Autumn Colors in Shark River Park

The colors of autumn are sprouting everywhere, and Shark River Park is a great place to observe the leaves turning colors as the Fall arrives in earnest. In the space below I have included some photos from a recent trip over there. Please click on the photos to see larger full resolution versions.

And before long–the middle of next week–we will be heading out for Paris and Lyon. Photos to follow.

A trail winds around a lake surrounded by the lush colors of autumn leaves and a blue sky peaking through the clouds.
Beautifully colored trees are reflected in a lake on an autumn morning.
Trees with leaves turning colors on the bank of a lake.
Tree leaves create an explosion of color in Autumn at the Jersey Shore.

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The Finger Lakes Region of New York

We are back from a short visit to the Finger Lakes region of New York State. The region is gorgeous, especially as the leaves begin to turn as fall arrives. Small towns dot the landscape, and except for the larger cities like Ithaca, home of Cornell, it is mostly rural territory. And it has those scenic lakes, particularly Lake Seneca and Lake Cayuga. Seneca is the largest and deepest of the Finger Lakes measured by area; it extends to a depth of 618 feet at its deepest point. Cayuga is the longest lake at 38 miles, but it is not as deep as Seneca. Cayuga’s maximum depth is 435 feet.

 

In addition to the beautiful scenery, the area has lots of vineyards, so of course we went wine tasting. And we had some very nice Cabs and Chards.

 

The Finger Lakes region is home to the Women’s Rights Movement, and it has a number of museums celebrating that fact. Like all political movements, in the fervor of the moment the participants tend to get carried away. The early suffragettes claimed that by allowing women to vote the nation would rid itself of corruption. Moreover, they insisted that women would never support legislation in favor of women only. Well, we know how that worked out. (See below).

 

All in all the Finger Lakes region is well worth a visit. But unless you are a professor at Cornell or a wine producer, there doesn’t seem to be all that much opportunity here.

 

Anyway, some photos of our travels below. Please click on the photos below to see large, high resolution versions.

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Four silos, several barns and tractors on green grass with a blue sky background
Horses Grazing in the Field
Looking out over Seneca Lake in Watkins Glen, located in the Finger Lakes region of New York State
Seneca Falls, NY, USA — Sept 30, 2017 — The Seneca Knitting Mills building, due to re-open in 2018 as the Center for Great Women. Editorial Use Only.
Photo out a window at cows grazing in a pasture
Waterloo, New York, USA — September 30, 2017 — Customers at a cheese tasting in a barn at a dairy farm in the Finger Lakes region of NY State. Editorial Use Only

 

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From Summer to Fall

Summer is gone, the fall is here, the ocean is getting rougher, and of course it is hurricane season. The water was sufficiently treacherous over the past weekend that 35 people had to be rescued from the surf in Belmar, according to the Mayor. The Mayor said that 35 people had to be pulled out of the water by lifeguards, police, the Coast Guard and…”water rescue staff”. If not lifeguards I wonder what the term “water rescue staff” is supposed to refer to.

 

Anyway, off to the Finger Lakes region in New York State soon, where we hope to get some nice autumn shots. Some Spring Lake beach shots below.

Waves from rough Atlantic seas smash up against the rocks of a jetty at the Jersey Shore.
Waves roll into the beach on a cold gray rainy morning
Waves come crashing onto shore on a rainy, gloomy morning
Rainy, foggy morning with a storm on the horizon
Photo of the Spring Lake boardwalk on a wet and foggy fall morning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kessler Foundation Stroll and Roll

The Kessler Foundation is a public charity dedicated to helping people afflicted with disabilities caused by stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain and other injuries, to improve their lives. Kessler, which funds research and prepares people with disabilities to re-enter the workforce, is one of the world’s leading organizations in rehabilitation medicine. Joe Benning Photography is an enthusiastic supporter of the Kessler Foundation and is a sponsor of the Annual Stroll and Roll. The 16th annual Stroll and Roll took place today in Verona Park. Some photos from the event are below. Please take a look at the Kessler Foundation Website to learn more about their work. Here is the web address: http://kesslerfoundation.org

 

Cyclists preparing for the kick-off of the annual Kessler Foundation Stroll and Roll.
Ellen, Mary Anne amd Sally are walking in the Kessler Stroll and Roll.
Team Halchek participating in the annual Stroll and Roll.
Participants in the Annual Stroll and Roll.
A close-up of a small stone bridge over a section of Verona Lake, in the park.
Trees and foliage are reflected in the Verona Park Lake on an Autumn morning.
The leaves on the trees around Verona Park are starting to change colors.
Quiet lake in Verona Park, NJ in Autumn

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Dorbrook Recreation Area—Monmouth County Park System

The Monmouth County Park System is reportedly one of the best in the country. A link to the system with a description of its parks is here.

 

One of the more interesting parks is called the Dorbrook Recreation Area, in Colts Neck. Among other things (like a model aircraft field) it has a small farm on the property. I was lucky enough the other day to catch a tractor plowing the fields—it looked for all the world like it could have been in Idaho. Anyway, it’s well worth a visit.

Click on any of the photos below to see a larger version.

A barely visible tractor kicks up a lot of dust while plowing a field.
A barn and stable on a rolling hill of green grass as autumn approaches.
Leaves are turning colors on the trees as Autumn approaches
A white barn on green grass with a dutch syle roof under threatening skies.
A tractor kicks up a lot of dust while plowing a field.

 

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Batsto Village in Burlington County, NJ

We recently made a trip to Batsto Village, a historic site located within Washington Township in the Pine Barrens. It is listed on both the New Jersey and National Register of Historic Places and administered by the Division of Parks and Forestry, part of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection.

 

An ironmaster by the name of Charles Read built the Batsto Iron Works along the Batsto River. It would eventually grow into the Batsto Village. Over the years it changed hands a number of times, with the last private owner being Joseph Wharton, who purchased it in 1876. Wharton, a founder of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, refurbished many of the buildings in the Village. In addition, launched a number of forestry and agricultural projects, including cranberry farming and a sawmill.

 

In the 1950s the State of New Jersey bought the Wharton properties and it is now a State Park with a Visitors Center and a small museum. It is well worth a visit.

Batsto Village, Hammonton, NJ USA — August 28, 2017 Barns , fencing and a meadow in the historic town of Batsto, NJ, listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Batsto Village, Hammonton, NJ USA — August 28, 2017 The Blacksmith and Wheelhouse shop in the historic town of Batsto, NJ , listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Photo of Batso Lake in HIstoric Batsto Village
Batsto Village, Hammonton, NJ USA — August 28, 2017 The Mansion House in historic Batsto, village, listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

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A visit to Tanglewood and Saratoga Springs

It’s tough to beat the natural beauty of New England. We recently took a trip up to Saratoga Springs to visit the track, then on to The Clark museum in Williamstown, and then onto Lenox Massachusetts where we were able to see Yo Yo Ma play with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood. And we got to see a boat go through lock #4 in New York State.

 

The Clark Museum in Williamstown, MA.
Looking at the stage from inside “The Shed” at Tanglewood.
Horses come around the bend in Saratoga Spring race track
Horses race for the finish on turf
Two silos, trucks and a barn on a green crop field under threatening skies in New England.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Parks and Recreation

The Monmouth County Park system is often thought to be one of the finest in the country–and with good reason. The parks are meticulously maintained; they are stunningly beautiful, and they are brimming with activities for all ages. So not too long ago I paid

Geraldine Thompson
Geraldine Thompson

a visit to Thompson Park in Lincroft. Thompson Park which includes the former home of Geraldine Thompson, and now serves as the Thompson Park Visitor’s Center. The park, which was established in 1968 totals 667 acres, of which 215 were donated by the estate go Geraldine Thompson. The park, which is truly magnificent, features the Marlu Lake (pictured below) is not to be missed.

 

A scenic lake surrounded by green trees on a summer morning. Two canoes are in the distance are on the lake.
Two canoes float lazily along a lake surrounded by green trees.
A path out of a heavily wooded area to a clearing that goes between large two trees.
Two trees up a slope in a green meadow with a dramatic sky in the background

 

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On the Beach …

Summer is here and the best time to see the beach is early in the morning before the crowds arrive. Here is what it looked like this morning.

A life guard station turned on its side on the beach next to a lifeboat before the crowds arrive
Lifeboat on the beach
An empty life guard chair and boat on the beach early in the morning
Life guard station and boat early in the morning before the crowds arrive