Photographs – Seashells and Snow

“This week show us something you’re optimistic about, or perhaps a talisman that helps you stay positive and hopeful, regardless of what life (and the weather!) throws your way.”

seashells, snow and sunshine

Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall…I dream of seashells and sunshine. A “little bit” of snow can’t diminish my Optimistic Attitude!

I also feel my spirit lift when I glimpse the beautiful “Cerulean” Sky.
Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola – Cerulean

Photograph – Mullica Hill Alphabet

“This week, let the alphabet be your inspiration: find a string of letters. Try a multi-photo gallery to collect images of single characters. Find some beautiful typography, or look for letters hidden in natural forms. I’m excited to see your ABCs!” Alphabet


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What fun it was to gather photographs for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge. It prompted us (see our reflection in the collage) to take a long overdue stroll through Mullica Hill, New Jersey, a town known for its antique shops. All the alphabets in the above “sampler” were on Main Street. We had a bit of trouble with the Z, but found it in the graveyard of the Quaker Cemetery.

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Photo Challenge – Woodsy January Circlets

A few natural CIRCLES photographed on a January walk.

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“God must be the very first thought and the very last thought in the life of every disciple of Jesus. God must be the centre as well as the circumference of our lives. We live and move in Him, within the circle that He has drawn for us. And within that circle we will always find Him.”
~ Zac Poonen

“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.”
Acts 17:26-27

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Photographs – Riding the Waves

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Today was the perfect day to put our bicycles in the back of the truck and head for Ocean City, NJ. Quite a few people took advantage of the warm temperatures, and although the sky was overcast, the boardwalk had a good crowd walking its length. In the distance you can see Atlantic City in a haze of foggy mist.

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The surf was rough today…according to the Ocean City Surf Report the waves were 7 to 7.5 feet, and the water temperature was between 52-55 degrees. Dozens of wetsuit-clad surfers were gathered in the water waiting for the perfect wave.

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I’ve never seen the waves so large in Ocean City.

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It’s mesmerizing to watch the surfers “TRANSITION” from calmly waiting to flying across the face of the wave.

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At times the transition means wiping out.

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No big deal, the surfer paddles back out and begins again.

 

Photograph – Foggy Enchanted Trio

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“Trio”

“What comes in threes? Submit an image for this week’s photo theme, Trio.”

Between five and six this morning, I ventured outdoors with my camera to take some photographs of the gorgeous moon illuminating the sky. My moon shots were blurry, but while I was attempting to photograph its luminous face, my camera flash bounced off the moisture in the air and captured a sense of the magical within the foggy skyscape.

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Photo – Ordinary into Ornate

Ornate “Forget about subdued and restrained. This week, let’s embrace the breathtakingly extravagant.” ~Wordpress Photo Challenge

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Even though it’s functional and quite ordinary, the inside of a watch has an intriguing beauty. Take a photograph, crop, bump up the color, and it’s downright ornate.

PicMonkey has many free photo applications for editing photographs.

Photographs – Hidden Treasure

“(Extra) ordinary Mundane and meaningful objects. Beautiful everyday things. This week, surprise us with something or someone (extra)ordinary.”

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Block Island, Rhode Island beaches are part sand, part rocky pebbles. The larger stones have been used since the early centuries of our country as cobblestones for New England roadways. I am fascinated by the beauty of these rocks. The amazing array of colors and the wave-tumbled smooth surfaces mesmerize me. Much like Sanibel Island, Florida, known for the famous “Sanibel Stoop,” (a title describing beachcombers searching for shells on the beaches,) Block Island turns beachcombers into rockhounds, creating a posture that could be named, “The Block Island Bend.”

The interesting stone in today’s photograph is a cabbage-sized rock I found on Block Island. I brought it home as a doorstop, and often pick it up to gaze at what seems to be treasure inside. The exterior of the stone is a quite ordinary, but within a zig-zagging crack on the surface, the facets of polished quartz are visible, transforming the ordinary stone, into an extraordinary keepsake.

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Photographs – Jamaica, Treasure Beach Hotel

This week’s Photo Challenge at WordPress is as follows:

“Happy Place…This week, we want you to show us where you go to get your groove back.”

I returned late last evening from a lovely week spent in Treasure Beach, Jamaica. Here are a few of my favorite photographs from the week. Treasure Beach is definitely a perfect place to “Get Your Groove Back!”

A terrific way to reclaim your “groove” is to watch dolphins swim alongside your boat.

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We get such a kick out of the lizards in the area. They are terrific “bug” predators and are always on the hunt for a good meal and warm place to bask in the sunshine.

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Cactus, Palm Trees and Tropical Flowers all blend to create a stunning natural garden.

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Can’t resist one more cute little lizard photograph before I go.

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Treasure Beach Hotel, Treasure Beach Jamaica.

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Photograph – Boundaries/Delaware Bay

Photo Challenge @ WordPress “This week, let’s explore the creative potential of limits, borders, and dividers of all types.”

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I love this simplistic view of the Delaware Bay. Each ebb and flow of the tide carves new designs into the boundary of sand.

The photograph was taken in July of this year. Those of us who live near ocean waters return to them with a bit of trepidation each Spring and Summer, almost afraid to lay eyes upon what the N’or Easters and other storms have wrought upon the shoreline. Early October has already brought us a strong hurricane, thankfully, passing by out to sea. The boundaries are in place, but at some point, all shoreline boundaries are broken and changed.

Photograph – The Bone Yard

LILY SEEDPOD
LILY SEEDPOD

Autumn has brought out the beauty in the “Bone Yard” of my garden as my blossoms turn into seeds.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Change.”“This week, show us a change in progress. This can be done in one or multiple photos — we’ll let you decide!”

ZINNIA SEEDPOD
ZINNIA SEED HEAD
MOONFLOWER SEEDPOD
MOONFLOWER SEEDPOD
ECHINACEA SEED HEAD
ECHINACEA SEED HEAD
VITEX/CHASTE-BERRY SEEDS
VITEX/CHASTE-BERRY SEEDS
ACORNS - WASHED BY RAIN FROM THE ROOF
ACORNS – WASHED BY RAIN FROM THE ROOF

Pic-Monkey is a terrific site for adding special effects to photographs.

Place – Conservatory Gridlock/Longwood Gardens

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Grid.” This week, let’s take the humble grid out of the shadows, and make it the star.”

When I think of grids I think of conservatories. My favorite public garden is a perfect subject for this week’s Daily Post photo challenge. Most often, the flowers and plants are the stars of my visits to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. This post features the bones, or the grids, that hold the thousands of glass panes in place.

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You will find grids and grates wherever you look in the Longwood Gardens conservatory. The fragility of the flowers and foliage is protected by the strength of the metal, while the glass panes let in the life-giving light.

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The view looking up reveals even more grids and glass.

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Grids are used outdoors also as a support for vines and other plants. This is a row of spectacular clematis vines that were on display this year.

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Steel grids and cement are the base for the reconstruction of the fountains that is going on at this time. Take a look at the Online Fountain Exhibit at Longwood Gardens.

Place & Photograph Challenge – Salt Marsh in Monochromatic Hues

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Monochromatic.”“This week, share with us your monochromatic images. Be calculating and creative in choosing your subject and focal point; resist the urge to simply take a photo of something with a single color range.”

Salt Marsh in Greens with Texture. My photograph is a close-focus capture of a salt marsh on the Atlantic Coast in New Jersey, taken along the Delaware Bay. I have also included several panoramic shots and additional close-ups of the various plants and herbs that make up a salt marsh.

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“A salt marsh or saltmarsh, also known as a coastal salt marsh or a tidal marsh, is a coastal ecosystem in the upper coastal intertidal zone between land and open salt water or brackish water that is regularly flooded by the tides. It is dominated by dense stands of salt-tolerant plants such as herbs, grasses, or low shrubs. These plants are terrestrial in origin and are essential to the stability of the salt marsh in trapping and binding sediments. Salt marshes play a large role in the aquatic food web and the delivery of nutrients to coastal waters. They also support terrestrial animals and provide coastal protection.” ~ Wikipedia

Can you make out the gigantic bird nest atop one of the trees in the photo below?
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Moore’s Beach

Photograph – Strength and Rugged Beauty

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Connected.”“This week, show us how two (or more) things — people, objects, places — come together.”

Fishermen in Fortescue, so connected to the bulkhead, they almost seem to be part of the seawall at first glance.

Fortescue Fisherman Two

Photograph – Gazebo, Gazebo and Gazebo

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “From Every Angle.” “This week, photograph a stationary subject from three different angles.”

The Gazebo overlooking Glen Lake, Pitman, New Jersey.

Gazebo Collage
Gazebo Collage
Gazebo overlooking Glen Lake
Gazebo overlooking Glen Lake
Gazebo looking up
Gazebo looking up
Gazebo - View across the lake.
Gazebo – View across the lake.

Photograph – Creepy Self-Portrait

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Creepy.”“This week, show us something creepy — because hey, we can’t take photos of rainbows and puppies every day. Well, okay, I guess we can. But let’s branch out anyway!”

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This was definitely an accidental self-portrait…my face reflected in the windowpane as I snapped photos of a gigantic spider spinning a web outside. The species of spider is harmless, but I’m still glad the window was between us. The next morning…she was gone.

Photograph – Cicada Wasp

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A few days ago I posted a close-up photograph of a newly emerged cicada. Birds prey on cicadas, but they also have another predator to worry about in the insect realm…cicada wasps, or as they are also known, cicada hawks. These scary looking wasps don’t usually sting people, but they are deadly to cicadas. I find their appearance fascinating.

Solitary wasps (such as the eastern cicada killer) are very different in their behavior from the social wasps such as hornets, yellowjackets, and paper wasps. Cicada killer females use their sting to paralyze their prey (cicadas) rather than to defend their nests; unlike most social wasps and bees, they do not attempt to sting unless handled roughly. Adults feed on flower nectar and other plant sap exudates. After digging a nest chamber in the burrow, female cicada killers capture cicadas, paralyzing them with a sting. After paralyzing a cicada, the female wasp holds it upside down beneath her and takes off toward her burrow; this return flight to the burrow is difficult for the wasp because the cicada is often more than twice her weight. After putting one or more cicadas in her nest cell, the female deposits an egg on a cicada and closes the cell with dirt.”
~ Wikipedia

Cicada Wasps are Gentle Giants

“Close Up.”

Photograph – What’s the Rest of the Story?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Half and Half.”This week, let’s split our photos in two.

I enjoyed taking part in this photo challenge. Here’s a bit of a game, guess what the other half of my photographs might be, and then scroll down and see how close you were to the correct answer.

What is missing in the photo of a frog?

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Why his frog buddy of course!

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What will you find if you follow this railroad trestle bridge across a Southern New Jersey salt marsh?

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A terrific waterway for crabbing.

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What are these two ladies creating that requires so much concentration?

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They are creating a floral masterpiece in the Longwood Gardens Conservatory.

Photo Challenge – Summer Sky Symbolism

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Symbol.”
“This week, share a symbol with us, and tell us what it means to you.”

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In my area of the world most of us who live within a hundred miles or closer to the coastline visit the local beaches at least once a season. My family is able to go quite frequently “down the shore.” Very symbolic of the season, and our summer skies, are the banner planes advertising anything and everything. Several flew by today, in fact at least a dozen or more, but one caught my eye…advertising for the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Discovering the Impressionists. Hmmm….that might be a banner plane that reels me in.