South Mountain Reservation

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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Rockefeller State Park

On Halloween we took an adventure to New York we started in Pleasantville making our way though Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, and Croton on the Hudson. In Pleasantville we started out with a lovely hike at the Rockefeller State Park Preserve, where you hike on the  carriage roads that John D. Rockefeller Jr. created for friends and family to enjoy the natural beauty of the land his family owned. On the hike we passed through Stone Barns Center for food and agriculture’s pastures where we were able to see cattle relaxing, sheep going for a walk and not to mention beautiful sights of Bluebirds. Be sure to check back for the Halloween fun we had in the most historic place to celebrate the holiday…..Sleepy Hollow!

Landing Road

This set of images were taken at my Grandmother’s childhood home at a time when my Aunt who also grew up at this house was battling cancer. I was not sure what to do with myself so I turned to the medium I love. I wanted to freeze time, try make the time left with my aunt last just that much longer.  The house had an awkward tension of sadness, loneliness as my Grandmother had passed a few years earlier, and now we were at the same doorstep with her daughter. These images are just a few that reflect the pieces of memory I will always go back to growing up here. If you are in my family you know well that this house is was and will always be a part of each of us. It was our foundation, center, it is our Landing Road.

Willowwood

I recently have been investigating more of the Arboretums, Estates, and state parks in my area. This is Willowwwod Arboretum in Far Hills, NJ. Some of the images I used my wonderful Lensbaby for a beautiful creative effect !

 

Planting Fields Arboretum

Planting Fields Arboretum is a Beautifully preserved State Park that was once the Estate of the Coe Family. If you are ever interested in seeing the rich history of Long Island this is a must see! It is located in the historic town of Oyster Bay, Late spring – early summer I would say is the best time to go. I basically grew up walking the lush grounds of the Coe mansion it is just wonderful there.

Living on the Swamp

I have no problem living on a swamp. Until summer comes and the bug apocalypse happens then we would have a major issue!! These few images are from Grassy Waters Preserve. Not much activity went on during this visit expect word of an Eagle spotting! I didn’t get to see it but found this Great Blue Heron hiding in trees.

Admiring Nature

I spent my day yesterday roaming around Downtown West Palm Beach and playing a few holes of golf in Wellington. While doing so I was attracted to all of the different plants I walked past. There is just something about the shape, textures, and colors of the plants and trees that thrive in Florida that I find interesting. Various kinds of Palms, Flowers and my favorite the Banyan Tree. The root system is what draws me to it the most I believe as well as the size they can reach. I would like to have one some day!

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Change of Focus

The couple of images here were shot with a Lensbaby. One of the best things about using your Lensbaby is the total control you have over everything. You have total artistic freedom with your “sweet spot” (area of focus), how large or small you want the spot to be and where in the frame you choose to be in focus. It is sort of like but not quite like having a 4×5 camera, only a lot lighter and easier to work with.  

Windy Day

Here are a couple of other images from my windy walk at the Wellington Environmental Preserve at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Everglades Habitat (It’s a mouth full!). Although it was a little difficult getting some shots because of the wind it made for a gorgeous sky with large clouds and crisp blue sky’s. A few of the younger trees were full of Spanish moss, lichens, and other young version of air plants I found the way the light was flickering though the braches made for some beautiful light.

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Control of Nature

On my recent hike surprisingly there was a lot of activity, both in wildlife and visitors. Although I was happy about this there were some things that I wish I could have controlled. Things like getting a great angle but you have run out of space or land like in the case of the small alligator. If only I could have gotten it to move just a little bit more so I could get more of its amazing eye color, if I moved closer I would have been in the water with it. The other issue was dealing with rude people. Never have I been on a hike where business men were walking around for exercise while being on a call with it on speaker phone, I mean really? None the less it was an enjoyable day!

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