QUARANTINING IN OUR CARS

Barb and I have held on to our sanity (to some extent) by driving around on the weekends.  The Governor’s Executive Order 107 states: All New Jersey residents shall remain home or at their place of residence unless they are ….. which is followed by a long list of exceptions which included “engaging in outdoor activities with partners” and Barb and I are certainly in that category.  I admit to not having read the order before the fact; we just decided that if they wanted to put a couple of old geezers away for a while it would at least be different scenery than our apartments.

Here’s an example of the kind of bright, uplifting scene we encountered on our weekend wanderings.  It’s Cape May harbor.

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Over a nine weekend period we covered from Cape May along the Delaware Bay and River as far north as Easton, PA, and from the cape along the Atlantic as far north as Deal, further north in central Jersey, and lots of territory and destinations in between and beyond including even Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware.  Here’s an idea of our travels (not suitable for navigation!)  If you’re trying to see this on your phone click on the image to see a full-sized version.

 

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We just drove and looked around and enjoyed.  We didn’t leave the car except once to pick up some meds at a CVS or to inspect a porta-potty on a construction site..  We packed sandwiches and water and aimed for waterfront scenes where we could park and enjoy our lunches.  Case in point:  the PNC parking lot in New Hope overlooking the Delaware River.

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On another weekend I wanted to return to Greenwich, an18th century customs port of entry into the U.S.  It had been a while which explains (duhhhh) why we wound up driving aimlessly around “the other” Greenwich which is near Paulsboro … not the same.  So, on yet another trip we found it south west of Bridgeton on the Cohansey River.  This is the real deal; the main street is still called “Ye Greate Street” and is lined with buildings from the 18th century.  There is also the headquarters of the Cumberland County Historical Society.

Also on the street is the Old Stone Tavern, built in 1726 by Captain Jacob Ware.  Since my mother’s cousin married Fred Ware in nearby Deerfield I figure I’m probably related by marriage to Jacob’s family.  I always find these things out after the property has slipped away.  Here it is:

Another worthwhile and photogenic site is the Greenwich Boat Works and Marina which includes a graveyard of old, discarded boats.  Among them I spotted a wooden yacht made, I think, by the long-gone Trumpy Boat Works of Annapolis, probably in the ’30s.

Sic transit gloria mundi.

Nearby, our charming (it was, once) lunch spot on the Cohansey River.

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Loving Cape May as we do we managed two day trips there…a long drive but so enjoyable driving around the town.  Regrets that we couldn’t stop and enter some favorite shops.  Our lunch spot?  Predictable: Sunset Beach, but a blustery day.

 

Still at the southern extremes of the state we discovered and toured Town Bank on another day trip.  In looking up some things on Google Maps I had noticed a large community layout on the Delaware Bay side of the cape.  Shazam; something to investigate.  It begins from the road that leads to the Lewes Ferry.  The road from there passes north along the bay through North Cape May, Town Bank, the Villas, and then past a number of beaches until ending at Bidwell Creek above Reed’s Beach.  Yup, another lunch spot and we smiled as we ate.

We were entertained by the cormorants just off the entrance to Bidwell Creek.  No social distancing here. On the north shore there were dozens more waiting for an empty piling.

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As seen on the map we also had some trips up north, typically to known scenic destinations.  A favorite is Ken Lockwood Gorge, beautiful though tough to navigate on a single lane road with limited parking.

And the nearby Red Mill at Clinton, NJ, an iconic destination with its red-painted mill building at a waterfall.  Almost everyone shoots the mill and the waterfall from the nearby bridge or the parking lot across the river.  This, however, is what I saw that day while sitting there and enjoying our lunch.

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It was a fun nine weekends during which we saw things we hadn’t seen before as well as old friend sites.  In addition to lunching by lakes, bays or oceans we also enjoyed just meandering through rural areas and farmland.  Route 9 in Delaware north from Bombay Hook is just such a gem…rural villages with periodic glimpses of the Delaware River heading north.  We exposed no one including ourselves but it was sure a good treatment for our heads.  A parting scene….magnificent cherry trees in the Washington Crossing Park.

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BE WELL!!!!

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FALL FINALLY FOUND US

With temperatures in the 80’s it hasn’t seemed totally like fall.  Yes, the leaves are turning and falling, and though the nights have been chilly many days have been short-sleeve days.  But, it’s coming.  Does this image confirm that?

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The next image is old fall.  I captured it in 2009 at the Chittenden Reservoir north of U.S. 4 in Vermont.  It was one of several studies I made that day.  Originally the bottom of the image revealed the rock-strewn floor of the reservoir.  One had to work to appreciate the composition idea and so I was never completely satisfied with it.  Recently I wondered what the effect would be if I cropped it top and bottom parallel to the cloud bands.  Well, it now looks as though we’re peering out at it sideways through our bay window.  Interesting.

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Upon returning from summer at the shore I discovered that I have a tenant.  He lives under my sundeck and comes out a couple times a day to munch on the clover.  I’ve read that he’ll hibernate in an earthen burrow.  As one who appreciates naps I wish him a pleasant winter.

Woody Woodchuck

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Fall is most personified by foliage colors, and at least in our mid-Atlantic states world the color’s been a little slow this year.  Makes one look for the Saturation slider in Photoshop.  My F/C (friend and colleague) Elaine Walsh, recently posted on Facebook a nice fall scene of Ken Lockwood Gorge in north central Jersey.  I had seen work done there by F/C Ken Curtis and so journeyed there in 2015 and again last year.  It is an enchanting place to hike and/or to photograph.  I felt as though I were alongside a Vermont stream.  Be warned, however, there were only about six parking places.  Here’s one scene that came home with me.

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——————–I don’t know if Linus van Pelt was right or not …. and you’re wondering, “Linus van Pelt???”….  but I give him credit for his conviction.  He believed that on Halloween the Great Pumpkin would rise from the pumpkin patch.

I may look over my shoulder on Halloween and maybe it’s wishful thinking, or maybe I’m just looking for my childhood which is wayyy back there.

But, I will also look extra hard if it’s the very rare Candy Corn sky.

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 For a larger version of this click here.

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HOW WAS IT DONE??

I sometimes synthesize an image from others I have taken.   Some manipulation will be over-the-top obvious as in the case of the Candy Corn sky.  But some may not be as in the case of the opening image, the geese at sunset.  To clarify what I display and to help others with the techniques of the alterations I’ve added a Page entitled “How Was It Done?”  The Page will be listed alphabetically in the left margin of all posts.  The discussion of two of the above images can be seen by clicking here.

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HAPPY FALL Y’ALL

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SCENES OF FALL

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I finally got off of the beach.  Fall was clearly a fact and I felt the need to explore and enjoy it.

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This is the famous Chrysanthemum Mountain planted annually at Ott’s Nursery in Schwenksville, PA.  This used to be a destination on a fall Sunday drive with the family, and it’s still an amazing and entertaining site.  The scene is dominated by a gigantic greenhouse of Victorian, Moorish lines.  The adjacent store is of field-stone construction with windows with diamond mullions suggesting old Europe.  Here, the mountain can be seen reflected in one of the windows.

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  I had seen a couple of Facebook posts by photo-friend Ken Curtis of a place called Ken Lockwood Gorge.  It looked great and was only an hour and a half away so off I went.  I didn’t (have to) explore very much of it to enjoy the views.

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I found it hard to believe that I was still in New Jersey, thinking Vermont along the gorge.  These scenes also brought to mind past mentors such as Kurt Budliger, Joe Rossbach, Ian Plant and Richard Bernabe.

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Other scenes also made my camera squirm with excitement.  You’ve got to give them their head once in a while.

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But don’t forget what Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home … There’s no place like  … There’s no  ………  “

Even without a decent pair of ruby slippers I found fall near home.  This scene is by a tiny falls on Sharps Run on the Yellow Trail at Medford Leas.  The stream had carried these leaves along to the falls’ edge where they were hung up.  The small current, then, just swirled around them.

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Along the Red Trail I found these Viburnum berries pretending to be Holly, a worthwhile effort.

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Finally (and what triggered this post) I sat down early in my sun room with a morning coffee and wake-up music.  As the sun worked its way above the eastern campus there was a magical interval of soft red and yellow light.  Though still in my bathrobe I managed to get out and photograph it and return before Campus Security was called by any neighbors.  What a great start to the day!

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