Friday, May 19, 2017

Spring in New Jersey

Well, it looks like we will be here until June 7-ish.  One of our priorities for our visit was getting eye exams and new glasses.  Once I order my glasses this week it could be up to 14 days until they're ready.  

What else?  The new-to-us Tundra has had a touchy accelerator and thanks to Michael's research and a call to a local Toyota dealership, we learned there's an open recall for the accelerator.  So, the truck goes into their service department this week, plus back to the original Kia dealership for installation of a part that went bad related to the fuel system.  After this, the truck will be 100%.

We had a great day recently visiting with close friends, Billie and Allen.  Allen is a nationally known mentor of purple martin landlords, individuals who monitor these beautiful birds at their colonial nesting sites.  As well he works on a national level for bluebird conservation.  He is a certified bird bander, and had a career with US Fish and Wildlife.  He's such a knowledgeable naturalist, and not only does the aforementioned, but he designs nature trails, and works for conservation of other bird species.

Billie and Allen's backyard looks over a beautiful farm and ranch.

Bluebird nestlings in a nest box on their property.

Part of the day was spent at Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center.  It was founded in 1968 to engage artists and audiences in the exploration of creativity.  Located in Millville, NJ, it features a museum of American glass which houses a comprehensive collection of glass produced in America.  The nation's earliest successful glass factory was founded in 1739 by Caspar Wistar in Millville.  In 1888, Dr. Theodore Corson Wheaton, a pharmacist, began making his own pharmaceutical bottles in a Millville glass factory.  From these early beginnings, today's giant glass manufacturer called Wheaton USA evolved.

We walked through the glass blowing studio, watching glass being blown.  We visited an old glassblowing studio and saw literally huge glass blown objects.  There are also craft shops to visit, a nature trail to walk, and a visitors center.

Billie and Allen at the entrance of Wheaton Village.

A purple martin colony at the village with birds perched.  These birds prefer gourd shaped nesting cavities, and nest in colonies.

Chimney swifts use this tower for roosting and nesting.

Visiting the glassblowing studio:

What forms glass!

Giant glass blown light bulbs!  The base was a beautiful iridescent glass.

The molten glass is twirled on the end of a long pole in the furnace.

The furnace chimney goes up and through the roof.

Continuing with the glass blowing process.

Glass vases designed as pitcher plants.

After the glass blowing tour, we walked the mile long nature trail that Allen designed:

Pink lady slippers, typically not easily found!

A wood duck nesting box, over the pond.

Other beautiful signs of spring:

Even though a little rainy, this was a great way to spend the day!  Will catch up again soon!