A FALL NON-FOLIAGE WEEKEND

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.

——————————————–

 

 

A SPRING FOG

My friend, Fog, showed up again.   I haven’t seen him for about a year and a half.  He’s probably been skulking here and there but not in front of my camera until last Saturday.  That afternoon I drove to the shore for an overnight getaway.  As I left the mainland at Manahawkin  the temperature dropped and the fog appeared.  The Ocean County Sheriff’s office had been warning about this, and they were right.  I dumped Pearl at the house and headed to the beach.  Here was the scene at about 5:30.

Image 01

————————————–

It was still light enough to see what was happening but the approaching mists were clearly on the way.  Just to the left of this walkway leading to the beach I was also welcomed by blooms of bayberry.  I don’t remember seeing this profusion before.  They were enjoying the moisture of the mists.

Image 02

——————————————-

As the evening progressed the mists crept further into the town, bringing the usual mystery, silence, and dimmed lights.  There is no motion as though the mist absorbs anything that dares move.  I wonder as I write this about the connection between the words mist and mystery.  It’s there.  Later, the view through one of the windows brings out the same feelings.

Image 06

———————————–

At the docks at the foot of the street the fog had also taken charge.  Nothing moved here either except some shimmer.  Even the in-residence Purple Martins were anxious and just hanging out on their perches.

Image 07

———————-

The next morning the drive to Fred’s Diner was a matter of cleaving through the fog.  At Fred’s there was breakfast and life.  Friends reappeared,  my last view of them having been on Labor Day.  Materialization from the fog?  No, snap out of it.

———————————–

After breakfast, a drive south to the tip of Holgate on the edge of the wildlife refuge.  First sight was this sentinel, also a residue of last year.

Image 03

—————————————-

The jetty there was taking a beating.

Image 04

————————————————–

Down on the sand, the swells were impressive.

Image 05

————————————

On the other side of the jetty the dampened swells provided only a modest challenge to this young boy, ready for a day on the beach and the fog be damned..

Image 10

——————————————-

******************************

Fog is fascinating to me.  For my earlier posts on the subject click on the blue titles below:

Fall Fog at the shore – November 2013

Fog, A Little Before Breakfast – December 2011

Fog Blog, A – Beach and bay scenes – September 2010

Foggy Fall Days at the shore – Ole October – October 2011

Fog Fix, A – July 2011 -Beach and bay scenes, Charon fishing, Pearl Street pavilion, Sandberg’s “Fog”.

Fog, Fall at the Shore – November 2013

Foggy Farewell, A farewell to Charleston Moor – November 2011

———————————-

FALL FOG AT THE SHORE

I drove down to the shore house to enjoy it for one more night this year and then to drain its bodily fluids for winter.  What a pleasure driving down the island at 45 mph through blinking traffic lights.  No wonder the locals resent our summer arrival with its return of traffic lights and lower speed limits.   The sky was overcast with broken clouds so no dramatic sunset but it was pleasant to have a couple drinks in front of the gas logs as they brought the house from its winter thermostat setting of 50°.  The near-full moon asserted itself through the spotty clouds and I kicked myself for not having brought my long lens.

Later, a good dinner at the Engleside and a good night’s sleep which Pearl ended at 7:30.  Not bad.  The day seemed gray.  At first I thought the window was just dirty but when I cracked the sliding door I saw that the fog was on its way.

Image 01

Later it began to thicken up.

Image 02

At the boat landing, however, there was a bright spot.  These marigolds have dodged the frosts so far.  I wished them well.

Image 03

—————————————————————————————————-

I enjoyed one of my favorite breakfasts at Fred’s Diner and learned that they’ll close in two more weeks.  They weren’t busy so we could chat a little. He said that Sandy’s waters a year ago reached the tops of his booth tables. That’s scary.  The town looks as though it has recovered and it has been functional but there are still closed shops and homes that are sad shells.  The town really closes down though I know that several merchants will stay open through Christmas, and a handful even beyond.  Uncle Will’s and Buckalews will continue as oases till next season.  My year round friends down there will survive though some will surreptitously slip away to Florida for a few weeks.

After breakfast the fog was becoming thicker so I set off down Bay avenue to Holgate.  On the way I passed these tidal ponds in the marshes.

Image 04

————————————————————————–

Further down at the end of Bay Avenue at the entrance to the wildlife refuge the foggy waves were more interesting.

——————————————————————————————————

At this time of year pickups and vans are permitted to drive onto the refuge beach for fishing.  Here, one just passed me and another can be dimly seen ahead of it.

Image 05

—————————————————————————-

A surf fisherman was working three rods in front of me.

Image 06

And this seagull was working the fisherman.

Image 07

———————————————————————————————