Watercolors Friday – Celebrating Nature from Indoors

Every time I see the miracle of Nature, I can help but feel happy, and humbled by the perfection that surrounds us – Us, imperfect humans … are we?  We are part of Nature.  Today, I want to celebrate Nature, birds to be exact.  I enjoy bird watching (and that is the extent of it; I don’t know many of the names), and I am blessed, living in an area where birds are abundant, even that I am not in the country, but surrounded by wetlands, and the shore – Cliffwood Beach, New Jersey (USA).  Birds are beautiful and delicate, sweet and predictable, predatory at times, but also interesting to watch.  For the past couple of months I have observed and photographed birds every time I spotted one near my house.  I have enjoyed and watch with awe, the many birds that are around the area. I have learned to recognize a few everyday guests, many with their significant-bird.  Amanzingly, they do the same things or follow a routine, as we do many times.  Now that the trees are covered with leaves, it is hard to spot them, so I am happy that I took a few weeks to watch, as they came back for spring.

All the pictures have been taken from inside my home on purpose – I wanted to feel Nature’s blessing without stepping outside – a way of celebrating the wonders of Nature, knowing that it can trespass walls, if we are willing to be receptive.  Call it an experiment. I had fun with it and found a new depth to my surroundings. Here are a few of my favorite shots.

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

 

I hope that you enjoyed these pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.  For those wondering what type of camera I used, it is a Canon PowerShot SX500IS 30x optical zoom.  I know nothing about photography, so please forgive any mistakes, as I only admire, point, and shoot. Just for the joy of it 🙂

HAPPY WATERCOLORS FRIDAY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After Sandy, the Next Northeaster in Cliffwood Beach, NJ

I am so happy to be writing this post, happy and blessed.  Happy that I finally got power and heat last night, and internet this morning, and blessed that our home was untouched by the storm.  As I write this post, I feel deeply for those who lost so much and still have no heat, as this new northeaster approaches – snow is already on the ground, and it is very cold outside.

I count my blessings; Sandy was a humbling experience for certain.  Here are a few pictures of some of the damage to my neighborhood in Cliffwood Beach, NJ, which is truly nothing when compared to other nearby towns.

Tree on my neighbor’s home.

Giant pine tree down.

The beach front – tons of debris, a surge at 2.00 am damaged the area.

The boardwalk was cut in half.

Neighbors survey the area the next morning.

Debris

The dunes are gone and the street becomes the beach.

Poles and power lines under water.

Whale Creek overflows, and at one point, meets the ocean and Treasure Lake.  Cliffwood Beach is surrounded by the Raritan Bay, Treasure Lake, and Whale Creek; however, it is set up high, in a small cliff.   Looking through the 2nd floor window, I saw waves were land was supposed to be.

Neighbors come together helping each other.

And this is how I count my blessings.

 

I FaceBooked My Way Through Irene

Facebook logo

Image via Wikipedia

Well, the worst of Irene in Cliffwood Beach, NJ is over.  We had some trees down, and some flooding, but overall, better than what we expected.  I decided to keep aware and did not sleep until the worst of the hurricane was over.  Facebook helped me cope with Irene, and in a way, it helped ease my nerves.  I talked to family and friends while the winds were hitting the house, and this proved to be good storm therapy for me.  This proves once more that FB is more than a networking site, it extends to much more.  It has become a way for us to communicate during hard times, and many times the only way when phones and other ways of communication don’t work.

Irene scared the heck out of many people; I Facebooked my way through Irene.

Hurricane Irene – An Education

Irene was located south of Bermuda and was mov...

Image via Wikipedia

I live in Cliffwood Beach, NJ, close to the path of Irene.  I have observed the preparation for the storm and I have gotten an education on how differently people react.  First, I have to say that Governor Chris Christie has made New Jerseyans feel safe, as he seems very prepared and ready, and he is not taking things lightly.  He has also been “very real” giving his awareness speeches.  I applaud him for this.

Despite all the warnings, I have observed people taking the arrival of Irene very lightly – having parties, planning on getting drunk, or staying in danger zones that are mandatory evacuation.  I know people who are not ready, even with the basics of water and can food.  Their believe – “Nothing is going to happen.”  They just don’t seem to want to hear it.

I have also seen people who at the time of this writing have not secured their stuff outside – many of this things, with the possibility of turning into dangerous projectiles that may damage other people property or even lives.

For the ones planning on partying and getting drunk, think of your family, and the importance of being alert enough to get them to safety if they need you.  There are plenty of times to get drunk and party, and during emergency alert is not one of them.

I have observed that most of the stores here in local Jersey are almost empty.  I am not sure about today, but water is certainly almost gone.  I had to visit two places yesterday to be able to buy water ( single small bottles since the 24 pk kind was gone in my area).  Affordable wood panels were almost gone at the local Home Depot – I had to buy two panels costing $20 each, to cover large windows.  At least it is a good sign that people are getting ready with supplies.  It also makes me think how low in supplies the local stores are, and in the event of a large emergency, they may not be enough for everyone.

I hope that we don’t get hit hard by Irene; it has certainly been an education prior her arrival.