Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge – Delicate by Leya (Leya)

We have buried so much of the delicate magic of life  – D.H. Lawrence

On my walks in the forest, I love everything fresh, fragile and delicate that spring brings to nature – the feeling of looking at the world for the first time. Rebirth. Renewal. The importance of a living planet Earth for our children and grandchildren to be a part of, echoes with every step.

This week, the challenge must be Delicate. To me, Spring itself reveals something of the very essence of the word – Delicate. I hope you will enjoy walking with me, meeting some spring flowers from my ramblings!

Sherry Felix posted a recent blog entry with an assortment of flowers and plants in Central Park. I commented that I had planted some Aquilegia canadensis aka Wild Columbine in a deck planer a while back, that I was considering moving to my garden. Sherry was helpful in calming my worries about deer eating the delicate plant. Columbine is a deer resistant native plant. I bought my Columbine from a native plant nursery.

Wild columbine is a native herbaceous perennial that can be found in woodlands and rocky slopes. I have not seen any columbine in the wild on my hikes in the Sourland Mountain Preserve. I expect they can be found off-trail. The rocky slopes of the area are perfect for this plant. The plant grows to about 91cm.

Perhaps it’s a mere coincidence but this week, the Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge is Delicate. Ann-Christine/Leya is hosting. I immediately thought of my columbine plants.

I don’t have a macro lens for my Fuji X-T2. The images here were shot on my Fujinon XF16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR lens.

FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, 0.001 sec at f/5.6, ISO400), © Khürt L. Williams
Columbine —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, 0.003 sec at f/5.6, ISO400), © Khürt L. Williams
Columbine —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, 0.001 sec at f/5.6, ISO400), © Khürt L. Williams

Crocus, Spring, Flowerd, Purple
Week 13 Story Telling: New Beginnings (dogwood.photography)

Our world is full of circular patterns; as some things end, others begin. Tell us a story of a New Beginning.

These Croci are a good sign that spring has sprung in Montgomery Township. I think I’ll go for a hike in the Sourland Mountain Preserve this weekend. I’m sure I can find some early spring wildflowers.

Crocus, Spring, Flowerd, Purple
Crocus —FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, f/5.6, ISO320), © Khürt L. Williams

For this challenge, I decided to visit Fort Hancock and Sandy Hook Proving Ground National Historic Landmark in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. I drove up to Ocean Avenue from Asbury Park, New Jersey. The road is lined with the beach homes of the wealthy. I imagine it was like driving down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California. I don’t know. I’ve never been to Beverly Hills.

To enter New York Harbor, ships need a deep channel. Until the 1900s, that meant sailing next to the shore of Sandy Hook. This gave the small peninsula a big role in the safety and defence of New York Harbor for more than a century before Fort Hancock was built.National Parl Service

Fort Hancock Museums in Monmouth County, New Jersey — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (16 mm, f/8.0, ISO200), © Khurt-Williams

Fort Hancock is a former United States Army fort at Sandy Hook in Middletown Township, New Jersey. The coastal artillery base defended the Atlantic coast and the entrance to New York Harbor, with its first gun batteries operational in 1896. Between 1874 and 1919, the adjacent US Army Sandy Hook Proving Ground was operated in conjunction with Fort Hancock. It is now part of Fort Hancock Memorial Park. It was preceded by the Fort at Sandy Hook, built 1857–1867 and demolished beginning in 1885. Wikipedia

Kessler Road and Hudson Road at Fort Hancock Museum in Monmouth County, New Jersey — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, f/8.0, ISO200), © Khurt-Williams
Fort Hancock Museum in Monmouth County, New Jersey — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, f/8.0, ISO200), © Khurt-Williams

I arrived in the Fort Hancock, and Sandy Hook Proving Ground National Historic Landmark and drove slowly along Kessler Road looking for an interesting subject. As I expected most of the crumbling buildings had been fenced in. The buildings are favourite subjects for photographers and curious visitors, who have in the past entered the premises and bee hurt. Many of the buildings are unsafe. I turned on Hudson Road and parked in the back of one of the Bachelor Officers’ Quarters.

Bachelor Officers’ Quarters at Fort Hancock Museum in Monmouth County, New Jersey — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (16 mm, f/8.0, ISO200), © Khürt L. Williams

The fort was decommissioned on December 31, 1974. Since then, most of Fort Hancock has served the public as the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area. The remainder of the peninsula serves as U.S. Coast Guard Station Sandy Hook.

While the recreation area is well maintained, the former buildings and officers quarters are in disrepair. The weather has battered the buildings making them uninhabitable.

Fort Hancock Museum in Monmouth County, New Jersey — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (16 mm, f/8.0, ISO200), © Khurt-Williams
Bachelor Officers’ Quarters at Fort Hancock Museum in Monmouth County, New Jersey — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (16 mm, f/8.0, ISO200), © Khürt L. Williams
FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (35.3 mm, f/8.0, ISO200), © Khurt-Williams
FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (30.2 mm, f/8.0, ISO200), © Khurt-Williams
Fort Hancock Museum in Monmouth County, New Jersey — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (26.6 mm, f/8.0, ISO200), © Khurt-Williams

Trash is your inspiration. Tell a story or create something beautiful.

Image submitted in response to Dogwood Photography’s annual 52-week photography challenge.