WINTER WANDERINGS

It’s the first full week since the end of the holiday season and with the morning alarm comes the question that I’ve been raising since New Year’s day:  What are you going to do with the rest of this year?  That’s a troubling question.

On a macro level I guess it’ll be more of the same and that’s not all bad.  More photography in its many forms, e.g. camera club meetings, competitions and workshops, and field trips, always fun albeit maybe a bit more physically demanding.   Don’t know about a winter getaway, yet…maybe…maybe.  But, there’ll be another spring, wildflowers on the trails, balmy days, flowering shrubs and trees.  Then, of course, there’ll be summer at the shore…Saturday mornings on the dock with coffee and friends, watching the kids racing…and beach naps, hard to think about on these cold mornings. Then as fall approaches, the chlorophyll supply in the leaves will diminish revealing their underlying reds and yellows.  Before we know it it’ll be time to put the tree and trains back up again.

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So, maybe I should just leave it up?

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As to the New Year on a micro level it comes a day at a time so that’s the way I’ll be taking it.  For us in the northeast it began with a snow storm.  I went out at about 8:00 AM because I felt that I should.  My resolve melted away in the face of the wind chill but here are some scenes on the campus:

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My wreath greeted me, looking splendid with its dusting.  I also liked the reflections of the winter scene in the windows on either side of the wreath.

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On another recent day we drove down to the shore area just to drive past the snow-covered fields along the way.  Here’s a scene captured at Smithville.  It made me glad that I’m not a Canada Goose.

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Smithville is another virtual hard drive of family memories.  It was a good meeting point for us to have dinner with my shore-resident parents now and then;  it was a place where Sigrid once vociferously rejected the Quail Lodge (now gone) Santa as not being the real one who, of course, worked at Strawbridges; it was a place where, in the 60’s, we celebrated my parents’ 50th with a private party.  The fee covered an open bar and dinner; I remember thinking that the more I drank the cheaper each became.  Ahhh, youth.

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The post title is Winter Wanderings so here are two more images, both made in December.

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The above was made on a trail walk on Christmas morning.

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And, on the stormiest or most bitterly cold days, be reminded that the sun is out there somewhere.  A Happy New Year to all.

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A WALK IN SMITH’S WOODS – 04/10/2010

Yesterday I hosted a camera club how-to-do-it work shop on Pbase, the on-line photo gallery service which I’ve used for five years now.  I’ve mounted some 150 different galleries, hosting over 1400 images, plus a private set of 34 galleries for another group, and I’ve had over 176,000 views over the years.  You can visit the galleries here.    It was a pleasant and I think useful gathering.  What was also nice is that the group stayed on for a spirited and useful discussion of whether photos containing added elements should be allowed in competitions.  Such elements, e.g. storm clouds replacing a bland cloud cover over a rough sea can be readily done in Photoshop.  The ethical question is: Is that Photography or Photoshoppery?  The operative word for me is competitions since I think it’s perfectly acceptable to add to images to improve them for “art’s” sake,  personal enjoyment or sale, and I’ve done some of this, myself. 

Anyway, after all of that intense thinking and discussion it was such a beautiful day that I knew there were scenes needing to be photographed.  I drove over to the Smith’s Woods part of the Burlington County Smithville Park and enjoyed an hour and a half there, taking in the scene on a nice walk.

A creek runs alongside the woods on its way to the falls at Smithville.

There’s a lot of bright green emerging although we’re a few weeks away from any wildflowers.

 

Finally, reality occasionally but necessarily intrudes.  Oh well, simply turn around and return through the woods.

Smith's Woods' Power Line

SOME LEFTOVERS FROM FALL – 1/21/10

I was flipping through my 2009 image files and came across some topics that hadn’t made it here.  And now, as they say in Monty Python, for something completely different.  This is not the Bergiemobile; it was one of a few totally decorated vans with different themes that were shown at a September fair at Smithville Park (Burlington County).  This is where old cameras go.

 

On a late October visit to Meadowbrook Farm I found a splash of color defying the frosts. 

The twelve public gardens of Meadowbrook near Abington PA were part of the estate of J. Liddon Pennock whose 100+ year-old family florist business  served Philadelphia society and, in the early 70’s, the White House.  He provided the flowers for the Tricia Nixon Cox wedding and also White House Christmas decorations.    The land and the home, a magnificent Pennsylvania field stone house, were a wedding present from his father-in-law.  (Not bad; mine just moved in with us.) We once strolled the gardens, pools and fountains at a Philadelphia Horticultural Society wine and cheese benefit.  On another occasion we bid for a private  luncheon at the home, benefitting the Philadelphia Orchestra. He was a gracious host to us complete strangers and it was a memorable experience.  I can also picture him welcoming in a receiving line at a Longwood Garden Party, and padding around his greenhouses in work khakis.  On his death at age 90 the gardens and green houses were bequeathed to the Hort, to which he had been an important contributor of funds and of self.  I regretted his death, and the horticultural community suffered a great loss.

 

In late November I spent an afternoon at the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge south of Smyrna, Delaware.  Not much to see this time of year….marshes, salt ponds, fragmites, dead spartina, bare trees and Canada geese.   Still, beautiful for those who grew up around the marshes.  A definite destination soon when the migrations begin.

In early December I returned to Mauricetown, first to the firehouse antique show and then to the East Point lighthouse area.  This old shed is on a tidal creek at the entrance to Mauricetown.

At the beach near East Point Light the wind was blowing out of the west and it was collllld!

By late in the day a lot of cloud cover had moved in, obscuring the hoped-for sunset.  This view below was nice but underwhelming.   So, I tried it with a Gold ‘n Blue polarizer and got a much more interesting image.