M is for Mumbo Jumbo #AtoZChallenge

Electrical wires and poles outside near waterHere are some various wires and poles and things, some kind of mumbo jumbo needed for the electricity and whatnot.

Once again, I’m amazed that there are people who know what all this stuff is for. OK, of course people built this. I know that it didn’t spring up from the earth. But set along the water near the wild marsh grasses, with abandoned warehouses as neighbors, it’s hard to remember how necessary these things are. One World Trade Center can be seen in the background to the left in the photo. Just think of how much electricity is needed to power New York City. Or even your own city.

I often feel this way when confronted with the intricacies of modern life and the tedious infrastructure that keeps our cities running. Maybe part of my disbelief is based on my experiences with other areas of life that should be straightforward but somehow turn into insolvable problems—when nothing seems to work right, when you feel let down by the people who are supposed to help, and when you can’t understand how the anything in the world functions ever.

These important wires and things aren’t like that, right? Tell me there’s someone who can make sense of it all.

G is for Goose #AtoZChallenge

Canada goose in a pond at sunset in winter
“How is it 60° in late December?”

“I don’t know,” I replied.

“This pond should be filled with people ice skating, not geese swimming.”

“I know,” I said.

“I mean, it’s nice to be out, but it’s just weird. But I guess we should enjoy it, huh?”

I shrugged.


Things That Are Wet: Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge

shower head

I’m kind of a procrastinator, so here’s my entry for Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge: Things That Are Wet. I took this photo before I went to the hardware store so I would know what I needed to replace when I was there. I always kind of liked the composition, though, even though it was a total accident.

Mossy rocks and the creek in the Delaware water gap recreation area

This is from my post on the Delaware Water Gap.

blue crayfish in pet store fish tank

I saw this little creature at the pet store. More fun underwater friends are here in the post Colorful Ocean Creatures.

water fountain on a sunny day

Here’s a fountain, doing a special dance for the sun.

old town canoe at the lake on beach chained to a fence

Here’s an old canoe by the lake.

Pond with water lillies at the arboretum

This is from the rose garden that I visited last summer.

The Delaware Water Gap

The creek and trees in the Delaware water gap national recreation area

The Delaware Water Gap helps form the border between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This is where the Delaware River has been busy carving through the Kittatinny Ridge for more than 400 million years.

The gap itself is about a quarter of a mile wide near the river, but about a mile wide at the top of its two sides, according to park information. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, a 70,000-acre park, allows visitors to explore this natural wonder in many different ways. The park celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.

Created by Congress on September 1, 1965, Delaware Water Gap was established to preserve the natural, culture, and scenic resources and values of the Delaware River valley and provide opportunities for recreation, education, and enjoyment in close proximity to the most densely populated region of the nation,” according to the park’s website.

Appalachian trail marker on tree
Keep left for the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail passes through, along with more than 100 miles of other hiking trails. People visit each year for hiking, boating, swimming, picnicking, biking, fishing & hunting, exploring historical sites, and for special events.

When I was little, my family went to this park for hikes and later for backpacking. After he retired, my dad walked through on his journey to complete the Appalachian Trail in its entirety.

Mossy rocks and the creek in the Delaware water gap park

The gap is also significant to me because from a young age it was a marker for my sisters and me on our family’s long drives to Ohio to visit my grandparents several times each year. After about an hour of driving through New Jersey, we would pass through the gap into Pennsylvania’s miles of endless oblivion, with the promise of nothing to good look at and nowhere fun to stop.

Creek and trees in the Delaware Water gap park

This was where the real journey began. Would we ever make it to Gramma and Grandpa’s, or would we succumb to whining and madness? Would we find the strength to behave ourselves in the backseat, or would the sport of sibling taunting bring out the bullies and the tattle-tales in us? Would we push mom so far that she would tell us we weren’t allowed to get a happy meal?

Trees and sunlight in the Delaware water gap park

As a child, I didn’t appreciate the panoramic views of the gorgeous rolling farmland, mountains, rivers, valleys, unspoiled wilderness and all that the beautiful state of Pennsylvania has to offer. I only knew it was 6 hours of impossible boredom. And it all started with the ancient and enormous Delaware Water Gap.

Last year, I made three trips through the gap when my Gramma got ill and when she passed. Grampa has been gone for years, and the time had come time for Gramma to complete her long journey. Those were the last of the visits to Gramma by way of the Delaware Water Gap.

A trail in the Delaware water gap park

Finally, in summer, I drove to the gap and stopped there for a couple hours of peace and tranquility. A walk through the park was what I needed. The sounds of the water rushing over rocks calmed me as I watched the creek flow past old rhododendrons and hemlocks. They have been growing since I was a kid. Probably before. On the ground, ferns bobbed on breezes under tall trees. Summer’s sunlight and heat was diffused by the forest. It was perfect. Just like it’s been for the past 400 million years.