I spend long hours at the computer. When I’m not designing, I’m writing or tweeting or doing something computer related. Time spent hunched over the keys can quickly add up to burnout if I’m not cognizant of taking breaks. Working around the clock may seem important until you realize that you’re not getting nearly as much done as you thought. Taking a break and getting some distance from the work is one of the best things you can do for your body and your soul. When the weekend comes around I always try to do something fun. Today it was a glorious day out. Seventy-two degrees, sunny, perfect for a walk in the woods. I headed up to Ringwood Botanical Gardens with my camera.


The home and grounds is reminiscent of an old English estate. Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights comes to mind. Skyland Manor is a magnificent Jacobean-style manor house that was built in the 1920’s but “weathered” to resemble a much older estate. The posh mountaintop retreat was built on 1,100 acres for New Jersey financier Clarence McKenzie Lewis. It was designed by John Russell Pope whose other works include the Jefferson Memorial  and the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Wandering the grounds it becomes evident that the Lewis family spared no expense. Elaborate architectural details, statues, reliefs, fountains and all manner of decorative elements peek out from carefully thought out landscapes.

If you live in New York or New Jersey I highly recommend a visit to this historic park. Ringwood Gardens in the Fall are a spectacle of glorious color. Bright reds, yellows, ochres, greens and purples formed a stunning autumnal tapestry. Take a look!