Thursday, March 26, 2015

American Dream: A Used Nuclear Submarine, Perchance?

American Dream: Think big, bigger, biggest!

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

Say, sign up to follow my blog and get the latest version in your inbox! 

Or follow me on Twitter: @nhop1234.

You will not believe all the nautical stuff you can buy used. Practically a nuclear submarine! Visit Marine Consigment of Mystic, 15 Holmes Street.

A wet suit, or a cooler.

Anchors (they look like sailboats themselves, jib and mainsail).

Would you like an upgrade from your car's factory steering wheel?

Not a nuclear submarine, but getting there....

Lighthouses for your collection. Next week, more surprising stuff. How about you? Do you shop consignment? My winter coat is second-hand. Fits perfectly, sleeves just the right length. Keeps me warm. $25. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

American Dreams: Gaining Inspiration from Time in the Wild

American Dreams: Alone in the Vast Expanse

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

I'll take you into the Great Swamp again, covering new territory today, the Orange Trail. This is about as wild and untamed as it gets in New Jersey.

These are autumn pictures, but that's okay, it doesn't look too much different right now.

I'm leaving my imprint on nature (my shadow).

See the path through the center? It's nearly lost in the undergrowth. This is not a well known place.

That's the path, low in the center. Will I make it back to civilization?

The path, through the middle again. It's just a smudge...

Evidence of Superstorm Sandy: mature trees snapped like twigs.

They almost made it into a fourth airport for New York City in the 1960s. How about you? Do you have a county, state, or national park near you? Do you find solace in it?  Comment below!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

American Dreams of Wandering in the Wild

Dreams of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

We're waiting for dreams of spring to come true. While all is still dormant, I want to show you one of my favorite haunts, the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Morris and Somerset counties, New Jersey.

I especially enjoy being in my other favorite haunt, New York City, with its crowded sidewalks and bustling millions in the morning, and taking a solitary ramble in the Great Swamp in the afternoon.

Say, be a great help and sign up to follow my blog! Thanks!

What color combinations nature gives us!

The far reaches of the swamp, still showing the impact of Superstorm Sandy.

More Sandy damage.

Fabulous lichens.

Growth rings, stress marks, grays and browns.

This is called "Plymouth Wreck" on the maps. Every year it's a little more sunken, more decrepit. How did it get here, in the middle of all these big trees? A mystery of the Swamp. How about you? Do you like to wander alone in the woods? Or in cities? Or both? Comment below!

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Real Jersey Shore: Away from Prying Eyes

American Dream: A Private Garden at the Shore

by Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

Say, sign up to follow my blog, or follow me at @nhop12

Ever dream of sipping your favorite beverage in a private garden, with the sound of the ocean washing over you in the twilight? Well, keep dreaming and working toward it, it may just happen!

This is a private home's side garden. To the left, it's private, for the residents' eyes only.

But maybe you can find a bed & breakfast with a private spot.

This place is across the street from the boardwalk and beach. I want a room overlooking the ocean!

Looking west from the boardwalk. 

A few minutes later. How about you? Do you love being near the ocean? Or are you a mountain person? Comment below!