Friday, November 23, 2012

Let the games begin...

(A Weekly Top Shot entry)

I was just looking back on my posts from a year ago...just to review what I've done, where I've been, what I've seen and to get a sense of where I'm going.  And to get some inspiration.  I've hit a dry spell or maybe it's just the daily grind that has gotten in the way.  My other excuse or confession...I've been spending a lot of time on and

I so admire all my blogger friends (and I'm so thankful for them all) who have this endless energy to photo, post, and write such interesting, humorous, and entertaining articles.  Over the next several days I'll be away and I'm hoping to use some of that time for inspiration and thought so I can move out of this funk and come up with something close to what my friends post.  Note to self:  Bring journal to make notes if and/or when ideas pop out of my head.

In the meantime, I got some inspiration from my son and daughter-in-law.  They go shopping every year on Thanksgiving night...what energy!  While they were out, I stayed with my three grandsons...I adore them.

So let the games until we the economy!  I will do my part up until the end of the year.  Next year the 'austerity plan' goes into effect!

Scenes from FAO Schwartz, New York City...taken a few years ago...for the child in all of us!


So here I am, adding photos to my post and I run into this...
Whoops! You're out of space. You are currently using 100% of your 1 GB quota for photos. Upgrade storage
Photos are stored in your Picasa Web Albums account and are included in your 1 GB free quota for photos. Additional storage you purchase is shared between several Google products and is in addition to your free quota. Learn more
Soooooo, in order to maintain the photos I've loaded in past posts and add new photos, I'll need to BUY extra space.  Hmmmm, I don't think so.  BUT, if I delete photos, they will no longer be available with my past posts.  A double-edged sword to be sure!
OK, blogger friends, have you encountered this dilemma and, if so, what did you do?
Ya know, it's always something!!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Mill Pond Trail

(A Weekly Top Shot entry...)

The first time I walked the Mill Pond Trail I was clueless.  I didn't know what markings to look for, had no idea of how the trail took turns that lead you in a circle, and didn't really know what to look for along the way to add to the enjoyment of the 'trip.'  Now, after about a half dozen hikes, it's become a familiar route but I know it will never loose its beauty.

I've never counted how many photos I've taken along the way but I'm always in awe when I happen to stop and just look at what surrounds me.

One of the first spots you encounter along the trail.

Large stones border stone step that take you down towards the lake
and then back up towards the park.

As the trail curves, pockets of sun
light up the autumn colors.

Tall trees line the path on the final
leg of the trail.

Hope you enjoyed this walk along the Mill Pond Trail.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Getting a leg up...

As utility teams from neighboring states and beyond pour into New Jersey, the clean up continues.  Residence are still pumping out basements, homeowners have begun to tear at sheet rock and wallboard in an attempt to ward off the growth of mold, personal possessions and home appliances have found their way to the curb.

In my hometown the local rag reports that 241 buildings took on 8 to 10 feet of water and, of these, 25 are so damaged they will probably be demolished.  In this tiny town, 300 residents from 18 streets had to be evacuated.  In comparison to some neighboring towns and our shore communities, this does not seem like a lot but, whatever the number, Sandy made quite an impression and we will be experiencing the far-reaching affects for some time to come.

As we start the new week, let's take a line from that late 60's play and let the sunshine in.  Don't forget to keep smiling!

Signs of the times...

NO ONE is permitted to enter this building...posted
on the Portuguese Fisherman restaurant.

This building is considered unsafe for human occupancy...
posted on most homes along the Causeway.
Water lines...

A water line immediately above the first line of windows (+6 ft.)
on this bay door at Eagle Tire.

The best place for bagels in town shows a water line on the
window visible just behind the American flag.
And other things noticed...

Up a tree...a single shoe hangs in a tree along
the causeway bridge where water reached
to 10 feet.

Clothing, business papers, and debris clog a storm drain.

Absolutely positively NO FISHING!

And finally...
Getting a leg up on clean up...a local shop owner
arranged these mannequins along his closed shop's front door...
a good sign his sense of humor is still in tact.

Smile!  We're still standing!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A seat among the thorns...

A photojournalist I am not.  This was so evident last week during the hurricane.  For some reason I just could not bring myself to photograph the trauma, drama, destruction, and devastation around me.  Looking back, I was really annoyed about this.  I feel like I missed a chapter in my history book.  Oh well, it's done...for the most part.

So here I am, revisiting photos I took just prior to the storm.  It's a good thing.  It's connected me with 'normal.'  It's reminded me of the 'beautiful.'  It's there...under all the debris, sand, mud, broken glass, and water.  It's there and we'll see it again.

Over the next several posts I'll probably be posting shots of the Davidson's Mill Pond Park area in South Brunswick, NJ.  It's one of my favorite haunts.  Hope you enjoy these shots and enjoy revisiting the beauty and the normal with me.

The same bench photographed at different shutter speeds...both at f5.6, ISO100, 160mm...and edited in Adobe Photoshop Elements 9...

@ 1/160 sec.

@ 1/125 sec.
Enhancing in Photoshop Elements, I got two totally different results.  I can't decide which one I prefer.  I will have to go back there to sit and enjoy the view of the pond.  Maybe, next time, I'll catch a shot of the blue heron.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Happy Halloween!

It's Monday, November 5.  It's the day before Election Day.  It's 20 days away from Thanksgiving.  And it's one week after Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey and communities up and down the East Coast.  BUT it's Halloween in my home town.  You absolutely cannot cancel way, no how.

After this past week of no electricity, no heat, no refrigeration...nothing...I am thrilled to see all the little cute ghosts and goblins at my door.  This is not one of them...

To all my friends who have suffered through this past week and to so many who are still trying to survive, I send you prayers and hope for better days ahead.  And they will come...after all, we are New Jersey.