AN END OF SUMMER REVIEW

Summer’s so over that I’m already back in my winter cave at the Old Folks Farm (Medford Leas). Covid or not it was a great summer with family. We had Bob and Sigrid and Maddy and Gretchen and the old guy all mostly quarantining and working our computers from various rooms in the shore house and we all got along.

In the warm early morning September light on the day after Labor Day this was the scene from Grampa’s deck…one lonely sailboat that had anchored over night and one lonely osprey where there had been a family with two chicks. The season was over.

Within another 38 hours I was unpacked back in the cave.

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SUMMER PROJECTS

I completed a couple of projects this summer and worked on others. This one (below) started with a screen shot from an on-line video camera facing a beach on Sanibel Island. I reworked it into more of a landscape scene. Details may be learned here, and a full-size version of the work can be seen here,

Another completed project was the addition of LEDs to the candles in the windows of my Beck farmhouse image. I’ve posted before about this 1874 home in Beach Haven. The land could hold six McMansions and that’s what happened. I had photographed the house before it was taken down, and had simulated a scene in moonlight. Then later I photo-shopped candles into all of the windows. This summer I punched pinholes in all of the candle images and glued an LED behind each. It came out just “OK” but wait till you see the next one. Anyway, here’s the result. Click on the image to see it full-sized.

Another completed project was a redux of my Gateway web page. This page is an overview and entry point for most if the things I have on the web. Click on the image below to be taken there (but please come back.)

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OUR WEEKEND TRAVELS

I don’t get to do the beach anymore so Barbara and I resumed our weekend driving to other places. We particularly enjoyed driving out the dock roads of West Creek and Cedar Run on the mainland opposite Long Beach Island. These both lead to Manahawkin Bay and are characterized by a lot of one-off homes built over the years and ranging from tiny shacks to McMansions.

We also explored the so-called Seven Bridges Road out of Tuckerton which leads to Great Bay. Turns out they never built two of the seven and the official name is Great Bay Boulevard. It passes a number of small marinas or launching ramps and dead ends at Great Bay. Here’s a typical lonely marina from the past.

And what are the odds of running into a traffic light out on the marshes? This one controls access to a one-lane bridge and has a mate on the other side.

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AND THROUGH FORSYTHE

We enjoyed two drive-throughs at the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Oceanville. The first was an overcast day but we photographers know that bad days can help create appealing images. Here’s an Osprey family silhouetted against my old home town. (Colleagues: the pole’s leaning; not the photographer.)

On another day we arrived during the mid-tide drainage of the waters bounded by the perimeter road. Those in the know seek out the culverts at this time in order to dine on the fish leaving the interior ponds in the tidal flow.

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BACK HOME

Summer as with all seasons has its bad days. But for a photographer some bad days mean an opportunity to add feeling to a scene. A foggy day does that well.

And on only a slightly better day this Cormorant was thinking about where to dive next.

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I close with this image making its fifth year-end appearance. It symbolizes our sadness about Covid and its effect on so many, and it has always symbolized my sadness at the end of a season with my family.

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NOW, ON TO NEXT YEAR WITH

FINGERS CROSSED.

A FAREWELL TO THE BAYBIRDS

The Labor Day festivities led to the inevitable  return to my home.  That’s ironic because I grew up at the shore year ’round and  the happiest Labor Day event was to stand by one of the exit routes from the island and wave goodbye to the tourons headed home.  But now….

I’M ONE OF THEM!

My daughter and grand-daughter packed up my meds, toiletries, booze, computer stuff, wall art, camera stuff, plants, shirts, slacks, socks and, oh yeah, my unmentionables, and whizzed everything up the highway to my cave at the Old Folks Farm.  There, pictures were rehung and stuff was put away or at least the boxes were put in the right rooms, and the bird feeder was filled.

I called my friend, Barb, who had also moved back to her cave at the farm and she as well as I needed attitude adjustment.  So, over she came to share wine and dinner.  While adjusting, the ShopRite delivery truck arrived with a restock of my pantry and frig and that made it official.

Finally, if there was any doubt that I’d been away for almost three months this web was keeping the bird feeder pole erect.

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The post title?  I received a group farewell from the gang on Mordecai Island.  In past years there’s been a Great Blue Heron out there soaking up the morning sun while I soaked up caffeine on Grampa’s deck.  This year a few others joined to wish me a pleasant winter.

Please click on the image to see a larger version.

Left to right:  A Great White, a Great Blue. a Yellow-Crowned Night Heron (low and left of the Juvenile Great Blue), a Juvenile Great Blue, another Great White, and another Great Blue.

Thanks, Guys.  C’ya next summer.

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It has been another summer of enjoying the seabird life.  In particular there is a nest on Mordecai Island which had been adopted last year by a pair of Ospreys.  They were childless last year but this year two chicks were hatched and raised to fledging.  This image was made in August after one of the chicks had left.  Note also that Papa was coming in with another twig for the nest.  I guess it was renovating for next year.

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One of the family has taken to landing on a neighbor’s flag pole while scanning the adjacent Liberty Thorofare lunch counter.  Makes for quite a flagpole ornament.

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This is a good-by post to a season but I’ve also included an image as a good-by to an era.  The nearby 1874 Beck farmhouse was sold a couple of years ago to make room for six McMansions.  They have all come to pass but one of them is a cut-down version of the original farmhouse, moved from the center of the tract and trimmed to fit the smaller lot.  Glad to see it remain.

The image below of the original building was made before development of the tract.  Although made in full sun I chose to recast it as though in moonlight and with candles in the windows.  This summer I redid the candles, making them slimmer and of different sizes.  I also applied a Topaz filter to further increase the drama.  When I posted a version of this on Facebook in 2017 someone commented that he had enjoyed youthful summers with his grandparents in this old house.   Made me feel good.

Please click on the image to see a larger version.

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~≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡~

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It is a poignant, bittersweet time of year for me, a farewell to a time spent with family, friends, and the bays and marshes which have been part of my life for almost all of my eighty-six years. Such feeling ran in the family; here is a poem written by my brother, Bill Berglund (1920-2005).

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This closing image makes its fourth appearance to note the end of summer.  I have yet to find another image that expresses how I feel quite as well.

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SUMMER SCENES

I noticed the heat wave followed by some drenching rain storms with sound effects.  Must be summer.  We’ve been enjoying it though I’m not getting around as much as usual.  We’ve been doing a lot of “Sunday” driving around the island and the nearby mainland but not getting out at destinations and checking things out like art or craft shows or antique shops.     One such recent visit was to a favorite, Viking Village at Barnegat Light on Long Beach Island.  Home to some quirky shops, the occasional weekend art or antique show, and the Larson family fishing fleet.

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The commercial fishing business was launched in the area in the 1920’s by Norwegian fishermen.  The focus early on was lobstering but expanded to scallop dredging and to gill-net and long-line fishing.   John Larson and his family members built a small fleet here as well as buying Viking Village with a partner in 1975 and continuing its development.   The boats of the Larson fleet all include “Larson” in their name.  Above we see the “Grand Larson”, in the distance is the “Karen L” (one of John’s daughters), and the red hull to the right also signals yet another  fleet member.  Mr. Larson is gone now but I feel privileged to have once sat and chatted with him in the village years ago.  He was an outgoing and pleasant person.  I like to think it’s a Scandinavian thing but his soft-spoken depths may also come from years of wresting a living in stormy waters.

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Summer is opened for us by the ceremonies at our one hundred and seven year old yacht club.  I posted last fall that my son-in-law, Bob Kiep had been elected as Rear Commodore meaning that he’ll move on to serve as Commodore in 2021.  It’s so good to have an inside connection.  Anyhow, here’s Rear Commodore and Mrs. Robert Kiep (my daughter, Sigrid) at their first official function, this year’s opening ceremonies.  It’s certainly a summer scene but the kind of image that happens when your father is an artsy photographer.  I’ll make up for that below.

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Summer can bring foggy mornings and we had a humdinger a couple of weeks ago.  I love foggy scenes as powerful mood creators.  (You’ll find eight fog posts listed in the index:  Look under Fog.  Please, no comments about foggy writing. ) Anyway, here’s the retired lobstering work boat, Sultan, struggling against both fog and foliage.

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I also made out Ozzie and Opel Osprey, fogged in along with their two chicks in the nest.

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But, the sun comes back eventually.  Here’s a sunny morning and the Miss Beach Haven is underway.  She’s a so-called head-boat meaning that customers buy their individual passage and ride her out to wherever the fish are biting.  Her first trip of the day departs at 8:00 AM, and another departs at 1:00.  I’m usually just finishing my morning coffee on Grampa’s deck and I look for her.  She didn’t go out on the morning of the fog.  Prudent.

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The next image is one from the 2015 files but still a summer scene.  It was made at Rockport, MA, on Cape Ann northeast of Boston.  The scene is a display window of a funky shop out on Rockport’s Bearskin Neck.  The image keeps haunting me.  I have regretfully ignored it because of what I saw as fuzziness.  Recently I realized that the fuzziness is only within the window and the rest of the scene is sharp.  So, the fuzziness was somehow created by the storekeeper to convey an underwater scene. They might have had a small fan in there stirring up the fronds.  Colleagues: the capture was tripod mounted and is a blend of three exposures ranging from 2-4 seconds.

Well, it took four years to make the cut but here it is (and I’m fond of it).

Click on the image for a larger view.

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Earlier I said I’d do justice to Sigrid and Bob after that artsy introductory image.  Here they are in the receiving line at the club opening.  Picture them saying “How was your winter?”

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