SPRING’S BLOUSE SLIPS ALLURINGLY OFF OF HER SHOULDER

Of course I’m writing about spring flowers gradually appearing.   Whatever were you thinking?  

As I raised the blinds yesterday morning this  tree called to me in the slight fog.  Where did all of those white blossoms come from so suddenly?

Then, on the adjacent trail I came across this night’s work showing the effects of the fog.  It looks as though all that work yielded only a few bits of wet chaff.

Elsewhere on the campus there are lots of splashes of naturalized Narcissi which please the eye and anchor other pleasant woodland scenes.

 

Not much farther afield was this lovely tree, its blossoms so pretty and so short-lived.  I’ve always known these as Tulip trees but our arboretum sign calls them Magnolias.  Indeed, they’re closer to Magnolias than to the Lily (tulips) family. 

A few days earlier I interrupted these two taking in a morning on the south branch of the Rancocas.

Yes, clearly spring is movin’ in and isn’t that a nice thing to know each morning?

THE PHILADELPHIA FLOWER SHOW FOR 2012

This may be the shortest post I’ve done.  I didn’t think there was as much to shoot as in past years.  Lots and lots and lots of orchids.  I missed the great spring flowering gardens of other years; the wild azaleas blooming midst pineland scenes (do you remember Judd’s pine barrens scenes complete with decaying shack?); the great swaths of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths; the beds of perky annuals; the streams and fountains and woodsy gardens.   Oh, well.

Orchids or not I thought this setting was pretty.

The show entrance was awesome for its creativity and supposed evocation of Hawaii.  The idea, I guess, was that you were under the sea, surrounded on three sides and above by the moving water and darting fish.  Interesting,  but  it reminded me of that great Peggy Lee song, “Is that all there is?”

Because of the motion involved I tried to capture the effect with video.

Oh, fortunately, there were lots of the usual beautiful specimen plants including some daffodils, some of the few at this “spring” show.

AN ANTIQUE SHOW FIND AND THE MAURICE RIVER AREA

As noted before in this journal one of my favorite antique shows is held twice a year at the Mauricetown, New Jersey firehall.  It’s a nice little show with good food provided by the firefighters and their helpers.  And, of course, it’s a launching point for some favorite areas for photography such as the river front at nearby Shellpile.

I find it increasingly difficult to find things for my collecting interests but Saturday produced a winner.  One of my interests is  early American, ruby-stained, pressed glass that has been souvenired for my old home town, Atlantic City.  These were popular souvenirs purchased on the boardwalk, mostly in the decades either side of 1900.  One also finds them as souvenirs of other times and cities but my collection is exclusively Atlantic City.  I began serious collecting in the 90’s.  Generally restricting myself to one functional piece, i.e. pitcher, tumbler, stem, etc. in a range of sizes per pattern I now have 135 pieces in 40 patterns.  Here’s the piece I stole Saturday.

The theft?  Well, the last time I saw this beautiful and rare pattern was in a 2001 ebay auction when a well-known Moscow collector scarfed it up for $300.  I am not that serious a collector.  But, there it was at $29 and I had the nerve to ask the dealer if he could do any better.  (It’s what one does at such shows.) 

I used to have trouble identifying patterns because there were very few references for a collector.  So, in 2002  I created a website for the glassware with pattern pictures for reference which you can see by clicking here.  This site continues to average between 40 and 50 hits per month; not bad for a narrow, obscure interest.

So then, feeling pretty satisfied with myself, it was off to the river and the Delaware River shore.  Here’s the East Point Lighthouse located, appropriately, on the eastern point of the Maurice River.

Love that red roof.

Here’s the Meerwald oyster schooner mothballed for winter at the under-preservation Bivalve Oyster Packing Docks.  All sealed up but I could hear voices inside, probably doing interior winter maintenance.  (Note to colleagues: this is a handheld HDR composite, shooting into the sunny part of the sky, and using a clone tool to take out some sunspots.)

Some other images along the Delaware River shore:

Some wind blown chop on the beach.

A Tidal Swamp.

Look out! It's going to spill onto your keyboard.

A PLEASING BENCHMARK

As most of you know I maintain a set of photo galleries at www.Pbase.com/BergiesPlace.  I launched that site seven years ago (compared to three years ago for this journal).  The site houses some 2600 images in 250 galleries (1300 images in 135 galleries are public; the remaining galleries are private). 

 I’m very pleased to report that last week I recorded the 300,000th page view on the site.  Thanks all for looking. 

Just as the falling tree makes no sound in the forest if there’s no one there to hear it,

the images don’t convey anything if no one looks at them.

THE WAKODAHATCHEE WETLANDS AND THE MORIKAMI JAPANESE GARDENS

I recently enjoyed a week at a friend’s condo in Delray Beach, Florida.  The condo looked out on a small lake where there was a lakeside bench we enjoyed during  the cocktail hour.  Out in the lake was an aeration fountain;  its peak is shown above, caught in the setting sun marking the end of each pleasant day in the area.

One highlight was a visit to the Wakodahotchee Wetlands.  This is a vast park maintained by Palm Beach County as a pleasant place for bird watching while serving to final filter the already pure outflow from their water treatment plant.

The park is fifty acres with a three-quarter mile boardwalk that crosses between open water pond areas, emergent marsh areas, shallow shelves, and islands with shrubs and snags to foster nesting and roosting.  Over 151 varieties of birds have been seen along with turtles, alligators, frogs, otters and racoons.  I was envious of the photographers with their long lenses, capturing the various herons, anhingas and cormorants nesting in the thickets.  My own long lens was nesting back home.  Oh, well.

a tri-color heron.

 
 
 Here’s a female Anhinga and a Great Blue Heron.
Talking about all the crazy photographers.
 
This place was so pleasant and enjoyable that we returned for another walk.  We also visited a similar Palm Beach County Park, Green Cay Nature Center, 100 acres of constructed wetlands with a 1.5 mile elevated boardwalk through it with extensive educational facilities.
 
 

ANOTHER REWARDING ACTIVITY WAS A VISIT TO THE COUNTY’S

 

 MORIKAMI JAPANESE GARDENS

 

In 1904 a group of pioneering Japanese farmers came to Florida to establish the Yamato farming colony between Delray and Boca Raton.  By the 20’s the group had given up its dream but one member, Sukeji Morikami, persevered and became a successful farmer and fruit and vegetable broker.  In the mid-70’s he donated land to the county to be used as a park to preserve the colony’s memory.  Today it is a magnificent destination.  One wanders along peaceful paths through six major gardens surrounding a central lake.  The gardens reflect periods of Japanese garden design from the eighth to the 20th century.  Centrally there is an excellent museum and educational facility, the museum housing some 5000 artifacts.  The cafe lived up to its reputation as one of the three top museum cafes in the country.

The Wisdom Ring
 

Morikami Falls

Memorial Waterfall

 

For a gallery of trip images, please click here.