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Hometown Hideaways — New Jersey Hometown Hideaways is a series of blogs featuring top places to hammock around the U.S. Each guide is curated by outdoor enthusiasts who live, work, and play in the region, sharing their insights and experiences on where to hang your hammock and enjoy the great outdoors. Explore your backyard with us, you don’t have to travel far to find adventure.
With more people getting out and enjoying our wild places, there is increased impact on the places we travel. As good steward of our public lands we need to take steps to reduce our impact and take care of the places we play. Hammocks are a prime examples of minimum impact shelters.  When used with appropriate, tree friendly suspension systems, hammocks don’t alter the natural environment. The smaller our footprint, the less likely we are to impact existing plant and wildlife.
Throughout history, nature has had a leading role as a source of inspiration for both musicians and visual artists. Dating back to even prehistoric cave drawings in Lascaux, France or even the Grand Canyon Suite composed by Grofe, nature has always been and will always be a driving force of creative inspiration. Things in nature are tangible references that we use all the time. From the moment we have memories as little kids, we have been in nature and have used it to learn. From drawing lollipop-looking flowers underneath a cotton ball clouded sky or making a thunderstorm, clapping our hands various ways in class, nature has been a part of our foundational education simply because it is one of the most palpable things we have. Just walk outside and there it is. Similarly, we use words and common figures of speech that originally have a meaning that is found in nature to describe events or objects in our daily lives. For example, a dry or wet signal, lightning fast reflexes, a rocky start, root of a problem, etc…The list goes on. Why did it become this way? Because nature is where life begins and has always been there for...
Nature photography provides both the photographer and viewer a privy look into the beautiful, wild, natural world. There are countless remarkable locations and subjects that make for outstanding photography. However, nature and wildlife subjects in their true environment are more unruly than an artificial subject that you capture within a controllable studio. Here are some tips that will help you achieve magnificent landscape, wildlife and plantlife photographs.   Landscapes In landscape photography, you should focus on the maximization of your depth of field. Ensure that the entire scene is in focus with a small aperture setting — the smaller your aperture the greater your depth of field. Set your aperture at f/2 or f/1.4, and have your ISO image sensor. You can alternatively lengthen the shutter speed for increased exposure, rather than adjust the ISO. A longer shutter speed requires a steady camera that won’t move during exposure. Avoid blurry photos with a tripod and a cable or wireless shutter release mechanism for optimal camera stillness. When you set up the composition of your shot, keep foregrounds in mind. Layer your photo with multiple points of interest that lie within various depths of field. The best time for landscape photography...
Planning a romantic getaway can sometimes add stress and pressure to an otherwise enjoyable trip. But, with some guidance, it can be easy to select the perfect destination and agenda for you and your significant other. Consider the following types of vacations and some suggestions of where to go:   Take a Secluded Trip When you’re planning the ultimate couples retreat, a secluded spot sets a romantic tone for your trip. Consider these secluded destinations: Lake Como: Lombardy’s glacial lake is one of the globe’s most breathtaking and romantic destinations. Its mild, Mediterranean-like climate makes it an easy destination to visit any time of the year, and the villas lining the lake make for an unforgettable stay. Find the perfect place to stay and relax on Rentvillas.com. And, if you feel the need to get back to civilization after spending time on the water, Florence offers one of the most romantic sunset-viewing spots in the world from the Piazzale Michelangelo. Kauai, Hawaii: Kauai offers some of Hawaii’s most beautiful and secluded beaches. Be sure not to miss Wailua River State Park. Although you need some kind of water transportation to get to the trailhead, the views are stunning enough that...
When you’re in the great outdoors, standing at the highest point of the mountain you just courageously hiked, your second instinct (after taking a deep breath and relishing in the beauty) is to pull out your smartphone or camera and document the moment.
Will Pattiz and his brother have a passion for our National Parks. This year they decided to put that passion to work using their talents to produce a captivating short film about Olympic National Park.
Watch out for the storm! The SUN storm, that is. According to the BBC, scientists say our planet is currently being attacked by high-energy particles unleashed by the strongest solar storm since 2005! Should we be worried? No, not really. The primary concern about the uninvited particles is for satellites, but they can also cause problems for aircraft communication! To counteract this, airplanes have taken precautions and have re-routed flights according to the National Post. Although today (Wednesday, 25. Jan) is probably the last day we could feel the effects, it is still a great reason to take a step back and think about the impacts of nature. And hey, what better way to do this than in your ENO! So take the morning off and get some fresh air, go for an afternoon stroll, or save up for a wooded camping trip this weekend and immerse yourself in the great outdoors. After all, if we disrupt it too much the sun could hurl another storm at us!

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