My last post was September.  It was the end of ten years of blogging and I’m very glad to have done them all because I and others can enjoy them again and again.  I am a Facebook fan but the postings there are limiting and ephemeral.  It doesn’t lend itself well to extensive treatment of a subject, nor is it easy to go back and review an earlier work.   My ten years of work is indexed and  readily at hand:  241 posts which included some 1600 images, six song tracks (e.g. Patti Page doing Old Cape Cod at the end of the post), and several miscellaneous videos.  It was fun but it was demanding and stressful.  Denise Bush got me started blogging and also somewhere along the way nudged me to think about poetry.  So, I started to do an occasional Haiku and one that I wrote was:

To blog is hard work

And the results pay no bills

But the words will out.


But the problem is that you can run out of words and that happened to me last fall.  I felt that I had emptied the hamper of both words and worthwhile images.  Also, I was finishing up my eBook, “Shooting For Better Images” and that took a lot of my words, and the technical tasks to publish it were a struggle for an old brain.  But I prevailed and the book is available at for downloads or from Amazon’s Kindle Service.  Also my social life for the past year seemed to gravitate to doctors and labs as I continue to struggle with a medical issue. It is spring, however, and my Mandevilla just produced its first blossom for 2019.  In fact we’re two-thirds of the way through spring; maybe it’s time for me to get back to work, too.



The plant was an $8.95 acquisition from Home Depot and wound up on Grampa’s shore deck for the summer.  I was pleased to come across it as most varieties are either pink or red, and the white appealed to me.


The plant did well and threw off enough blooms to make me wonder if it could brighten my sun room for the winter.  It did.  On the left below we see it settling in last fall, sending runners up some twine to a ceiling hook while continuing to bloom below.  As late as December it featured seventeen blossoms but then it looked at its calendar and muttered something like “C’ya” and stopped blooming … but not growing.  On the right below we see the abundance as of this week including the first bloom, with the plant trying to escape through ceiling and windows.  I frequently cautioned visitors not to get too close to the vines.



I’ve noticed a couple other spring scenes.  Here’s Mrs. Cardinal wondering where the snow went from her safe perch surrounded by Oriental Bittersweet.  She and her mate were around all winter along with eleven other bird species which I enjoyed from the sun room every morning.


And only a couple nights ago (after the rains) I was taken by the twilight sun’s golden backing of the leafed-out trees.


I wondered what had turned on the signs of spring.  Maybe they were motivated by my electric forsythia.




I’m back in my cave earlier than usual.  Sigrid and Gretchen moved me back in the week after Labor Day compared to my usual late September move.  A switch is thrown somewhere at the shore on the day after labor day.  Many stores close and await the weekends; the life guards are mostly gone back to school,  and people/cars traffic is way down.  It becomes lonely.

Back at the cave and on  a foggy morning I discovered that the spiders have enjoyed being undisturbed.  I can’t walk off of the sun deck because of these lovely barriers.

——————- My summer was pleasant as it always is, with family during the week, expanded family on weekends, and Barbara at her nearby summer rental which also overlooks the bay.  One new feature was the jungle on Grampa’s deck.  I started some Morning Glory seeds before I moved down, and I enjoyed seeing them work their way up the supporting strings I provided.  But they won’t be invited back as they never bloomed.  Fortunately the white-bloomed Mandevilla enjoyed the scene and provided lots of blooms. I’ve relocated it to my sun room.  I’m not optimistic about winter bloom but we’ll see. —————————– A summer highlight is the annual Downbay Regatta which our club hosts.  The weather didn’t cooperate and, in fact, although the boats headed for the sailing grounds on Saturday they returned without holding any races.  Sunday dawned with great clouds but WIND and no precip.  A glorious afternoon ensued.  Here’s Spy, one of the Barnegat Bay A-cat fleet which visited us to compete. ——————————- Now, please forgive me for a little pride and bragging.  Our most exciting event this summer was the selection and election of my favorite son-in-law, Bob Kiep as Rear Commodore of our summer club, the Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club  for next year.  In the normal course of events he will advance in rank and wind up as the 103rd Commodore for the club’s one hundred and ninth season in 2021.  I am moved by the great history of this club, and proud of Bob’s selection to help guide it over the next three years.  Here he is delivering his acceptance speech at the Labor Day annual meeting.

Left to right, Rear Commodore Laura Darling, Vice-Commodore Joseph Koerwer, Rear-Commodore-elect Robert Kiep, Commodore Bruce Van Saun, Secretary Denick Herrin


Here’s the family at the annual Commodore’s Ball a couple of nights earlier.  In three years they’ll be holding this ball in his honor.

Left to right, Bob Kiep, Madeline Kiep, Sigrid Berglund Kiep, Gretchen Kiep


As seen from the deck of the Commodore’s Ball, the A-cat, Ghost, at her summer mooring.  She is owned by the New Jersey Maritime Museum.  We note that the cormorant is observing the no-wake buoy.


Well, that’s it folks.  The season’s over.  Here’s a farewell twilight after the ball.


And for the third year I close with this image of Johnathan Livingston Seagull, just as sad as am I that the season and my summer time with the family are over.


The season’s over.

Where’s my map to Florida?

Time to saddle up.

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