Cape May – September, 2020

After canceling our trip to Cape May last June because of the pandemic, we decided to rent a house in Cape May Point for a week in late September. Cape May Point is a quiet, less-populated area away from the usual tourist spots, so we thought it would be a good location to have a socially distanced vacation.

Here are a few photos from that trip. I got some nice shots of Monarch butterflies hanging out in the tree outside our house. Cape May is a popular stop for the Monarchs along their southern migration, and there were tons of them flying around during the week we were there.

Click on any image to open a photo gallery.

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Cape May Sunsets

Cape May is a great place for viewing sunsets because the entire western side of the peninsula faces the Delaware Bay. There is even a beach on that side called Sunset Beach, which is where most people go to watch the sun set. On that beach you will find the iconic sunken concrete ship that is visible in many Cape May sunset photos, but I’ve taken so many of those shots over the years that I decided to change things up during my most recent visit by heading out to Cape May Point, which is where most of the photos below were taken.

You can click on any image to open a photo gallery.

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Gettin’ My Shining On at Congress Hall

I’m a big fan of haunted house stories. The Shining, in particular, is both my favorite book and movie of the genre, and when I’m in an old building I like walking around and looking for creepy photo ops that might evoke some of my favorite Shining moments. During my recent visit to Cape May I took the opportunity to meander the halls of the most recognizable hotel in town, the historic Congress Hall.

A regular stop on one of Cape May’s ghosts tours, the hotel even has an Overlook-ish history. Built in 1816, destroyed by fire in 1878, and rebuilt the following year, the hotel fell into disrepair and closed for over a dozen years in the early 1900’s before reopening in the 20’s. Famous guests at Congress Hall have included U.S. presidents and famed band leader John Philip Sousa, so it would seem to be a ripe place for shining-like activity. I don’t necessarily believe in that stuff (though ask me again in the middle of the night when it’s dark and I’m alone), but I still enjoy letting my imagination run wild.

Here are some of the photos I took during a couple of brief visits (one during the day and one at night). You can click on any image for a larger version.

Just waiting for blood to spill out of the doors.
I like the lonely image of an empty chair at the end of the hall bathed in stark window light, but I can’t believe I missed an opportunity while I was on this floor to get a shot of room 217 (from the book; 237 in the film).
“You have always been the caretaker.”
Shining aficionados (of the book) will also notice that the sign all the way to the left mentions the boiler room.
Might there be a set of ghostly twins around the corner?
Perhaps when strolling through this room at midnight you might hear echoes
of an old Big Band standard emanating from an ethereal orchestra.
I thought this long row of empty chairs evoked a bit of eerieness.
What if they all started rocking?
Something creepy about this room.
The decoration hanging in the window looks like some sort of ritual doll.
More empty chairs occupied by spirits of the hotel’s past?
The triangular silhouettes of the closed umbrellas reminded me of the evil topiary creatures from the book.

Some additional stairwells, perhaps stalked by a specter brandishing a roque mallet.

And one final photo without comment (I ran out of Shining references :-)).

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Dolphins of Cape May

The dolphin is one of my favorite animals, though I’m not exactly going out on a limb by saying that. I mean, who doesn’t love dolphins? I’ve been on a few whale/dolphin watching cruises, which are a great way to see them in their natural habitat, but in Cape May I don’t even need to leave the beach because it is quite common to see dolphins swimming offshore.

During my most recent visit a couple of weeks ago, I managed to capture some of them with my camera. The photos are bit grainy and soft because of how far away the dolphins were and how much of the images I had to crop, but they still turned out pretty well considering. You can click on any image to view a larger version.

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Cape May Lighthouse

One of the most prominent features of Cape May is the lighthouse, which is visible from many different areas of the town, including the beach and the hiking trails of Cape May Point State Park. Here are a few photos of the lighthouse from different perspectives from my most recent visit. You can click on any image to see a bigger version.

The first two photos were taken from the beach. The second one below features my dog Heidi in the foreground.

This next batch was taken at various points along the nature trails of Cape May Point State park.

These next two were taken from the grounds of the lighthouse.

These two were taken from Cape May Point beach near dusk (the second one after the light turned on).

This final photo was my first attempt at shooting and stitching together a vertical panorama. There were some issues with the assembly as you can see below, but I still sorta like it, even with the imperfections. I’m still working out the kinks of manually shooting panoramas with my new camera (the panorama assist mode of my old camera made it much easier).

Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos from inside the lighthouse on this most recent visit as I never got around to climbing it. Oh well, next time.

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Birds of Cape May

Anyone who has spent much time in Cape May, NJ knows that it is a great spot for bird watching, particularly along the various nature trails. I’ve hiked the trails in the past, but not with a camera like my Nikon D5100, which is capable of capturing in-motion shots I had never before dreamed possible. I love this camera.

Here are a few of my favorite bird photos from our trip to Cape May a couple of weeks ago. You can click on any image to see a bigger version.

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