get started.  Saturday was a beautiful day so I tried a one mile section.  I flushed three white tail deer and encountered squishy reminders that there is an adjacent flood plain.

Sharp’s Run borders the south edge of the campus on its way to the southwest branch of Rancocas Creek.  During last week’s rain the Run had risen enough to flood the entrance from Route 70, closing it  for a while.  The bridge above was undoubtedly under water.

For part of the trail I found myself on a steep-sided  embankment well above the flood plain.  Well, says the railroader, this is not a natural formation;  there must have been a railroad through here.  Sure enough, the 5.95 mile Mount Holly, Lumberton, and Medford Railroad served these communities and interchanged at Medford with the Camden and Atlantic (City) Railroad, ca 1870. 

Anyway, the leaves above are one of the few spots of color remaining in the woods as we enter the unsaturated gray-brown, bare branch season. But, returning on a campus paved road there was an attractive colorful planting of winter pansies in front of drying grass plumes. 

The unusual black-stemmed plant is a night-blooming globus electricus.


And a campus cluster of red berry provided a bright spot.


I’m in the new town house at Medford Leas and the holiday season is upon us.  So, I’ve placed the candles in the windows and hung the wreath.

Home For The Holidays

But it’s not as peaceful as the picture suggests.  Although we’ve made some progress it’s still chaotic inside.

The preparation and the event were stressful (an inadequate word).  I got through it only with Sigrid’s massive help and Bob’s as well.  My other new best friends are the guys from Hometown Moving in Lumberton.  They were pleasant and professional and amazed me with their cheerfullness through a long day of heavy lifting and carrying during which I felt guilty at every heavy box they handled.  They took on a partial load Tuesday and arrived with two vans and the rain on Wednesday.  By four PM it was no longer their problem; it was ours.

The Hometown Moving Company men and one honorary member.

 The first task was to find the box in which Pearl had been moved and release her.  That done, Barbara had left a Manhattan for me in the frig along with a frozen lasagna.  There was a bed for Pearl and me that night, and breakfast the next morning.  By Saturday morning the IT folks at Medford Leas had me back on the air, relieving my separation anxieties.  Now what had been days of sorting and packing has become days of unpacking and resorting.  Even though the garage floor is already piled with empty boxes there are still boxes in every room, up in the loft, and down in the basement.

Boxes to be emptied and shelves to be filled.

The digital darkroom cometh. Pearl helps.

I’ve already enjoyed a coffee outside on the rear deck;  I’m revelling in the light that fills the rooms after the shadows in my tree-sheltered Box Hill; I’m enjoying driving about “in the country”; and I’m genuinely glad to be here.


 Thursday morning was revealed gradually in the fog.

We saw this many times over the years.  Our development was created by an Englishman (Laurence Nilsen) and carries such English names as Charleston Riding (Riding: an English country subdivision), Mews Lane, Box Hill, Leith Hill and so on.  So, I used to kid my wife on foggy mornings by saying that we’re out on Yorkshire’s  Charleston Moor and we must beware of the hounds.

But, the fog enhances the last of the color.  That red maple is the prettiest tree here in the fall.  It was the root stock for a graft of a Japanese Maple which died many years ago.  The root stock sent out some shoots and I pruned to one and it became beautiful.  Within two days the leaves left, and in three more days so will I.


Whooo-ee.  Do we have landscape photographers in our camera club or what?  

We do.  We have mega-megapixels of  grand landscapes … with fog, with great bodies of water, with misty lake surfaces, waves breaking over jettys, old barns, moon trails on the ocean, foraging waterfowl, mist-shrouded mountains, water falls and waterfalls and waterfalls, marshes in their fall colors,  cascades and spillways, spanking spinakers, lakes under dramatic clouds…

And I love ’em all, including my own. 

But, call it curmudgeonry, I was bent and determined to rebel.  Stop looking at the big postcard picture; in the words of one of our judges last season, find the picture in the picture.  So, I set out to try that the past two Sundays while escaping the killer-packing-boxes at home.

Here’s one result, a non-scape image which I like very much even though it was made in error

This was an artificial Christmas tree that had only its lights on it.  I shot without remembering the camera was still in manual focus.  When I saw this I focused and reshot but preferred this version.  Shooting for fun(k).

Elsewhere I was struck by these little bottles marching off into the distance so I shot them at f/4 to have a reasonable indoor light shutter speed, but that enhanced the effect as their lines receded into fuzziness.  Shooting for fun(k).


Today I was at Valley Forge on a crisp, beautiful day.  So easy to shoot the vistas but…

not today!

The National Memorial Arch is a magnificent structure but it’s nice to see it as lines and shadows and sculpture detail.  Shooting for fun(k).

The cannons.  So tempting to shoot over them at whatever they’re aimed at…as I’ve done.  I passed that up in favor of this lineup.  Shooting for fun(k).

Finally, some fall color although not much left around here.  That’s good because I can’t just shoot a hillside of blazing color.  Instead, how about some back-lit leaves with strong and interesting trunk lines.  Shooting for fun(k).

Later, while  enjoying some hot soup at an outdoor picnic table I watched the breeze ruffle the leaves of a nearby tree.  I thought of how we shoot water at a slow shutter speed to portray creamy motion and I wondered how that would look with breeze-tossed leaves.  The answer: pretty and interesting.  Another scene for my placemat collection.  Shooting for fun(k).

And it all made for a pleasant couple of outings.