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.

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.

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 !

 

Profanity Houses

WARNING GRAPHIC LANGUAGE (in photographs)

The “Profanity Houses” were once a part of the Rutherfurd-Styvesant Family but the property now belongs to Allamuchy Mountain State Park. When I first walked upon the houses I immediately had the thought that I have seen American Horror Story one too many times, thankfully I never venture alone! There are three buildings still standing and one that is collapsed rubble, we checked out what was a stable first and right away, you had a taste of why they people call them profanity houses. This area clearly became a party place as well as a writing page for inappropriate angry thoughts, but hey, I guess everyone was just venting? From what I have read online, it seems there are other buildings on the property. I suppose this means another adventure is in the works. With some of the images I was using my Lensbaby for a blurred dreamy like effect.

Angel Oak

The Angel Oak is on Johns Island in South Carolina, I went to check it out on my recreant trip to the area. Wow is tree big & old!! Around 400-500 years old that is and the tree in its entirety covers around 17,200 square feet! If only trees could talk the stories this one would have.

Watchung Reservation

Watchung Reservation is a huge park that borders five towns in New Jersey. I am slowly working on hiking through it , it might take me awhile!  Spring was not quite in full bloom when I went but I was able to find some fiddle heads and cherry blossoms. In one section they have an “abandoned village”  of course I was disappointed to see that the houses were boarded up but the wood was is in very unsafe conditions, if parts of the floors were there at all. I was also surprised to see that out of the ten or eleven building left four are still lived in, kind of spooky! I hope to get back now that things are blooming!!

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Prescribed Burn

On a recent hike at Oxbow Nature Preserve in Port St. Lucie my fiancé and I came across a section of the trail that recently was prescribed a burn.  You could still smell  the slightly sweet scent of burning wood but I loved the look of the ashes still in the formation of palm fronds were strewn about as if they were confetti.

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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.