Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Autumn Weekend: Route 47

The plane landed in Philadelphia at 6:15 a.m., and I quickly began the drive east and south toward Cape May, taking the 95 to the 76 to the 42 to the 55 to the 47. I always enjoy the last portion the best, because the two-lane road gives me lots of access to sights and sites.

Southern JOYzee looks completely different from my usual stomping grounds, and I like to pull off the highway on a dime to investigate unfamiliar places. It seemed appropriate, given the Halloween festivities, to finally wander through two old graveyards. With their solitude and sometimes unmanicured habitat, cemeteries can provide a respite and a chance to watch and hear birds.

This site appears on the east side of the highway, just before Manumuskin River.

This quiet graveyard didn't yield any birds but offered some balm to my jet-impaired frame of mind.

061026 007 Maurice River

Farther south on the highway, I stopped in Goshen. This cemetery proved to be much more fruitful.

061026 014 Goshen

061026 008 Goshen

That juniper tree on the right served as a butterbutt buffet, hosting tons of Yellow-rumped Warblers that fed on the small, blue berrylike cones and were oblivious to my close presence.

061026 011 Goshen

Two butterbutts deigned to pose for me while gobbling the ripe cones. At the back of the cemetery, unfamiliar birdsong greeted my ears. I couldn't pinpoint the singers amid the overgrown shrubs and trees but left with a smile prompted by the voracious warblers.


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