Monday, December 7

Historic Whitesbog Village

By some trick of fate, I was offered the job of director of Whitesbog Village.  I came to visit in the dark and saw moss, ferns, bogs, cranberries, trees and sand all around a quaint village of cedar clad cottages. In the middle of the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, they have a historic general store full of jams and jellies and other goodies and I have an office in a tiny cottage where I can look out at the birds, hikers, horse-back riders, photographers and folks who visit everyday or for the first time since they were little and came here on a school field trip.

This overhead view shows the houses, factories, sheds, barns, cottages and ruins surrounded by forest and active cranberry bogs. The red roofs on the houses are striking against the cedar siding.  Each of the buildings has been painstakingly rebuilt from the rotting wood remnants left from the days it was a ghost town before Whitesbog Preservation Trust started raising funds and applying for grants to help keep the buildings from collapsing.

I started photographing my first day there and have not stopped.  I started posting to Instagram and found a collection of local photographers who post their images there using the hashtag #whitesbog

Monday, September 28

Collingswood 2nd Saturday Art Market October 10

I'll be out with the other artists and musicians for Collingswood, 
New Jersey's 2nd Saturday street fair on Haddon Avenue on October 10th 
from 6:00 - 9:00 pm

Collingswood is an adorable downtown with restraunts, thrift stores, art shops, ice cream parlors, cupcake-eries, and easy parking and crosswalks.  It's a fun and laid-back family atmosphere and everyone is welcome!  It's just off the Patco train stop at Collingswood and about a 10 minute drive from Philly.

I'll be selling framed prints in the form of box mounted photos for wall hanging, and lots of prints and cards including new nature images from the beach and Halloween images from local cemeteries.  I got some cool new ones from a Philly cemetery on vintage film which left crazy effects.

Monday, July 6

Rain Gardens for the Bays in Dover Delaware Schools

On Thursday I got to install a school wetland rain garden I designed.  We had 45 volunteers show up for the planting from small children to adults and professionals, all wanting to see the planting, learn what it is about and get their hands dirty and their feet wet!

It started raining about an hour into the set up and we waited out the hardest downpour, then got busy moving plants and laying out pathways.  We placed 450 plants including all native to Delaware Coastal Plain species including rushes, sedges, grasses, perennials, shrubs and trees that will provide habitat for bees, birds and butterflies (as well as some frogs and salamanders).

The rain garden filters water running off of the roof of the school building, picking up pollutants along the way, as well as oil from the nearby parking lot.  The storm water will collect in the rain garden and settle before infiltrating down into the soil, getting cleaned as it goes.  Having a local place for rain to go is better than it running into a street drain where it sometimes ends up polluting a waterway.

The school principal was all about getting her hands dirty and she stayed out through the rain and bugs because she's a hiker and knows how important being close to nature is for kids today. As puddles formed from the rain, kids started splashing and kicking as well as digging holes in the dirt. Everyone left soaked but excited for the plants to grow to form a living classroom where everything is constantly moving and changing.

 Blue flag Iris


 Swamp Milkweed

 Possumhaw Viburnum

 Lizard Tail

 Softstem Bulrush

River Birch

Mussels in Local Rivers Video

Now that I'm working with the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary,
I've been getting up close and personal with freshwater mussels in our local waterways.

In the first video on our Facebook Page I'm walking around in the background looking for mussels in the Brandywine River and finding lots of live ones.  These are not the edible kind that come from the ocean, but they are cool little mollusks that are living creatures in our natural areas.

The second video I shot while searching for mussles in the tributaries of the Schuylkill near Reading and Kutztown in PA and they are a rarer species.  The mussel in the video was full of personality and as I was carrying him along, he was spitting and making noises and had his foot out on my palm.  We collect a few to photograph and then put them back where we find them, usually in sandy creek beds with some refuge from flash floods and heavy sediment.

Who knew freshwater mussels are all around us and such cool creatures!  

Tuesday, March 3

Getting Out On The Water Again to Find Mussels

Recently I've been thinking about getting back out on the water and in the creek.  Last week I attended a talk on freshwater mussels in the Delaware Bay watershed system (our whole area).  The talk was put on by The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary and Dr. Danielle Kreeger presented on the ecosystem services the mussels provide, how they are doing in our area and what they could be doing if we helped support them.

Yay Bivalves!

They have a citizen science program where volunteers can report on the mussels (if any) they find in local waterways, look up the type of mussel in their guide book, and upload your findings to their website. The facts on freshwater mussels (not the marine type mussels we eat), make you realize how cool they are, as water filtration systems and part of the ecosystem in the rivers and creeks.


Cool designs they are working on

I came across some pictures from kayaking on the Delaware and it made me miss the warm weather and being out on the water even more.
Looking into the mouth of the Pompeston Creek

Houses on the Delaware

A shore without a bulkhead

For now I get to look at the ice and snow on the Pompeston Creek and watch the ducks huddled together on a sheet of ice as the tide goes in and out.

Pompeston Creek looking into the wetland

Poor mallards!

Sunday, December 28

Lemon Hill Paths Birds Trees Native Plant Restoration

Yesterday was such a gorgeous day, I decided to do some scouting of locations for the Bird Census coming up January 10th at Lemon Hill (in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park).

The Tree Keepers  have been busy this year, attacking the area twice, clearing downed trees and invasive ground covers from the overgrown woodland paths.

Now you can see through the trees to the amazing Art Museum and Philadelphia skyline.  The clearing also lets you see the historic trees that are quite beautiful, from the enormous sycamores, tulip trees, redwoods(?) and horse chestnuts to the smaller dogwoods, holly, cedar, oak and box.

You can also spot the native trees and shrubs that were buried under vines and bushes, like the toothache trees and ferns.

There are still a number of trees with broken limbs that make the path and walking areas a bit sketchy, and all of the area could use replanting and follow up clearing of English ivy, honeysuckle, Japanese knotweed and garlic mustard. The path surface is cracked and left in chunks of asphalt and the railing has been smashed by fallen trees over the years.

The birds, though, were still abundant and I saw a large number of cardinals, white-throated sparrows, Carolina chickadees, mourning doves and a Red-bellied woodpecker.

As I was walking away, I was formulating a plan to do some replanting with native shrubs and perennials to cover the ground and provide food for the birds.  I don't think we get deer in this part of the park (so close to busy Kelly Drive), so I doubt the plants would have to deal with deer browse.  I would be interested to see how they compete with the invasive vines and how the natives that are in there regenerate over time.  The paths and railings would be a big job and probably take a big fundraising effort.  Planting a demonstration bird habitat would be perfect for the upper hill behind Lemon Hill Mansion and fit in with the programs Bird Philly and Audubon are undertaking across the city.

Interested in getting involved?  I'll be working with the Lemon Hill Neighbors Association to help clear and beautify the area with new plantings.

I'm also happy to have birders join me for the Bird Census, Saturday, January 10th at about 8 am. I usually start at the Kidney Bean garden at Poplar Drive and Poplar St., head to Lemon Hill Mansion, wind down the wooded path and head over to Boathouse Row to check out the water fowl and warm up with some coffee and snacks at Cosmic Cafe . Afterward, I forward the bird count and photographs to Keith Russell of the Audubon Society and he tallies them all up for the annual census. If you are interested in joining me, message me at

Wednesday, December 3

Etsy Cabin Cozy Collection

It's been a while since I pulled some of my favorite house items from Etsy together into a collection, but now that I'm done wedding planning, I have some time to think about nesting again. I love woodsy looking living spaces and these items seemed perfect for a cabin renovation , den or basement.

Turkish Kilim Rug from Buglemshop

Twig Shelf from Old Toad Studio

Storage Bins from Irontimber

Cedar Lounge Chair by Laughingcreekprod

Landscape of Grass by YaoChengDesigns

Snoopy Camp Glasses from Raven on the Roof

Cooking Utensils from Storiebrooke

Coffee Mugs from Bellaroni

Large Mixing Bowl from KbOriginalsetc

Rustic Coffee Table from Yonder Years Shop

Bath Towel Holder from BlueRidgeSawdust

Birch Pillow Cover by BrookeRyanPhoto

Vintage Retro Folding Camp Stools from BarnboardAntiques

Wall Hanging Organizer from OdorsHome