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Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey’

While waiting for needed input on a number of projects yesterday, I decided to take the walk I’d been putting off. It was sunny and crisp, and even in mid-afternoon, with the shorter days, the light was angling through the trees and casting long shadows.

Ornamental grasses flanking a walkway sport their furry blooms. Many trees in the area have lost the majority of their leaves.

Long shadows are cast by an already lowering sun.
In the background, a sparkling river moseys south.

Something new for me when I moved to this side of the state was the concept of rural delivery. The postal carrier does not bring mail to the mailbox by your front door, but instead leaves it in mailboxes which stand alone or in groups at the edge of properties and driveways. Certainly makes sense considering how much of this area is farmland!

My town was initially established in the mid 18th century, a mill town on the river, but was not officially incorporated with its current name until 1925. It went through many names, among them Burnt Mills after the grist mill was destroyed by fire in 1769. Many older buildings grace the town, this one (I’m estimating late 1800’s) is converted to a barber shop and residence.

Trees along the riverbank holding on to the last of their leaves.

Looking north, the Delaware is a sea of calm. Whether due to rain or the extended warmth of much of the fall season, there were not many of the brilliant oranges and reds to be found among the trees this year. Instead, the green leaves seemed to fade to dull yellows and browns.

A group of Canada geese swim, relax, and feed at the edge of the riverbank.

An oak leaf on the textured concrete bridge path looks both crisp and leathery. It’s shadow seems to have another life altogether, something insectile.

A train once connected Phillipsburg about 1/2 hour north of my town all the way south to Lambertville, paralleling the river. The tracks were recently cleared and maintained to allow a train to travel several miles for fun trips for passengers at an annual event. The mournful whistle of the steam engine could be heard for two days, and then on occasion afterward.

Walking with my camera always opens my eyes to my surroundings, and causes me to be very grateful to live where I do – an older, established community with a long history, and where people still are gracious and kind.

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Two words.

Tomatoes. Corn. (Well, lots more, really.)

This is the season – every summer fruit and vegetable growing in the Garden State is at its peak, and super delicious. I may be doing my food shopping this weekend, but I will not be picking up any produce at the supermarket. That I will get at one of the local farmstands, several of which are within a few miles of where I live.

New Jersey gets a bad rap. The first thing that many people see when they arrive in NJ is a massive array of oil refineries in Elizabeth and nearby areas. Visitors come from New York or the Newark airport, and sadly, this dirty, smoke-spewing sight is sometimes all they ever get to see.

But they don’t call us the Garden State for nothing! Right about now there are stands by the side of the road packed with fresh, delicious produce of every kind imaginable. Sometimes it’s from a farm; sometimes it’s just a local gardener sharing his or her backyard bounty.

Always accompanying these unattended and smaller stands is a lock box for you to put your money in. We’re all on the honor system out here – to put in the right amount and not take the contents. That’s another reason why my part of the state is so wonderful. That actually exists.

My guess is I’ll stop by Phillips Farm in Holland Township, which is looked over 24/7 by the Jersey Fresh guy, pictured here. Looking for fresh and delicious? Pass on by the refineries; drive across the state aways; take a scenic backroad, and that’s where you’ll find it. I’m already thinking tomato sandwich.

 

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The air was too crisp and the sunshine too bright to not go for a morning walk. And it was worth it … the Delaware was celebrating the day as well.

DelawareRiver-north2

 

DelawareRiver-South2

 

Delaware-Bridge2

This humble bridge connecting Pennsylvania and New Jersey was originally constructed in 1842.

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Did you know that Google holds an annual contest – Doodle 4 Google – whereby children in 5 different school grade groups design the Google logo on a specific theme? I just found out, and the voting ends May 10!

The contest is sponsored by the New York Public Library, Crayola, and, of course, Google. This year’s theme is “If I could travel in time, I’d visit ….” ¬† There are several tiers of prizes but the National Winner can really clean up! That person “will have his or her doodle featured on the U.S. Google.com homepage, will be awarded a $30,000 college scholarship to be used at the school of his or her choice, a trip to New York for an event on May 17, 2012, a Google Chromebook computer, a Wacom digital design tablet, and a t-shirt printed with his or her doodle on it. We’ll also award the winner’s full time school a $50,000 technology grant towards the establishment or improvement of a computer lab or technology programming.” ¬†Holy moly! Go vote and help out some talented kid!

Check out the Doodle 4 Google web site for information, but be sure to vote for your favorite. In New Jersey in the Grade 10-12 group, Cynthia Cheng, an 11th grader from Edison, NJ, is our state’s winner, and chose the Vikings. Her artwortk is really fantastic, featured above in smaller format, and you can vote for Cynthia here.

What a great chance for young artists — and perhaps future illustrators — to be recognized. Signing off … I’m going to vote!

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