Friday, September 30, 2011


As of lately, I am spending more time playing with processing, editing my photos.  So, this week I decided to link up with Ashley's "Good to WOW", shoot and edit. The prompt this week ~ Fall.

While I am a summer girl and enjoy everything to do with the beach, the sand, the sound of the waves crashing on the shoreline and the feel of having skin to tight for your body after a day in the sun, I am trying to embrass this colder, dark season of Autumn.

I do like the feel of a good pair of comfy sweats and being able to put them on right when I get in from work and love the taste of freshly homemade, hot out of the pot, applesauce.  It doesn't mean I like Autumn. Really, does it need to get dark at 4:30?

We haven't had much of a color change here yet so shooting any of the Fall foliage is out of the question.   But we know Old Man Winter is coming as he continues to push and shove Lady Summer out of his way. There has been nothing but rain this last week and nothing but rain in the forecast for the next 4 days. This photo shows my mood and the feel of Autumn here.

SOOC, I have been using a wide angle filter, hence the dark circle around the photo.  I cropped and straightened, processed to HDR and smoothed.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


~ an apple a day . . . and with as many as I picked it will be an apple tomorrow and the day after that and . . . 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


New Jersey, aka the Garden State, offers no shortage of fruit and vegetable “U Pick” farms. May starts off the harvest parade with strawberries being ready for the picking around Memorial day. July offer fresh peaches off the trees and blueberries and raspberries can be picked by the hand full off of the bushes. August is prime time for many vegetable. Tomatoes are ripe and at the ready for salads and sauces. The harvest continues through Autumn with all the making for a Thanksgiving feast; corn, pumpkins, and apples, along with cranberries for the sauce, to go with the turkey, and grapes for a nice glass of Almond berry wine.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


The other evening during the debate over trying to decide where our travels should take us, Asbury Park or fields to go apple picking, Phriend reminded me of the, soon to be, celebration of Johnny Appleseed’s birthday. But as I mentioned that evening we heard the ocean calling us and Asbury won the toss up. So in keeping with the spirit of Johnny’s birthday, I went apple picking today. I got a bit carried away and catch up in the feel of the fall harvest. Soon we will have apple pie, apple turnovers, apple sauce . . . I currently have enough apples to supply the free world!

Monday, September 26, 2011


Due to a conflict in our work schedules, it has been nearly two weeks since Phriend and I have had a chance to get out together and explore the world through our lenses. Phriend was off yesterday, I was not. So using my charming personality a bag of M&Ms, I begged my boss to allow me to leave work early. Success!

After little debate over our destination, we ended up in Asbury Park. The last time we visited, it was while bundled up in our winter gear and knew we would be back during the warmer days. We strolled around the town, window shopping the small shops but we could hear the sound of the ocean calling us.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


If you live near a beach or if you know anything about surfing, you certainly have heard of Ron Jon’s Surf shop. Ron Jon’s has been an ion at the Jersey Shore since 1959 when Ron opened his little trailer full of surf boards. It has become a must see when visiting. You’ll know it by it’s neon bright multi colored building and PT woody in the lot.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Autumn is now officially upon us. Already my heart earns for the longer, warmer days of summer.

Friday, September 23, 2011


The combination of having the day off and the forecast calling for heavy rain for the next several day, beckoned for a ride to the island.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Having the morning off together afforded B and I the opportunity to take Willy for a walk about the old train station. Although the skies were gray and promising to rain at any moment, we meander around checking out all areas which are generally off limits.

It can't go without being said; this is day 265, leaving only the remaining 100 to play, practice and continue to push ourselves to explore new areas of photography.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


As I was leaving for work this morning, I could still hear the sound of B snoring. To say I was not happy with jealous, having an 8 - 5 work day, while B had the day off is an understatement. However, upon my arrival home this evening, I found he had made a yummy home cooked meal and had done the laundry. Then he suggested we take Willow for a walk over to the park and I should bring my camera to try to capture the playground, he even offered to take me for ice cream!  What do you think the chances are of him massaging my feet and running a bubble bath for me?  ~ thanks B, XOXO

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


It is amazing how quite the house has become with one less dog. I am not certain Murf and Willow understand as they are very subdued and seem a bit depressed, spending lots of time sleeping and looking about wondering what happened to their sister.  Where did she go?

B and I have a complete understanding but that doesn’t stop us from missing Shyla ♥ already.  It's funny the things we miss, her mischievousness and her passion to chew up undergarments.

I asked B, if he thought it would help if I grabbed his boxers and ran around the house. :-)

Monday, September 19, 2011


Bags are packed, final report is completed, now we just sit and wait for the doorbell to ring . . .

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Enjoying our last day with "our" precious little girl, Shyla ♥.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011


Once we receive official notice stating it is “recall time” for our puppy, we are emailed a lengthy report which is required to be filled out and submitted on the day of return. The form asks numerous questions in the hopes of giving the handlers and trainers at The Seeing Eye some insight into the puppy’s wants, needs and habits.

We are asked about the food, wet or dry, has the puppy had any recurring medical issues, do they empty on or off leash, what are their favorite toys and chew items, have they lived with other dogs, cats, or animals, were there children in the home, how do they react to heavy traffic and strangers? The questions circumference all areas of the puppy’s life.

With my prior 12 puppies, I have completed this questionnaire well in advance of the pick-up date. But for some reason, I find I am having a difficult time even opening this email containing Shyla’s final report. The Seeing Eye representative will be here Monday morning at 8:00 a.m.

Back when I was in high school a teacher gave his students, what I have found to be good advise. I don't remember much about his class but I do remember him saying, “ when a daunting task lays ahead and you don’t want to tackle it, just remember, once you have started it, you are half finished.” Perhaps it is time for me to open the email.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I fear today was the last of summer’s beach days as the forecast calls for a major drop in temperatures. I awoke at sunrise, gathered the well worn sand chairs and yelled to whispered softly to B to get up and get his swimmies on. After a brisk walk along the boardwalk, we settled in for a picnic beach breakfast while a serenade was played by the ocean’s waves and my toes played with the warm sand.

Inspire Me Photography

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


The S.S. Atlantus launched on December 5, 1918 and was the second concrete ship constructed post World War I as part of an Emergency Fleet. Due to the critical shortage of steel, experimental ships were made of concrete. The ship’s weight over 2500 lbs was needed and used to transport 1000s of men home to the States from Europe. Two years later, when steel became available, the ship retired. It was later purchased to be used as a ferry docking station in Cape May, NJ. Before ever being used as the intended dock, a strong storm broke it free from the moorings and it ran aground off the Sunset Beach shoreline.

Over the last nearly 100 years, several attempts have been made to free the vessel but none were successful. The salt ocean water, strong waves and currents have not been kind, breaking it in two. She remains embedded on the ocean floor with her bow extending to mark her home.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


This bright, beautiful, warm, sunny day called for a trip to Cape May. It was easy to convince B to come along.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Phriend and I headed out on another, Lucy and Ethel adventure.

Last evening I, playing the role of Lucy, came up with the idea of driving to the north end of Sandy Hook. This would offer a chance to capture photos of the
9-11 tribute lights in New York City. Phriend, the perfect Ethel, gathered the needed camera equipment, and we embarked on our northern sojourn, noting that the lights were due to be illuminated with the 7:12 sunset.

The day was overcast and as we approached our destination, what turned out to be a brief shower began, then quickly ended. We drove to the unfamiliar northern area of the island hoping to find the north beach. With the shower now behind us, we proceeded to walk the quarter mile through the narrow dune path to check the site. Perfect! A walk back to the car; grabbing our tripods, and what seemed to be hundreds of pounds of camera gear, we embarked on our stealthy trek through the soft sugar-sand, this time stopping at the water’s edge preparing to make photographic magic. Setting cameras on tripods and taking several test shots to prepare, we settle in and wait for the ideal moment. So, at 7:20 - no lights can be seen, 7:45 - still no lights, 8:00 - looking pretty dark. 8:01 we arrive at the brilliant conclusion the clouds are too thick and the beaming twin blue lights can not seen from this distance. Disappointed, we start our return journey to the car only to realize it is now pitch black, we have no flashlight and can’t seem to find the small path back through the dunes! Did I also mention the car is black? Finally after wondering about in the dark (literally and figuratively) we were successful in finding out way out.

So much for that endeavor! We moved on to plan B, attempting to photograph some awesome full moon shots. Moon? What Moon? Again, there’s the ever present thick cloud cover. Ok, Plan C anyone?? This one involved a drive to the lighthouse and an opportunity to hone our craft and impress Ricky and Fred with the perfect starburst photo; the only thing we had left to show for a night in the cloudy darkness.

Now we have it. The perfect location, cameras at the ready, test shots taken……and a swarm of mosquitoes. Damn! Quickly, we cover ourselves in jackets and sweatshirts, racing to put up the hoods, pulling sleeves over our hands. Mosquitoes are quick you know. Well, we know now. Looking at Phriend, I see a pair of hands quickly inflating, knuckles disappearing; quickly growing to a distorted size that resembled a surgical glove that’s been inflated and tied at the end. Still undaunted, we continue with our brave quest.

Regrettably, we were not able to produce the images we were hoping for. The evening was not; however, without its artistic merits as I noted that one of the blood sucking insects has artfully created a welt the exact size and shape of Texas on my forehead. “Look, there‘s Houston!“ said Ethel. Finally, at 11:45 pm, I decided to settle for a photo of the town memorial (yesterday’s post). It is nearly midnight, I again, set tripod and camera.

Though Ethel Phriend and I didn’t get exact the shot we were hoping for on this night. I return home to Ricky B knowing we will soon be at it again.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I will not forget the sight of the thick, black, smoke billowing from the towers or the smell of it in the air. We stood at my parents home, looking across the Hudson river watching the horror of the day and weeks to follow, unfold.

Today, on this 10th anniversary, my town dedicated a memorial. The buildings connected by a piece of steel from the twin towers, the names of each person lost on that day printed on our flag, a small waterfall light in blue, the symbol of all the fallen heroes.

No, I will not forget that day nor the number of people who were killed. But I will, also never forget all of our brave men and women who have given their lives protecting me so that this has not happened again. I am thankful for each and everyone of our military who has fought to keep me, my family and my country out of harms way. God Bless.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


off season @ IBSP

Friday, September 9, 2011


3:00 pm,  time for a cuppa tea and a bit of chocolate

Thursday, September 8, 2011


With the remains of two storms joining to become one, we have rain in the forecast for the next three days. Our staycation plans of relaxing in the sand have been put on hold, instead we are spending it re-hanging the curtains the vacuum attacked last week and decided to get an jump start on several of our fall house projects.

We did take a break to get out for a rainy day walk at the docks. The trolling boats had finish gathering their catch of the day and were home early today. Ready to head out again with sunrise tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I have never been a huge fan of Autumn; it is my least favorite season of year. Oh sure, the fall foliage is breathtaking and the cooler weather is often a welcome relief from the sweltering heat and high humidity of summer.  But still I can not be convinced there is any good in it getting dark at 4:30 pm and that mentioned beauty the trees brings does not remain on their branches.  Hours need to be spent raking and bagging.  As far as I am concerned there is not much to like about Fall.

With Labor Day behind us, comes the beginning of school. Today was the day the buses were stopping at the corners and the children, filled with anticipation and with packs on their backs, boarded to be greeted by friends not seen since last school year. The beaches are empty of all sand kicking, water splashing, radio-blasting children. The next few weeks are the best of beach days!

With plans of enjoying the last of summer’s warming sunrays, I took a few days off, only to awaken to rain and plunging temperatures. All hopes of sitting in my beach chair, basking in the sun and enjoying the quiet disappeared.  But all was not lost; I did enjoy sleeping in, lunch out with B, a trip to the camera shop and a drive along the coast line.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


 still ~ the world stops turning, the heavens open, the sun shines, and the angels sing ♥

Monday, September 5, 2011


It’s Labor Day weekend, the unofficial end of summer. Tonight, there will be a mass exodus of the barrier islands; the Parkway will be clogged with bumper to bumper cars. Many of which will be packed to the brim with the “no-longer-needed” summer essentials; beach chairs, towels, boogie boards. Bicycles will be strapped to the roofs and tail gates of vehicles. All returning to the mainland, readying for return to school and jobs.

Come Tuesday morning, we will have our beaches and roadways back, devoid of any trace of “bennies”. The tourist attractions, boardwalks and specialty shops, will remain locked during the week and open their doors only on the weekends. It will be quiet and calming, it will be lovely. The locals will be rejoicing in the streets!

Taking advantage of these last few hours and feeling much like tourists, B and I took a walk around the shops on the island. “Business hours are subject to surf conditions”.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


During my walk through the park, I noticed a perfect specimen of a toadstool. I squat down, opened my live view and took several photos. Upon uploading, it is easy to see the focal point was not on the intended target, but rather a blade of grass in one photo; the distance tree in another.

Determined to get the shot I had in my minds eye, the following day I return, hoping the mushroom has survived the night. Thinking ahead I bring a towel. I am pleased to see I have a second chance. The fungal umbrella remains intact and is standing tall on it‘s stem. I spread the towel on the ground and lay belly down, bent knees, feet up in the air, all in the hope of gaining the best view point. With camera in hand, resting on my elbows, I aim and shoot, capturing numerous angles and views.

Did I mention, this was at the entrance to the park, right off the main road, and about 15 people walked passed?

Saturday, September 3, 2011


This was waiting in my inbox this afternoon ~

"Dear Puppy Raisers,

It is never easy to get the email or call that your puppy is on the training list. A huge “thank you” goes out to you for all the time, patience, nurturing, exposure, dedication, and most of all, the love you have given to your pup as you helped it to develop into a confident, mature dog with a solid foundation.

I will start scheduling pups to come in for formal training beginning September 12. I have a few weeks to bring in all the pups in my area. It is preferred that the pup come in as soon as possible. I would like to schedule the following pups to come in together on the same day. Please see pairs below;

Rex & Roz
Robin & Shyla
Tootsie & Tori

Your pup will be picked up in the morning, Monday thru Thursday, no holidays.

I extend my heartfelt thanks for taking this special visitor into your home and your heart. Your kind act enables us to continue to accomplish The Seeing Eye’s mission: to assist people who are blind by enhancing their dignity, confidence, and independence through the use of a Seeing Eye dog, and giving them the ability to live their daily lives with a greater sense of freedom, mobility, and connection to the world around them."

Friday, September 2, 2011


Waters at the creek are starting to recede.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I can't believe it is September 1, where did the summer go?

Over the last few weeks, I adventured into several new photography realms. Since beginning Project 365, I have taken a photo everyday almost everyday, now numbering a total of some 20,000. Please bare in mind, I often shot in JPEG/Raw and recently began shooting for HDR, which requires 3 separate photographs. I have viewed an endless number of photos, my own and thousands via internet.  I was becoming, can I say, a bit bored with the different image but same photo look and felt it was time for something new.

There is so much that can be done to create a photograph. Beside the setting used, I learned the lens used can create a completely different look to the same object/scene, marco produces an up close image, wide angle captures a large area, and fisheye gives the photo a distorted look. Not only the lens but the processing used adds to the creation of the photograph.

Recently, for a change and to push myself a little further, I started using my wide angle filter (and now find I need want a wide angle lens) and really liked the new look of my photos. Then to push myself a bit more, I decided to play around with some processing. HDR to be exact, and I am addicted. I find the surreal look to be different and fun. I don’t believe it is for use in every photo but I do like it for the ones I have taken along the boardwalk.

Because I have taken some many photos recently and I have been playing around creating new looks to them, be prepared to view several over the next few days.

Inspire Me Photography

"The processing is beautiful! I love how I feel I’m looking through a looking glass at something fantastical… Alice In Wonderland-ish to me."