Winter Charm

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Winter so far is revealing itself as a charm. Sleeping and creeping weather wise. Sunday was warmer than Saturday, overcast and a melancholy type of day. To my surprise grasses and some plants are rejuvenating growth. The birds were out as if it were the beginning of Spring. I was walking Lacey dog around the lake and she was snooping under a lush evergreen bush.  And this is how I discovered a beautiful group of leaves. One looks like it is being chewed on by some type of critter but still reveals to us a story.

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A Warm Winter Day

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It is December 12, 2015, Saturday and the weather is warm. No snow to capture or a need to even wear a jacket! Everyone was out either driving, dog walking, hiking, biking or just walking. I spotted a mature woman walking and she had a large black pack strapped to her back, and sporting luminous reflective wear for traveling on a busy route. She could have been someones mother, sister? We do live in scary times!

dec12-1At a vacant parking lot a group of hunters congregated and I became concerned if they were hunting down neighborhood black bears.  A mechanic is in the holiday spirit and is now displaying an inflated jolly snowman alongside the American flag. At night it glows with bacteria looking creatures running throughout the entire snowman.

Another item popped up on the major road for the “Things I find on the side of the road,” series. It’s a very strange item, unexpected, especially for this time of year! Click here for the story attached to that topic.

I did make it over to the trail and overall the day air became extremely still, overcast, the lake was glassy in appearance. No snow but a video of today’s captures.

So – where is the SNOW?

 

Autumn Ends, Winter Begins

Today I took a bicycle spin into the trail.  It was just after noon time and the sky was clear blue. The lighting was overwhelming even in the woods. Shadows cast everywhere, the light was very strange  and also experienced many moods for one day. I decided not to edit out any photos and you will find part one to be very different from part two. In a way the day captures become a study about light that I want to share.

Today my bicycle had a flat tire. It was a slow leak and not noticed until the end of the day at home. That tire did get a few years wear and allot of miles, so I really cannot complain. The next series of nature captures will be when it snows! I have allot of material to start creating, experimenting on the art-side.

Stroke of a Brush – part one

Paintings by elizabeth mclaughlin

oil, acrylic, wood block, canvas, board

Fall-icous! part nine

It was sun-down, the dense woods quickly became very dark, still and quiet. Not a gray squirrel or native bird species could be heard rustling about the fragile dry fallen leaves. All the brown acorns, colorful red, blue berries were collected for a day. It was a time for animals to seek out home shelters that are lined into vine draped hollowed out trees and moss dressed fallen logs. There was an overwhelming sense of peace within the deep golden opulent light embracing the lake and brooks. I decided to venture off trail to seize another perspective of this vast serene lake. In order to avoid stepping on any small critters, I took meaningful steps through thickly lined ground cover and dense prickly bushed foliage. Suddenly as I turned around heading back to my Cannondale mountain bicycle there appeared out of no-where, a silver white-haired man. He was walking directly into my path. Was this an undercover man in black? Congressman? CEO? A conservation trail agent in disguise? It was quite inconvenient to see a well attired man in the woods. After-all, my trail-side dress consisted of wearing deceased dads muted green cotton canvas Trails End jacket, my hair tucked up under a bright woolen red beret and soiled black stretched bicycle pants. A total messy sight in the woods with a bicycle and a camera! He observed that I was taking pictures and communicated his surprise to see what the lake had to offer from another angle. With camera in hand this gentleman precisely point clicked at the lakeside. I failed to mention about any blood thirsty tics, fleas, snakes that could be encountered in a wooded environment. Perhaps people have to experience the finding of pricking seeded thorns in-bedded into clothing after ventures in the woods. It has to be a earned right of passage that an adventurer must endure. A process of acceptance by the trail-side woods. He did suggest that the lake must possess beautiful lighting at sunrise. I cited about the black bears and expressed my concerns to never venture alone at that time on a desolate trail. We had a brief conversation about trail conditions for bicycle riding and size of tires that works best for riding a rugged terrain. The conversation flowed into my earlier day-time discovery, a description about a woman who zipped along the trail but also stopped her travel to say hello. Fortunately, I was able to capture the tire! She had a groovy cool Trek mountain bicycle that had fitted super wide black rubberized tires to its specifically designed and re-engineered frame. After my inspection I found out that this generation of trail transportation was also light weight! It would also be a wonder to see a solar-powered mechanism attached to it! Now that would be a ride! The mysterious man and I parted, going our separate ways like we had found each other. I shouted out about where he could find my captures on the web and at LemonChronicle. Hey! You have to network everywhere and even in the woods at sun-down!

Fall-icious part eight

This past Sunday was too much fun on the trail. I discovered that trails are not only made for exploration of nature but of people too. Fall-icious includes the celebration of meeting life. Word is getting out that the Sussex Branch Trail, New Jersey is THE PLACE to locally absorb everything nature has to offer. (By the way I would like to make a shout out, if you can financially donate to this trail you can click here and make a much-needed donation at their website.) I noticed many hikers, bikers taking the time for pictures. The day was exceptionally crispy cool and sunny. Excellent shadows cast against the woods and reflecting detailed images, colors onto brooks. A wonderful setting for capturing natures seasonal change that is now quickly spiraling into winter. It was quite an unusual day! Nothing that I have ever experienced before but truly a delight! I parked the bicycle onto the side of the trail and found people to be much friendlier. One couple stumbled out of a heavily leafed debris trail and decided to take a breather. They explained to me the best time enjoyed on the trail happens when it snows. It is a winter wonderland experience with snow-capped trees bending over the trail. This couple also uses trail time to reconnect with each other. Further down the trail hikers could be heard coming towards my direction but these campers were not four-legged prancing albino deer. Two gorgeous white greyhounds, yes they were white and not grey!  The greyhounds were a bit camera-shy and very anxious to continue down the trail. During the course of this beautiful day a studious looking character that probably knew all the tree types allowed me to take a photo. A miniature collie, however, I was pleasantly corrected by its owner that this was no ordinary small collie but a Sheltie dog.  As I continued on my journey two darlings captivated my eye! Both were boldly strutting their stuff and very investigative about what adventure lay ahead on the trail. I could tell these pooches were loving every minute of the day too! The tiny Boston Terrier was bouncing around and flashing her stunning glittering diamond studded collar. A bit over dressed for the trail but her security Bull Dog was prepared to take care of any bear bandit lurking behind a tree or rock!

Who could forget sweet back packing Gracey!  A total prepper, ready for any disaster on the trail. Her owner said to be ready because Gracey is the type of dog that loves to lick.  And, she was beaming friendliness like my lick loving dog Lacey!

I took the time to ask the owners how they came about finding their perfect pet. And you will be pleased to know that the owners took the time to find a rescue group for that particular breed. My trail visit was indeed the perfect capture of a truly happy day! For those that can support a shelter, rescue group, please do it now! The following captures are just a few taken from today! There are still more Fall-icious captures to come! 🙂