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.
This summer has been glorious, and I have been out every weekend exploring different parks, especially in the Pine Barrens region in Burlington and Atlantic Counties. We’ve also gone to various reserves in Cape May County. I have taken hundreds massive amounts of photos, including landscapes, birds, trees, salt marshes. However, I still look for butterflies. While I didn’t get any butterfly pictures in June, the later part of July was better, and August thus far seems great. I will post more pictures from various parks, but thought I’d share some butterflies from yesterday in a nearby park.
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.
It is hard to believe that today marks the 30th birthday of Apple’s Macintosh computer! Wow! 1984. 1984 — I was newly into quilt making (still hand piecing!), almost three years married, and I just started attending college at night while working during the day. I was listening to music like “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen, and songs by Prince, Billy Idol, Thompson Twins, Cyndi Lauper, Duran Duran, and newcomer Madonna. By way of movies, there was Ghostbusters, Star Trek III, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and, funny enough, Revenge of the Nerds.
Thirty years explains the older models that have piled up in the basement, including an SE in the original zippered canvas case. I keep trying to clean out some of the stuff, but I just can’t bring myself to toss anything with an Apple on it, such as the many rolled-up posters in closets and under my bed from various MacWorld launching events, the boxes of software, floppy disks, and manuals, and the like. And let me not get started on the years I worked part-time educating people on the original iMac (that was me working in Datavision on Fifth Avenue in NYC introducing the original Bondi Blue iMac when it was released August 15, 1998).
The MacMotherShip website has a collection of vintage Macintosh ads. I’ve kept some that I’ve torn out of Newsweek magazines. However, my collection is way far from complete!
Here is Steve Jobs introducing the first Macintosh.
While this commercial certainly isn’t 30 years old, the Think Different campaign was my favorite. In this video, Steve Jobs is narrating the ad. In the end, Apple used Richard Dreyfus’ voice because Jobs didn’t want people to relate the ad to him. Of course in the end, he’s all I can think about when I see it.
The Macintosh absolutely changed my life, to which to say Happy Birthday and thank you!
The incredible animation is by Richard Swarbrick, and the original video can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYPggg…
On Tuesday Rich and I went down the shore. First we went to Belmar for pizza at Three Brothers (I’m sure he’ll appreciate this photo with his mouth full of pizza!). We love their pizza and often make a trip there just to get a couple slices.
Then, back on the road, and to avoid traffic on Route 35, we detoured and ended up in Mantoloking. Sadly, there’s still a lot of damage in that area from Hurricane Sandy, which in another six weeks will be at its one year anniversary. My sister-in-law’s mom owns a house there, but she was very fortunate in that her home is okay.
From there we went to Seaside. Ahh … Seaside. The place where Rich and I spent many summers prior to being married a zillion years ago, many summers in our early marriage, and later we’d visit in the off seasons to avoid the crowds. We generally start in Seaside Park, at the Funtown Pier, and walk the boardwalk into Seaside Heights. To us, it’s always been just Seaside.
While there are still areas that need a lot of work, there’s been a herculean effort of work done to rebuild vast areas of the boardwalk and open businesses in time for the summer season.
The Sawmill has always been a favorite place for us, and they reopened in the spring. After going up and down the boardwalk a few times, we returned to relax there and have a burger (yes, that was after pizza in Belmar!).
But look at all the progress made!
The new boardwalk looks great, and we like the new fence rather than the chain linked fence. For $500 you can get your name inscribed on a boardwalk bench, and for another fee on the boardwalk itself. We discussed it and pondered whether we wanted our name on the bench looking at the ocean or looking at the boardwalk.
We had an excellent day, and we both left feeling hopeful, that, yes, things were looking up for Seaside!
How shocking that today, while going through pictures to add in my journal, the news broke of a fire on the boardwalk in Seaside. I watched and was shell-shocked. When Rich walked through the front door after coming home from work he said, “Did you hear about Seaside?” We then sat in front of the TV and watched the news in sadness and disbelief. Some 400 firefighters from around NJ battled the blaze. By late night the news reported that The Sawmill is gone. Some 32 businesses are gone. The remains of Funtown Pier are gone. After all the work of so many to rebuild, some 80% of the boardwalk apparently is gone. It’s all so very sad.
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.
I am finally starting to see some monarchs! I’m glad. I took hundreds this week, many flying in the air with their wings in various states of flap. Fun stuff. Yesterday I spent the final late afternoon of August at the a Rutger’s extension photographing some of the gardens and some butterflies. I’ll post more of those in the coming days.
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.