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The Sourland Mountain Visit

In October, my friend Khurt Williams and I chose to go on a photo hike to the Sourland Mountain. It was a beautiful day.

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We arrived at the parking lot with quite a few other cars. I did not expect the place to be crowded but surprisingly most of the people came to relax at the pond. Others chose different trails around the mountain.AKS_6734

We proceeded to walk on a path of dry leaves with a little moss covered rocks. It was a beautiful fall day. It was my first time to the mountain so it was a pleasant surprise for me.AKS_6736

Tall trees with golden leaves on a bright blue sky was enough attraction for me.AKS_6730

But there was more than just trees. Where ever I turned, there was a beautiful foliage to capture.AKS_6727

Even when I looked down.AKS_6726

The crunching leaves under our feet.AKS_6724

It was bright day with a lot of light.

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The dry leaves covering the path surrounded by woods was a beautiful sight.

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The path visible at times and in some cases we saw fallen trees from a storm.AKS_6743

I am sure trees fall often here because of the large number of tall trees.AKS_6747

There are some really tall trees. My guess is about 100-120 feet.

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After a long and tiring search for the river, we found the stream. It was a dry season unfortunately, but we were happy with the little water we could find.AKS_6770

There is a quarry nearby and the milky water seems to be coming from that direction.AKS_6779

My friend Khurt crossing the stream. There was very little water but it was slippery. AKS_6783

We enjoyed the good weather and sunlight. The natural scenery was a pleasure for our eyes.AKS_6801

We captured some images and were on our way back to the pond near the parking area.AKS_6781Even though we completed our photo hike, my mind was still lingering around the beauty of the Sourland Mountain. It maybe titled Sourland, but I see some sweetness in it. 🙂 I hope to come back in Spring next year with my family.

 

Changing Seasons – 1

It has been a few days since my last post and as I recover from my viral flu I can focus on the many topics floating in my head. Now that we are in March, I am sure every one of us globally are talking about changing weather. Some may be happy about the change and some not so happy. People in my region are looking forward to spring and the good weather to go out.

Antenna - Freezing Rain 2011 (iPhonography)

We had good weather this winter with less than usual snow. The previous winter we had more snow storms, freezing rains and below freezing days in general. We are still not out of the woods yet. We still have another few weeks of winter before we are officially in spring. When I lived in upstate NY, the expectation of the weather was completely different from what I have in central NJ. There are many things associated with change in weather. Travelling will be difficult with bad weather conditions. Prices go up for some products and more over there seems to be a sense of unreliability. Weather is controlled by nature and no matter how experienced an expert is the predictions can be a failure.

 

VW Routan Wiper Blades (iPhonography)

The purpose of lifting the wiper blades up during a snow storm has been defeated during the freezing rain storm in 2011. Luckily this winter we did not have any major freezing rain in my area and it saved a lot of time and effort. This is one of the major reasons why many people like Spring and Summer compared to Autumn and Winter.

 

My Backyard (iPhonography)

 

There is no good or bad aspect about changing weather. Nature has to take it’s course for the world to keep functioning in a natural order. Even though we as individuals find it difficult to manage in certain ways to do our routine work, there are things that occur beyond my/our knowledge.

Man has lived under different weather conditions globally ranging from the hottest deserts to the coldest deserts. I have heard in various discourses about how seasons can change out of order with the change in righteousness followed by the world citizens.

My Macros – 1

I have always wanted to put together my collection of Macros and other photographs categorically but that again is a pet project for one fine day. I thought it might be a good start to display a few unedited macros as my first official photography post.

Captured in Canton, MA. I think it is an Africanized Honey Bee.

While visiting a friend, I was attracted to his back yard and captured this worker bee hard at work. As per my quick research, it seems to be an Africanized Honey Bee. If any of my blog followers are Entomologists or bee experts please can confirm this.

Mill Pond Park, Montgomery, NJ

I have learned from some experts to get close to my subjects and as close as possible. It makes a big difference when compared with a similar image above zoomed in. I also prefer my images with a person or character. It gives more life to a picture. I believe the guy sitting on this plant is a field fly.

Mill Pond Park, Montgomery, NJ

I tried to get a bug/character on this image as well but it was too fast for me and I lost the patience to follow it after few minutes. Besides my family and friends walked way too far away from me in the park and I was afraid I might not catch up on the conversations. My intentions to visit the park was multi purposed one and the macros were a plus. Looking forward to the critics. 🙂

Back Yard Barbecue – Grilling Veggies

Appa Grilling on Dad's Day 2011

I tried something new in 2011 and it turned out that I love it. One of our favorite summer activity has become grilling. I bought a small grill and did not wanna invest in a big, expensive grill because it was my first time barbecuing. I found it to be a great activity and it also gave my wife a break from the kitchen ;). My buddy helped me assemble the mean machine and we parked it in my back yard. It was gas operated so I also had to get a gas cylinder.

Now that I bought the grill and have it assembled, the next question that arose was what am I gonna grill?!? It was puzzling initially because I am a lacto-vegetarian and I thought my choices were limited. On visiting my local supermarket, I was surprised to see the available options. I also had to buy the associated tools to help me with the grilling process?

Close up of the grill

 

Now coming to the menu, I liked the combination of veggie burgers, veggie kebabs and corn. These became my all time favorite. There are various types of veggie burger patties that I chose from. I prefer organic masala veggie patties. It throws a little spice apart from the different organic veggies. In my area, I can get them from Trader Joes or Whole Foods. The veggie kebabs requires some preparation. My wife helped me soak the veggies and paneer/pannir in yogurt and some spices like chilly powder, black pepper, etc for few hours. I preconditioned the  skewers / sticks in water so it does not burn when it comes to contact with the fire in the grill. The soaked veggies and paneer are then pierced on the skewers. I prefer using olive oil when grilling because of the taste and health aspect. Warning: Grilled food can be low carb or very rich in high calories. It all depends on how we want it to be.

In addition to the meal aspect, I find grilling as a great way to socialize and entertain guests. It has been a good family activity and a different routine to dining without the table in the back yard. If you have not tried grilling, I would strongly recommend that your try it. If you have grilled before feel free to send me your tips in the comment section below.
Happy Grilling!!