County Agricultural fairs are a lot of fun, you see all of the prize food, crafts produce, and animals that everyone in the area worked hard to take care of. Let’s not forget the food, sometimes that is the best part! At the Warren County fair, they also had Hot Air Balloons which you can ride. Now I have never seen hot air balloons take off and it was a fun sight. Everyone setting up the baskets, rolling out the balloon to inflate.Which if you are riding in the balloon you have the opportunity to help in the process. Depending on the space available you will have twenty or more take off. I think at the next balloon festival that comes around I might be interested in going up in one. I am a little worried about the basket size, they seemed quite small? I hope you enjoy these images from the Warren County Farmers Fair & Hot air Balloon Festival.
Deep Cut Gardens is a fun little-hidden gem. They have a beautiful gated garden teeming with butterflies. All of the plants are labeled for easy identification, that is if you appreciate knowing what you are looking at. what I thought was a great idea was the scavenger hunt they created to help engage kids into enjoying the garden. They have small garden figurines of gnomes and fairies hidden for children to find. It is a great place to take family photos which were happening quite a bit on the day that I walked around.
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Duke Farms is an Estate that was home to James Buchanan Duke who was an entrepreneur and American Tobacco Company owner. The place was awesome but it is a lot of walking! They provide a trolley for anyone who has handicap needs and they also provide bike rentals. The orchid house, I would say is the main attraction it is beautifully maintained. As far as the main house itself the only thing that is left of it is the foundation, which would have been the basement. It is unfortunate that the upkeep was too costly it would have been a wonderful attraction to the property.
Rutgers Gardens is part of the New Jersey State University’s School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. The grounds themselves make for a beautiful walk. Full of blooming flowers, insects and birds. As I walked around I was also shooting film I am still working on some of the rolls. I hope to get them developed soon.
When we arrived at Cross Estate Garden in the Jockey Hollow area the smell was amazing! The volunteers were just finishing watering the garden and I have to say that is an awesome smell. Everything has a fresh, earthy smell and the water droplets make the plants look dewy and vibrant. As I mentioned it is a small garden but wonderfully maintained, I highly suggest checking the whole area out.
Morristown National Historical Park is an amazing hidden little treasure. The park itself is broken up into four sections. I have not seen the whole park yet, but I do plan on seeing it entirely. In the heart of Morristown you have the Museum and Washington’s Headquarters at Ford Mansion, Then you have Fort Nonsense, Jockey Hollow, and then the New Jersey Brigade Area which has a small beautiful very well maintained garden called Cross Estate Gardens. During our exploration, we only saw a small section of Jockey Hollow and the Gardens. I can not wait to go back and see the rest of it. History is amazing, especially when it is in your own backyard. I also keep hearing about great restaurants in the area, so I can’t say no to that! The images you see here are from Cross Estate Gardens, More is to come so stay posted!
South Mountain Reservation is a large area of preserved land, one small area of it is home to a sculpture garden, dog park, and a wildflower garden. The Wildflower area is a fenced in section of the preserve that is taken care of by volunteers. One side of it was quite overgrown so I tried the other entrance which brought me directly to the wildflowers, they weren’t fully in bloom yet which just means I will have to go back. As I ventured deeper back I encountered a more swamp-like area with more sculptures aside from the ones at the front gate. The area was rich with Multiflora Roses, Ferns, and Skunk Cabbage. I had to look up the Eastern Columbine and the purple flower I still am unsure of it looks to me to be in the rose family?
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This image is from my 2nd and most recent trip to Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is in Morris County. This refuse has a lot to offer on its 7800 acres. The Friends of Great Swamp NWR has an amazing visitors center as well as easy access trails. This particular spot was from the overlook parking lot half way between the nature center and the bluebird field. We started our hike at the wildlife observation center parking area which has a boardwalk guiding you though the wooded part of the swamps to blinds overlooking an open field. On the particular morning we ventured out there were a few reported sightings of Bald Eagles. Maybe we will get to see some next time when we hike a different trail.
On Monday I had the pleasure of walking the halls of the abandoned asylum in Cedar Grove, NJ it was simply amazing! From what I understand the grounds have been closed for ten years or so everything was left in an odd standstill. Some of the furniture was clearly from kids going in to hang out/ party and just vandalize the place I love the eerie stillness…Abandoned and beautiful more to come !
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