APRIL SHOWERS BRING A HIGH TIDE

One morning after the recent nor’easter I went camera-ing.  What had been the shoal waters of Sharp’s Walk (Run) had changed.  The tide had come in.  



It was nice to see the swirling waters, and the rain, having washed away the dust, had made the greens more vivid.

 

Even more important there was a new set of wildflower varieties along the red trail.

 

The trails were still there but some required special “navigation”.

Just follow the red trail marks.

ON THE TRAILS

I spent about an hour last Sunday morning on the trails along Sharp’s Run at Medford Leas, enjoying seeing the awakening of plants and trees.  It’s nice to see the feathery foliage emerging on the trees but our lack of rain shows in the shallow Sharp’s Run.

Here’s a Redbud.  It wasn’t on the trails; it’s along the walk in front of the Estaugh Building but it was too pretty against a cloud pattern of branches to be left out.

 

Back on the Red Trail here’s a crab apple that I photographed last week and, below, the same branch last Sunday.  This is the trail where I watch a local walk her several exhuberant Jack Russell terriers and her collie most mornings.  Last month one morning I watched five deer move smartly down this trail, and last week a Red Fox crossed my grass and headed for the trail.

The Red Trail Crabapple (see above) a week later.

There are lots of wildflowers happy to be here along the Yellow Trail.  Here are two for whose names I’m in debt to Maggie Heineman.

Spring Beauty

Spring Cress Cardamine Bulbosa

THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK – 5/1/10

 

Sunrise From Foothills Parkway

I recently attended a field workshop in the Great Smokies sponsored by Mountain Trail Photo under the leadership of Richard Bernabe, one of their principals.  Mountain Trail is a publisher of photography books (over 800,000 sold) and an operator of nature workshops all over the country and soon to be in other parts of the world.  I toured Charleston and the Low Country with Bernabe a year ago, and Vermont last fall with Joe Rossbach, another noted nature photographer in their group.

A Cascade Along Porter's Creek Trail

I  joined eleven pleasant others from all over the country and enjoyed the experience immensely.   We broke out early (on the road at 6:20) to try and capture sunrise across the ridges of the Smokies with fog rising from the valleys.  The first picture above is one result.  There were perhaps another two dozen photographers at that vantage point and they had a table set up with coffee and sweet rolls.  (We didn’t.  Have got to get the name of that outfit.)    During the day it was mountain streams, falls and cascades, and wildflowers.

Wild Crested Dwarf Iris

One day there was too much sun (if you can believe that) which makes for two much contrast between light and shadow when shooting nature scenes.  So, Richard had us studying the reflections of the trees and the sky in running streams.  Some interesting results.

Reflections of Sky and Tree Leaves

Finally, at the end of the day, we sought the sunset from Newfound Gap Road.  The first night it poured although we dutifully stayed on scene in case the clouds might part.  They didn’t.  The next night was more rewarding as you can see  below.  In years of shooting sunsets I’ve never seen one cloud puff outlined as though on fire itself.

There are a few more images of wildlowers, cascades, some nice scenics, and snapshots of our group at work at my galleries.  Click here.

A Cloud On Fire

AMICO ISLAND PARK WILDFLOWERS – 04/17/10

I recently attended a presentation on Burlington County’s Parks given by the County Naturalist, Jen Bulava, who is also a colleague in the Pinelands Photographic Group.  Based on her presentation I mean to explore more of the parks than Smithville which appears frequently in this journal.  First on my list was Amico Island Park, a 55 acre peninsula at the confluence of Rancocas Creek and the Delaware at Riverside, NJ, with two miles of well kept trails, lots of birdlife, and a few whitetail deer. 

The interior pond.

It was a delightful 1-1/2 hour walk to circumnavigate the island, including some time for photographs of the wild flowers.

 

WHITESBOG WILD FLOWERS – 04/14/10

The Pinelands Institute for Natural and Environmental Studies (get it? P.I.N.E.S.), is a unit of Burlington County College with offices at Whitesbog Village.  They conduct a number of activities during the year and I attended one of them, a van tour through Whitesbog to look at wildflowers.   It  was a beautiful day and the tour was enjoyable.  One of the party commented that they were impressed that I was getting down so low to photograph; the trick, I replied, was getting back up again.

Pyxie - Five petals, five stamens

The Pyxies were the first.  Our three guides were excellent as these tiny blossoms, less than a dime in size do not leap out at one amidst the ground cover and dead leaves.  But get closer and there they are.

What the area's all about: blueberries

The blueberry blossoms above were on bushes alongside the trails that keep getting trimmed down to keep the trail open so they were really low, lowbush blueberries.

Sand Myrtle, a small delicate evergreen shrub.

SEPARATION (FROM THE SHORE) ANXIETY – 9/28/09

 

Not only have I moved back from the shore but it’s been sold so I can’t go there on a weekend.  What to do?  How about a colorful restored car show in Pennsauken?  It was fun.  Lots and lots of beautifully restored cars and motorcycles.


After all of that color I drove down to the Franklin Parker Preserve in the Pine Barrens (see my June 10th post).  This time I walked in the entrance from the Chatsworth-Tabernacle road, about 0.7 miles west of Chatsworth.


Yes, it was barren but here and there were touches of color.  On the right, Rhexia Virginica, identified for me by a colleague in the Pinelands Photographic Group.   I Googled it and it says it likes wet, sandy soil.  Check.

And, a Piney Fairy’s shelter. 

 

For a few more images, click here to visit a gallery page.

A SPRING WEEKEND OF PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE CATSKILLS

Over the weekend a dozen photographers (including eight from our South Jersey Camera Club) gathered at the Glen Falls House in Round Top,  NY where we had visited and photographed last February.  Big difference in three months, from -1 degrees F, frozen cascades and icy trails to mid-sixties and wildflowers in bloom.  Here’s a before and after set.

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Some gloom from cloud cover and showers (better light for some pictures) but we were prepared.  Here are some snapshots of the weekend.  You can see nine more studies by  clicking here.

Here’s an old mountain troll at the trailhead leading to Diamond Notch Falls.P1020002 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_MG_1334This was the reward after an up-hill mile of a slippery and rock-strewn trail.  I made the trail hike in February but never got down to below the falls for this view because of the ice, although others did.  I made it this time and it was grand.

 

 

 

 

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Here are some of the wildflowers seen elsewhere on the mountain.  I’m told these are Forget-Me-Nots.

 

 

 

 

 

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This is at the base of a section of the Kaaterskill Falls.  The young school-girls were frolicking dangerously from rock to rock but they did add scale to the falls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are nine additional images in my gallery.  Click here.