Lens-Artists Challenge #172 – A Day Of My Week

Edwin B Forsythe Wildlife Sanctuary, New Jersey, Nature
Natural Wonders

“We need the tonic of wildness…We can never have enough of nature.”

Henry David Thoreau

Last week I mentioned that the milkweed pods in my post were from a visit to the Edwin B. Forsythe Wildlife Sanctuary in Absecon, New Jersey. As promised I’m including additional images of that beautiful place in this week’s response to Amy’s “A Day of My Week” challenge. The day in my subject week was in early October as my husband and I returned to New Jersey for a family wedding

Edwin B Forsythe Wildlife Sanctuary, egrets, three, New Jersey
Three Little Birds

“Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed.”

Wallace Stegner

The refuge protects over 47,000 acres in one of the Atlantic Flyway’s most active bird flight paths. It is one of 555 refuges designed and maintained by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service to protect wildlife habitat. The vast majority of the sanctuary is salt marsh, home to the fish and other creatures that attract the birds. It also provides a natural buffer to protect nearby communities from the effects of coastal storms.

Edwin B Forsythe Wildlife Sanctuary, atlantic city, NJ, birds, nature
Hard to Believe

“Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries.”

Jimmy Carter

One of the amazing things about this glorious natural resource is its proximity to Atlantic City – more frequently known for its casinos, its boardwalk, and the Miss America Pageant. Having lived in New Jersey for many years, I was familiar with the state’s coastline, but had never heard of this place. I began to understand how Dorothy must have felt upon landing in Oz!

Edwin B Forsythe Wildlife Sanctuary, reeds, waterways, New Jersey
Regal Reeds

“I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.”

William Shakespeare

I must give kudos to the TripAdvisor app I often use when traveling. The sanctuary came up in their “Things To Do Nearby”. I was skeptical about the possibility of a natural wonder close by, but since we had time before the wedding, we decided to give it a try. Happily I could not have been more wrong! Not only is the preserve beautiful, but it offers an 8-mile, one-way unpaved road that meanders through the wetlands and woodlands. The birds are unbothered by the cars, which travel VERY slowly with many pull-out opportunities. They paid no attention to us whatsoever.

Edwin B. Forsythe wildlife Sanctuary, flying birds, wetlands, New Jersey
Taking Flight

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” 

Rachel Carson

As I was happily photographing last week’s pods, my husband chatted with a nearby sanctuary employeey. It was this friendly and informative gentleman who pointed us toward the dirt road, which we’d otherwise have missed. I was beside myself with the nature along the road, so much so that I soon began to panic that we’d miss the wedding which was the real reason for our journey! We then became the only car driving over 5 miles-per-hour, passing several vehicles along the way. I’m sure they wondered about the idiots in the fast-moving car and why we’d bothered to visit if not to appreciate the incredible wildlife and scenery!

Atlantic City, reflection
Natural Reflection of Man’s Creation

“I am glad I will not be young in a future without wilderness.”

Aldo Leopold

I must admit I was disappointed not to have had my Fuji gear with me once I realized the wonders that day. On the other hand, it’s true that the best camera is the one you have with you, and I was lucky to have just upgraded my i-phone. While the images are not what might have resulted from better equipment, I was happy to have at least some ability to record this incredible place.

Edwin B Forsythe Wildlife Sanctuary, New Jersey, nature
The Simplicity of Nature

“Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy”

Isaac Newton

Sincere thanks to Amy for the opportunity to share our marvelous day amidst the wonders of nature. We look forward to seeing your choices this week. Be sure to link them to Amy’s original here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. We thank you for sharing your wonderfully weird entries last week, and hope you’ll join us next week right here on Travels and Trifles as we explore Interesting Architecture. Until then, as always please stay safe and be kind.

98 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #172 – A Day Of My Week


    RULE I.

    We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.

    To this purpose the philosophers say that Nature does nothing in vain, and more is in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity, and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.’

    —The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (1846) by Isaac Newton, translated by Andrew Motte
    Book III: Rules of Reasoning in Philosophy

    • It is an amazing place for wildlife photography Sue. Rest assured though if I went back with camera in hand there wouldn’t be a bird in sight anywhere LOL. Just kidding, I’m sure they’re abundant all year.

  2. Nice shots, Tina! I liked the combination of wildlife and landscape in your taking flight photo. I upgraded my phone too. It’s amazing what you can take with a little device that slips into a pocket.

    • Thanks Babsje – oh my goodness you’d have so loved this place! The birds were just everywhere by the hundreds, literally. While the egrets, herons, gulls and other species looked very much like those here, there were more of them clustering together than I am used to seeing unless we have a fish kill, which happens when our ponds get too cold or for some reason the staff needs to drain one of them to do work. Two species I did NOT see there are the woodstorks and the roseate spoonbills which have become quite plentiful here but perhaps because they need a warmer climate.

      • I’m sure I would have been in heaven there and have already mentioned it to a friend in NJ. You’re right about the Spoonbills and Wood Storks – I think the climate isn’t great for them in NJ and I’ve never seen either of them here in Massachusetts, same for Anhingas. I’ve also never seen an Egret here in full breeding plumage for some reason. You have So. Many. Wonderful. Birds. where you live!

      • we absolutely do Babsje, we are very fortunate on that score. This afternoon I was out late with my husband for 9 holes of golf and a huge, beautiful eagle flew right over our heads! We know how lucky we are.

  3. What an unexpected treasure, Tina! Who would have thought!!! That part of the state isn’t known for its natural areas, for sure! What a surprise! Your images capture the natural beauty of the place. 47,000 acres! Amazing! Your bird captures are beautiful. I can almost feel the peacefulness of the place. Have a great week with plenty of walks, discoveries, sunshine.

  4. Such beautiful natural scenery — and a day not to be forgotten. I was taken by the comment you made about Atlantic City and how you didn’t expect to see nature in all its glory. It’s a mistake we all make thinking that a place is one thing. Then we get there, and it’s something unexpected. Beautiful photos and a great day.

  5. Tina, what a terrific find when you discovered this sanctuary. (Why do I have a feeling you will be returning there one day with your Fuji!) I especially like the “Hard to Believe” shot showing wildlife in the foreground and buildings in Atlantic City (?) along the skyline, what a visual contrast.

    • Thanks Sylvia – yes, the city is indeed Atlantic City and I loved the contrast as well. Sadly I don’t expect we’ll be back as it is surely off of our beaten track, but one never knows!

  6. Tina, truly stunning to see such a vast wildlife sanctuary so close to the city. I loved your three birds image and I especially love that Thoreau quote! What a great view urban dwellers have and hopefully, it motivates them to get outside and enjoy nature. A beautiful day for you, indeed!

    • An interesting thought Terri – although it’s easy to see the city from the sanctuary, I rather doubt the city dwellers can see it from the other direction. Hopefully they get into their cars and spend a day in nature as we did. Such a revitalization of the spirit.

  7. What a wonderful place to discover and explore Tina, it looks like a fabulous natural habitat for migrating birds! 💚

  8. How amazing to find such a beautiful wildlife haven so close to a built-up area! The birds are clearly happy with the environment which speaks volumes for how well it is managed and protected 🙂 And your photos look great despite being taken on your phone!

  9. Very nice view. Seems very proposing for a trip with a long lens. I have to skip this week because I’m too busy, currently. But, thanks for already announcing the next topic. I’m sure, I’m in again

    • Thanks Andre – we’ll miss you this week! And yes, it was definitely calling for a long lens as well as faster shutter speeds. But it was definitely a treat for the eyes so I’ll just have to be content with that! Hope everything is OK in your world.

      • Yep, I’m fine. We’re having guests as my wife had her birthday this week. All my other posts are scheduled. So, I’m using the time to prepare my post for next week 😊

    • A sanctuary indeed Ana, thanks! And yes, the wedding was wonderful also. There is nothing quite like being with one’s entire family, especially when we are normally so far away from each other.

  10. Tina, this is a lovely place. It reminds me of several wildlife refuges we have in Northern California. And, your I-phone images are great. I do think that more than the camera is the expertise of the photographer!

    • You are most kind Anne – many thanks. It was a beautiful spot, much more so because of its proximity to an area that’s been so over-developed. I was happy to see the number of other people who were also there to appreciate the natural beauty of the place. Thankfully we still appreciate the importance of places like this.

    • Thanks Tracy – unfortunately this spot is well away from anywhere I would normally be but I’m happy to have seen it by chance during our wedding visit. It’s funny you mentioned theme parks. Atlantic City, which is very close by, is as close to being a theme park as one can be without actually being one. For this natural wonder to be so close by is incredible!

  11. I have heard great things about trip advisor and a few years ago, blogger “Kan” was active with writing for their site as she and her husband traveled a lot.
    Anyhow / thanks for sharing the recourse that helped you find this treasure – and smiling to imagine the 5mph – but also glad you made the wedding –

    • Thanks Yvette – missing the wedding would have been a serious disaster!! I was glad to have found this beautiful spot even if I couldn’t really take the time to do it justice.

      • Well in a way it reminds me that photos allow us to relive much of the beauty and so even your short visit there can keep on giving
        And also glad you added in the quote about the best camera is the one you have with ya

    • Absolutely Marsha – the iPhone performed beautifully. I just missed having the technology to zoom and stop action which I take for granted with my camera. I need to spend some time really understanding the new phone’s capabilities!

    • Clearly you are smarter than I am Brian!!! I made the same mistake while visiting the Getty Museum in LA which was a photographer’s dream 😩. In that case I actually had my camera in the car and decided I wouldn’t need it. As we say here in the states, fool me once – shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me! I shall not make the same mistake again!

  12. Lens-Artists Challenge #172 – A Day Of My Week On Saturday, October 30, 2021, Travels and Trifles wrote:

    > Tina Schell posted: ” Natural Wonders “We need the tonic of wildness…We > can never have enough of nature.”Henry David Thoreau Last week I mentioned > that the milkweed pods in my post were from a visit to the Edwin B. > Forsythe Wildlife Sanctuary in Absecon, New Jerse” >

  13. I love those first two quotes, Tina, and as I haven’t been able to get out in nature much beyond exercise walks along the canal (because of taking care of parents) lately, I enjoyed wallowing in your shots. The fact that you feel you have to say something about “only” using your phone makes me sad. I take lots of photos with my phone and like to think that the quality of the shot is just as good, although perhaps in some ways the image itself isn’t, if that makes sense. I don’t have Lightroom or the like and don’t always have my Nikon (and still haven’t gotten off Auto in all these years) but like to feel I’m a decent photographer. Not in your league, but still… 🙂


    • Oh no Janet! I didn’t mean to imply that iPhone photography is any less in terms of quality. For me though, I missed having a long lens to capture the birds, and a faster shutter speed to freeze them in flight. I was also very frustrated by my inability to see the screen in the bright sun so I was often guessing on what would appear in my images. Candidly I’m not very good with the phone because I don’t normally shoot with it so I need to do some practicing and read up a bit on techniques. I’m always amazed by the beautiful images I see that were captured with phones. In a recent class with the best professional portrait photographer in Charleston, he said that he ONLY uses an iPhone which is by far the best portrait camera around. I definitely have some work to do!!

    • As another exiled New-Jerseyian I know we share an amazement at such a natural wonder there Laurel. It reminded me very much of our lowcountry. Thanks as always for your visit and comment.

  14. What a large and beautiful nature reserve. There are never enough of these areas.
    Very nice that it is also accessible by a road so that you can admire the plant and animal life in various places.

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