LIFE ON A SANDBAR WITH A NOR’EASTER

A nor’easter storm hit the Jersey coast on Monday and it proved fearsome.  High winds gusting to 60 mph, high seas, and coastal flooding.  Originally projected to be low to moderate flooding, the reality exceeded expectations.  From what I could see on Facebook I began to worry.  One graphic showed the surge tide at nearby Atlantic City at 6′;  my ground floor storage area pad is at 4′  My two engineering degrees helped me conclude that I might have a problem so I drove down Tuesday to inspect.

Long Beach Boulevard was closed because of flooding (earlier it had been closed from Shipbottom to Beach Haven).  In fact, before I diverted I passed a couple of ducks paddling on the boulevard.  I then drove down the higher-dryer Beach Avenue to my place in Beach Haven.  When I opened the backdoor I found that the floor was only slightly covered with water.  There had been enough, however, for the elevator pit to become a 5″ deep pond.  Oh, well;  cleanup time and my terrific son-in-law, Bob has volunteered to see to it.

I checked the rest of the house and found that we had lucked out as far as any leakage so I headed down to Holgate to see how the surfer’s beach had made out: Lots of damage.

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In the foreground are the remains of some dune fencing, installed to help resist dune erosion.  Further out and straddling the jetty is a large section of railing from a walkway that led onto the beach over a dune.

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The walkway came from further north along the beach.  Here we see what’s left of the dune after the waves had their way.

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Southward on the beginning of the Forsythe Preserve below Holgate there was this pile of dune fencing.  Pieces that had broken loose from the wiring were scattered far and wide; great material with which to make driftwood frames.

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Our friends, Nancy and Bob D., have a home in the beach block of Essex Avenue.  They lost access to the beach last summer from nor’easters so I drove there to see if it had worsened.  The walkway had the ominous yellow Police Closed tape across it.  I certainly wouldn’t cross such a line but, mysteriously,  I found this image later on my cell phone.

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The dark line is some kind of cloth which was put down to support the orange gravel base for the walkway.  That walkway originally sloped gently out and down for some distance to the “old” beach and the then-shoreline beyond.  The under-layment now stretches more steeply down to the “new” beach, about 30′ to 40′ below.

Scary.  They should put Police Closed tape across the entrance.

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Note to my fellow photographers:  I deliberately chose not to correct the horizon of this cliff scene.  I tried it but the result wasn’t as stark as the reality.

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DECK THE HALLS ONE MORE TIME

One of my Christmas tchotchkes is a 3″ acrylic tree with flakes inside of it like those in a snow globe.  The flakes, however, are tiny squares (1/16″) of mylar of different colors in a clear viscous fluid.  When you shake it the flakes swirl around and gradually drift to the top of the space.  The kicker is that there is an LED thingy in the base which sequences through shining red, green, and blue light up into the acrylic tree and its sparkles.

It’s mesmerizing for a few minutes of meditation.  When I snapped out of it I wondered if it would make an interesting video.  The result is just below.

It only a few shots to get what I was trying to achieve.  The editing, however, was a different story.  I have a version of CyberLink’s Power Director from three years ago which I’ve used for the occasional video in one of my posts.  So, I had to relearn that which required several visits to on-line forums to find out why this or that button didn’t appear or how to do this, that, or the other thing.  Then, I wanted a little background music and that took a while.  Then, I didn’t want the video to do a “More from…” my Vimeo account and that took a while.  Then …..

Well, setups and shooting/reshooting?  Maybe fifteen minutes.  All the relearning and editing?  Hours.

Anyway, it’s fun to exercise the brain, and I was pleased with the result.  Click on the white arrow below and enjoy a little meditation.  (Speakers on?)

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CHRISTMAS: AN EARLY ARRIVAL OR JUST HANGIN’ AROUND?

This first snow storm of the winter put me in a Christmasy mood so I thought I’d get ready now for next December. Here’s the result.

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Yeah, yeah … it’s been up since mid-December.  But since it’s still up (and remaining for a while) I thought I’d have some fun with you all.

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Here’s what the tree and the train village looked like “the night before Christmas.”

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The tree ornaments include pieces from three generations.  A notable addition a few years ago was this heart.  It was painted for us by the late Jane Byerly, friend and artist whose Chinese watercolors grace my sun room walls.  The building represents the 1816 Barclay Farmhouse in Cherry Hill.  My late wife, Marty Lou, played a major role in its restoration during her twenty-five year involvement with it.

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The train village is a collection of old-European architecture buildings which I built over the years from kits made by a German company named Faller.  The Swiss Railroad passenger cars are branded Roco which is an Austrian firm but they were made in Slovenia. The saddle-back engine was also made in Slovenia by Mehano.  Old cars and toys in the village are from family Christmases, some dating from the 1920’s.  One anomaly:  The engine is marked “Atlantic City Railroad.”  When friends ask about this I tell them that it was from the 1940 lend-lease program for England, and they left it in Europe after the war.  Who knows?  The skirt was stitched up for me by Barbara from a great pattern fabric we found at Jo-Ann’s.

The flamingo at the train station?  Three of them were left on my old basement train layout at Box Hill after an open house years ago.  The culprit?  Well, never convicted but suspected:  a family friend, Louise S.  The one shown is the only one to have survived the move out here to the Old Folks Farm.

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~≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡~

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 The Christmas tree will eventually join last year’s tree near my back yard feeders.  They provide a sanctuary from hawks and cats while planning a flight to and from a feeder.  This White-Throated Sparrow is one of many hanging out in today’s snow in the remnants of last year’s tree.

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Here’s what actually triggered this post.  With morning coffee in the sun room my in-brain view finder noticed these sun catchers against the snow-filled world.  These are two more veterans of my stained glass period in the 70’s.  Both original designs, they get to appear during the season.  The sleigh is perfect for today, and the bells ring in the New Year.

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~≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡~

Finally, this guy, Rollo Reindeer, has made me chuckle for years.  His what-me-worry look coupled with the lights and bad hair antlers just do me in.  I bought him from a wood carver in Sandwich, MA whose work we had seen at Cape craft shows, and  it was a Christmas present for my late wife.  Not sure it was what she had in mind but ….

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In any event,  I asked Rollo for a comment for this post, and he replied that before he gets sent back to the basement shelves he’d like to be the first to wish everyone a —

Merry Christmas For 2017

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