This winter I have shot hundreds upon hundreds (okay, into the thousands) of birds and outdoor nature images. Some of my images I used as references for paintings and drawings, which I am truly enjoying. While my goal today was to finish weeding my winter photos before starting a new season, that didn’t happen. Instead, with yesterday’s snowstorm and this morning’s beautiful lighting, I was outside shooting more. Here’s a favorite of the day.
On the Friday before my birthday, Rich, my mom, and I wen to the NJ Pine Barrens for a cranberry harvest tour. We did this one in a privately-owned, working farm along Route 563 in the Chatsworth, Burlington County, NJ area. First we heard an excellent talk by Brenda Conner. She explained that cranberries were American’s first super-fruit, used in 1550 by Native Americans. Then we went onto a special bus and went out to the narrow sandy dams surrounding the cranberry bogs. Joe Darlington, her husband (and co-owner of the farm) was at the mic giving us more information. She and Joe are fifth generation cranberry farmers! I was surprised to learn that Ocean Spray is a co-op, owned by some 700 farmers, with Brenda and Joe being two of them.
The entire tour was excellent! The only downside was early in the morning it was a bit overcast. Additionally, for insurance purposes, no one was allowed off the bus, but could go onto the bottom step for taking pictures. We capped the tour off by returning and tasting a lot of excellent Pine Barrens Native Fruits, my favorites being the cranberry and walnut jam and the tru-blueberry jam.
This was taken later in the day, and you can see how much the sky brightened up.
We also returned to nearby Whitesbog Village in Brendon T. Byrne State Forest, home of Elizabeth White’s blurberries — the first place in the world where blueberries were cultivated — and did a walking tour. Rich and I have been to Whitesbog Village many, many times this year, and every time is a treat!
I just love the area, and I’m so glad that we finally was able to see an actual wet harvest! I’ll be posting more pictures, as Rich and I returned the following evening and the weather was even more lovely!
I took a lot of photos this past Saturday of some cranberry bogs. It was a beautiful late afternoon and evening, with crisp weather, clear skies, and a gorgeous sunset. I’ve been having a great time this year photographing many scenic locations, visiting various parks, wildlife sanctuaries, bogs, and salt marshes on a regular basis. My eventual goal is to add a section for photos on my website. Some people have written expressing an interest in buying prints. Let me know your thoughts on the idea.
I love getting out during the summer to photograph nature, especially butterflies, birds, and landscapes. I keep meaning to post more images, instead I’m out shooting! Here are a few favorites.
While in Historic Smithville (in Burlington County, rather than Atlantic County), Rich spotted a red-tailed hawk. I initially thought I saw a rabbit or squirrel. Then, as I got closer with camera in hand, I realized it was a hawk with a squirrel! His outspread feathers were absolutely glorious!
As I got closer, it flew off with the squirrel! It landed in a field nearby. Rich told me I could approach it because it had its prey and would protect it. Normally, when I try to photograph a red-tailed hawk, it flies the moment I approach it (and I approach slowly and quietly). However, this guy did not move!
He watched me, with his head twisting more and more backwards (think Linda Blair in The Exorcist) to follow my every move.
As I slowly got closer to him, he continued watching me.
He looks quite displeased with me, like he’s going to attack me at any moment if I don’t leave him alone. My camera is not a force-field, so after taking a lot of photos, I left him.
Rich and I visited three different gardens recently. This past Sunday we spent several hours at Chanticleer (once the home of the Rosengartens), a 47-acre estate located in Radnor, PA, of which some 35 acres are open to the public. The literature says it “has been called the most romantic, imaginative, and exciting public garden in America,” and it’s totally worth the $10 per person fee to enter the grounds. There are gorgeous gardens, including a teacup garden and a pond garden, lovely paths to walk, and some 5,000+ plants to peruse. I particularly liked the “Ruin and Garvel” garden. Here are a few of the photos from the day.
I suspect we will return again, as I know there is more for us to explore. Visit their website for more information.
This weekend I went to several outdoor places to photograph primarily butterflies. I’ll post some images from those adventures in the coming days. However, I did want to post this guy. Many times when I’m out photographing, I see these gorgeous yellow birds — American Goldfinches — which I learned happens to be the state bird of NJ (along with Iowa and Washington). These birds are incredibly active, jumping and flying at the smallest hint of movement. Generally I can only take pictures from afar. However, yesterday as I was standing and scoping out the area, I realized it was sitting on a cone flower not far from me. I very slowly raised my camera and starting taking pictures. I managed to take about 15 shots — looking left, looking right, looking over its shoulder, and feeding off the flower.
I took these photos at the Grounds for Sculpture in central, NJ.
A few of the water lily pictures I took while in Central Park with Louis Kettle, Derry’s nephew from London who is currently visiting the US. I have lots of pictures of our adventure, some that I’ll be posting soon.