I saw some blogger friends’ entries for this photo challenge, and I thought I would join in and see what I can do. Patti Moed of Creative Exploration In Words And Pictures, in her Lens Artist Challenge, challenges us to choose a color and select photos of things in that color ranged from large to small.
Red is considered a warm color, but many of the red things in this post will cool you down, a nice thought in the heat I’ve been experiencing lately.
The above photo was taken at Applegate Farms in Montclair, New Jersey, a great place for ice cream made on the premises. I went there earlier in the pandemic in company with a French bulldog friend.
The above photo doesn’t give you much sense of size, but these baby ducklings were in a red plastic tub large enough to hold this small cockapoo doggy and his stylish red hoodie, with room to spare.
This refreshing cranberry spritzer was served to me at The Committed Pig Burger and Pancake House in Summit, New Jersey. I thought it looked so pretty in its Mason jar, but I am debating in my mind whether it is larger or smaller than the next item.
This peony from my garden was fairly large — larger or smaller than a cranberry spritzer? It’s hard to say as their shapes were so different and difficult to compare, and, of course, I never saw them side by side. Perhaps, if the peony was a cup, it would hold the spritzer.
And, now, we’re back to cool and refreshing things. The frozen dessert below was purchased at Sonny’s in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. It is a self-serve frozen dessert bar. You can find frozen yogurt, frozen custard, Italian ice or gelato you can swirl yourself into a cup. You can layer flavors and add toppings from a variety of syrups, candies, nuts, fruits and (one of my favorites) these popping boba that burst fruit juices into your mouth. The desserts are sold by weight. Any of the red things in this photo — the strawberries, raspberries, popping boba or red plastic spoon — are smaller than my peony for sure.
Last Sunday, my parents and I had dinner after church at the Caldwell Diner in Caldwell, New Jersey. We noticed these beautiful roses as we pulled into the driveway. I regretted not having my phone camera with me, so Dad took some photos and gave me his permission to post them. Though these are not my photos this time, these are for Cee Neuner’s Flower of the Day challenge.
The roses don’t seem to belong to the diner but line a building adjacent to it, which has a salon and another small business in the front and apartments above and behind. Here, you can see that there was a long row of these flowering rose bushes.
That’s a long title for this post, but it was hard to summarize my recent adventures succinctly. On Saturday, I had two walks, one with an adorable doggy and one without, and I thought I would combine them into one post. This is inspired by Restless Jo’s Monday Walk.
First, I stopped to take care of two cats for a client. Their names are Oscar and Simon.
I told the owner that the cat names made me think of The Odd Couple. Of course, for The Odd Couple, their names should be Oscar and Felix. (Felix is definitely a cat name and even the name of a famous cartoon cat.) But then, the writer of The Odd Couple is Neil Simon, so there you go.
My dog care clients always seem surprised that I have quite a few cat care clients also, with the assumption that cats are more independent. So, for the dog people, I’ll explain. Most cats eat at least some wet food, if not primarily so. This food has to be served fresh, and any leftover food has to be scraped and scrubbed from their bowls. Litter boxes need to be cleaned. Additionally, a lot of cat owners also feel that their cats will get lonely and need some human interaction. Alas, cats also tend to have some messy issues … like puking up hairballs. Ah, yes, it is sometimes a dirty job. Mike Rowe would be proud.
The cats are located so conveniently near the park that I thought I would visit and walk there again after caring for them. This is Verona Park, which I recently blogged about, but I thought I would take photos in a completely different area. So, I took some photos in The Children’s Garden outside the playground area.
It’s a pretty little garden with some flowering chives, irises, circular stone paths and benches for sitting. In the far background, you can see the children’s playground.
I tried to identify this white flowering shrub and think it may be viburnum.
There were also some pansies in a barrel planter …
and some polka dot plants in a painted wheelbarrow.
I’m not sure why it’s called The Children’s Garden other than its location by the playground. As far as I can tell, children aren’t involved with maintaining the garden. I had different expectations, thinking it would have more whimsy.
I can imagine a garden that references gardens in children’s literature such as the talking flowers in Alice in Wonderland, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Secret Garden, Peter Rabbit and Farmer McGregor’s vegetable garden or even the nursery rhyme, “Mary, Mary Quite Contrary.” Can’t you just imagine some appropriate statuary or plaques with literary quotes? Wouldn’t a little fairy garden be fun? Possibly, there could be some interactive station to teach children about plants or gardening also, as they have in some children’s museums.
I’m not criticizing the pretty garden at all, but I, evidently, have a lot of ideas. How easy it would be to execute the ideas is another question, but it’s fun to dream.
I then walked to the other side of the lake and saw a lot of geese, ducks and other birds. I got a few good shots of these. After planning this post, I saw that there’s a photo challenge for Birds Weekly — birds beginning with a G in the title. Since I do have some goose photos, I thought I’d join in.
There was this lovely sitting mallard, who didn’t seem too afraid of me.
And several lovely Canadian geese. The deposits they leave behind aren’t so lovely, but it didn’t seem to be too out of control.
And some mallards and Canadian geese together … socially distancing.
Then, I saw these mysterious water birds perched on wood in the middle of the lake. Perhaps, Mark S. of Naturalist Weekly can help me identify them? Or if anyone else has a guess, please let me know in the comments.
After this excursion in the garden and around the lake, I drove to see my friend, Ollie, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel. He was happy to see me.
He was very happy to see me as in, “Here is my belly. Please, give it rubs.”
He greets me with loads of kisses. This may be a cute face shot … (I mean, talk about puppy dog eyes) …
but it does not show off one of his signature features (or features of the breed,) his floppy, curly-haired ears.
He and I walked past some pleasant places in his community, like this pretty gazebo …
And this lovely pond with fountain …
and some flowering shrubs.
We walked along the main road and passed by some public buildings on our way which were not so interesting to photograph, but any land in New Jersey that is allowed to go wild is very woodsy, so there were some interesting spots even sandwiched between these buildings such as here, this rock ledge overgrown with ivy …
And Cherokee rose …
As we walked around the community center building, Ollie met a couple of admirers. One passenger in a car stopped at a light had to roll down the car window and share her admiration. We also came across a man, a Cavalier owner himself, who had to stop and give Ollie some pets and attention. I’ve noticed as an introvert that walking a dog gives you an outlet to talk to strangers more than anything else.
We were really astonished as we took the sidewalk path that hugged the rear of the community center building to come across a plastic tub full of baby ducklings!
If I had any way of anticipating what was in this red plastic tub, I never would have walked a dog right up to it. It was a thorough but delightful surprise. Ollie was behaving like such a nice gentleman. He didn’t bark, poke his nose far into the bucket, try to climb in or, otherwise, disturb the ducklings. So, I thought I could pause long enough to snap a photo.
It’s a little mysterious what the ducklings were doing there. My guess is that someone at the community center is caring for these ducklings, because they have no mother. I tried looking at the community center website to see if there would be mention of them, but there wasn’t. I did see an article from 2017 where township police rescued baby ducklings from a storm drain, so I suppose it is also possible that a similar incident repeated itself. At any rate, I am happy to have had a glimpse and a photo op.
What is your favorite part of my walking adventure?
Our phlox is growing really beautifully. It was a little tricky to photograph because of its location behind some shrubs. (It grew there on its own.) I stepped into the shrub area for the one photo, and just as I was getting ready to squat in the garden for another, presenting an interesting angle of myself, a stranger’s van pulled into the driveway in order to turn around. I waited until it passed. 🙂 This is for Cee Neuner’s Flower of the Day Photo Challenge.