Posts Tagged ‘Popcorn Park’

At a certain point in life we figure we’ve heard just about all the clever phrases there are, right? Well, I recently learned differently.

The photos here will illustrate a point. All these gorgeous photographs were taken by John Bergmann, the General Manager of Popcorn Park Animal Refuge, aka Popcorn Park.

I know John for a very long time now. I work with the organization doing their fundraising, graphics design, writing, and in a variety of other capacities over the years. I am now working on their 2019 calendar.

Each year, I receive many photos from staff and others, but, by far, the largest amount of photos of Popcorn Park comes from John. (You can click on any photo to learn more about the animal.)

Let me mention two things here. One, Popcorn Park is a sanctuary to exotics, wildlife, farm animals, and birds. All of its residents were rescued from cruelty, neglect, abandonment, exploitation, inappropriate ownership, injury, or handicap. None were safe in his or her existing situation.

Two, as a photographer, John loves to take photos of all the animals, from the smallest birds, to turtles in the pond, to wildlife, to the exotics. His favorite, though, is photographing the big cats.

Each year when I do the calendar, and during the year as well, I look forward to seeing John’s stunning shots. In a conversation about his submissions for this year, I complimented him on all the shots of the parakeets in the aviary. Each was lovelier than the next, and all were positively luminous.

Now John is a very modest guy. His response to my compliments?
(Here comes the catchy phrase.)

“Even a blind dog finds a bone once in a while.”

Ahhhh, John. Not only have I never heard that before, but it’s just downright funny. As I said, way too modest.

Should you want to read more on Popcorn Park, you can visit them on the Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park website, and/or on the Popcorn Park Facebook page, where you can see more of John’s photographs and learn more about the refuge residents and their progress, as well as some stories about our adjoining animal shelter. You can also visit – they’re located in Forked River, Ocean County, NJ

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This morning I watched a female cardinal on my front porch railing. With the warmer weather having arrived early, she is already quite sleek. As she hopped along the rail I couldn’t help but admire the beauty in the subtlety of her coloration … the muted olives and golds edged with red and the bright persimmon of her beak.

I went along my morning and was still thinking … now of the beautiful coloration of the peahen. She may pale alongside the brilliant shades of turquoise and green of her male counterpart, the peacock, much as the female cardinal does when compared to the bright red male, but her beauty isn’t in the flashiness of her color. It’s in the quiet richness, with just a necklace of iridescent aquamarine.

There’s a certain pleasure in subtle beauty. In our media-driven culture, the biggest, brightest and flashiest is always being foisted upon us and honestly? I sometimes find it draining. Don’t you? Admittedly, I can be distracted by shiny objects … nothing wrong with that from time to time, but as a steady diet, the loud, the bold and the dazzling wears thin.

I will always take delight in the bright plumage of a male Cardinal or Peacock. But I also appreciate the ladies. ¬†They have a disdain for flash. And yet are undeniably beautiful. Maybe they’re a bit more like most of us.


Photos: Cardinal courtesy of Wikipedia Commons, Penelope Peahen courtesy of Popcorn Park


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