I am a creature of the boundary areas where the sea meets the land. Aside from a brief stint in the middle of Pennsylvania, I have never been far from the sight, sound, and smells of the sea. As such the areas I haunt are in that area of rich biodiversity. Littoral waters are the areas between the high tide line and the land that is permanently inundated by the sea. It is the shore, and that is where I choose to live.
For some reason, renewable energy seems to be a polarizing issue. Some people love it, and some people absolutely hate it. As a sailor who derives great pleasure from the wind, I love it. It may not be as efficient as typical fossil fuels in terms of sheer energy production, but the maintenance is minimal and the impact on the world around is negligible.
Atlantic City has one of the few Wind Farms here in New Jersey, and while the supporting buildings are ugly (they are also part of the sewerage site) the windmills themselves are pretty awesome to watch. On a quiet day you can just hear the sounds of their blades spinning in the air.
With the first snowstorm of the year bearing down on us here in Southern New Jersey, it is hard not to be reminded that winter is almost here. Most of the trees have lost their leaves, the birds have all flown south, and the remaining critters are laying low over their cache of stored foods.
The biggest reminder though, besides the falling flakes, is the bare trees that dot the landscape. These are outside of work sitting above some up lights, giving them a spooky look against the golden paint of the building.
Most areas of the world have their own supernatural mythology. We all know about the Sasquatch or "bigfoot" of the rainy NorthWest and most people are familiar in passing with the Yeti of the Himalaya mountains, but what of the home grown monsters that lurk in woods close by?
The Jersey Devil has several origin stories. The most popular comes from the Leeds Family of Atlantic County. "Mother Leeds", generally thought to be a Mrs. Deborah Leeds, wife of Japhet Leeds, cursed her 13th child when she found she was pregnant with him. Crying out that he "would be the Devil" and on a stormy night in 1735 she gave birth to a normal looking child who soon turned grotesque with leathery wings, horns, and cloven hooves before killing the midwife and disappearing up the chimney.
Of course, there are more mundane explanations that involved local intrigue, politics, and of course, religion, but giving birth to a literal devil child makes for exciting drama in any family. While nobody has claimed to see The Jersey Devil in quite some years, his legacy lives on in sporting teams (The New Jersey Devils Hockey Team), the Military (Air Force Fighter Squadron 177 is known as the "Jersey Devils" and on Television and in several Video Games. There simply is no getting around his larger than life persona in and around the stunted pines of Southern New Jersey.
So, while I was walking about Birch Grove Park earlier, I found myself with a Jersey Devil Sighting of sorts. The Local kids had tacked up warning posters for all to see.
Nestled deep in the middle of the City of Northfield, Birch Grove Park is not far from the Main Commercial area of the town, but you would never know it while there. 271 Acres of Woods, Trails, and water, all on the site of the former Somers Brick Works.
The lakes were supposedly dug to a depth of 80 feet by the steam shovels that ran along the rails between them, scooping up the native clay and depositing it into rail cars to be later stamped, dried, and baked into bricks to be shipped all across the country. Operating from 1900 to the early 50's when it finally closed up shop, was dismantled for it's iron, and bought by the City of Northfield for use as a public space.
Today it is a beautiful park with ball fields, a campground, lakes kept stocked with fish and the occasional bear siting.
Situated at the very southern end of Ocean City, this 1 mile one undeveloped system of Dunes and marsh was once my childhood playground. My friends and I explored every square inch, built "forts" of old Christmas trees, played massive LazerTag battles. It managed to survive our rampaging and thrive.
These pictures are just a small sample of what the park has to offer with an established trail system, restrooms during the season, a boat ramp, and fishing.
I love the work boat ethos. No frills, no brass, no chrome, just paint and rugged good looks. I am not sure this old Boston Whaler that Smith's Marina uses as a water going Truck qualifies
Yes, it always looks that way.