Written: June 14th, 2021

It's been a hot second since I went out into nature more properly, so I was pretty excited to visit some family and spend a good chunk of the day outside and I wasn't disappointed. I considered whether or not I should keep the location of the trip private or not, but based on how many people were all over the place the day we visited, I think it's fine to say where I went.


Our setting is Essex County Park in West Orange, New Jersey. The park itself contains a big lake with a long path for people to take along its bank with many places to sit and lounge and also SWAN BOATS. It's a pretty popular site for celebrations, fishermen, and casual summer fun, but I'm not here to sponsor the park. I'm here to share photographs I took with my phone during my visit. We saw and took many photos of wildlife while walking the around 3 mile long path and I'm proud of quite a few of them so I wanted to share.


Off the side of the path, there was mostly woods. I think there was a small waterfall too, but I, sadly, didn't get a picture of it.

landscape of woods and path


Many animals populate this park. Dragonflies fluttered over the water's surface, bees and butterflies foraged for necter, fish and turtles populated the waters of the lake and many birds flew overhead, some sharing the reservoir. I didn't get a picture of everything, but I'll split up what I did catch for easy viewing.


There were, obviously, a lot of bugs, but what I noticed the most were dragonflies, gnats of course, bees, and butterflies. The bees were specifically bees and not wasps, though I recall seeing one of those as well, but I didn't catch a picture of it.

In a sea of blue

I'm disgustingly proud of my catching of a Black Swallowtail. I'd happily say its the best I've ever taken. It was focused on the flowers, so I was able to get really close.

black swallowtail doin a succ

Turtles & Frogs

This being a lake, there were quite a couple of frogs and a ton of turtles hanging out. Despite it being a pretty overcast day, we saw many turtles on rocks basking. Perfect for photos!

turtle vibing turtle basking



I wonder what species of frog this is. All I know is its pretty thiccc.

big frog


There were SO MANY ROBINS, its INSANE how many robins there were. Sure, it wasn't the only bird present, but man there sure were a lot of them.

robin on the run

A lonely lad out on his lonely branch.

robin needs friends

This lad apparently comes and sits here a lot. It was too far out to identify, but his mysterious nature was captivating.

mystery bird

We were lucky enough to see a real swan! She was far out on the lake before coming closer to the bank. She stood still, practically asking for her picture to be taken.

swan hours


swan got dunk

On our way out, a Mourning Dove landed on a powerline above us. At this point, my phone battery was running out, but that didn't stop me.

dove on the line

Day's End

I really enjoyed my trip to this park and I'd love to hit up other nice places to visit and take in nature. I forgot this feeling, but long walks are made a lot easier when you have so much keeping your mind off the exhaustion in your legs. Would recommend taking a nice stroll along a path like this yourself sometime. Hope y'all liked my amateur photography and godspeed. o7

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