Autumn Nature in New Jersey. Sourland Mountain Preserve.
Worldwide Photo Walk 2011. Convergence. Yesterday I was thinking, weather permitting that I should go the nearby Sourland Mountain Preserve to see if I could photograph any late season Monarch butterflies. For the last several years I have seen the last group of Monarch butterflies before they fly south to Mexico the last week of September (+/- 2 weeks). Also yesterday, I was noticing some issues with access to my photo blog (speed to load, and searching results). I woke up very early, and access to the photo blog appeared be working. While checking Google+ I saw a reminder from Scott Kelby about his 2011 Worldwide Photo Walk’s this weekend. When I checked online, I saw that one of the Worldwide Photo Walks (led by Frank Veronsky) would be at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. I signed up (it was 4 AM, and raining). When I woke up again at 8 AM it had stopped raining but still cloudy. I got to there early to scout out if there were any thistle blooms left. Unfortunately, all of the thistles were brown and there were only a few yellow wildflowers. The trails were also very muddy from all of the rain we have been having for the last 2 months. I actually went home at this point to switch to a Nikon D3s camera and 50 mm f/1.4 lens since I knew it would be relatively dark on the trails. I got back in time to meet up with the Worldwide Photo Walk group at the Sourland Mountain Preserve parking lot and started up on the trails a little after 10 AM. The following images are of some of the woodland forest trails in the Preserve. By the end of the Photo Walk, I only saw one Monarch butterfly, and it didn’t stay still long enough for me to get an image.