Dreaming of Things to Come…

OK, we’re a bit tired of winter’s black and white, and now dirty gray. Our recent Florida escape just made us more eager to smell the flowers, and roses and freshness of nature.

Last summer… we had the extreme satisfaction of doing just that, at the Biltmore Estate, where among its grandeur, – multiple gardens stretch the envelope of sensuous satisfaction for that very desire we all crave,* particularly after an especially harsh winter (*…except maybe those with allergies!) 

Here are some images from within its Italian Garden.

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ImageImageImageContaining three ponds, and situated just left and in front of the main mansion, one can’t help but be mesmerized by the astonishing colors and delicate forms in and around the aqueous habitats.

ImageSituated on 120,000 acres, there are remarkable gardens, specifically engineered forests, ponds and features all accessible by walking trails, and maintained to the ideals set in the late 1800’s by world-famous designer Frederick Law Olmsted (think NYC’s “Central Park.”) There is also a world-class winery for tasting and exploration, and tours of the estates themselves.

ImageThe Biltmore Estate and Gardens is located in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, near Asheville, North Carolina.

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Click on the images for full resolution, and as usual, comments are always encouraged. 

Thanks for viewing

April In Paris … no, October In Paris – A Snippet from a Walking Perspective

Last year at about this time, we had the pleasure of walking along part of the Seine.  We explored the northern side of the Ile (island) de la Citi, upon which Notre Dame and other landmarks are located, …and across several downstream bridges, nearbyScreen shot 2013-10-21 at 8.23.22 PM

 

 From the river’s edge, and as seen under one of the arches of the oldest bridge in Paris, (Pont Neuf, 1578,) is the Pont des Arts and Louvre Museum behind.

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The bridge (pedestrian only) is one of several adorned with thousands of “love locks,” a fad started some years ago where-by lovers write their names on mostly brass padlocks, attach them to the wire railings, and toss the keys into the river. Another option, though seldom used, is tossing each other into the river! Some detractors of the practice would think that is the better option.

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 But perhaps one of the prettiest views in Paris is seen from Pont du Carrousel. Looking back from that bridge, are the two previously mentioned bridges and a world class autumnal view of the Ile de la Citi and surrounds including the Square du Vert-Galant, a wonderful little park on the very tip of the island (seen in the center with the trees in this image;) spires of Ste. Chapelle, (right of center;) and Notre Dame (far right, distance.)

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 After a sidewalk café lunch, our walk would take us to the beautiful Jardin (gardens) des Tuileries,  a World Heritage Site, with this view typical of its prodigious, colorful gardens and sculptures.

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Finally, after dark, the Eiffel Tower displayed its hourly light show, as seen here from the top of the 59 story  Tour Montparnasse.    Hi PS!

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Seasonal Burst of Colors

As much as I hate to see summer go, you can’t deny the treasure of early autumn in the US northeast. In fact, this year, we had a three week stretch of some of the best weather I’ve EVER seen: brilliant colors; transparent, clear skies; low humidity, and temperatures right in that perfect place, the 70’s (low 20’s C.) What I still refer to as real Top Down weather – for MGB’s of course!

10/6/13 – Edwin B. Forsythe Wildlife Refuge, Ocean County, NJ

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10/11/13 Beach by Driftwood Motel, Montauk, NY

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Springtime in New Jersey

         Inevitably, it comes to the North-East, along with those special warm days of brilliant sunshine and blue skies. One great place to walk and leisurely take it in is Saddle Brook County Park. Among the new cherry blossoms, and fresh green and yellow ground cover, is the historically significant old Red Mill, built in 1745 as a grist mill, and site of numerous Revolutionary War activities.

         Today, by contrast, and within walking distance are the mega malls and shopping districts of Paramus, NJ, along nearby Rts. 4 and 17, where week-day traffic volume exceeds 300,000 vehicles a day, vs. maybe….a smattering of  horse and wagons when the stones of this mill were first placed. 

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