Pheathers – Delaware Bay Eagle

It’s been a week of beautiful raptors.

We spotted him in the salt marsh as we drove down Fortescue Road toward the Delaware Bay.

The morning was still breaking, the clouds were tinged with pink. We stopped and admired his beauty against the sky.

His wingspan was breathtaking as he flew above the marsh. It was only when he had disappeared from view that we noticed the amazing nest.

This is a perfect spot for raptors, whether they be eagle, osprey or hawk.  There are many species of birds thriving in the salt marshes along the Delaware Bay in New Jersey.

 

Problem-Solving & Photograph – Weather Vane Wednesday/What’s on Hand?

It pays to think ahead is a cliche’ for good reason, because it’s true. I ventured out this morning, camera in hand, ready to walk toward a neighborhood lake where I knew a good weather vane could be found. I walked about a hundred yards and immediately turned around. There is a terrible junkyard fire raging miles and miles away across the Delaware River and the smell and smog are reaching New Jersey. When my head started to ache within a few minutes, and I began to cough, I knew taking a long walk was out of the question. I am thankful I have air-conditioning to filter most of the smell out of the inside air.

Long story short, this is a weather vane, perched on a home built beside the Delaware Bay, photographed and tucked away for just such a day as this one.

I miss the WordPress Photo Challenge and thought an interesting alternative would be to offer one of my own on Wednesdays. Weather Vane Wednesdays is just what the title implies, a photo of a weather vane.

Create a weather vane post, the name doesn’t have to be in the title. If you would like others to see your post leave a link to your blog in the comment box. You can also tag the post #weathervaneweds. If you place a link to my post in your post you will create a pingback that will appear in the comment section. Thanks so much for taking part in my challenge

Photographs – Summer Creativity


A seashore or bay town is usually a boon to the creative spirit of its inhabitants. This horizontal line-up of birdhouses on the porch of a trailer in Fortescue, New Jersey, is a testament to creativity, and also a good photo for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Horizontal Lines.

I was surprised to find CREATIVITY listed as a virtue by Virtues for Life. This virtue, for me personally, is a lot easier to achieve than some of the stickier virtues…such as ‘Flexibility or Detachment,’ two virtues I have trouble following at times.

Another good example of horizontal lines is this flat-bottomed boat appropriately named, ‘The Greenhead Hotel.’ If you’ve ever been to the Delaware Bay or another New Jersey salt marsh in summer you won’t need to be told what greenhead implies. Once bitten by a greenhead fly you will never forget the name or the big pinch of the bite.

I’ll close this post with one of my favorite quotes on creativity.

Background – Elephant Ear leaf.

Photograph & Pheathers – Marsh Ice & Buzzards

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It’s never too cold to take a day trip to the Delaware Bay. The scenery definitely has a chilly appeal, the salty marsh areas freeze in the cold temperatures.

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The gathering of ice around the stems of the Phragmites was beautiful.

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As we drove we saw a buzzard sunning himself with wings outstretched, I missed a photo of that amazing sight, but was able to get a close-up of his strange features. These birds make up for their lack of loveliness by their ability to soar on the wind. The buzzard is a scavenger, and does his job well.

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We spotted this large nest of twigs in a tree on the way to East Point Lighthouse. It appears to be in good shape, it will be interesting to check on it again and see if it is revisited in the Spring.

Photographs – Two on Tuesday

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Heavy storms washed away the camouflage of trash and brush a mother raccoon had used for hiding her baby kits. She was nowhere to be seen today when someone pointed out these babies to us. Raccoons are nocturnal and these little babes were trying their best to continue napping beneath a bulkhead on the Delaware Bay. Hopefully, the mother raccoon can repair, or move her nest, before the busy weekend arrives. Wild baby animals are cute, but should never be touched.

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Photograph – Endangered Sightings – One to Infinity

Numbers “Equations. Clock faces. Cash registers. Numbers are everywhere: this week, share a photo that puts them front and center.” The Photo Challenge at WordPress

On the drive to Fortescue, New Jersey, and the Delaware Bay last weekend, we saw a Bald Eagle having a meal in a cornfield. Bald Eagles are thriving in our state and 40% of them live in the lower counties. Years ago, the only eagles I encountered were in the Philadelphia Zoo or on the wildlife television channels. What thrill it is now to see them flying high, or to zoom in with my camera as an eagle brings down prey in a field.

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Horseshoe crabs are also considered an endangered species, but since they have been protected, they are impossible to count. The infinite number of eggs they lay on the local bay beaches keeps the crab population growing, and provides food for shorebirds, many of them also endangered.

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Horseshoe crabs often upend in the waves. Unless they manage to turn themselves over, and many of them don’t, they will perish in the hot sun.

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While my husband fished, I turned over dozens that lay with their undersides exposed. It’s amazing how fast these creatures can move when they are heading back to the cooling water of the bay.

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Perspective – Follow your Dreams in Stone

“Your personal sculptor is carving a person, thing or event from the last year of your life. What’s the statue of and what makes it so significant?” Daily Post @ WordPress “Immortalized in Stone.”

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For years my husband and I have watched the fishermen along the Delaware Bay at Fortescue, often remarking to each other, “We should try fishing.”

This year we finally bought fishing rods. What a great time we have had standing on the sand, beneath the sky, with the sound of gentle waves as our music. I wish we had begun fishing years earlier.

My husband, with fishing rod in hand, would be my choice for the person I would immortalize in stone. My best advice: follow every one of your dreams…large, small and in between. You never know where they might take you.

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.

Place – Delaware Bay Part I/Fortescue, New Jersey & The Landing Cafe

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Fortescue, New Jersey is one of our favorite local destinations to visit in warmer weather. The beaches are a terrific place to fish. While we were there the couple we were watching caught a Croaker.

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Croakers are a good fish for eating. My husband and I have a goal this year to go fishing a few times along the Delaware Bay.

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Lunch at the nearby Landing Cafe at Sundog Marina in Newport, NJ was our next stop. We love their delicious crab bisque soup.

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We enjoy our weekend outings alongside the beautiful Delaware Bay.

Peculiarities – Horseshoe Crabs

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Horseshoe crabs are becoming a common sight once more along the beaches of the Delaware Bay. At one point in time they were severely endangered due to being used as fertilizer and bait for eels and whelks.

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A female lays between 60,000 to 120,000 eggs in a season. These eggs are important not only to further the population of horseshoe crabs, but also to provide food for endangered migratory shore birds.

Horseshoe crabs breed in shallow waters and lay their eggs along the beach. They easily upturn in the surf and it is not an uncommon sight to see dozens on their backs along the shoreline. Volunteers gather during mating season to turn the horseshoe crabs right side up again. You can read about their efforts here: Volunteers Saving Horseshoe Crabs

Although we weren’t part of a group, last year my cousin and I flipped all the upturned crabs we found back on their feet, or would that be legs…or claws? Anyway, we turned them right side up again. Unfortunately, several flipped onto their backs again with the next incoming wave. Still, I’m sure a few survived because of our efforts.

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We were really hungry after our rescue mission, and went to a terrific little bayside cafe called “The Landing.”

Paths – Heislerville, Delaware Bay, Bird Nesting Grounds Part One

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We camped last night and traveled on today to Heislerville, NJ, on the Delaware Bay. As we approached we were intrigued by an odd looking island of dead trees. As we drove closer we realized the strange growths on the tree limbs were actually nesting herons and egrets. I have never seen a sight quite like it in all the years of my life. There were bird-watchers along the road with large cameras and binoculars. It really was a spectacular sight.

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Here is an example of one of the birds nesting on the island, a great white egret.

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There were other birds in the vicinity too, some lovely swans, and smaller shore birds. Also, as always, the ever-present gulls and their raucous cries. The experience of the shore would not be complete for me without the sound of gulls in the air.

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Peculiarities – Vultures and Vulture Festivals

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On a cold January afternoon I snapped this picture of a flock of vultures near the Delaware Bay. Vultures fill a role, that of scavengers, but I must say it’s hard to become fond of vultures. I do, however, greatly admire their soaring flight and the skillful way they float on the wind currents.

More information about vultures can be found here: Vultures

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A nearby town has a yearly vulture festival. It’s become quite a popular attraction. You can read more about having a vulture festival here: Vulture Festival

ugly birdClose-up photograph courtesy of Morgue File. Morgue File is a terrific artist and bloggers resource. Copyrite free photographs available. Click here to visit: Morgue File

 

Place & Painting – The Delaware Bay

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I can’t remember during what season of the year I took this picture of a man fishing in the Delaware Bay. I would guess it is Autumn or early Spring by the way the fisherman is dressed. He’d be sweltering in heat if the photo was taken during the summer months, and most likely he would have a cooler of ice alongside of him. I’ve lived within fifty miles of the ocean for most of my life. I visit the beaches of the Atlantic dozens of times in a year, yet when I see the waters without landscape and foliage to give me a clue, I have a hard time discerning the season. Along with the ocean, I love the bays that surround our area, the Delaware, the Chesapeake. Every now and then, even as far inland as I dwell, I sometimes think I can smell the sea.

I have taken many photographs over the last twenty years. Thousands of flowers, hundreds of seascapes, vast quantities of landscapes. I even take pictures of the sky and clouds. I have a good collection of reference photos on disc. One day in the midst of spending too much time searching for a particular photograph, I decided I must have a master list. It took me a quite a few hours, but I managed to get all my discs categorized.

I have also posted many of my photographs on Flickr and in the WetCanvas Reference Library. All artist and crafters are welcome to use these photos copyrite free for any painting or project you desire. There are links to my photos in the right sidebar of this blog. If there is a specific photo you need and can’t find, leave a request in the comment section and I will check my files. I have too many photos to post them all, but would be happy to send you something you need through email.