a ‘new’ Jersey Girl   living life in the Highlands of New Jersey

Monday, January 18, 2016

Cattail Ice Sculptures

They only happen under the most particular of circumstances: freezing temperatures (but not enough to freeze the water surface itself), wind-whipped waves, and cattails of course. From the first time I saw them form on Green Turtle Pond I have been intrigued and inspired. They cluster against the dam, frozen in a moment of time all unto themselves. Let's look a bit closer, shall we?

The Ballerina

 

The Three Musketeers

 

The Elf's Hat

 

En Garde!

 

Pretty Parasol

They never cease to delight. They are always in a state of flux, taking whatever form nature shapes them in. Each of them unique and beautiful.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Back in New Jersey

Not New Jersey

We are home in New Jersey as of Saturday late afternoon. My own house feels strange to me. I am in still in a Colorado state of mind and I'm finding it hard to adjust back to the noises of neighbors mowing their lawns and the annoying small planes that fly over the house on the way to the local airport. 

However, an incident last night reminded me of exactly where I was. We had our first bear of the season. I got up to close the curtains as it was getting dark. Out the window I saw our trash can toppled over and trash strewn in a wide swath across the front yard. Then I saw the big black bear. I stood on the front steps and clapped my hands and yelled at it. It took one last tasty piece of prime trash and retreated into the woods. 

Yep, we're back.

It pretty much either rained or was extremely overcast on our 3-day journey home. It seemed that the entire state of Nebraska was inundated with water. The Platte river was out of its banks and newly formed "lakes" appeared in so many fields. So. much. moisture. It was that way in Colorado too and it was nice to see it so green.

We listened to a very interesting book on the way home called "The Buried Giant." It was fantasy with a mix of King Arthur and The Hobbit, complete with ogres and dragons. It was so well read that the author's descriptive words and wonderful dialogue came to life. The story had a very interesting premise which kept us talking about it long after it was over. The 12 hours of CD time seemed to fly by as Lex's tires ate up the miles. Between that and podcasts of America's Test Kitchen we kept ourselves well entertained.

The pool is open and warmed up. However, it has mostly rain and stormed since we've been home. Rick did take advantage of a quick dip on Sunday, but since that afternoon we've had nothing but rain. I am not sure we even have fireflies since it's rained every night, and if they are here I'm sure they are all drowned. I did catch this little froggie on top of his "kin" upon opening the pool yesterday. Whenever it rains we get frogs in the pool. They are the devil to catch.

Most people ask if it's good to be "home" again. I would have to say, no, not really. I'm sure I will settle back into my normal New Jersey routine before too long, but right now I am not ready. We both become so immersed in cabin life that it's not easy to rewire ourselves. Plus, we kicked off a few things in preparation of living there full time while we there, such as next month we'll have new batteries installed and more solar panels. We found a great shed/small garage/storage barn that is going to be perfect for what we need. A neighbor is going to be clearing and leveling the spot for it this week (depending on the weather). 

Our yard was about to become a virtual garden with the promise of lupine, Wyoming paintbrush, fireweed, pink plume, blue flax and more. We won't see it in bloom. Neither will we see the fruits of our efforts to reseed the slash pile burn areas where we spread seed and native wildflower mix.

We're missing all the animals that come to our brand-new mineral and salt licks.

It takes a while to adjust to having moose, deer and elk visit vs. a bear getting into our garbage.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Is There Light at the End of the Snow Tunnel?

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Our front light post last night just after sunset.

Sigh. Yesterday during the day we got about a foot of snow. It stopped snowing just after 1:00 p.m., and Rick and I got out and cleared the driveway, front steps, back steps and part of the deck. Then it spit ice pellets at us for a while. We were supposed to get snow overnight but when I got up and looked out the window at 2:30 a.m. it had not done a thing. Good, I thought as I went back to bed, they were wrong.

I got up this morning and looked out the same window and much to my dismay I saw more snow! About six inches or so of heavy wet snow. Here are some photos for comparison.

Here is our deck table and chairs yesterday:

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Same view but this morning:

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Again, the other side of the deck yesterday:

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And this morning:

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And the poor poolside table and chairs with its “donut” topping. Here it is BEFORE the most recent snowfall:

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And yesterday:

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And today:

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Sorry for the white balance difference. It’s the best I could do with early morning light.

Bella helped me with the deck shoveling. I shoveled, she barked and wanted snow thrown on her, so I obliged.

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Here are some scenes from around my house this morning.

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The snow is so high that the dogs can walk right over the fence, so I am hoping they don’t figure it out. (Taken in the back yard.)

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Bella coming down from the snowbank in front of our house on the street.

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Our ever-narrowing street.

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It looks like our front windows are wearing toothy white grins!

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eBay wanted to help with the front steps. It didn’t last too long but that cat loves the snow!

Have you had your snow fix yet? I know I have. Still, tomorrow we are supposed to get MORE snow — granted only 2-4 inches this time, but still …

We were afraid that they might cancel the RV show because of the storm, but the show is still on. They said that all the units arrived prior to the storm, which is good for them!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Gutter Ice Art and an Unsuccessful Dog Walk

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I just got back from trying to take the dogs for a walk. A pretty unsuccessful walk. Last night we got about an inch of new snow. Just enough to coat everything really well, but not enough to shovel or plow. Scrape, maybe. Neither did our road get plowed since they have a “two-inch” rule where it has to snow two inches before they bring the plows out. 

The dogs have been driving me crazy and really missing their daily walks, so today I finally relented. They have to walk on the road because getting over on the side with all that frozen snow is something even they don’t want to do. 

We barely got out of the driveway before Hailey started hopping along and holding her paws up. I turned around and promptly put her back inside the house while Bella and I went by ourselves.

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Our road, not being a very wide road to begin with, is slowing shrinking in on itself the more snow we get. Here is what the end of our cul-de-sac looks like.

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I am not getting much exercise lately. I can’t walk at Long Pond Ironworks anymore unless I want to trudge through that nasty snow. I guess I could go over to Skylands where I could walk on pavement, but the temperature is still below freezing with a biting wind. Not conducive to walking outside at all. These days I get the most exercise walking around the grocery store aisles.

Talk is now floating around that there is a potential for a major winter storm on Wednesday night through Thursday. They must be joking. Please, stop!

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Gutter Photos: Last Thursday’s ice formation and today’s formation.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Visit from Santa

 

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Last night we had a visit from Santa. He didn’t arrive in quite the usual way. You see, all our lovely snow melted and he had no choice but to arrange something else. So, he got a little help from the local fire department. His sleigh was borne in fine style on a flatbed trailer pulled by the fire department instead of the usual reindeer. As he went by the fire engine sounded the siren and had all the whirling lights going. Quite the entrance for the dear old man.

In case you think I jest, I do not. You remember Fire Truck Santa from years past, right? This time we have a new fire department covering our area and instead of sitting on the front bumper of the fire truck as he usually does, this Santa had his own sleigh. So darned cute! Sorry, it was dark when he arrived and I could not get a photo of the little parade. Trust me when I tell you it was magical. It made my day. 

We saw the light from the living room first, then when we realized what was happening we quick ran to the door to turn on the outside lights (which we had yet to do), opened the front door and stood in the doorway. As he went past he yelled “Merry Christmas.” They turned around in our cul-de-sac and started back our way. We both had our slippers on but mine are sturdier with a good sole, so Rick handed me a $20 bill and I took off jogging up the driveway. They stopped for me and rolled down the window of the truck that was pulling Santa and I handed them the money. They thanked me very graciously and continued down our road very slowly, hoping for more donations.

It’s a lovely custom and I can only say that had Santa come by my house when I was a child I would have been over the moon! Heck, it still makes me feel like a child again. Silly, but true.

Today has been dark and rainy. I am not surprised anymore by this kind of weather at Christmas. If I look back in my archives of the blog, or even just over on the sidebar under “On This Day” I was always lamenting about the lack of snow, and most years since we’ve lived here it has rained. At least we had some snow last week, and tomorrow night there is even a chance of an evening snow shower in the forecast. I won’t be holding my breath though. At least it will feel more like Christmas with temperatures in the 30’s instead of the 50’s.

 

 

 

 

 

About

Welcome, I'm Lynne. My blog captures my experiences of living in the way-out suburbs of New Jersey through my words and through my photography. I hope that reading my blog will change your perception of my newly adopted state.

© 2006-2013 'new' Jersey Girl All photography and text on this blog is copyright. For use or reproduction please ask me first.

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