So Long Sweet Summertime

Alas, living in South Florida for most of my life, I never appreciated summers. This is partially because it is pretty much summertime year-round with the exception of a few cooler weeks here and there. Florida summers are also known for being brutally hot and humid.

In the Northeast summer is truly a season, a lovely season with gardens, flowers everywhere, warm sunny days, cool nights, al fresco dining with the soft glow from lightning bugs. You open your pool for Memorial Day and close it around Labor day… and just as quickly as that, the earths axis shifting, less daylight hours, the temperature drops and leaves begin their transformation from summertime greens to golds and auburns.

So long sweet Summertime, and welcome to Autumn.

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Hackleberry State Park

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John loves to hike and he knows I love photography so we decided to do a photo hike in a new area out by Long Valley. It was a good hike especially along the Black River where you  were climbing over rocks. I didn’t love the uphill climbs as it reminded me how out of shape I am.  It definitely was a popular spot with families young and old and the family pets!

After our hike, we stopped off at the Cider Mill Farms for some homemade goodies and coffee. Lovely family place!

 

 

Autumn Walk

autum benchAutumn Walk by Kim O’Neill

Walking through crisp air,
leaves fall around me like rain
the soft sounds of peace.
*   *   *
Leaves spin as they fall
painting yellow, orange, and red
a rustic landscape.
*   *   *
Shepherd at my heel
loves to explore on our walks
the world around her.
*   *   *
Squirrels scurry about
collecting their goods to store
for cold days ahead.
*   *   *
The smell of fireplaces
warmth and coziness nearby
the breath of Autumn.
*    *   *
As I step inside
I press my leaves in a book
memories to keep.

Hiking Through

Hiking around Split Rock Reservoir
Hiking around Split Rock Reservoir

I just returned from Miami and the Keys to celebrate my daughter’s 21st birthday in Key West. I was so happy taking in the beautiful weather and incredible water that always puts me at peace. Although the “Duval Crawl” was anything but peaceful! We had a fun night celebrating and then took in the water views again as we passed over from key to key heading to Miami.

While in the middle of all this, I was reading a book called Hiking Through by Paul Stutzman. It was about a man’s trek through the AT (Appalachian Trail) 2,176 miles running from Georgia up through Maine. It was something he dreamed of doing and after his wife died from cancer, he needed to make peace with himself and God. I really loved his adventure and the friends he made along the way. I couldn’t wait to see if the trail ran through New Jersey and found that it is not far away – just at 80 and Del Water Gap.

John has talked about doing it before and now I am really looking forward to going out to take a day hike out along the AT trail. Now there are trails all over the area we live in so I may want to try hiking right in my back yard first!! We walk down to the reservoir along the gravel road but really haven’t ventured into hiking yet!

If you have a trail in the NJ area you love hiking, please let me know!!

Happy Trails!

 

For information on the book Hiking Through, go to: http://paulstutzman.com                    Also go to http://www.appalachiantrail.org for information on day hikes and what to expect.