Monday, May 3, 2021

A Spring Visit to Bryn Athyn Cathedral

One quick glance from the street 
and you might think you are in Europe. 
The gothic styled Bryn Athyn Cathedral almost
seems out of place in this suburban neighborhood. 

The Swedenborgian cathedral is one of three buildings on the landscaped grounds. 
Along with the cathedral, 
initially funded by John Pitcairn, 
you can tour 
Glencairn Museum and Cairnwood Estate. 
These three buildings are considered the historic district of Bryn Athyn
which itself is very small. 

The Swedenborgian faith 
is based on the theology of 
Emanuel Swedenborg. 

I do love to visit the gardens there. 
If you go, try to make it in spring or summer. 
The grounds are really beautiful.

This location is on my top ten list of 
scenic places to photograph in 
Montgomery County, PA.

Location: 1005 Cathedral Rd., Bryn Athyn, PA 
Tours: Tuesday through Friday between 1:00-4:00 pm, $5

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Cycling Cape May New Jersey With My Camera

Cape May is located on the southern tip of NJ in Cape May County,
on an island south of the Cape May Canal. 

Cape May Lighthouse
215 Lighthouse Avenue, Cape May Point State Park, Cape May, NJ 08204

The Historic District encompasses Cape May City 
where there are many preserved Victorian homes. 
I definitely recommend a little extra time exploring 
the streets of this city. 

Cape May City (Historic District) 

Our 13.9 mile ride started and ended along the beach at Sunset Pavilion. 
Here are the details of our ride: 
and here is a screen shot of the map. 

The ride is in the busier areas of the island 
so off season in April was a perfect time. 
I would not attempt this ride in peak season. 
Oh, and Cape May has clean public restrooms along the beach! 

A Beachfront Gal Gets a Lift

We've been to Cape May so many times, 
but only to the Lighthouse, Sunset Beach and the Lobster House. 
Riding the streets was new to us 
and finding all these beautiful Victorian homes 
was a delight. 

Fishing Boats, Cape May, NJ

But what impressed me most was 
the Fishermen's Memorial. 

Fishermen's Memorial, Cape May, NJ

I had never given much thought to the hidden cost of seafood. 
The fishermen who risk their lives to bring seafood to our tables. 
The list of names lost at sea here gave me great pause - 
And often many from the same family lost together.

The disabled Motivation returns by power of a tug. 

When I came home I researched some of those wrecks, 
but so far have only found details of a few.

Here are details of one from 1921


Cape May, N.J., Nov. 1. -- Eleven fishermen were drowned last night off Anglesea, when they went out to take up their nets for the Winter. They were employed by the Hilton Fishing Company of Anglesea. Two boats, lashed together, went off shore to pull up the pound net poles, which are sixty-five feet long and weigh over one hundred pounds each.
It is supposed by Captain James A. Price of the Coast Guard Station of Anglesea, they pulled up the poles and started in shore when the heavy seas on the Anglesea bar caused their boat to fill and capsize. The seas were running high on the Anglesea bar at the time.
Augustus Hilton, former Mayor of Anglesea, President of the Hilton Fishing Company, notified
Captain Price that the men were missing at 8 o'clock last night. Despite the heavy sea running, Captain Price and his crew put to sea and searched the coast from Sea Isle City to Cape May for the boats. Not a light or a boat could be seen. At daylight the Coast Guard crew put back to the beach. Captain Jesse Hearon of the Coast Guard station at Stone Harbor on being notified put out to sea, but after an all-night search failed to find the boats.
Those in the boats were:

RICHARD STEVENSON, a brother of Charles Stevenson.
JOHN LUNDY, Anglesea, whose body came ashore at Wildwood Crest, as did the bodies of the STEVENSON brothers.
Captain ANDREW HANSON, of Anglesea, commander of the two boats.
Captain GUNNY JOHNSON, Anglesea.
JOHN JOHNSON, of Anglesea.
Captain GEORGE NICHOLSON, of Anglesea, who leaves a wife and two small children.
HARRY KEEN, of Brooklyn.
N. T. DALSTROM, of Brooklyn.
TONY DOMNICO, of Wildwood.

Crowds of anxious watchers lined the beach all day hoping that some one would survive the big seas and heavy tides that have prevailed on the New Jersey coast. Only the three bodies have washed ashore. It is thought that the southerly breeze now blowing will set the bodies on the Delaware shore.

New York Times New York 1921-11-02

And here is a link to another lost at sea story from 2009. 
Vintage Bath House, maybe? 
Sunset Beach, NJ

We lunched at the Lobster House Take Out, and at on their pier. 
It was a little more somber experience having just visited the memorial. 

Fishing Boats at the Lobster House, Cape May, NJ
Yes, I've watched Deadliest Catch
but that is in the Bering Sea. 
I had never thought of that with respect to Cape May, NJ! 
WW II Lookout Tower, Cape May, NJ

There are more photos from this set here 
which includes photos of the names lost at sea
and of course more photos of Victorian homes. 
Cape May Harbor, Delaware Ave. Cape May, NJ

Mostly flat on road ride. 
13.9 miles + exploration. 
Allow 1/2 day to include exploration 
or about an hour +  for the ride 
without stops. 

Thursday, April 29, 2021

I Pulled Over for This: St. Mary's Russian Orthodox Church

Really, I did. 
This was an unexpected find 
along some backroad in New Jersey. 

How gorgeous are those domes? 

And this door. 

Not being Russian Orthodox, 
I did look up the symbolism of their style of cross. 
explains is like this:

The top bar symbolizes the sign that was hung above the head of Christ, 
it was written: "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews"

The middle bar was where Christ's hands were nailed.

The lower bar is the foot-rest. 
According to the Russian Orthodox tradition the feet are depicted as being nailed 
not at one point but individually at the two sides of the footrest.

The slanted line reminds us of the two thieves on both sides of the cross. 
One of them to the right of Christ ascended to Heaven, while the other one sank to Hell. 
Thus bottom bar of the cross is like the scale of justice and its points show the way to the Hell and Heaven.

Another interesting fact is that the upper point of the slanted beam always show the way to the North. 
Thus a church cross can serve as a compass.

And I did not overlook 
this lonely grape hyacinth 
standing alone in the cemetery.

St Mary's Russian Orthodox Church
Jackson, NJ 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Cycling With the Osprey at Island Beach State Park

We planned to cycle in and out of 
Island Beach State Park in New Jersey. 
(There is a fee enter with a car from out of state.
To enter on bike is free.)

It was about 18 miles 
and provided 
lots of opportunities to stop and view 
the ocean or the bay. 

But the highlight for me 
was the Osprey activity. 
With 30 nesting pairs of osprey 
there was a lot of activity. 

Unlike my husband, 
I could watch them soar for hours. 

But even better....
they are nesting. 

If you are interested, 
this nest has a web cam 
where you can watch the activity live 
from the link below: 

Last time we were here 
we saw fox, 
which I was hoping to see again. 
Not this time though. 

Back to the ride. 
The road is paved and flat 
with a comfortable shoulder to ride on. 
Off season there isn't too much traffic. 
At this time it was mostly fisherman. 

Off season there are also plenty of 
available parking spots just outside the park 
so you don't have to pay to enter. 
However, it would be a long walk to the 
first beach access so I 
recommend parking inside if you aren't cycling. 

There are clean toilets in the park. 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Cycling Lewes Delaware to Rehoboth Beach

This one was on my bucket list for a while. 
While not my favorite ride, 
it was a beautiful, scenic day. 

Delaware Breakwater Lighthouse

We found street parking in Lewes and 
rode the Cape Henlopen Trails just to explore,
these trails are rather short but connected to each other. 

Whiskey Beach (LOVE it!)

Then we set off on the Gordon's Pond Trail.
This trail is kind of fun 
with boardwalks to ride on
through scenic salt marshes, 
though we didn't see much wildlife.  
We continued south to Rehoboth Beach. 
We rode around Rehoboth since we had never been there. 

Gordon Pond Trail

It was November at the time 
so we did ride on their boardwalk 
which is technically not permitted. 

WW II Towers

From Rehoboth, 
we took Henlopen Ave to Junction Breakwater Trail
to Freeman Highway back to Lewes. 
The trail is mostly packed gravel 
and is very flat. 

Breakwater/Harbor of Refuge

With the Henlopen exploration 
we rode over 16 miles. 

Gallery of images is here

Here's a plus for Lewes...
Public Restroom Facilities:
Zwaanendael Park:
open year round 24 hours.

Get a PDF map here
More outdoor adventures to do in Lewes.
Info on the concrete towers