New Year’s Eve 2016

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First let me say that I realize I am working backwards in time ūüôā ¬†I actually started this blog a long time ago, but never really did much with it. ¬†I was stuck in the crazy world of Facebook and wasn’t keeping up. ¬†Spring is coming (I hope) and I want to get myself into the habit of keeping up with my blog.

That being said: These are just some early winter photo’s taken on my cold morning hike ¬†Always a challenge to find interesting things to photograph when everything is brown and bare. Challenge excepted

There are two places locally that I love to spend time. One is the Gwynedd Wildlife Preserve and the other is the Green Ribbon Trail.  They are both moderate trails but there is so much to see!

Last year my friend Jessica and I decided to sign up for a hike on the Green Ribbon Trail.  The choices were 5, 8, 13 or  21 miles.  We decided the 13 mile sounded good.  Jess and I both hike on a more or less regular basis so we felt pretty confident about our decision.  We were so wrong!  The pace was intense.  We are both casual hikers.  We stop to take pictures, admire the scenery or sit and enjoy the sound of the water passing over the stones in a bubbling brook.

This was not that kind of hike.  There was no stopping to take pictures or enjoy the scenery.  It was a fast paced, intense, marathon hike.  At the 11.5 mile marker we had to climb a fence to continue.  I remember just wanting to lie down and completely give up.  It was a relief to see the bus at the end.

Now I know the trail though and enjoy walking it at my own pace and taking pictures along the way. ¬†What I didn’t know until this day was that Gwynedd and The Green Ribbon connect so I can do both in one day and avoid the paved walk through housing at the beginning of the trail. ¬†Good to know ūüôā

Below are some of the pictures I took on my cold morning hike. ¬†There aren’t a lot of flowers and greenery out there at this time of year so I concentrated on textures and practiced my composition.

 

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Fog

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I am obsessed with the fog.  Even when I was a child I was fascinated by it.  It takes the known and changes it.  Reshapes it.  Making the known mysterious and beautiful.  Hiking in the fog is pure joy to me.  There has been a lot of fog here this winter in Pennsylvania.  My guess is that the drastic change in temperatures from day to day has a lot to do with it.  If I am not stuck in the warehouse working I will try to get out to walk in the mystery.

Several years ago I was sitting on the shore of Lake Nockamixon in the early dawn.  A heavy fog was rolling across the water and everything was silent.  It was easy to imagine that I was the only person alive at that moment.  The sun was just beginning to lighten the sky when I saw a darker gray in the grayness and as it grew in size and flew almost silently over me I realized it was a Great Blue Heron changing his position on the lake.  It was such an amazing experience.

These photo’s were taken on January 21st. ¬†Mariton was having dinner and a movie and I got there early so I walked the trails. ¬†It was so serene and the fog masked any sounds so it had an other world feel. ¬†I wasn’t able to get many pictures do to the fact that dusk was quickly approaching and I had to be cautious of my step on the slick trails.

Bear Creek Mountain

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This winter has been a hard one on me.  I was sick for almost all of January.  I made jokes at work about the plaque because people were dropping like flies in the office and warehouse.  I worked, came home, slept and repeated.

Finally I was feeling better and on February 18th with a backpack filled with water and tissues I decided I needed to get out of the house. ¬†I probably didn’t think this through very well since it ended up being a six mile hike through some rugged¬†terrain, but wow! ¬†Bear Creek is less than an hours drive from me and the only time I had ever been here was for the Policeman’s Ball.¬†While exploring the All Trails app I discovered that Bear Creek had hiking trails.

Although the weather was warm there was still an amazing amount of things to see.  I love my textures and without the foliage on the trees I was really able to see the stone against the bark and the textures in the abandoned buildings.  There are a lot of remains of buildings to explore and the stonework is amazing.

Something I love to do is looks for “things” in nature. ¬†On this trip I was able to find a wood angel and several natural hearts in the trees. ¬†I also got to practice using negative space in my photography which was a fun little project ūüôā

I would give this trail a five star.  There are lots of things to explore.  There are so many sink holes, caves, stone structure remains, birds, and variety of terrain.  I will be making a second trip once the weather gets warmer.

The first time you go check in at the main lobby of the hotel to sign a waiver and get a wristband. ¬†Your band is good for a year so you don’t have to check in every time you go.

Happy Hiking!! ¬†Remember your camera and lots of water ūüôā

Mariton

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About two years ago I began really starting to explore the are around me.  I wanted to get out more and really use my camera as well as get a little exercise.  I was trying to get away from the over crowded parks and walking trails so I did a little research.  I discovered Natural Lands Trust and fell in love.  There are so many beautiful nature preserves around me.  Many are within an hours drive.

Mariton has easily become my favorite go to place.  About once a month they have a dinner and a movie.  This is nice because I get to meet other people who love the outdoors, birds and animals as much as I do.  There are some awesome trails that range from easy to more challenging.  A nice array of wooded area with open spaces and a great bird blind to watch the birds and occasionally get some pictures.

I have seen a lot of birds here and am still working on identification.  I am a late bloomer to birding so it can be a challenge.

This last hike was a lot of fun.  I love the Chickadees and the White Breasted Nuthatches were entertaining me at the blind.  As you can tell I love animals and textures and tend to seek them out when I am outdoors.

The Giving Pond

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One of the things I love so much about hiking and photography is that it is different for everybody.  Some people hike for the destination while people like me meander and get side tracked along the way.  One person photographs the scenery and others the fungi.  One hundred people could visit the same destination and not two pictures or memories would be alike.

There is a place here in Pennsylvania called The Giving Pond. ¬†It is adjacent to the Delaware River. ¬†I have been here numerous times in the Spring and Summer over the years, but usually only in a couple of spots that I knew well. ¬†It has been an unusually warm winter here and I had an opportunity to hike while the foliage isn’t obscuring most everything.

On this hike I discovered a small trail that leads to the tow path on the other side of the pond. ¬†Along this trail I found an abandoned building and a rock sculpture that somebody took the time to build along the way. ¬†It was about a three mile walk until I found my way back to familiar ground. ¬†I have never been able to explore this part of the pond due to the heavy growth that comes with the warm weather. ¬†In here I found a small island that again had a rock sculpture as well as many Midland Painted Turtles that were confused by the “early spring” weather.

I put the above in parenthesis due to the fact that tomorrow we are supposed to get snow and this weekend the high will be in the thirties after reaching sixty-six today.  It is impossible to predict or make plans in this weather.

That said.  Should you find yourself in South Eastern Pennsylvania and want to visit The Giving Pond it is a part of the Delaware Canal State Park.  A part from the beauty and hiking you can also Kayak and fish here.  Bonus!!

Autumn

I absolutely love Autumn! ¬†It is so beautiful. ¬†The changing colors, cool morning and warm evenings. ¬†The beauty before the cold long winter. ¬†I am no a winter girl by any means, but I am looking forward to taking all I have learned and capturing some beautiful photo’s this winter!

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Having my grandson this weekend was so much fun. ¬†He was loving the leaves and exploring everything. ¬†I am still trying to get out everyday and explore myself ūüôā

This summer has been all about exploring Pennsylvania and I have a list of places I want to go back to and explore again. ¬†isn’t it funny how you can live someplace and not really see the beauty where you are? ¬†We love to plan far away trips and visit exotic spaces, but we fail to see what is right near us.

I lives in Arizona for years and never saw the Grand Canyon. ¬†It was always a trip we were going to take one day when our children got older. ¬†It never happened. ¬†Now I am thousands of miles away from Arizona. ¬†I used to grip and complain all the time about living in Pa, but this year I changed my attitude and found some of the most beautiful places to visit and enjoy. ¬†It is amazing what we can find when we want to photograph our world ūüôā

I wish I knew then what I know now. ¬†Slow down. ¬†Enjoy everyday. ¬†Dream big, but don’t forget to enjoy what you have right in front of you.

Day 7

Today was a chilly here in South Eastern Pa.  Randy is on vacation so I am opening all week.  After a long Monday I wasn’t really thinking about photography.  

Luckily for me I missed hitting the young buck who jumped in front of me and was able to stand on my car to capture a shot of him and the female he was chasing ūüėä