Comes June and my digital darkroom heads to the beach.  It isn’t easy, especially at my age (about 34 but, yeah, that’s just from the brain up).  It’s not like getting ready for a shore weekend; it’s packing for two to three months.  There are a couple of soft-goods trips but on the BIG day, the day of the groceries and frig contents, of 32 house plants, of  three printers and the spare inks and 15 varieties/sizes of print paper and the monitor and the tower and the Bose speakers and the wireless keyboard and mouse and the backup drives and all those cables and tiny power supplies (now which one goes where?) and the laptop, and………………

The BIG day is when my daughter, Sigrid, shows up with her GMC and loads up alllllllll that stuff and a couple suitcases, too.   And after she’s loaded the Jimmy she pulls out the two meat loafs she made for me and has time to fluff up the pillows in the town house before we leave.  Then she hauls all my stuff down Route 72 to the island and up to my suite.  Sweet.

Then, I have to find that button that causes everything to put itself away.  Right.

But I digress.  For such a major grunt, why do it?  In part so that I can see and capture the beauty and drama of scenes like the opening image.  It is soul-cleansing.

As my artist friend, Marilyn Flagler, once said “Living near the ocean means continual washing off of the sometimes grimy dust of living.”



But they’re not all dramatic mornings, are they?  While I was preparing this post there was a foggy morning. My friend, Fog,  always creates a mood of mystery and this morning was on script.

All sound is softened.  It’s still … and moody.  Yes, follow this marker and the posts to …. to where?


The stillness of sound and light, however, can also reveal other scenes as in this still life.


On the beach there’s a parade of marching dune grass, added to help stabilize the new, giant dunes.


Back at my house the fog had left droplets on my Rambler Roses.  The roses and I both liked that.


As the day moved on the fog lifted to the point where I began to think about a sunset image.  In the event, however, the clouds proved more interesting than the sunset.


“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.”
–Richard Bach, Johnathan Livingston Seagull



All but one of these captures were made in the past few days.  I’ve posted , however, on the 21st, the day on which summer began at 12:24 AM.  Glad to see it.

But, there’s always a slight concern for me. It means that the days will now start being a little shorter; a second or so today, three tomorrow…..

Does that mean I have to pack up and go back home already?




I’m having my last morning coffee for the season on my little deck overlooking my beloved bay.  I continue packing today and Sigrid will be here tomorrow to help me move back to the winter cave.  I have been up there a couple of times since Labor Day and I miss my bay vistas up there.


_MG_0660 640


The early sun is September-warm.  The air is still, so much so that reflections of the fragmites plumes are clear in the water.  I hear a cricket and a few bird calls, now a flight of honking geese.  The marshes are cinnamon with still some thin washes of pale green, resting comfortably, their essence moving into their roots to survive the winter.  A lone fisherman drifts slowly with the tide; another passes, speeding south, the boat’s reflection in the still water traveling with it.  They are too far away to hear; a blessing this morning.

Few are stirring here.  One goes out and returns with a paper.  Please, just look around right now, not at the paper.


_MG_0666 600


Life, of course, continues down here but at a greatly reduced level.  Next weekend is the annual Chowda Fest after which it’ll get really quiet.  Then the speed limits will rise and the traffic lights will go on blink.  For those who stay, their essence is also moving into their roots to survive the winter.  The Bagel Shack remains open to help with that.

Yes, there are no such vistas back home but life continues with friends, gatherings, events, meetings, projects, a fall getaway and probably a winter getaway.  December brings the winter solstice.  Since that marks the beginning of the sun’s return I’ve always thought of it as the first day of boating season.  That’s a nice thought.


_MG_0664 600



As much as I resisted the idea it was time to go home, back to my hibernaculum.  It happens every year.   I am stoic and brave  as my kids go back to their non-summer world;  I assure myself that I will just enjoy the quiet and the beauty and the cooler days and the uncrowded streets.  And I do.  But then?  Ah, but then… some signs of serious fall appear.  A morning such that I struggle over getting the gas logs pilot lit but then feel guilty about enjoying the warmth.  The mornings become too chilly to have coffee out on my little deck, and a sweat shirt feels good.  There is little activity to see on the waterway.  A visit to the beach at twilight finds only a few of the committed still waiting for the big ones.

My daughter, Sigrid, had kindly offered to drive down and help me load my car and her SUV.  I spent the day before packing things up for the move and completing my last two photo-related projects for the club.  Moving day dawned, however, with the first fog of the season.  Is that a message of “Go Home!”, or what?  I quickly unpacked the camera and went pixel gathering.

The beach certainly wasn’t inviting.

Nor was the bay.  No movement, no sound … Go Home!

Even Jonathan was sad that I was leaving.


Today is the first nor’easter since I moved down in June.  Rain all night and off and on this morning.  My friend, Bob S., had told me about a flag fastened to the last of the boardwalk pilings.  Had to see what it would look like against the stormy surf.

The wind was blowin’ pretty good; the rain was stinging my legs slightly.  Had the cover on the camera but, hey, you can’t cover the lens, right?  So, a few raindrops.  Clone ’em out.

Loved it on the beach, with the wind and flying spray.  Started to leave and had to wait at the Stop sign.

Things on the bay side were a little better … no blowing spume but still foreboding.

The Meerwald’s in town, taking people out onto Little Egg Harbor bay and drumming up interest and, hopefully, contributions.  She was out yesterday:

But I don’t think they’re going to do much business today.


Today dawned with fog and it stubbornly remained until after mid-day.  At 2:00 PM I still can’t make out the mainland five miles distant.   A foggy day…something different, right?  But if I go out am I really going to find something worth showing?  The ducks (below) made me get out and start shooting.  It was fun.

This fellow was having a tough time drying out in the soup.

My friend who owns these docks comes almost everyday from the mainland to work on his projects.  He always begins by feeding the ducks.  I guess the fog kept him off the roads this morning and the ducks are hungry and confused.   Reminder: keep your foraging skills honed; the free lunch may not always show up.

Here is the quintessential fog scene: dark, impenetrable, deathly still, foreboding, mysterious.  Will Charon come paddling out of the mist?

Not a beach day.

 A few more images from the morning can be seen by clicking here.