I wanted to get away to foliage country but I couldn’t get it together.  I dithered over a destination.  My photography colleague, Ken C., had kindly given me some itineraries for the Lake Placid area.  I was tempted but felt it was too far to go alone.  Next I thought about the gorges at Ithaca, NY but also ruled that out for the driving.  I even thought about Ricketts Glen;  I wouldn’t have climbed up very far because of my prior experience there.  As a last resort I decided to work the Catskills beginning with a Saturday major train collectors show in Kingston.  The welcome signs were out … for any other weekend.

So, bent and determined to get away for a couple days I returned to the shore.  I found that, as advertised, summer has definitely left, but there was lots to enjoy.  Friday night the skies were clear so I headed to the southern end of Long Beach Island to try and photograph the Milky Way.  The quarter moon made that difficult so I made some lemonade.  The moon’s sheen on Beach Haven inlet was beautiful.

Image 02


The Milky Way was there albeit dimmed by the moon and Casino City’s lights.  It’s still a sobering sight when developed.  It always makes me think of Dave Bowman’s exclamation as he flew his pod into the monolith (2001; in the book not the movie).  “My God!  It’s full of stars.”

Image 10



I was so pleased with my evening’s work that I set the alarm for sunrise.  Back at Holgate again, I was rewarded with great color although not much cloud structure nearby.  Another of life’s many, simple pleasures, shared with the gulls and four other early risers.  Two of them were from Easton, PA.  Wait, they’re supposed to be up there enjoying foliage.

Image 04


After breakfast I headed off to Cape May.  There I found fall foliage — if you’ll let me include Goldenrod.  Cape May enthusiasts will recognize this as Sunset Point with its concrete ship, the S. S. Atlantus.  Intended to be a part of a Lewes-Cape May ferry dock, it broke loose and grounded here in a 1926 storm.

Image 01

After lunching here in the wind I headed off to the light house area and the adjacent Wetlands State Natural Area.  There were more bird-watchers here than birds.  Lots of oooohs and aahhhs — “Look, there’s a Tennessee Warbler in the goldenrod.”  (What does a southern accent warble sound like?)  Thousands of dollars worth of telescopes and cameras with their stove-pipe long lenses.  I was delighted to find just a couple of Monarch Butterflys enjoying the goldenrod.

Image 07


I finished the day with a walk along one of the trails which brought me to the beach and some more beach fall foliage.

Image 06


The next morning I made a coffee and headed back to the beach for sunrise, this time at the Pearl Street pavilion in Beach Haven.  The sea was calm with small wavelets breaking within a few feet of the shore line.  It was chilly — about 40°, but absolutely awesome.  Looking left and right and seeing as far as the Revel casino (about 17 miles away as the gulls fly) I counted only six souls in view.

Image 11


After the sublime God beams, to Fred’s Diner for a perfect breakfast.  Then home, delighted with my non-foliage weekend.





  1. eajackson Says:

    Wonderful commentary beautiful images. Thank you

  2. Joe perno Says:

    Great images Ralph and the story makes me feel like I was there with you.

  3. Marilyn Thomas Says:

    Wonderful images..wish I could paint those sites half as well as you photograph them.

  4. Jay Says:

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful talent! Terrific scenes, exceptionally well photographed.

  5. Rich Lewis Says:

    You proved that it that there is a big beautiful fall world beyond the foliage colors on the trees if you know where to look and how to see and photograph it.

  6. Ken Curtis Says:

    Beautiful photos, Ralph. Sometimes, it’s better to really enjoy what’s in your own back yard rather than to travel far.

  7. Sally and Gordon Says:

    One of your absolute best, Ralph. S&G

    • Ralph Berglund Says:

      Thanks for visiting and for the kind comment. A friend reminded me that even though I was somewhat depressed to leave the shore, it’s only a little over an hour away and she was right.

  8. Nancy Davis Says:

    It is amazing how well you captured the beauty of our lovely Island at this time of your. I wish you had photographed the kite festival. I’m sure your photos would have done it justice.

  9. J eanne Says:

    The fabulous butterfly is a Fall favorite. The cold water is not. It!s always a pleasure to see your wonderful photographs, Ralph. Thanks for making me believe that even winter can be beautiful. Don’t ever take us off your mailing list.

    Jeanne and Tom

  10. denisebushphoto Says:

    Great post Ralph! Like Ken said… ‘Sometimes, it’s better to really enjoy what’s in your own back yard rather than to travel far’. We’ve all spent money on trips that didn’t pan out, because of the weather and other conditions. There will be plenty of fall colors posted over the next couple of weeks… you can relax. Autumn will be back next year. Love your 2 sunrise shots!

  11. MikeP Says:

    Whoa… the gulls on the reflected water is exceptional. I also really like the fence line leading to the couple. Work and family commitments have kept my explorations to one shoot in NY state, so you are not alone!!

    • Ralph Berglund Says:

      Thanks, Mike. It was a relaxing and fun couple of days.
      That’s a lot of dry months for you since “Sakura Festival.” Just thinking: you’re in the Pinelands; a lot of scenic opportunities.

      • MikeP Says:

        Shooting has not been the problem Ralph… writing and posting in the right frame of mind is. Believe it or not I have 4 finished blogs in the photo can all pics processed and sized… just no words to accompany them. Your words still ring in my ears “wordpress is a beast, feeding it is the problem”. Sooooo true!!!!

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