A Walk in Beauty

I recently joined a walking /hiking group that picks a different park or preserve to venture out into on weekends.
Living in the suburbs outside of Manhattan  can be stressful with the traffic, crowded stores and the rushing around during the workweek.

Saturday and Sunday can be quite hectic as well as some of us try to jam into these two days, all the fun and relaxation that we don't have time for during the week.
It's funny to think that this can create just as much stress as working.

There are wonderful gems of  undeveloped properties in Suffolk County so I am discovering them once again after a long hiatus out of state.

I enjoy the group of like-minded individuals who just wanted to commune with nature.We met at the parking lot of Connetquot State Park and started our 4-5 mile journey down the dirt path.
Our first stop was the fish hatchery, that recently opened again.
This was quaint and reminds one of the good ole days.
I actually saw some fish in the creek.

After that stop, we walked a bit and stopped at a bridge to gaze upon the beautiful hues of the late summer.
Trees were already changing the colors and the stream had a fascinating green bottom vegetation that seemed to sway in the currents.

The next leg of our walk was rather long,as we meandering through the pines and wilderness. I was falling further behind as I stopped to photograph and tried to keep up.

Luckily two other walkers were also falling behind and wanted to keep a slower pace.
The group noticed we were missing so they were waiting around the curve as we made our way after the 5th mile. The leader announced that we were going a further route today due to the tall grass that hid ticks on the other trail. Oh, that's why I'm tired! The temperature also had risen more than anticipated and was taking its toll.
As we carried on for the last leg of the 2 1/2 hour trek, a beautiful pond or lake filled with swans appeared. How graceful they looked!

I shot some photos again.
The Old Huntsmen Lodge was the last building I shot  (pardon the pun) before departing again for the car. I was happy to cool off and get back home to see my photos for the day.

Try to find your little oasis each week so you can refresh your batteries and get a new appreciation for what you have available.

Summer Was Lively

Summer is known for being the liveliest season of the year for me. At least that's true for the northeast. This is the season that every living creature and human tries to do as much as they possibly can in the short 3-4 months of sun and heat.

After sitting in the house this past winter and spring, most of us shoved as many activities into the weekends as we could.
The animals and insects were no exception. For some reason, the inch worms, caterpillars, ticks, and mosquitoes were in over abundant supply!  We dared not venture out in the morning or evening hours or we would suffer the consequences of the hungry, blood suckers.

I had so many welts on my legs and arms this summer!  They say it was due to the massive amount of snow.
I have always enjoyed studying insects, birds, and most other animals.  I was lucky to capture this tiny pray mantis waiting on a flower stem near a small pond. He or she seemed to be watching me but sat very still. This tiny creature was probably a baby since it measured  only a few inches. This turned out to be a good thing since my love of photography fit right in to this activity well.

I managed to capture some interesting images of  a few creatures and even had them printed on a few items for keepsakes. An example is the Dragonfly ceramic tile I had printed with my photo. I had to wait over a few hours and take many shots before I captured this little fellow.

Now that summer is coming to a close, we can remember all the sights and sounds with some mementos.I had this printed on a ceramic tile and created text. Using your photos makes a personal gift.