Skywatch Friday, May 31, 2013



We enjoy a drive on a country road every now and then.  One Saturday, this location called Updike Farmstead was having an Open House to celebrate the reconstruction of an old Wind mill sponsored by the Princeton Historical Society.  

My first photo is of this barn painted white, the barren tree branches and the impending setting sun streaming through the barn’s upper window.

Restored Windmill at the Updike Farmstead

Restored Windmill at the Updike Farmstead

Updike farmstead

Updike farmstead

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Going up in a Hot air Balloon at the Fair-Skywatch Friday

Yesterday was opening day at the Hunterdon County 4-H and agricultural  Fair. “What language did you just speak?” the  hot air balloon man said as I climbed into with first one foot, then another (Ha, Ha, Ha). What I was really saying very fast was,  “I’m feel like I’m an Olympic athlete  (thinking gymnastics-pommel horse) trying to the climb up into this thing.”  First, I put one foot up, then I quickly (split second) realized, my best way was to get on my knees (the leather edges of the balloon’s basket were very soft), hold on to the ropes, and hoist myself up, and then step down. “Hooray, I’m in.”  All of this happened very fast. The prior riders had to stay inside the balloon’s basket to provide weight until both my husband and then I got in.  My husband is taller, so he practically stepped in with ease.

Let me backtrack to the beginning.

As soon as we parked the car, and started to walk along the gravel road, a rep from the balloon company asked us if we wanted to try the Hot Air Balloon ride.  I asked, “How long are you up there?” He said, “About 30 seconds, then the balloon slowly comes down.  Pat is always game to try new things, and said, “Yes, we’ll do it!”, and the man said to gather over there to wait.  I’ll get in line, but there’s still time to change my mind, I thought. There was hardly a line.

I’ll have to say that the hardest part was climbing into the hot air balloon basket!!! I had imagined that it might feel like a giant rocking chair swaying in the sky to the wind’s, I was hoping, gentle breeze.  To my amazement,  I was correct. Of course, this was a trial, and the hot air balloon was tied securely on three sides to three heavy pick-up trucks.

Hot Air Balloon at the Hunterdon County fair

I was holding on to the camera, and my husband asks, “Have you taken a picture yet?” No, I say, as I’m clutching very tightly to the camera string, I might drop it. “Pass it to me,” he says. So here’s my picture too.

I’m up in the hot air balloon, “Smile for the camera”!

Would you like to see how enormous the fair is?  This is the “bird’s-eye view”!!

A “bird’s-eye” view or “hot air balloon eye”-view of the Fair!!

Look at all those tents, red and white striped ones, and there’s an enormous amusement ride to the right of the photo.

Can you see the heavy ropes secured to both the hot air balloon basket and the two pick-up trucks?

Hot air balloon and the cable and ropes.

In the photo above, there is one of the pick-up trucks, a dark green truck that the hot air balloon is secured to with cable lines.

The balloon company workers are wearing the light blue tee shirts.  Very nice and helpful guys.  You must listen and follow their instructions of when to climb in and when to climb out of the balloon’s basket.   They are pretty strong, too, when my mother had her turn in the hot air balloon, they lifted her out of the basket.

a view inside the hot air balloon!

Of course, I zoomed in , while standing on the ground to get this shot of the interior of the balloon.  While I was on the hot air balloon, it was exactly that , Hot!!!!  , I felt the heat, but I didn’t look up!

Here’s the Hot Air balloon company ‘s mascot

 In Flight Balloon adventures is the name of the company.

This little dog was so cute, and very friendly to us.  He was well trained to stay inside the pick-up truck, too.

Let’s get our walking shoes on and get this party started.

Here’s me with one of the llamas!!

Did you know that llamas are used on farms as guard animals, “guard Llamas” .  They protect against  wild  coyotes.    I can see why, these animals seem cuddly cute but they are very tall compared to a sheep.

This teen is showing this llama in Dressage and an obstacle course on Saturday night.

two 4-H ‘ers at the entrance to the The cow barn!

Come on, we’re going to take a little closer look at the cows!  Cows are my favorite farm animal!! You can call me cow paparazzi!!

Cows at the Hunterdon county fair.

There is a tent where judging of the cows take place as well.

Cow and the pink sign above has birthdate info.

the cow’ s name is ” Layla and is one years old.

 " Think it, Love it, Do it, Live it  "

4-H sign, ” Think it, Love it, Do it, Live it “in the sheep barn

Do you know the 4-H Pledge?

I pledge

my head to clearer thinking.

My heart to greater loyalty

my hands to larger service

and my health to better living

for my club, my community, my country, and my world.

“It is a common practice to involve hand motions to accompany these spoken words. While reciting the first line of the pledge, the speaker will point to their head with both of their hands. As the speaker recites the second line, they will place their right hand over their heart, much like during the Pledge of Allegiance. For the third line, the speaker will present their hands, palm side up, before them. For the fourth line, the speaker will motion to their body down their sides. And for the final line, the speaker will usually place their right hand out for club, left hand for community, bring them together for country, and then bring their hands upwards in a circle for world.”

(from Wikipedia).

Both my sister an I belonged to 4_H clubs from the age of 9 years through high school; each year, we  entered our cooking and sewing projects  and in our teen years did twirling demos and competitions.

Skywatch Friday

Hudson River from the grounds of the Vanderbilt mansion, Hyde Park, NY

Here is my photo  for the weekly photo meme called ” Skywatch Friday”.

We spent a fall weekend visiting the area of Hyde Park, New York .   The photo above is on the grounds of the Vanderbilt mansion.  From the edge of the mansion’s property we could see this  beautiful view of the Hudson river and the panorama of the New York mountain ranges  in the distance is breathtaking.

You won’t want to miss the opportunity to visit one or more of the  National Historic sites including  Vanderbilt mansion , Franklin  D. Roosevelt National Historic site, included his Presidential Library and Museum.

To view more pictures of the sky from around the world, please visit:

Skywatch Friday, Season 5 Episode 32

Tour De Somerville, Blue Skies, and the crowd awaits the start of the race!

Skywatch Friday is a photo meme of  the sky through your eyes.  The sky is the limit to the possibilities. It is all up to you  to dream up an image and Create it!!

Weights and Measure, Life is in the hands of Balance.

Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented, and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful. Such attitudes are active and definite factors in creating satisfactory conditions. – Norman Vincent Peale.

Skywatch Friday, Season 5, Episode 21

at the summit of Mt Equinox in Sunderland, Vermont

Mt Equinox is one of the highest mountains in southern Vermont.   At an elevation of 3,848 feet , it is the Highest peak in the Taconic Mountain range.

The Green Mountains, The Valley of Vermont and the White Mountains of New Hampshire may be seen to the east.
Adirondack Mountains of New York provide the backdrop to the west, and the Taconic and Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts to the south.    Guard rails have been installed almost the entire length of the drive making it one of the safest, best engineered, well constructed toll roads in the country.   There are many vistas and areas for picniking  along the 5.2 mile drive, which has a vertical gain of 3,248 feet to the summit.

I’m participating in Skywatch Friday photo meme.   Please share your photos of the sky from where you live or where you’ve traveled.


Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday is a meme to share your view of the sky with everyone in the world!

Today is called “Black Friday”, symbolizing the day after Thanksgiving day sales. Here is my creative interpretation for Black Friday. There are hundreds of birds resting in the tree branches; This is the time the birds fly south and they’ve chosen our home for their respite.

Black birds on black Friday

Starlings Silhouette

For those of the Skywatch Friday group living in the USA, enjoy your day off! Have a great weekend. Looking forward to browsing everyone’s sky.

Skywatch Friday, Episode 5 Week 11 and Why is the sky blue?

Why is the Sky blue?

Sunlight interacting with the Earth’s atmosphere makes the sky blue. In outer space the astronauts see blackness because outer space has no atmosphere. Sunlight consists of light waves of varying wavelengths, each of which is seen as a different color. The minute particles of matter and molecules of air in the atmosphere intercept and scatter the white light of the sun. A larger portion of the blue color in white light is scattered, more so than any other color because the blue wavelengths are the shortest. When the size of atmospheric particles are smaller than the wavelengths of the colors, selective scattering occurs-the particles only scatter one color and the atmosphere will appear to be that color. Blue wavelengths especially are affected, bouncing off the air particles to become visible.

I am participating in the photo meme called Skywatch Friday.

For more Skywatch Friday   Photos please visit the website:

Read more:

Skywatch Friday, Season 5, Episode 10 It’s my Birthday

skyline at Island Beach State park !

a fisherman's life. Island Beach State park

Here’s my year in pictures, September 16, 2011

Please join me in sharing your photo of your view of the sky at this website called” Skywatch Friday”.

Skywatch Friday, Season 5, Episode 7

Chicago skyline reflected in "The Bean".

Friday, welcomes the weekly event of “Skywatch Friday.

You are welcome to share you photo of the sky at

We recently spent two days of our vacation in “the Windy City” of Chicago.   There is so much to see and do, that we had to select from one or two of  our ideas.  millenium Park was very close to the Chicago Fine Arts museum.   After parking in an underground parking garage, we crossed Michigan Avenue where we could see  the throngs of people walking to the great “LalaPolooza music festival that was going to take place all day and night.

Michigan Avenue cross walk, the sky and buildings in Chicago

The Tower fountain in Millenium Park  is composed of brick and has digital photo images of one face that gradually fades and changes into another every few minutes.   We stayed there for many  minutes watching all the people, especially children , running and splashing through the overflow of the fountains’ water.

The "face" in the Tower Fountain!

Oh, to be young and carefree like this to run through the fountain's water!

There are many more photos of the sky to see from participants from all of the world;  Come on over to Skywatch Friday’s host site at

Skywatch Friday, Season 5 Episode 2

Skywatch Friday:

Once again, it’s time to share with the world an image or two of the sky.

Please join me at  “Skywatch Friday” to view many more beautiful skies photos.

Blue skies on Bill Hill farm, Vermont

The everexpanding tree contrasts  to the sinking fence, a growing family vs  the letting go of life, a mirror on life. July 22, 2011“i thank god for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees & for the blue dreams of sky & for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.”
E.E. Cummings



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