Tuesday Photo Challenge – Crawl by jansenphotojansenphoto (Dutch Goes the Photo)

All that crawls…

Planes crawled across the sky over Franklin Township travelling to and fro Newark Liberty International Airport. I walked on the path cut into the grassland, encountered ice and swamp-like mud. I slipped and slid, twisted and hurt something in my right foot. But I didn't know that at the time. Just a lingering feeling that I had overdone it. That something wasn't right.

I learned about the Griggstown Native Grassland Preserve while perusing the REI online store. I was checking out the sales items and saw a link for the REI Hiking Project. Thirty minutes later, I had downloaded the Hiking Project app and was looking at a list of nearby possibilities for a hike. I decided to try the Griggstown Native Grassland because it was close to home. A grassland hike would be different than my usual hikes in the Sourland Mountain Preserve.

I had rented a Fujinon XF27mm F2.8 pancake lens for a weekend trip to visit my brother in Charlotte, North Carolina. We had to postpone our plans and while I was able to cancel my flight and hotel booking, I forgot about the lensrental. I felt I had to get some value from the lens so I decided to put it on my Fuji X-T2 and bring it with me on my hike. With a ~41mm in 35mm equivalent, it provides a field of view roughly equal to that of the human eye. On this hike, the photos would provide a "Khürt's Eye View" of the hike.

Griggstown Native Grassland Preserve — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF27mmF2.8 @ (27 mm, f/8.0, ISO200), Copyright 2019-02-17 Khürt L. Williams

I drove along Canal Road and despite using Google Maps, I almost missed the entrance to the preserve. The entrance is a via a narrow dirt road that winds it's way around to the trailhead. There were two other cars parked. I grabbed my stuff and walked over to the information shed to look for a map. I could not understand the map on the back of the shed.

I pulled out the Hiking Project app which has GPS to pinpoint my location. One thing to note about using a GPS app on a smartphone. They are only accurate to about 50 feet. To increase accuracy, these apps often use cellular or Wi-Fi signals. The Hiking Project app uses the GPS information from my iPhone and the cellular signal to place my location on it's a map of the preserve. If you are in a location with poor (or no) cellular signal the hiking app won't accurately place you on its map. Your phone knows your coordinates but the app does not.

Griggstown Grasslands — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF27mmF2.8 @ (27 mm, f/8.0, ISO200), Copyright 2019-02-17 Khürt L. Williams

I got some information the two gentlemen who were preparing to hike in the preserve. There was a small Blue Trail and a larger Red Trail. I decided to take the Red Trail.

The trails are not well marked. I walked across the wide grassland trail and felt the sense of openness. This is rare here in New Jersey. I walked across a bridge and around a path that took me to an abandoned shipping container. Ironically the words, Evergreen were printed on the side. I continued walking and realized that I had just walked in a circle.

Remember what I wrote earlier about GPS and cellular signals? I consulted the Hiking Project app and realized I had walked off the trail. I walked back across the bridge and re-entered the trail. This part of the trail was very wet, soggy, and muddy. It didn't help that the trail path is cut through the grass. I was walking on wet grass on top of wet soil.

Griggstown Native Grassland Preserve — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF27mmF2.8 @ (27 mm, f/8.0, ISO200), Copyright 2019-02-17 Khürt L. Williams
Griggstown Native Grassland Preserve — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF27mmF2.8 @ (27 mm, f/8.0, ISO200), Copyright 2019-02-17 Khürt L. Williams

I walked up this hill which was slippery from water frozen into shoe prints left over from an earlier thaw or rain. At the top was a park bench and I stopped for a moment to take in the view of the Sourland Mountain Range. It looked so small in the distance.

Griggstown Native Grassland Preserve — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF27mmF2.8 @ (27 mm, f/8.0, ISO200), Copyright 2019-02-17 Khürt L. Williams
Griggstown Native Grassland Preserve — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF27mmF2.8 @ (27 mm, f/8.0, ISO200), Copyright 2019-02-17 Khürt L. Williams
Griggstown Native Grassland Preserve — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF27mmF2.8 @ (27 mm, f/8.0, ISO200), Copyright 2019-02-17 Khürt L. Williams

I consulted the Hiking Project app and realized that I was almost done with the red trail. Ahead across large patches of ice lay the path to the Orange Trail. I slid my way across slowly crawling to the other side. The path ahead was again soggy wet. Arriving at the fork in the path to start the orange trail I saw, even more, ice and wet muddy areas. I reconsidered my options. Take the exit path back to the trailhead or complete the orange trail. I decided I had had enough and took the trail back to the car.

Griggstown Native Grassland Preserve — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF27mmF2.8 @ (27 mm, f/8.0, ISO200), Copyright 2019-02-17 Khürt L. Williams
Griggstown Native Grassland Preserve — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF27mmF2.8 @ (27 mm, f/8.0, ISO200), Copyright 2019-02-17 Khürt L. Williams

It was 3:30 AM when I uploaded these photos. I was in pain. I couldn't get to sleep because of the intensity of the pain. I uploaded the photos, posted a link on the comments on Frank's website, and went back to bed. This morning my wife took me to the doctor. I had a sprained tendon and will be wearing a boot for a few weeks.

The Tuesday Photo Challenge is a weekly theme-based challenge for photographers of all kinds to share both new and old photography.

I got up this morning and looked out the window and saw a thick fog. It was just before 7 AM. I got dressed, grabbed my camera and tripod. My initial thought was to visit Carnegie Lake near the Princeton racing crew boathouse. But as I drove along Blue Spring Road, I thought that I might get a better set of images from near the Kingston Lock section of the D& R Canal State Park
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KINGSTON FLOUR MILL—FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 53.3 mm, f/11

The Kingston Flour Mill is a historic property and part of the Kingston Mill Historic District.

The Kingston Mill, built in the late 1800s is the most recent of several mills built on this site since the 1700s. Grist, fulling and flour mills were established here over Kingston Mill the past 300 years. The mill, now a private home, to many is a symbol of Kingston and its historic past.

I've photographed the mill and the Kingston Lock area around the D& R Canal State Park many times in the past, in all seasons. I think this is the first time I have photographed it in fog. I don't like the way it looks in the fog. It's too dreary. I think the building stands out more in the snow and in the spring.

KINGSTON FLOUR MILL—FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 33.2 mm, f/11
KINGSTON FLOUR MILL—FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 55 mm, f/4.5
KINGSTON FLOUR MILL—FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 16 mm, f/22

I made a mistake with the first three images. I forgot the AUTO ISO on. The camera adjusted accordingly and some of the first three images were shot at very high ISO. I did one pass through Nik's Dfine 2.

Kingston Flour Mill ( historic ).

Last weekend I went for a long -- 5 miles -- walk along the Delaware and Raritan Canal with my family. The walk was organized by the Montgomery Friends of Open Space and The D&R Canal Watch. It snowed the night before so it was cold that morning but we bundled up and drove to the Kington Lock.

Mary M. Penney, President of Montgomery Friends of Open Space, handed out maps and other information. Our walk guide and board member of the D&R Canal Watch, Bob Barth, explained the logistics of the walk. Some of us would carpool to Griggstown and walk back to Kingston while the rest started at Rocky Hill.

My sister-in-law, Nilima, and my niece Maya, and my sisters-in-law ( the other one ) father-in-law joined us to walk from Griggstown in Franklin Township. With me were my wife and daughter. My son decided he was too tired for a walk.

As we walked Bob Barth told us about the history of the canal and towpath how it was used to transport goods between Bordentown and New Brunswick. Construction of the canal was started in 1830 and completed four later with an estimated cost of $2,830,000. The canal was built by hand by mostly Irish immigrants.

For nearly a century after it opened, the D&R Canal was one of America's busiest navigation canals. Its peak years were the 1860s and 1870s when Pennsylvania coal was transported through the D&R Canal to feed the city of New York's industrial boom. During this period, 80% of the total cargo carried on the canal was coal.Delaware & Raritan Canal History

We walked quickly stopping occasionally to listen to Bob explain more of the history of the canal and the surrounding towns. We encountered a few large trees that had fallen across the path. It's incredible how much damage Hurricane Sandy did to the forests of New Jersey.

My family and I had a good time and plan on attending other MFOS events.

Mary Penny hands out maps and information about Montgomery Friends of Open Space.—Nikon D40 + 35 mm f/1.8 @ 35 mm, f/2.8
Nikon D40 + 35 mm f/1.8 @ 35 mm, f/2.8
Nikon D40 + 35 mm f/1.8 @ 35 mm, f/2.8
Nikon D40 + 35 mm f/1.8 @ 35 mm, f/2.8
Nikon D40 + 35 mm f/1.8 @ 35 mm, f/2.8
Nikon D40 + 35 mm f/1.8 @ 35 mm, f/2.8
Nikon D40 + 35 mm f/1.8 @ 35 mm, f/2.8
Nikon D40 + 35 mm f/1.8 @ 35 mm, f/2.8
Nikon D40 + 35 mm f/1.8 @ 35 mm, f/2.8
Nikon D40 + 35 mm f/1.8 @ 35 mm, f/2.8
Nikon D40 + 35 mm f/1.8 @ 35 mm, f/2.8