Photographs – Take a Walk/February

Seasons-“Share an image evocative of the weather or represent the current “season of your life” in metaphor.

– WordPress Photo Challenge

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In February, my area of the world becomes a landscape of grey and brown. The absence of foliage creates in me  a renewed appreciation for the form of tree limbs against the winter sky.

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Vines, hidden by leaves in warmer months, fascinate me as they twist and turn around the tree branches that support their winding attempt to reach the sun.

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The sweet-smelling blossoms of the Autumn Clematis, growing along the banks of the creek, have disappeared, leaving behind mahogany (Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola) seeds in a cloud of snowy fluff.

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Shallow puddles and ponds form an ephemeral mosaic.

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Daylight is once again lengthening, bringing the slumbering wildlife out of their burrows for water and food.

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The emerging leaves of celandine is a sure sign that Spring is on the way.

Photographs – Challenges/Vibrant Top Ten Historical Sites on Tuesday

I love the challenges that WordPress, and fellow bloggers, extend to the blogging community. I enjoy the mental stretching and growth the challenges prompt in me. In today’s post I’ve fulfilled five challenges. Read or skim through the content of the post and see if you think I was able to incorporate all five as a coherent whole, and at the same time, stay true to my commitment to keep the word count in my posts low.

“This week, share a photo of Something Vibrant. Let’s wash the web with a rainbow of colors to keep the winter gloom at bay.” ~ Jen H./Wordpress Photo Challenge

These RAINBOW cottages stand in the Pitman Methodist Campground, now commonly called ‘The Grove,’ in Pitman, New Jersey. I couldn’t find a solid purple house, but did find some pretty lavender gingerbread to stand in its stead.

1. The Pitman Grove is number one in my Top Ten Tuesday Historical Sites, not because it is the best, only that it is the closest in distance.

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Rainbow Cottages - Orange
Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola. – Eggplant (Foundation Color of Cottage)

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Rainbow Cottage - green

Rainbow Cottage - Blue

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Below you will find the rest of my top ten historical sites for Top Ten Tuesday by Broke and Bookish Blog. I’ve kept this list exclusive to the U.S., but hope to someday compile a list of Top Ten Historical Sites Worldwide.

2. Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey – Site of Glassboro Summit Conference talks between Lyndon B. Johnson and Alexei Kosygin. I was in the crowd, but did not see Johnson or Kosygin, I was still in grade school. In the same crowd was a young man I would marry years later, he was able to shake the hand of Lyndon Johnson.

3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The City of Brotherly Love. There are so many historical sites in Philadelphia I have visited and loved. The Art Museum, The Zoological Society, Franklin Institute, Academy of Natural Sciences, The U.S. Mint, Reading Market…the list could go on.

4. The Jersey Shore The Jersey Shore from Atlantic City to Cape May. The ocean beaches, the bays…I love all the Jersey Shore.

5. Red Bank Battlefield, Revolutionary War Site. – This is a lovely place to go and watch air and river travel.

6. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – Thousands of Americans from both the North and the South died here. There is still a sense of sadness in the atmosphere. It is hard to explain unless you have experienced it. Everywhere you walk and gaze, men died, giving their lives for the cause they believed in. A must-see if you are interested in American History.

7. Arlington National Cemetery – A place to honor those who gave their lives for our country. Also visit the grave of the 35th president of the USA, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

8.Mount Vernon – Mount Vernon – Home of the first president of the U.S. – George Washington.

9. Williamsburg and Jamestown, Virginia – One of my all-time favorite areas to visit. My grandparents lived in the Tidewater area of Virginia, and in many ways it still feels like a second home to me.

10. Washington, D.C. – U.S. Capitol

A few more favorite historical areas on the East Coast: New Hope, PA, Brandywine Valley, PA, Batsto Village NJ, Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC, Block Island, RI, and Jim Thorpe, PA, the Chesapeake Bay, Easton, MD, Tilghman’s Island, MD, and others!

I love visiting these amazing historical areas, and hope to continue doing so in the future. Like so many of us, to accomplish all these goals and dreams I definitely need “Twenty-five hours in a day, seven days a week.” I hope all the dips and turns and strange nuances in this post of challenges has not been confusing. 😀

Search out a few challenges to take part in here on WordPress . If you aren’t a blogger consider starting one. I enjoy the challenges and meeting people from all over the world. Thanks for reading!

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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Photograph – The Dove

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After a storm passes the air feels weightless.

As I was driving home from a grandchild’s birthday party Sunday afternoon, I glimpsed this beautiful cloud and immediately parked the car. Luckily, my camera was on the passenger seat beside me. I took several shots, impressed by the vivid outline of silver created by the sun. Surprise filled me the next day when I downloaded the photos and noticed the small shape of a dove in the lower corner. In the moment I took the photograph I was completely unaware of bird’s presence.

The photo of the dove silhouetted against the sunlit cloud reminded me that even when I feel lost and alone, the Holy Spirit is always with me, guiding me, protecting me, loving me, even if I am not aware of his presence.

“But when the Father sends the Comforter instead of me—and by the Comforter I mean the Holy Spirit—he will teach you much, as well as remind you of everything I myself have told you.” ~ John 14:26

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.

 

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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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.

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.

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Quote & Photograph – A Wish, A Prayer and Two Shoes

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“The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.” ~ Billy Graham

One Wish & One Prayer to spread the GOOD NEWS  = Two Shoes

How long has it been since you dusted off your witnessing shoes?

“Last of all I want to remind you that your strength must come from the Lord’s mighty power within you. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand safe against all strategies and tricks of Satan. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies—the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world.
So use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, you will still be standing up. But to do this, you will need the strong belt of truth and the breastplate of God’s approval. Wear shoes that are able to speed you on as you preach the Good News of peace with God. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. And you will need the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit—which is the Word of God. Pray all the time. Ask God for anything in line with the Holy Spirit’s wishes. Plead with him, reminding him of your needs, and keep praying earnestly for all Christians everywhere.” Ephesians 6:10-18

Photograph – Faux Pearl

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Enveloped. What does Enveloped Mean to You?”

Oyster with Pearly Egg

Yesterday, while watering my flower beds I spotted a tiny glimmer beneath a bird feeder. An egg lay there, its grey-blue shell speckled with brown. I think it is most likely the egg of a finch. They are plentiful in our area, and frequently visit our birdfeeders, making their nests in the trees in our yard. I might try to save the beautiful piece of nature, and thought the perfect resting place was the ‘enveloping’ security of an oyster shell. What a strange and lovely pearl the humble oyster holds…I love this unique combination of God’s handiwork.

My best description of being enveloped cannot be captured by a photograph, but it is perfectly described in this verse from the Psalms—

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” ~Psalms 91:4

Photographs – Mightier Than Men

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Forces of Nature.” – This week, share a force of nature from your corner of the world.

The pilings at Strathmere
The pilings at Strathmere

It’s time for a trip “Down the Shore” here in Southern New Jersey. We always find a new “beachscape” on arrival in Strathmere, New Jersey, our favorite beach town. The waves, a true “Force of Nature” have danced to the rhythm of a couple “Nor’easters” and altered the contours of last summer’s beach.

Strathmere Beach/Atlantic City can be seen in the distance
Strathmere Beach/Atlantic City can be seen in the distance

In the distance, men have built huge resorts hugging the water’s edge, but given enough time, the force of nature, in this instance the ocean, will reclaim it all.

Pilings worn away by the force of the ocean waves
Pilings worn away by the force of the ocean waves

“Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea– the LORD on high is mighty.” ~ Psalm 93:4