Thursday, November 6, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Delaware Cruise Continues to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon

After our visit to camp we made our way to Fern Hall in Forest City where we had dinner and lodging reservations.  Fern Hall  a grand stone building, was once the summer estate of the Johnsons of Band Aids.  Our room was large, and decorated with antiques.  We had a small balcony and private bath.  We enjoyed cocktails in the ground floor bar followed by a delicious dinner.  It was  a perfect day and evening.

Breakfast was included at Fern Hall so we filled up on cooked to order eggs and bacon, in addition to a fine continental breakfast.  We were sated when we rolled out on the BMW K16, into a fine mist, which stayed with us most of the day, as we traveled route 6. Tall plumes of goldenrod and purple aster framed the country roads.   The weather did not hinder our view of corn and soy fields, huge silos, red barns, cows and horses grazing on the rolling pastures.      

drive  by under clear skies
 
 I was nice and toasty with my electric jacket and rain gear on. But when the Iron Skillet came into view and looked so welcoming and dry we stopped for a rest and some  hot cocoa.    We grabbed a window seat, and watched as the mist turn into a hard rain.  We slowly sipped our cocoa.  When we finished we could hardly believe that the rain stopped and by the time we arrived in Wellsboro the air was dry and sun bright as it descended into the west.We checked into the Penn Wells Hotel on Main Street, hung our rain gear to dry, peeled off a few  layers, and walked out into the quaint old town, founded in 1806, for dinner. 
 
In the cool of the morning we rode out under blue skies and puffy white clouds to Colton Point State Park  on the west rim of the Pine Creek Gorge.  Up the mountain to the highest view point where we found ourselves alone to see mountains blanketed with green trees and a meandering creek far below. 


We stood alone in awe knowing that a giant, icy, glacier cut the gorge.  We took full deep breaths of mountain fresh air.   Then we backtracked down the mountain, over the creek and back up the other side of the gorge to Leonard Harrison State Park, full of people, most likely due to the gift shop, and visitor center with a little museum.  The museum exhibited information about local wild life and how in the 1930s the parks and facilities were reforested and constructed by members of the Civilian Conservation Corp, under the leadership of Franklin D Roosevelt.     We pondered the power of men and the power and beauty of nature until it was time to ride back to the Penn Wells, enjoy a cocktail and dinner in the hotel lounge, and rest up for the day trip home.   

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

MaraBella Strikes a Pose with Lucky Lindy

It was too cold for the motorcycle, so we took the car and MaraBella out with us on our search for more Oxen.  This is Lucky Lindy.  Of course our silly girl is not so well behaved that she could be off leash, so I had to do a little work to grab her and her shadow.  Made Lucky the background. Then I used the magic wand in CS3 to grab MaraBella and her shadow.  Applied it as a layer on top of Lucky. Couldn't do it without getting some of Furman who was holding her on the leash, in the pick so I applied a Mask and then removed what was not necessary.  It truly is amazing what can be done in Photoshop and I feel that after 2 years of playing with it...I am just scratching the surface.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Delaware gets caught up in the STAMPEDE

I have photographed 67 of the 68 Oxen around Hopewell.  It seems as if vandals have had their way with the poor beasts of burden and one was not where it was supposed to be......Some of them are located in places that make it difficult to photograph...so I moved this one across the street from where I found it and put it safely behind the fence. 

How?  Well, in CS3 I used the magic wand to cut it out.  Copied and pasted it on top of the fall background and then used a mask to reveal the parts of the fence that the Mooer was covering.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Delaware Cruise Back in Time

Went for a nice long ride on the BMW K1600 GTL.  First day was great.  Sunny, clear blue skies.  Set out early in the morning and made our first stop for breakfast at Thissildous in Belvidere, NJ.  Love this place.  Ate myself some French Toast with Cream Cheese and Jam and it was soooooo  Yummy!
Afterward we drove up to Milford, NJ and NJY Camps.  I got to romp around my old summer stomping grounds.  WOW things can really change in 50 years.  No more showering in a mikvah.  All the bunks have 2 showers now.  Both Nah Jee Wah and Ceder Lake have pools.

I slept in Bunk 1 for a summer.



I learned synchronized swimming and  Junior Life Saving in this lake. 
 
 
I performed on this stage.
 
 
 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Delaware News

Seasons Garden Center used my photo for their cover ad on the Uptight Suburbanite during the same month my "Less than a Hundred Miles from Home" motorcycle bucks story was published.  BY COINCEDENCE.  I did not know about the AD.  What a surprise to see my picture on the  cover and story inside and then learn that the mag published their own picture with my story, not one of the pictures I sent.  Gotta get me a good pic of our K16.  I bet I already have one somewhere......
 
 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

And Then This Happened

I should be doing  something else!
 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sometimes I wonder if the Blog is for the Birds

 Pretty sure it was an  eagle I saw last night on a rock in the river.  It was there for a while but I came to the dock without my camera.   I had it at the Renascence Fair , where I saw this owl, and this morning at home when I caught the hawk.  I shot the owl with my short lens and cropped way in.  Shot the hawk with my 300 extended all the way, hand held, from my yard...cropped off a bit there too.
 
 
I saw an Eagle again this morning, flying over Washington Crossing State Park.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Delaware Issues Common Cents: Pack Light

We took off on another overnight adventure on the BMW K1600 GTL.  This time heading west to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon just outside of Wellsboro, PA. I wanted to share with you the best packing advice I ever received.  Before the days of withdrawing cash from almost any bank machine around the world, folks travelled with TRAVELERS CHECKS.  They were a real pain and I never liked them.  So I always travelled with cash.  It was my father who advised me so wisely.  "When you have finished packing and are all ready to go," he worded, "Take out half of what you packed and double your money".  I have heeded this advice successfully since then, knowing if I forgot something or found that I needed a sweat shirt or another pair of socks, I would always have enough money to make the purchase. With the availability of bank machines and credit card usage I don't worry much about my cash.  But I always pack light and this is how I do it.
I lay everything out that I think I might need the week before travel.  As travel time draws near I add and remove things until I have the very basic and minimal requirements for my travels.
Looks like this when I start.
 
Some of what you see I expect to wear out on riding day, otherwise: into the bag goes one pair of jeans, underwear, socks, bathing suit and tops in layers from tanks, to short sleeves to long sleeves about 2 or 3 each. I love my western style jean shirt for many reasons most of all that it can act as a light weight jacket. Of course there is special riding gear which includes boots (also a pair of sandals on the floor), dragon jeans that have armor and cool weather riding pants with armor...ill have to pick one of those and a small bag with toiletries.
 
Got rid of some stuff and added a dress ( you never know).
This soft flexible bag is custom for a side case and I get some space in the back that has already been packed with our rain gear. Just enough room for my purse which also serves as my camera bag.
When it is time to go, I dress in a few layers.  Shorts are underneath my  riding pants, although it never really gets warm enough for just shorts. I have the luxury of an electric jacket that goes over a
t-shirt and under my jean shirt and mesh jacket with armor protection so I know I will be warm if the layers are not enough.  Its amazing that no matter how I pack I always come home with something I did not wear.  Now it is time
 to roll on out to our destination, the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon just outside of Wellsboro, PA.
 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Delaware GOOD News

Thanks to these two I am going to be a great aunt!  I thought it would be fun to shoot in front of the sprinkler...IT WAS FUN!   I thought so, Sean thought so...but Renee ran off in fear that her hair might curl...silly girl.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Foils and Foibles of MaraBella and Me

In this case it was all about MaraBella and Furman.  I had made myself content knowing that was afraid of the water.  I was not going to force her in and therefore not be responsible for the inevitable clean up afterward.  Furman was intent on getting her in.  She dabbled...in and out.  WHAT IS IT?
She didn't swim, but she got in.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Fog Rolls In

I love when the fog rolls in.  Gets my creative juices flowing and I like the idea of muting the color to sepia.    Was really surprised when I saw the horses in the perfect place to view through the split rail fence.  The distance between the post and horses made it a little difficult to get all in focus, especially with the muted light of the fog.  In this small image that has been reduced to 72 pixels for viewing on the screen...it really IS hard to see the horses...OY.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Delaware Chews on Foodie Friday at 1906 in Longwood Gardens


Had a fabulous day at Longwood Gardens with a good friend.  In an effort to be frugal and also save some time, I brought a nice light lunch of fruit and salads which we ate in a designated picnic area,  We were not hungry when we decided we just had to try the fancy restaurant, 1906, on the property.  And you must know after walking around for a few hours we were thirsty and wanted cocktails.  Look how they served the bread in the cutest little white ceramic planter...and it was delicious.  Soft and warm and really tasty. 
 
We ordered some special cocktails and admittedly they were a little weird.  We picked a charcuterie to share and everything on it was delicious.  Might have been a special because I just checked the menu and it is no longer on it.



 
Then I had to play around some.  I don't know why  people think you should never remove color from beautiful flowers.  I like to.


 
Thanks for joining me Jess.
 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

First Day of School and the End of Summer

I hope all the kids who went to school today wanted to go as much as I used to want to go that first day of school in September.  I never wanted to leave town to go to camp in the summer.    Turns out it was  gift almost like school but the lessons were different and often outdoors. Camping out and cooking our own food in fire pits with fires that we made from collecting the kindling, tinder, and fuel wood from the forest.  Swimming and water ballet, and Jr. Life Saving classes in the lake, along with boating, canoeing and sailing the sunnies.  Crafts and theatrics.  Looking back, camp was fun.  But I always wanted to come home and start a new school year with a new teacher and classmates.  I loved being in the classroom  absorbing and expanding with knowledge especially in elementary school.  Seeing friends who I missed all summer.  The first day always meant wearing something new and I kept  that tradition until I retired from my profession as School Psychologist in 2010.  The first day of school also makes me think of my father who went to school all of his life, and my grandmother who did the same.   I was out this morning with MaraBella when the school bus came to pic up some kids.  I was really glad I wasn't on it.  And I was really glad that I was in my yard with dog and coffee, and shorts and a t shirt, retired. 

I need to go through my images and sort them in such a way that I can create a WEBSITE...the blog can be attached but I really REALLY really need to stop procrastinating on this project.  I'm going to consider it for the 2014 2015 school year.

For now a little review of summer in photo, like on the first day of school...this is what I did this summer.

Went on some great motorcycle rides.


 
All the way to the Hudson Valley and Hyde Park in NY.
 
 
Cruised around Hopewell checking out the Stampede of Oxen.
 
 
Had some fun family and friend time at Grounds for Sculpture
 
 
 Longwood Gardens,
 
 
and NJ Beaches.
 
 
Got MaraBella comfortable with the Pontoon and the Jet Boat and the River too.
 
 
I stalked the Hummer all Summer long and played and practiced in photoshop.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Delaware Views the Stampede in Hopewell

Took a day to look at more of the Oxen on display around Hopewell Township. They are beautiful.  If you are in the area it is a fun thing to do...In regards to photographing them, they are not all in easy to shoot spots...the one at Nutts down on the River was particularly challenging and required some work in CS3.  We got hungry and then the light was so bright it was hard to continue so I guess Ill have to get out  another morning to capture the rest of them.  Here is a sample.
 
Furman helped by driving me around on the motorcycle.
 
 
It was fun to try and get the image to show the actual location for some of them.
But not the one at Nutts
 
So I went for a head shot and still had to remove distracting stuff...like a wire overhead and part of the motorcycle in front.
 
Went for the head shot.
 
 
 
 
 
In others, I liked the AMAZING details. 
 
Hopewell Valley Arts Council if you wanted attention, I think you got it.
 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Return to the Grounds for Sculpture.

It was a great day at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton with my sister, thanks to my good friend Kathy for the guest passes.  The special Retrospective exhibit is still going on and  I suspect it was due to the overcast skies that there were not too many guests.  The lotus and lilies were blooming in multiple spots.  The meadow was in bloom.  We lunched at the Peacock CafĂ©.  Sister had a Cobb Salad, that was so big she couldn't finish and I had the French Dip.  This was cafeteria style so along with our food we grabbed a bag of chips to share and fountain root beers and took our tray outside to enjoy lunch in the Acer Courtyard.  I would say it was reasonably priced at $28. and since it was basically self serve no tip was necessary. 





Funniest of day

Friday, August 22, 2014

Delaware Cruise and Chews: Day 3 Hudson River Valley on the BMW K1600 GTL

Following the same basic route as we did on day 2 we left Haverstraw on another  beautiful blue sky and sunny warm day to venture up to Hyde Park and explore the Roosevelt Estate.  This time after crossing over the Bear mountain Bridge and following 9D north, we arrived in Beacon and hungry and willing to explore. Being a Monday and fairly early it was not that crowded and being lovers of bread, and attracted to the Aroma we decided on the Beacon Bread Company.
 
I had to try the French Toast and although an advertised choice included CHALLAH, which I was of course excited to try, it turns out the challah was all gone and I had my delicious breakfast with Brioche.  Furm had a breakfast sandwich and we were both sated when we finished.  The orange juice was fresh squeezed and perfect.  We were informed by our waitress that everything served was made in house including LOX.  Yup, she told us she did not know how it was done but the in house chef makes everything right on the premises. 
After breakfast we made our way up to Hyde Park only to find that the FDR house and Eleanor's estate where separated by a short drive and incurred wto separate entrance fees.  Since we learned this at the visitor center at the FDR Home and Library of Franklin D Roosevelt we got started there.
 
The tour of the home was fine but limited with most of the rooms roped off so your view was from the hall.  The fascination was in the Library as it was not really a library at all but a full interactive museum that took us several hours to make our way through.  I would highly recommend it.  A final stroll around the property informed us that in a lovely rose garden Franklin and Eleanor were buried together...That left us with a lot of interesting questions to be answered but not enough time to visit Eleanor's Estate. I think I might have to research Eleanor quite a bit more and make time to go visit her home....maybe in the fall???
 

Buried together
 
 
 
 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Delaware Views a Stampede

The OXEN have risen...yep all over Hopewell Township and they are pretty cool.  A project designed to bring attention to the arts, not to mention money to the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, they are MOOOOOOOING all over.  I saw one in Hopewell Borough that looked so out of place I had to "pic" it up and move it across the township to the Washington Crossing Park.  OK I'll tell you how.
But first have a look.

Hahahah they made an OX to look like George Washington.  I like it.  So this is what I did.  Working in CS3, I used the magic wand tool to high light the Ox standing in front of the Pump House in the borough and copied it.  I uploaded one of the bridge pictures from yesterday and I positioned and pasted the ox over the bench.   Just doing my small part to get this animal down by the river where it belongs in Washington Crossing State Park, Titusville, Hopewell Township, Mercer County,  NJ.
 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Delaware News and the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission

Had the pleasure of being in contact with the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission and will be submitting 10 images to be considered for use in the Commission's Annual Report