Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My First Time

How is it that I've lived in New Jersey for 18+ years and have never been to Cape May?!
Crazy, right?!  And the drive couldn't have been easier.  Once on the local highway, it took but a few turns and just under 3 hours!  With my new-found birding hobby, Cape May will be an annual (at least!) destination here on out.
The day started out overcast and drizzly.  Garden work crossed off the To-Do List and with the weekend to myself, it was time for a new adventure.  Cape May Point is the southern most tip of our Garden State so that's where I headed.   A leisurely stroll on Sunset Beach sounded perfect.  Though fingers crossed that the weather would clear up and the sunset would be worth the effort.
video
 Other than a handful of fishermen, the beach was pretty quiet so it was mainly me and the birds!  Lots and lots of them!
 Clouds were rolling fast so the light was ever changing.  I love the glitter effect on the ocean's surface as the sun peaked in and out of storm clouds.
 And how vibrant blue it was in the next frame.  The object in the water is the stern of the SS Atlantus.  It was the 2nd concrete steamer (out of 12) and was launched in 1918 as part of the World War I Emergency Fleet.  In 1926 it was purchased with plans to be used as a ferry dock.  Unfortunately, a storm hit and she ran aground 150ft. off the coast of Sunset Beach.
How funny that at one time there was even a billboard painted on the side of the ship, advertising boat insurance!
Growing up in Southern California, the beach was a part of the landscape I took for granted.  It was just there, something you drove by.  As an adult, I treasure each visit home and make sure I get daily beach time.  If ever there was a place one needs to 'get away from it all', the shore is it.  Beach therapy ranks right up there with Garden therapy....don't you agree?
Though my 'Life List' is still very meager, I was thrilled to be able to add at least a dozen different shorebirds (mostly gulls) to it.
By late afternoon, the crowd picked up and it was fun to see beach goers of all ages,
and breeds!
Oh! By the way, I learned, after the fact, that one is not allowed beyond the grass dunes.   These plantings help provide a strong line of defense during storms.  They really are resilient and the town even has an annual "Volunteer Plant Day".  I was sweetly scolded by a resident gentleman, as he saw me crouching here, behind the dunes for photos. Supposedly, the fine is  $1000.....yikes!!
Before I knew it, it was that magic time of day.  More visitors arrived for the last glimpse of the dipping sun.  It was cool to see a few photographers set up tripods that sported huge lens!  And me, with my handy point and shoot...lol!
  
 I have a renewed love for the beach.  The smell of salt water, the gentle lapping of the waves at my feet, the wind in my face...all combine to create such a sense of peace and calm.
 I loved that this mom-to-be happened into my frame.  I know she felt that sense of peace.   
In a blink, the sun kissed the horizon and the crowd sighed in wonder.  I decided to extend my adventure and spend the night in hopes of catching the sunrise the following day.  I'll share that on another post.  Thanks for visiting, friends!  Have a beautiful day, wherever you are....

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wordless Wednesday...

...on the shores of Cape May Point.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Imagine....

...a garden without color.  Can you? 
 It's one of those concepts we take for granted, isn't it?
 Maybe we would just learn to appreciate the many shades of black, grey, and white. 
There is still beauty in that, right?
But I'm not sure if we would appreciate Mother Nature at her finest
if we lived through life not knowing the rich, rich colors of a peacock.

Or the Fall season at peak...

And would emotions be a 'less than' experience if we could not FEEL
the warm glow of a sunset?

Or the magic of a rainbow...
Hmmm...ponderings as I rose this morning.
All because the last glimpse of my dream was in...black and white!
A dream that I can no longer remember...(don'tcha hate that!)

Our lives are made richer (and much more interesting!) with the presence of COLOR so as I go through my day, I will doubly appreciate what my eyes take in and I'll send up a prayer of thanks for the joy I feel and knowing that life is going to be a little sweeter today!
Here's hoping you have an amazing day of kodak moments!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Making Time for a Little R & R

Every morning upon waking, I greet the day with a quick prayer of gratitude.  
For my family, my health and the freedom to do what I love to do...everyday!  
My (garden)client roster has doubled this past season and I was thrilled with each new referral.
But, (you know what's coming, right?) I took on more than I could handle...
this landscape service has a staff of one...help!
Running a little ragged by the end of the week is alright, as long as you have the weekend to recuperate.  Unfortunately, the weekends were even longer workdays for me.
June.  July.  August....I was running on empty!
 Hardest of all, my body could not keep up with what my mind thought it could do!
Achy joints, constant back pain, lack of sleep...it all caught up with me.
The lovely scenes I'm sharing are of the retreat where I found my escape.
It's near the Pocono Mts. of Pennsylvania.
A haven of peace and tranquility.  
It not only nurtured my mind, but my body and spirit as well.
What's even lovelier is I got to spend it with my youngest daughter, Emma.
Great memories were made here during our 4-day stay.
Daily activities included quiet walks, a row on the lake, biking, 
tree gazing, or just staying in our bathrobes all day, if we so chose.
I attended meditation classes and there was even a workshop on "how to power nap"!
I slept through it...so must've been good!
And every day ended with a soak in the infinity whirlpool.
 
Three gourmet meals a day did not help my diet, but everything was farm fresh and delicious!
Fly fishing, anyone?
S'mores every night at dusk...what a treat!
Isn't this the cutest tic-tac-toe set, ever?!
Em and I had fun making these birdhouses.
I even tried my hand at water coloring...don't laugh!
I still remember to count my blessings each day.  
I focus on the positive, keep calm and carry on, and should I need some down time,
I know exactly where to go...

Hope you all have a fabulous Friday!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Where've ya been, Lynn?!

 I guess that was a sign for me to update my blog!
Not two, but 3 friends recently asked why my blog has been so quiet.
I must say, it's nice to be missed!  
H. Pandora's Box:
 My only explanation....
I was kidnapped by aliens!
 Actually, the summer has pretty much been a blur.  I found myself on auto-pilot
most days.  More garden clients meant re-arranging my Zumba schedule a bit.
H. Wineberry Candy (one of my faves!)
But thankful for the extra earnings so I'm not complaining
(but, oh, my aching back!)
I'm sure you guys who garden full time can relate!
H. Who's Your Daddy
 I did get away for a 4-day Spa-cation and will share
pics on another post.
In garden news, my daylily collection is growing!  Many new mail-ordered
plants suffered neglect (delayed planting) and heat, but seem to
be doing well now...thank goodness!
 H. Peacock Curls
H. Bright Sunset
H. Ruby Spider is one of my new additions.  HUGE 9" blooms on tall, sturdy scapes...
certainly grabs your attention from across the garden!
And, I'm trying my hand at hybridizing again.
 It's easy to make crosses but I'm finally keeping records of
pod/pollen parents....let's see what comes of it!
H. Fooled Me
To my blog friends not yet growing daylilies, this is a great
time to find 50% sales at your local nurseries.
Easy, easy, perennials...every color of the rainbow.
But, a WARNING!  You will become addicted!
 H. Aaron Brown
 This beautiful red daylily is the one that started it all for me!
H. Scarlet Orbit
And with almost 80,000 different varieties, you can't grow just one!
I dare ya...

Happy Fall, guys!