Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A world lost...

It was his take off that caught my eye! I heard the swoop of its feathers and saw him move at the edge of a dead tree which was standing in the middle of a small man-made island..
..he lifted off with grace and soared around the tree..his call a loud whistled.. kyew kyew!!
and then there were two, she/he came from somewhere behind us...and we just stood there and watched in awe!!

We were walking the Villas, in New Jersey, near Cape May. Believe it or not this place is an abandoned golf resort which was once known as Ponderlodge. It was built in 1991 and covers 253 acres. The state of NJ purchased the golf course, I believe several years ago, and decided to let it go back to its natural state!! Miles of paved pathways twist and wind around the once groomed greens and fairways. It was near the lake that we watched these two osprey soar and hunt for their lunch...putting on quite a show. The lighting definitely wasn't in my favor...but from this washed photo you can still see the fish he had just scooped out of the lake!!

In its heyday this must have been quite a resort...most of the buildings are still standing but in complete decay. Nature, in every form, has all but taken over most of the buildings. It is definitely eerie to walk around and try to imagine that this land had once been a professionally groomed golf course. One can see birds and other small animals which are now nesting/living within the lodges and other utility buildings..
...the ponds are now overgrown and have tons of frogs, tadpoles, toads and other wild life living in and around them.
There are fields of wildflowers and color everywhere...quite a nature lovers delight...
one can see matching Yellow-rumped warblers..playing hide and seek from a fool and her camera...
and if you are lucky, maybe even a Painted Lady will visit you as you stroll its overgrown paths.. that seem to go on and on...leaving you with the impression that you are not near a city called Cape May but in a 253 acre world lost to the wilds of nature at its best.

17 comments:

Shellmo said...

What a great place Tina!! Your Osprey photos were fantastic!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

That first photo is spectacular.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Love those Osprey shots.From a nature lovers point of view,I think the place looks lovely.At least now the birds and animals have a place to call home.
Blessings,Ruth

Bird Girl said...

Tina - you sure did a fantastic job with those Osprey! I bet you were so excited you forgot to BREATH when you saw that pose in the first shot - then TWO of them and then one with a big 'ole fish!! Wowee!! Great, great captures!
Loved the little butter butts playing hide 'n seek with you :-)
That must have been a really neat birding spot for sure!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Well Tina... I have mixed feelings.. I'm sorry the resort/golf course went away---but then, why not?????? If it's gone back to 'nature'---our little critters can live there peacefully. I would love to have walked around that area with you.

Love the photos of the Ospreys..

Hugs,
Betsy

Chris said...

Hi Tina,
Ouah very ncie shots of the osprey. I would love to see one one day but for the moment I only spend my time with a red-necked duck :-) Great job, and sorry for not visiting your blog that much at the moment!

Eve said...

This is so cool Tina! Thanks for letting us know and taking us with you.

Alan said...

Gorgeous photos of the Osprey!

George said...

Great shots of the osprey, even if the lighting wasn't in your favor. It's interesting that the golf course was allowed to return to a natural state rather than being turned into a subdivision. I hope it stays in its present state.

NCmountainwoman said...

Great osprey photographs! What a great place. Does the heart good to see areas like that returned to nature. Wonder why they did not demolish the houses and sell the materials?

The Early Birder said...

FAB photos of the Osprey. Always sad to learn of a loss of a business but I definitely prefer it as it is now (the land returned to nature) rather than manicured fairways.

Leedra said...

Gosh, what a treat! Love the first Osprey shot, but also the last one.

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dAwN said...

Oh Tina..I know that place..we were there in October..but havent been there this trip..
It is a very cool place..
I like your two matching Yellow rumped warblers..soo cute!
and I will keep my eyes open for a painted lady..that is a gorgeous butterfly!

Kelly said...

...I really like the post, and how wonderful that they turned the golf course into a nature preserve instead of selling it off to developers. Your Osprey photos are really nice...and the Yellow-rumped Warblers are as cute as can be!!

HANNIBAL said...

I love it! What a gem of a place. You described it so well, it must be heaven!

fishing guy said...

Tina: What a wonderful show the Osprey gave you.

Rose said...

I hope some day I get to see an osprey in real life! Enjoyed this post!

would like to hear your thoughts..