THE FIRST BEACH NAP OF SUMMER




The napper's view.

The napper’s view.



               The waves, a sibilant roar.


               The soft wind, a balm.


               The warm sand, bumpy

               But accepting.


               Sleep comes.



              The wave sounds, restful.


               The wind’s balm, soft.


               The warm sand, bumpy

               But accepting.


               Sleep moves in.







Down in southern New Jersey, they make glass.

By day and by night, the fires burn on in Millville

And bid the sand let in the light

Carl Sandberg

Image 01

At the Wheaton Creative Glass Center

Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center ~ Millville, NJ


Wheaton’s biennial International Symposium and Exhibition of Contemporary Glass was held this year on June 7th to 9th.   Since 1985 Glass Weekend has brought together artists, collectors, galleries, buyers and  museum curators for a three-day weekend of exhibitions, lectures, hands-on glassmaking, and demonstrations.  Could a glass guy like me stay away?  Not likely.

Their event center show rooms housed extensive presentations of museum quality glass vessels and sculpture, the work of artists from all over the country.  Extraordinary pieces were displayed, bearing some extraordinary prices: $5,000 to $15,000 was typical but there were even pieces priced at $50,000.  Here are five pieces which caught my eye.


Combo 1


Combo 2


Image 06


There were visiting glass artists from the U.S. and Japan and Italy, and they performed demonstrations during the day in the Glass Studio which is the building that contains several glass furnaces and an elevated viewing area.  Here’s one such artist, Beth Lipman of New York, building a base for what will be a cluster of fruits and vegetables.

Image 08

I was so intrigued by this process that I thought some video would be a good addition.  Here’s Beth Lipman building a base for her eventual aggregation of fruits and vegetables.  A stream of assistants come up with their “gather” of molten glass which Beth adhered to her base.

I wish I had caught her cute little dance steps as she stood reheating her piece in one of the furnaces.  Eventually the work was ready for annealing.  Along came Dr. Tobar (a memory from Saturday afternoon serials at the 10¢ movie) to carry the work to the annealing oven.

Image 07



The first Saturday in June dawned without the cold winds so I headed for the beach.  In my April 25th post I showed the way to the beach blocked by the artificial dune which the borough created after Sandy; now there’s a path.

Before & After

On the left is the little entrance deck which used to lead from the street behind you to the beach.  But, the image is from two years ago, and on the right is the new approach.  The deck is still there under the sand.


The deck is still bounded by the Rugosa Roses which are at their peak of bloom in the spring.



and the Dolphin tiki survived the storm.



Once over the dune and onto the beach the desert analogy continues, the shadows of the mini-dunes being created by the early morning low light.  This is the view I see when I take my summer naps down here.  No, I didn’t capture this by dropping my camera onto the sand  but I was tempted; it’s tougher getting up from these shots than it used to be.



The tidal pools drew both the gull and me.



Later I drove through Holgate to the restored parking area at the entrance to the Forsythe Refuge.  Driving past the homes on the boulevard is still a sad, sobering experience.  Seen from the entrance to Forsythe a 10-15 knot wind from the southwest was pushing waves onto the beach.   We frequently impute a personality to the sea depending on its mood (and ours) .  Looking at these waves and thinking about the destruction through which I had driven I think the sea was saying “Don’t mess with me.”




I was on the beach yesterday morning, taken as always by the movement of the waves, the reflections from the tidal pools, and the shadows created by the wind-ruffled sand, but …. more of that later.  This morning?  Back to my backyard.  Enjoyed  a cup of coffee from my sundeck before the sun hit it.



It was great to sit and watch the puffs of cloud moving slowly northeast even though that probably means mixed weather later today.  I couldn’t hear my stereo but I was happy with the songs of the birds in the trees.  Here and there are feathery airborne tufts bearing seeds for the next generation.  That’s comforting.  I enjoy seeing how the meadow has returned from dry, brown stubble.  I enjoy seeing the lushness of the returned foliage.  I enjoy the grass which someone else tends.   It occurs to me for the nth time that I’m happy to be here.