Deep Cut Gardens

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

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

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.

Leonard J. Buck Garden

Leonard J. Buck Garden is a nice little oasis hidden deep in the woods, just like most of the gem spots I have been finding throughout New Jersey. This small very well maintained garden is sculpted around huge natural rock formations which were deposited by glaciers. It has a large pond full of fish, tadpoles, and home to a couple of snapping turtles that are right in the center of the garden which is broken up into three sections but they all feed into each other by a creek.

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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Lenape Park

Lenape Park is a small stretch of a paved pathway in the middle of a swamp or marsh area. It follows along the Rahway River and it actually is in the middle of a path that connects four parks total. Black Brook Park, Nomahegan Park, and Echo Lake Park are the other three that you can access from it. Lenape Park had a lot of activity from pedestrians. In fact, the other parks do as well. This was somewhat disappointing for me because it made it difficult for me to try to stop to look and watch for wildlife.  At one point I spotted a cottontail rabbit, I stopped to try and take some photos but if I stopped dead I would be a hazard to the cyclists whizzing past or the power walkers. Before I could even get my camera up to snap away someone on a very noisy bike scared it off. They do have protected area for migrating birds so next time I go I will try and get there early enough to do some bird watching.  The Stretch of the park that I did walk was utterly taken over by the multi-floral rose which is an invasive species.

Muttontown Preserve

Muttontown Preserve is a combination of three land plots in Muttontown, N.Y. The land itself is the combination of the former estates and farmland.  Some of the images are of all that is left of King Zog the last monarch of Alabania. The other images are from what was left of the Duryea Farm as well as outer buildings and playhouses in the wooded areas close to the Chelsea Mansion. I grew up near this part of Long Island and there is so much history in your backyard that is taken for granted. I do miss hiking the forgotten about wonders of the past.

Great Swamp

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.

 

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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!

Covered Bridges of Bucks County

Here are some of the images from my adventure through Bucks County. It was a fun trip but a lot of driving! Only factor that was disappointing was no fall foliage, if only we went a week or two later the colors would have been peaked. Now we know for when decide on our next fall adventure.