Raritan River

Raritan River Liatris

liatris by Raritan River, Donaldson Park
According to Wikipedia, there are many kinds of liatris. These purple flowers grow by the Raritan River at the edge of Donaldson Park, a large county park situated in Highland Park, New Jersey.

liatris donaldson park raritan river raining
Three weeks ago, when my daughter was in camp and I had a little more time, I went to Donaldson Park and took some photos. I took several of the Raritan River, such as this one with the tall, bare tree at the river bend. I really enjoyed the Raritan River liatris, the purple spikes bursting out of the sandy banks by the river.

liatris rainy day raritan river
It was raining that day, but not enough to get me soaked, despite the fact that I had not brought a raincoat.

liatris new brunswick raritan river donaldson park
In this photo, you can see a little of New Brunswick, New Jersey – that’s where some of Rutgers University resides. New Brunswick is more urban than Highland Park, but it is still small, especially compared to Philadelphia or New York City. Or Newark or Trenton. Actually, all you see is a bit of the bridge of the route 18 highway.

In other nature news, I started filling my bird feeder again (it got neglected as I paid more attention to my garden, but as I explained to my kids, only in the winter am I really concerned that the birds in our area need food to eat). I’ve seen blue jays, a cardinal and mostly lots of sparrows. Maybe soon I’ll have more bird photos.

Thursday Challenge: Raritan River

Raritan River near Donaldson Park
Raritan River near Donaldson Park, photo 2014 by Leora Wenger

Thursday Challenge theme is WATER (Swimming, Boating, Fishing, Lake, Ocean, River,…)
The Raritan River surrounds Highland Park. The river winds around our little borough. In one area we have Johnson Park bordering the river. To the south of us we have Donaldson Park. Both are big county parks with ball fields, geese and playgrounds. Donaldson Park, which is next to where I took this photo, also has a dog park and a boat launch area.

Just for the fun of it, I added this wet photo of Donaldson Park:
wet Donaldson Park

Rutgers Gardens in October

Rutgers Gardens flowers
Last week I had the pleasure of visiting one of my favorite places in central New Jersey: Rutgers Gardens. Rutgers Gardens is maintained by staff, students and volunteers. You can learn more on the website for Rutgers Gardens.

bench garden area
There are various garden areas within Rutgers Gardens. The one above with the bench is part of the rain garden. Vegetation in a rain garden area needs to be acclimated to prolonged periods of inundation, followed by equally prolonged periods of drought. From the Rutgers Gardens website:

Rain gardens look attractive when newly planted, but can and often deteriorate over time with the invasion of unattractive weeds and a resulting decline in vigor from the ornamental plantings as they become ‘choked-out’. The intent at Rutgers Gardens was to design and develop a garden that had all the positive environmental aspects, yet remained attractive throughout the year with minimal maintenance.

yellow flowers Rutgers Gardens
These attractive yellow flowers are part of the Donald B. Lacy Display garden. Wish I knew the name of the yellow flowers (and those red pom ones as well – maybe a kind of Gomphrena – maybe Gomphrena globosa ‘Fireworks’). I believe the magenta/purple pom ones I showed last week are Gomphrena globosa. Some of the flowers and vegetables are grown inside a fence with a gate, and the public is not allowed to enter, but it is easy to peek in and view.

fall foliage raritan river
One of the great features of Rutgers Gardens are the hikes you can take – we like taking the walk that goes along the Raritan River. There was some colorful foliage but not a lot. I like the pretty colorful reflections in the river.

As I said on the Rutgers Gardens post last week, we saw two chipmunks. Here’s one more photo of the chipmunk in the woods:
chipmunk at Rutgers Gardens in woods

Raritan River Watercolor: Boy and Fisherman

Fishing by Raritan River, watercolor painting by Leora Wenger 2013
Boy talks to Fisherman by Raritan River, watercolor painting by Leora Wenger 2013

I finished this watercolor painting of a boy talking to a man fishing at the Raritan River two weeks ago at the same time I completed the Highland Park Traffic watercolor. This watercolor belongs to a series of art projects that I have done on this theme. I’m going to replicate some older art river/fisherman projects on this post (so you don’t have to click back to look).

Here’s the drawing of the boy and man:
boy with fisherman

And here’s a colored pencil sketch of the scene:
Boy and man fishing by the Raritan River, drawing in colored pencils 2013 by Leora Wenger

Finally, this is a Raritan River watercolor I did last summer, of a similar scene by the Raritan River:
Raritan River watercolor: Relaxing by Raritan River

I have some ideas for a next watercolor: maybe a combination of an Israeli flag with jacaranda blooms, mabye an illustration of a therapists since I am working on websites for therapists, maybe another Highland Park scene – we shall see.

Sunset in New Brunswick, NJ

sunset on Route One New Brunswick, New Jersey
I took this shot of sunset by Route 1 in New Brunswick, New Jersey almost one month ago, and today I am finally putting it up on my blog. This scene is right next to the Route 1 bridge that I painted in a watercolor last week.

sunset over the Raritan River
By the time my daughter and I got to Boyd Park in New Brunswick, which is right next to the Raritan River, sunset was almost all gone. Only a bit of light was left in the sky. In the distance you can see the bridge (see those little lights?) that connects New Brunswick and Highland Park. I would love to return to Boyd Park at some point with my camera and my daughter, especially to see more sunset in New Brunswick NJ. There is a little stage and modern amphitheater there that does not look like it gets a lot of use. It would be fun to have my daughter act or dance on the stage at some point when there is a bit more light (and a lot less heat and humidity).

swftomSky Watch Friday is a photo meme with photos of sunrises, sunsets, blue skies, gray skies, pink skies, dark skies, bird-filled skies and any other kind of sky posted by bloggers all over the planet.

Bridge over Raritan River

bridge under Route 18
Sometimes you can photograph an ordinary bridge and get some good shots. This bridge goes over the Raritan River, and on top is Route 18, a busy thoroughfare that takes you from New Brunswick, through East Brunswick, and eventually leads down to the Jersey Shore area.

top of bridge of Route 18
This is the top of the bridge. I liked the colorful leaves growing on the fence.

graffiti under bridge
Unfortunately, graffiti is too common a site on bridges in our area.

bridge near Rutgers Gardens
The bottom of the bridge with the Raritan River: the bridge is at the end of our walk that started at Rutgers Gardens.

Past posts with bridges and the Raritan River:

For more Sunday Bridges:
bay bridge

Thursday Challenge: Golden

Goldenrod growing by the Raritan River in Central New Jersey

Goldenrod was growing by the Raritan River near Rutgers Gardens. Goldenrod is blamed for allergies, but that’s because it blooms at the same time as ragweed.

Thursday Challenge theme is GOLDEN (Jewelry, Coins, Sun, Leaves, Fields, Hair,…).

Next Week: MESSY (Children, Rooms, Garage, Yard, Disorganized, Hair,…)

Nature Notes: Rutgers Gardens

There are some lovely paths by the Raritan River in the back of Rutgers Gardens. We enjoyed walking through nature last Sunday.
red leaf among greenery
Some leaves were changing to red; not all the leaves looked so healthy. I wondered if it was because of the dry summer we had.

lily pads
Is this what Monet saw before he painted his famous lily pads?

I believe this pretty lavender flower by the river is a cleome.

I was excited to see milkweed, as Michelle of Rambling Woods has talked about it on her blog as attractive to butterflies. And I even saw some milkweed aphids, too.


girl man nature
And since many of you enjoy seeing my family, here’s my husband and daughter. The chocolate around her mouth is probably from an Oreo cookie, which may not be a very natural food, but it’s in her nature to enjoy cookies.
For more Nature Notes:
Nature Notes

Watery Wednesday: Bridge over Raritan River into Highland Park

This bridge leads over the Raritan River into Highland Park from New Brunswick. It is hard to believe that in the 18th century one had to take a ferry to cross over the river. The bridge was named the Lincoln Highway Bridge in 1914 according to Jeanne Kolva, a local expert historian. You can find a timeline of when all the Highland Park bridges were built here.

I liked this shot of the bridge a little better than the top photo (do you see graffiti as art or as pollution or ?), but no water in this shot.

For more watery photos, visit Watery Wednesday:

Watery Wednesday: Raritan River

Raritan River
After visiting the Native Plant Reserve in Highland Park, I went to the riverside and took some photos of the river. In this photo you can see the bridge for trains (thanks, Cosmic X) that go past College Campus of Rutgers University, over the river, and through the edge of Highland Park and Edison. I’m hoping to photograph the train tracks in a future post.
See Google Maps to see where this is.

Raritan River
I then turned and faced into the sun and photographed the bridge that leads from Highland Park into New Brunswick. The bridge is at the end of Raritan Avenue.

Raritan River
Here’s the same Route 27 bridge; you can see a bit of the office buildings in New Brunswick in this photo (I think that may be the Hyatt Hotel and further back, some condominiums).

For more watery photos, visit Watery Wednesday.
Watery Wednesday