Archive for the ‘Solitude’ Category
Eagle and Sculler, Lake Carnegie, by Brenda Jones
My NJ WILD readers know that my key reason for hip replacement was to get into (and OUT of) a kayak, as often as i like, to paddle as long as I like. Thanks to Dr. Thomas Gutowski, this impossible dream has been realized.
The first return took place at dusk on Lake Carnegie, thanks to the generosity of a new friend who carried the kayaks on his head high over the arched footbridge to the still lake. Now I have kayaked, alone and with others, five or six times on the D&R Canal south of Alexander. (www.canoe.nj.com)
A major blessing of all these sojourns, –beyond no longer being crippled–, is solitude. Each morning south of Alexander, whether alone or with friends, ours are the first prows on the water. For the Lake Carnegie idyll, although Saturday evening, there wasn’t another human in sight until we returned to the put-in. Our sole companion was a majestic great blue heron, mincing along in shadowed undergrowth to our right for the entire journey. Kayaks render one nearly invisible to wildlife. Even basking turtles don’t unbask as we pass.
Basking Turtles, D&R Canal, Brenda Jones
The D&R Canal and Towpath are right here in the middle of Princeton. For seven years, I worked with people at a College Road East firm, who would ask over and over, “Now where IS that canal, anyway?” Stunned, I’d reply, “Well you can’t really get into town without crossing it.” Sad to say, corporate types don’t have nature and history antennae out as they go about their daily rounds. They’d usually follow my answer with, “You go there ALONE?!”
Those who do possess and use antennae, know that this haven for walkers, paddlers and rowers exists, thanks to preservationists, –an eastern hem to the fabric of our town. Rich in natural beauty and significant human and industrial history, that canal was the reason for the founding and thriving of many New Jersey municipalities. It also provides drinking water for those not blessed with wells in our region.
Long ago, in a poem, I described the Canal and Towpath as “nurse, haven and muse.” She’s far more than that now, once I’ve learned to know her by water. It’s a treat to be dwarfed by her flowers, to skiddle along beside her turtles or pause so as not to disturb the swimming water snake. It’s birders’ heaven in spring, when warblers and other rarities territorialize along through the Institute Woods. And sometimes, near the Aqueduct, one sees ‘our’ American bald eagles, dashing osprey and gilded orioles doubled in still water.
Osprey Over Millstone Aqueduct, Brenda Jones
Last week’s kayaking began by renting a ‘loon’ at Princeton Canoe and Kayak at Alexander Road by the Turning Basin. After a work week assailed by interruptions, there was nothing more refreshing and essential than the absolute silence, which descended like incense, or an invisible cloak, as soon as I moved beyond the swallows of the Alexander Bridge. As their wings literally part my hair, I am alerted to the reality that I was in a new dimension.
Each time I emerge from bridge shadow, escaping tire whirr and creosote pungency, I bless the magic of my new (yes!) kayaker’s hip: “You may find you like it better than the original,” mused my miraculous surgeon.
Beauty and nature are my major lures on the canal. Timelessness is tied with these two factors/ I am entirely under my own power. No one cares when I return. I can sally or dally or bend at the waist and plunge forward or coast beneath tree dapple or sit still under an oriole.
Baltimore Oriole, Cloudless Sky, near D&R Canal, Brenda Jones
On first trips, I made sure to dip my right hand into that canal water and baptize that scar, as I had done at the Delaware River on Bull’s Island. I was letting that leg know, at hip’s entry, “You, who carried me to beauty, nature and history times beyond counting, are restored to full function and new adventures.”
My professional life can tip me over too much into the quantitative, the numeric and the scheduled. I suspect I am not alone in this.
Kayak time counters those tendencies, restores me to my primal most vital self.
Last week’s kayak experience, for example, at first disappointed by its constellation of absences. Yes, my hair was parted by swallows under the bridge. But, after that traditional beginning, there was no bird song, and no sightings until the ubiquitous territoriality of the common yellowthroat, claiming the middle of my route.
Not a spurt of cardinal flower, –crimson as the bird or the prelates for which it is named, awaited me in any of its usual shadowed nooks. I suspect the scouring removals of Irene and Lee.
Veery in Spring Greenery, Brenda Jones
No wood thrush at entry or turnaround. Even the red-winged blackbirds were silent. And those usual scolds, the jays.
It’s too soon for white and pink fluted blooms of marsh mallow, and all that remains of blue and yellow flags are pointy tall green spires of their sheltering leaves. Everything was green, green, green.
The emptiness was so all-permeating that I was forced to acknowledge that absence was the gift of that day’s canal drift.
Just then, a shrub to my right began moving in an uncharacteristic way. As though birds were fighting in it — but we’re beyond breeding season for most save goldfinches. Suddenly, I realized I was seeing graceful legs, rounded buttocks, and that diagnostic white flag tail of deer. Right down by the water, she was blissfully and purposefully breakfasting. I was near enough to see the shine on her planted hooves.
Doe, a deer… Brenda Jones
That day brought no herons, neither green nor blue. Nor the oven bird’s ‘teacher teacher teacher’ — most treasured gift of the Institute Woods, if I’m early or lalte enough.
Not even Constable clouds filled the canal — to be cleaved by the slender prow.
I turned around, (partly because of griddle heat), deciding to see how many strokes I could paddle without stopping. All these months, I realized, I’d been taking it easy out there, because of the so-called ’surgical leg’. I was way up into the 100s, when I had to speak to careless canoeists — in order to discover on which side of them I might safely progress. So I forget my tally, but it was impressive, and it didn’t hurt me, not then, not ever.
We are so blessed to live in a canaled town. Just cross the Delaware and look at that rooty, clunky, uneven towpath, alongside Pennsylvania’s empty canal, strewn with rocks and weeds.
I don’t know why New Jersey knew enough to preserve and sustain its canal, although D&R Greenway where I work, was a major part of that (before my time). I only know I’m deeply grateful.
Canal time fills memory’s treasure chest, for sustenance throughout the weeks ahead.
Wordsworth said it best, about daffodils:
“For oft, when on my couch I lie / in vague or pensive mood / and gaze upon that inward eye / which is the bliss of solitude / and then my heart with rapture fills / and dances…”
Your heart, too, can dance upon canal waters. Just show up at Princeton Canoe and Kayak and set OUT.
North from the turning basin goes under the Dinky tracks and all the way to and through the aqueduct at Mapleton and beyond. It’s the busy way, with walkers, bikers, other water craft, and sometimes ‘our’ eagles. South is the quiet way, most likely, but not guaranteed, to provide nature’s rarities.
Full or empty, creature-wise, canal-time fills the soul.
Lake Oswego Peace — South of Chatsworth, Carolyn Foote Edelmann
Desperately seeking the wild, I’ve returned to my Edward Abbey collection, making my way through his work and others writing about this literary rebel, this self-proclaimed ‘desert rat’. It is essential right now that I live for awhile with ‘Cactus Ed’.
I need his crusty refusals of ‘growth and development’. I require his ecstasy in the face of cactus and rattlesnake. My healing leg ‘walks’ with Ed in these books — in his red rocks and among his cherished junipers, occasionally coming upon desert primrose, respecting the ever-present spider and viper.
But enough of this prickly Paradise. I have my own. And it’s in our state - in the spirit of Abbey, I defy myself to define Paradise, because mine is in New Jersey:
Lake Oswego Summer, South of Chatsworth, Pine Barrens (cfe)
shared with one attuned person or blessedly alone, sometimes with camera
there is sand, and/or marshland
Afloat, Lake Oswego — (cfe)
long silken grasses are kissed and rearranged by very varied tides
birds are ever present or possible: on the ground, in trees, ruffling the leaves, troubling the shrubs. Birds are overhead. They pierce tidal flats. Wings flat out, they harry and raptor. Some murmur, some croak. Everywhere I walk, there are whistlings, whisperings and rustlings. I am ever on the lookout for rails and bitterns, whether I ever find one or not. A bird is downing two snakes in the time it takes to type this (as did a great egret at ‘The Brigantine’ some years ago). A minuscule pied-billed grebe gulps a January frog, as happened a few weeks back.
Thistle Shimmer, Lake Batsto (cfe)
back roads get me to Paradise — hushed roads, where I am often the only car. Road edges are dusted with sugar sand. Forest understory (which must contain evergreen and the luminous black jack oak), switches from laurel to blueberry to fern to pine seedlings and oakthrusts, and back again.
New Jersey Paradise is especially defined by its people - who live by the seasons and the tides. The Abbey in me asserts, “not by the clock; and, by God, not by the Dow Jones Stock Index!”
the roads that lead to Carolyn’s Paradise must hold a beauty of their own, for at least 2/3 of the way. Pine Barrens and Salem and Cumberland County provide such aesthetic conduits, away from commerce, to wildest nature
Idyllic Batsto Lake, Pine Barrens (cfe)
roadways and destinations involve freshwater, saltwater, varying salinities, peatwater, whitewater, the stillness of the bays darkling streams wind alluringly back under the dark pines, tugging at the kayaker in me
the regions I am exploring involve bogs and fens, spongs, groves and copses
rare plants lurk right around the next bend — curly grass fern, swamp pink, carnivorous flowers who must lure insects for protein due to the strange ph of soils in Carolyn’s New Jersey Paradise — sundew, pitcher plant — those ravenous ones… when least expecting it, I am to be knocked over by wild fragrance, such as sweet pepperbush, along the peatwaters of Lake Oswego south of Chatsworth rare lilies bloom in ditches as I drive goldenclub erupts behind a dam I would otherwise despise with Abbey - but it did create this ideal habitat for a plant I’d only known in the splendid nature books of Howard Boyd
Among the Rare Lilies, Brigantine Wildlife Refuge (cfe)
often in my wanderings to and through Paradise, I must come on mosses and lichens and occasional fungi. Although I long to devour each mushroom, this foraging remains virtual, ignorance being quite the barrier where these savories are concerned
Leeds Point - Hard-Shell and Soft-Shell Crabs cfe
quaint names are essential — alongside the back roads and out in front of farms, beside the waters:
“Troublesome Acres” “Heaven’s Way Farm” “Farrier” Dividing Creek “Bears, Bucks and Ducks” Shellpile Bivalve Caviar Ong’s Hat — some of these names go back generations and centuries, and only the locals may know how to find them, by a crumbling foundation or some domestic plant run wild in another kind of wilderness Applejack Hill’s name has been changed, for the tourists, to Apple Pie Hill — Abbey, are you listening? Applejack, of course, — talk about terroir!– was/is New Jersey Lightnin’ — each Piney tending his own still with attention, experience and a shotgun.
Sneak Boat Ready to Sneak - Leeds Point (cfe)
History must have happened in my Paradise — especially Native American and Revolutionary
Here a battle must have been fought and lost, such as the fiery Revolutionary fate of Chestnut Neck.
Here locals must have defied and overcome proud dazzlingly uniformed British, taking their ships and their stores inland from the coast, along the storied Mullica River - without which waters and watermen we would not have a nation today!
Clouds in the Water, Chatsworth Bogs (cfe)
Here salt hay must have been harvested by man and horse in the steamiest of seasons, and great whales tugged ashore and ‘tried’ for their various riches.
Here traitors must’ve conspired, smugglers rowed by night, bootleggers brought contraband ashore to sell and to imbibe.
Leed’s Point - Smugglers’ Haven - Living Fishing Port cfe
Here clammers still tug their rich provender onto deck and into seafood restaurants tethered to waterways, creaking boards hinting of sagas of old, as at Oyster Creek Inn at Leeds Point.
It helps that Leeds Point is the home of the Jersey Devil, whom I am still requesting to meet.
“Ready to Roll” cfe
Intriguing restaurants must be nearby. Farmers’ Markets must be open, and people must be selling the spring’s first asparagus, sliced from that meagre soil, at roadstands with a little box for the money for this treasure beyond price. Russo’s Market in Tabernacle must have its spicy applesauce apples outside in thick plastic bags, next to the honesty box, at the beginning of winter.
Only people who treasure timelessness and tranquillity need apply for such journeys.
A day in the Pines will require about 200 miles of driving, longer if we detour to Tuckerton, formerly Clamtown. Why Tuckerton? Because great and little blue and tri-colored herons may stud the grassy reaches, depending on the tide, as we tool along Seven Bridges Road. Because there’s a place along there, –out on a somewhat suspect roadway–, where one can stop for the freshest clams, unless one has wriggled them out personally, using one’s own toes. Because at the end of this road, (and HOW I LOVE Land’s Ends!), there used to be an island village, now sea-claimed. Here, in season, one can find the vivid oystercatchers in full breeding plumage, turning over the few rocks on the sandy approach to the bay.
Life of the Seasons and the Tides Leeds Point cfe
Because closer to town, one can happen to be there when evergreens are studded with black-crowned night herons, squawk-murmuring to one another as sun drops into autumnal waters.
Carolyn’s New Jersey Paradise has to include kayaking possibilities, for her physical therapist is promising ‘back in the craft’ by April. If so, there is above all the Wading River to paddle and many ‘liveries’ to make these delicate journeys possible. There is always the exquisite Barnegat Bay in Island Beach’s back reaches - those paddles used to be free, with naturalists leading us among the Sedge Islands. There a feast of shore birds includes black skimmers not only skimming, but doing their odd sand squiggle on their bellies, when it’s just too hot.
Black Skimmers in Flight, Brenda Jones
I deeply understand Cactus Ed’s passion for the sere landscape of Arches and Canyonlands. I relish, with him, the silence. I don’t have rock formations in my Paradise, nor the song of the canyon wren and the slither of sidewinder. His Paradise is red and pink and magenta and ochre and burnt sienna and irreplaceable.
Mine is mostly forest green, toasty oak, sometimes ruddy blueberry leaves, interspersed with limitless stretches of flooded cranberry bogs, throwing back the sunset. In the distance, there is salt tang. Close up, there is the sibilance of peatwater.
If Ed had known the Pine Barrens, –especially her crusty inhabitants–, I think he’d've approved. Maybe only if he found it before Arches and Canyonlands. He might’ve kayaked the Sedge Islands, and even boarded the restored oyster schooner down at Bivalve, and helped tug the sails into the sky while singing sea chanteys.
Revolutionary Massacre Site - Alloway Creek, Salem County — (cfe)
He’d probably hang out overnight, black flies and greenheads or no, on the sands of Reed’s Beach when it’s studded with courting, mating horseshoe crabs and whatever red knots and ruddy turnstones remain on our planet.
Bucolic Salem County, where Rebels Countered Redcoats and Prevailed cfe
Paradise — for Ed and for me — seems to require a dearth of humans. It need not be awash in critters, but there needs to be that ever-possibility. Even the new health of New Jersey oysters, “Cape May Salts.” Even the restoration of sturgeon to the Delaware River and elsewhere along this state of three coasts — once so enormous and plentiful that there is a mystery town still known as Caviar along the Delaware Bay.
An essential quality of Paradise, however, is that it cannot be explained.
So, inexplicably, I assert, New Jersey, especially South Jersey (and also Sandy Hook) holds varying versions of Paradise, all of them yours for the seeing. And none of them seasonally-dependent. Go for it!
Salem Preserved cfe
AND, ABOVE ALL, SEE THAT ALL VERSIONS OF NEW JERSEY PARADISE ARE PRESERVED!
Lest, like Thoreau, we find out we had not lived…
Cape May Lighthouse, NJ
Titmouse in Snowstorm, Brenda Jones
NJ WILD readers know, my favorite time to be anywhere is off-season. In 2009 I had chosen to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at Cape May.
My key birding/hiking/art and travel buddy, Janet Black, and I had this urgent need to flee the commercial madness which had come to overwhelm this once sacred season. The fiercest concern, on all channels during this week’s blizzard, was not health or safety - but o, dear! — people can’t get to the malls! Christ was not born to turn balance sheets from red to black.
We went to seek the elemental, even the primal.
I, personally was starved for limitlessness.
We both needed birds, — handsome birds, large birds, unexpected birds, birds dealing boldly and successfully with elements, putting humans to shame. Birds making us catch our breath over their beauty, their fearlessness, their deft way with the wind. Somewhere out beyond the first lines of waves, long-tailed ducks were bobbing and feeding. Sometimes, if we were very lucky, elegant gannets arrowed right over our heads, or threaded their way above the crests.
Yes, we knew the trails, the hot spots, from Sunset Beach to Cape May Point to Higbee Beach. We’ve put in our time on and near the hawk watch platform, normally abuzz - it would be still for Christmas.
Cape May Bird Observatory post captures their Hawk Watch Platform post-blizzard
We knew where to hike (from the jetty to the light) in a benevolent season, when we were sometimes accompanied by ruddy turnstones, living mosaics hopping along beside us as we stride.
We knew where the peregrine stooped (’stooped’ is the birder’s word) upon tasty prey, from an anachronistic bunker to a freshwater pond, as sedate mute swans ignore the entire drama.
Killdeer and Snow
from Cape May Bird Observatory post, post-storm
We knew where monarchs clustered in autumn, on a shrub called “high tide plant.” We had favorite dune trails where we’d seen loons visibly change their plumage before our eyes.
But neither of us knew what Christmas meant at New Jersey’s Cape, let alone what it means to the birds.
We packed foul weather gear - we’ve used it before for Cape May Birding Weekends of 20 mile an hour winds and I swear 20 degrees, although it couldn’t have been - it was the end of May…
We packed our binoculars and our Sibleys - well, they’re always in the trunk. Being writers, books and notepads went first into those suitcases. Janet’s memoir vied with her poetry. My NJ WILD held pride of place - no competition for it, these days, not even from the poetry muse.
We both fled the Victorian, sought out the rustic, the local, and above all, the maritime and the avian.
Down at the southernmost tip of New Jersey, at the birds’ jumping-off place to cross the Delaware Bay, the prime activity would neither be shopping til you drop, nor counting down to Christmas.
Out on the windswept beaches, spirit would be near at hand. Shore birds would do their Holy Ghost thing.
Though we did not see the Christmas star, something was being born. I called it Hope.
The First Thanksgiving Painting, Jean Louis Gerome Ferris
Brenda Jones’ image of Geese Overhead echoes Charles Goodrich’s signature phrase
Fellow poet, Penelope Schott, sent me this delightful essay from someone else wise and wild in her new home town, Portland, Oregon: Charles Goodrich.
I e-mailed Charles, receiving merry permission to share his (diatribe, polemic, or just plain delicious excursion?) with NJ WILD readers. I relish his unique sign-off/signature - don’t you?
Charles knows what to do on the days of Thanksgiving. That feast did not come into being so that people could shop. At 4 a.m. in beautiful New Jersey, people could be out tracking in a wood, following a river, coursing over the bounding main, seeking wild creatures– not elbowing aside other frenzied humans in mad excesses of materialism.
Wise Indians talked surviving Pilgrims into setting aside days of thanks for the harvest, much of which would not have been in hand without the steady assistance of the so-called savages.
Thanksgiving is meant to be a celebration of gratitude. In the wild world, gratitude can be engendered by watching wild turkeys, in this case, battling - rather than fighting off fellow shoppers.
Brenda Jones’ Battling Turkey Cocks
Here is a fellow nature enthusiast, engendering thankfulness the real way.
Thank you, Charles, and I look forward to your new book, GOING TO SEED: DISPATCHES FROM THE GARDEN, due out in April from Silverfish Review Press.
Charles suggests, “You might also want to check out the website of the program I work for, the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word. We sponsor a couple of writing residencies and a bunch of other events and programs that you and your readers might find interesting: http://springcreek.oregonstate.edu/
Keep up the good work there in the Garden State. I know there are precious pockets of wild nature in your midst. Glad to know you are helping folks toward the great remembering.
geese overhead, mice in the compost,
Use Charles Goodrich’s web-site, to track down other thoughtful musings. Meanwhile, take a stroll in wild Oregon with this fine thinker and writer.
Deep in the brambles, a winter wren scavenges insects for her supper, talking to herself in buzzing little syllables. Otherwise, things are quiet in the woods.
It’s the day after Thanksgiving, signs everywhere of recent feasting. Beside the river, a scrubby willow has been clipped off, the clean impression of beaver teeth indented in the stump.
At the base of a cedar, a fresh owl pellet, chock full of white bones and gray fur.
And here, in the center of the trail, splayed out in artful array, the scrub jay’s wings sail on through a scatter of gray and blue breast feathers, right where the fox left them.
I’m sure it will be a busy day at the mall. There are supposed to be bargains galore.
I can believe it, because the catkins of the wild filberts are already an inch long. And now the wren flits to a branch above the trail and scolds me for undisclosed offenses. Prosperity abounds!
Winter Sparrow by Brenda Jones
Spring Creek Project
The challenge of the Spring Creek Project is to bring together the practical wisdom of the environmental sciences, the clarity of philosophical analysis, and the creative, expressive power of the written word, to find new ways to understand and re-imagine our relation to the natural world.
Autumn Shadows, Sandy Hook
NJ WILD readers will understand that I thought I drove through Monmouth County thoroughbreds to Sandy Hook in quest of birds in November of 2010. Mother Nature had other ideas.
Winds were wild and birds were few. Actually, I saw more birders than birds. Some I questioned concerning two nearly motionless grey and white raptors late in the day had been ‘at it’, as I often have, since dawn. They hadn’t seen ‘my’ hawks, and my descriptions weren’t useful enough for Scott Barnes to assist. He did merrily remember the April day Tasha O’Neill and I had spent on their hawk watch platform when he and his deeply experienced sidekick could not keep UP with the sharp-shin count!
What high winds and higher sun did to autumn colors surpassed my life experiences, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and even in Vermont.
Autumn’s Fence, Ocean,Sandy Hook
Yet, when the day’s photographs were studied, my favorites turned out to have to do with shadows.
Woodbine Shadows, North Lookout
It was a day of whitecaps on the tidal river, drawing parasailers and windsurfers, what I first witnessed in Provence and learned of as ‘planche a voile’. Plank with sail. Winter may be in the wings, enough that I had my down ‘cardigan’ zipped to the chin. Yet hardy waterpersons were nearly stripping, then slipping into glossy wet suits, from first light til last.
It was a day of blessed solitude, every pore open to Mother Nature’s gifts.
It was a day of dazzlement.
And yet, and yet, this afternoon, re-living Sandy Hook, bright shadows carried the day.
TRIUMPH OF SHADOW, NORTH BEACH
Dear NJ WILD Readers: In the weeks ahead, you’ll be re-seeing posts of the past, before my hip required the surgery I will undergo tomorrow. Our remarkable fine art photographer, Brenda Jones, chose this one to launch the Reminiscence Series.
ENJOY - and HIKE FOR ME
Cezanne-like Ruin at Sandy Hook
NJ WILD readers know the catalyst for most of my New Jersey expeditions — birds.
I thought I went to Sandy Hook for autumn migrants. The Muse had other ideas.
Looking back on my runaway-day, I see that I found more birders than birds. But that’s o.k. I cherish the company of birders. (seeing them as ‘real’ birders, as opposed to this eager amateur.) I treasure birders when not even they can identify the pale mystery hawks over the N.J. Audubon Center on the river side of Sandy Hook.
Up on the North Beach platform, there was more talk of birds than birds. Memories of other days, other seasons. Souvenirs of northbound flights when the experts couldn’t keep up with the sharp-shin count. The day Anne Zeman and I happened to be there for the scissor-tailed flycatcher. Memories of World Trade Center towers, once so visible from those boards, now no more than memory.
We had one desultory red-tail, but Scott Barnes had identified this one last April as resident, not migrant. A string of double-crested cormorants flew low over invisible water. I’m pretty sure we heard yellow-rumped warblers in shrubbery all around the platform. I had to soothe other ‘watchers’ in that they couldn’t see cormorant crests, not even one, let alone double. Bird books annoyingly inform us, concerning those defining field marks, that they are ‘visible only in breeding season.’ Which October definitely isn’t. Not for birds, anyway.
Sometimes, I don’t know what my adventure was about until I download the pictures. Which is how I found out that this journey was about light, not birds. Light and form. Declining light, which somehow magnified form. Even the bunkers were beautiful.
Bunker Bedecked with Woodbine
That day’s paling sun brought new gifts, highlighting structures to which I’ve evidently been oblivious until now. I’ve driven and walked that North Beach area more times than I can count, in all weathers. Most memorably in February, with Sandy Hook Rangers who bear magical keys to secret ‘gardens’ along reaches otherwise verboten. The wrack line is particularly glistening in winter; bunkers even more stark. I try to comfort my pacifist self with the fact that no shot hath been fired at Sandy Hook in anger.
What the sun revealed last weekend was a ruin right out of Cezanne!
I zoomed into a parking place, oblivious to any other drivers as though a peregrine was winging overhead. But this wasn’t about falcons.
It was about light. Light that would not only change, but (as NJ WILD readers know too well about me, this time of year), light that will LEAVE. Abandon us. Plunge us into the underworld for months on end and I will have to remember to stay very far from pomegranates or I’ll NEVER get back to the light.
The Beauty of Ruins
I was hopping all around that building, reaching here, crouching there. — The way my sister and I did that cold April at the Wetlands Institute, where the purple gallinule remained most effectively in hiding for all his vividness. That fauve bird had been seen by experts and amateurs all week, all morning, and would be seen again that evening, but not while Marilyn and I were there. And, I promise you, we left no leaf unturned. Neither of us had seen one in our lives, put together. And we still hadn’t. Crouching, rising, turning returning — that Cezanne Studio look-alike called forth my most assiduous birding behaviors.
Ruined Door, Autumn Hues, Cezanne Door, Sandy Hook Ruin
The color of the door to Cezanne’s studio in Aix is splashed into my soul — exactly the tone of the door above, taken, –yes, in New Jersey.
I’ve lingered at the door of Cezanne’s studio times beyond measure. With my husband on history-wine-and-art pilgrimages. With the Friends of the Art Museum (Princeton) in 1978, on our Romanesque France tour de Provence with legendary Hyatt Mayor, Curator of Drawings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In 1981, I’d walked those leafy grounds above A, staring at Cezanne’s own views, wishing they’d let me photograph that spill of dried fruit along a windowsill. I did this with my elder daughter, Diane, and our Princeton friends, Hope and Valerie in January. In pivotal 1984, I’d learned that this was the site to which Cher Maitre Paul had returned from painting his iconic Mte. Ste. Victoire, already breeding the cold that would kill this unparalleled artist. That trip involved Diane again, and her younger sister, Catherine. Both lived abroad that year of the strong dollar, one in Paris, one in Bergamo. That time, we shared our beloved South of France with Charlie and Rose Mary, whom I’d introduced that spring. They’d fallen in love, come with us on their ninth date. This year they took me to dinner at Eno Terra to celebrate that 26 years-ago meeting. They’re still glad I did it!
During 1987 and 88, I introduced my Provence (native French who wintered in Cannes) neighbors-of-the-villa, over and over to places in their own land that they did not know, especially Cezanne-territory. All American friends who braved Provence with me, although I’d only had those two years of meagre college French, made pilgrimage with me to Matisse’s chapel. And to Fondation Maeght. But always to Cezanne, and the Restaurant Deux Garcons which mattered so much to M.F.K. Fisher and her two daughters.
So I know the color of Cezanne’s door. It’s exactly the tone of the door above, taken one week ago.
Shadowed Ruin, North Beach, Sandy Hook
Just as on Cezanne’s studio — even the shadows on this building were arresting in beauty and sharpness.
Cezanne-Look-Alike with Woodbine
Finally I tore myself from the structure, and the cascade of Provence memories it had ignited.
I remembered, after all, you’re this Jersey Girl. You’re here to celebrate our own back yard. What else is calling out to you this day?
NORTH BEACH NATIVE SPECIES: Autumn, 2010
If Cezanne had seen what seems like NJ native wild asparagus, aglow, he’d've turned into a Fauve.
What Cezanne would never have seen, is this hot yellow fireplug. Now I ask you, why? But isn’t it merry?
Fire Safety, North Beach, Sandy Hook, New Jersey
NJ WILD readers may remember this from the ‘dog days’ of last August. As we endure triple-digit heat days in JUNE, no less (while politicians debate the reality of Catastrophic Climate Change, I find myself newly compelled to seek out dappled roadways.
We, in Princeton and near, are blessed with places where shadows caress windshields and shiny metal hoods of vehicles. Sometimes, we can even drive where trees hold hands over our cars. On Pinelands roads, we may enjoy shadowed beauty and solitude even on Fourth of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day and the like.
Come DAPPLE with me!
In this summer of drought, when enormous swathes of corn have turned the color of camels on either side of Route 518 West of Princeton, I have had to develop a new modus operandi for driving. To evade that broiler-sun, I have come deliberately to tool along, up hill and down dale, on the outskirts of towns, and through the middle of small ones, as far as possible from highways, let alone anything named ’super’. I have to go in search of dappled roads.
This searing summer, I have been taught that shade is far more important than elapsed driving time.
When I endured 1988’s Provencal August, I wrote a poem beginning, “the sun strikes its flat sword blade…” I never before knew sun as enemy. As a child, my parents would sing, “Rain, rain, go away. Little Carolyn wants to play.” And this was perennially true. Now I feel I should do penance for this wish — now I find myself singing, “Sun, sun, go away.”
Day after day, “severe thunderstorms forecast”. Night after night, I carry my too-heavy new watering can around the rudimentary garden outside my new apartment on a wooded hill. Sometimes my parched plants cry out for me to repeat this procedure in mornings before work. People near my Canal Road dwelling have been saying, “We to live in a valley, a valley where it always rains on either side of us.” The ground outside is hard as concrete. Water from the golden can skids off the soil like mercury, like a garden snake, hurrying elsewhere, not sinking into roots.
I’ve had to find ways to escape the searing sun. I drive the dappled roads.
Blue Hills Above the Delaware from Hunterdon County
One of my all-time favorite books is William Least Heat Moon’s Blue Highways. I turn to it over and over, like Thoreau and Beston, Leopold and Abbey. W.L.H.M. took off in a van on the day he lost both wife and job, traveling the blue highways of our land, the ones without ’super’. He sought out cafes, measuring them by the number of photo calendars they displayed near their cash register. He brought to life each bossy waitress, each curmudgeonly fellow traveler at a stool at his side at the counter. Moon was not on a gastronomic quest, as I often am. Rather in search of humans, real people, what we used to call Americans before a certain recent president made ME ashamed to BE one… That simple travelogue held its place on best-seller lists for months. That basic journey sustained me in many a challenging ordeal of life.
“Where ya goin’?,” a fellow feeder asked William L.H. Moon. “Dunno,” he truthfully answered. His interrogator grinned: “Can’t get lost then.”
When I travel the dappled roads, it doesn’t matter if I get lost. On the dappled highways, still green and feathery above, the smokey wash of shadow alters both my car’s blinding finish and my own dessicated mood.
Provence didn’t have shadows. I never realized shade was essential. The most important description of any Inn was “terrace ombragee”. Until I sat at on those shaded terraces, surrounded by white linen and heavy silver and Provencal specialties beneath leather-leaved plane trees, (our sycamores) I didn’t know how priceless is shade. In Provence, I tried and failed to remember a favorite poem, “Glory be to God for Dappled Things.”
This summer, I learn the value of shadows in our own country. Without linen, without silver, sans cuisine.
When you travel ombragee’d roadways, you’ll either be pretty much alone, as in the Pine Barrens. Or you’ll be surrounded by people in a pretty good mood, soothed as shade comes and goes, as the road rises and falls, as trees create sanctuaries of silence.
Dappled roads don’t just funnel one - dappled roads lead somewhere.
As to rivers - the Wading, the Delaware. As to forests — Wharton, Brendan Byrne. As to mountains, so they say, as in Sourlands. Past a funny old road house, beloved of locals. Alongside farmstands, “cucumbers, 50 cents each”. “Our own fresh eggs.”
As you drive along dappled roads in South Jersey, you can check on the blueberry crop, the busy-ness of rented bees among tiny white cranberry blossoms. If you ‘dapple’ West, you’ll study the state of the sorghum crop, and puzzle as to whether corn tassels out later, the closer you get to the Delaware River (my theory. In this year of the drought, the later-tasseling corn is faring better.)
I’d far rather know how the sorghum’s doing, than the latest catastrophe of some celebrity of entertainment or politics (it is becoming more and more difficult to tell the difference.) I can stop thinking, for a few hours, about the perilous migratory journeys of all our New Jersey birds headed toward and over the Gulf.
When you choose dappled roads, even in town, as in Princeton, you’ll pass homes and graveyards of any number of signers of the Declaration of Independence, as well as the imposing residence of the current governor. Signs exult, “Tree City”. Oxymoronic, to be sure, but I’m grateful for every monarch of old, waving leafily, dreamily above my sheltering car.
When you drive shadowed south Jersey roadways, you course along beside pristine sugar sand. Here and there will be spurts of blinding ferns despite apparent lack of water. This year, you’ll read Smokey Bear signs with exclamation points after the single word “WILDFIRE!”, where fire danger used to be listed as low, medium or high. When you drive shadowed roadways west, you see gleaming silos like cathedrals in the distance. White horses and black-and-white cattle stand so peacefully, lessons in tranquillity. Red barns and redder farmhouses rise like exclamation points in the surrounding text of crops. You’ll clunk over a white covered bridge (as in Sergeantsville).
If I’m lucky, I can take dappled roads BOTH into and out of Sergeantsville, coming and going from my shadow-quest.
Shade will bless you as you pass any number of Washington’s Headquarters, perhaps pondering the fate of America without those stony shrines and their plain but brilliant occupant during the 1770’s and 80’s…
The edges of dappled roads could have been embroidered. This morning, bright sturdy chicory lined my path all the way to Stockton, like blue French knots embroidered by impeccable seamstresses. Here and there, a brook would keep me company, its quiet gleam no match for the bonniness of chicory. Behind the blue ‘knots’, entire fields of white lace, –yes, Queen Anne’s, short and tough yet delicate–, nodded in the half breeze.
An entire field of sunflowers, right west of here on #518, caused homesickness for France, for Arles, for Vincent, sane or mad, but no better chronicler of roadside flowers in the history of art.
Blessed by leaf-flicker, I am far from matters troublous. Weaving through Washington-shrines, I either forget the nightly news, or set it firmly in perspective. Taking the shady roads, I also manage to avoid most who exhibit road rage, although there was one harsh driver at the gas station at dawn for whom the attendant apologized three times. “He is not nice, that one…”
Dappled roads are nice. Good for the soul. Gateways to the beauties of New Jersey of which so many are absolutely unaware, and even the best of us can tend to forget, in hurly burly or in drought.
On dappled roads, embroidered roadways, weekend errands don’t even feel like tasks.
Find the Photographer - Anne Zeman - at her task…
Artist Joe Kazimierczyk Treasures North Jersey - his “Mountain Road”
Fellow hikers, [though no NJ WILD reader], ask why I seem never to write of New Jersey North. The truth is, for me, the journey is the destination. You know my passion for empty Pine Barrens Roads, for being surrounded by dense woods, near resonant peat streams, going down every “No Outlet” in Salem and Cumberland Counties to the Delaware Bay.
The splendor of Joe’s images from New Jersey North could almost convince me otherwise, however.
NJ WILD readers know that I need route to and from nature sites to nourish, to serve as part of my haven experience.
Roads I must utilize to reach North Jersey are fraught, competitive, frankly too corporate, populated with people in a driven mood (pun intentional). Those highways sap my strength, come between beauty and me, peace and me, nature and me. Those conduits undo the good of most northern excursions, with the possible exception of Ken Lockwood Gorge up beyond Clinton.
A CANOE CALLED DISCOVERY, CLINTON… cfe
It was worth taking highways to reach beautiful Clinton and its Colorado-like Gorge. But I digress:
Roads North Do Not Daunt Artist Joe Kazimierczyk - They Inspire Him:
Route 202 North
Route 202 North Immortalized by Joe Kaz
There are hardy souls, [such as one of my all-time favorite New Jersey artists], Joe Kazimierczyk, who treasure northern sites and will pay any price, highway-wise, bear any burden to reach them. Joe, whom everyone calls Joe Kaz, is a joy as a person as well as through his art. As I once wrote in a poem to Vincent Van Gogh, I could say to Joe, “You write as well as you paint!” Joe Kaz — man of the eloquent brush.
You can see his work, beginning this Wednesday, at the Verde Gallery in Kingston, next to legendary local/sustainable/gourmet’s haven, Eno Terra Restaurant. http://www.joekaz.com/galleries/verde_artists_collective
Verde Artists’ Collective
4492 Rte 27, Kingston, NJ, 08528
Venue Type: Arts / Cultural Center
Hours: Wed - Sat 11-5, Sun 12-4 and by appt
Accessible to persons with disabilities.
Here is the key to the treasury of Joe’s superb art of the moment, catalyzed by nature, especially in the Sourland Mountains, which we of D&R Greenway Land Trust have done so much to preserve. Joe devotes his life to singing Sourland praises, as well as Hunterdon County and the D&R Canal and Towpath. Without preservation throughout our beleaguered state, Joe would be lacking the major sources of inspiration for his brilliant works.in oil and acrylic. http://www.joekaz.com/
My purpose is to honor Joe, as well as to be fair to the northern part of our fair state. When Joe speaks of North, he means in and near and on the way to and from the Delaware Water Gap. Up there, he can lose himself in trails and timelessness, return with shimmering canvases.
Round Valley, Northern New Jersey, Tryptych — Joe Kazimierczyk
I’ll collect some of Joe’s words about North Jersey, which inspires him, beyond his native Sourlands.
Joe and I were write/talking about bears in NJ, I remembering bears near Chatsworth in the Pines. He writes:
I’ve only seen bears twice in NJ and both times were up there - once along the road on the way to Walpak, and once while hiking the trails near Rattlesnake Mtn. When I saw the bears on the trail, it was a mother bear with cub, so we just froze and didn’t move until the bears were out of sight.
Another sight I’ll never forget seeing up there - a large hawk flying low with a big snake in its claws. Wish I could say what kind of bird but I’m not good at bird identification. Impressive sight though!
Our initial interchange called forth these descriptions:
I haven’t painted any scenes up there in a long long time. I’m attaching 3 that I did in 1989 - they’re done with acrylics, and quite a bit different from those I’m painting now.
blue_mountain_1.jpg - this is a view from the AT atop Kittatinny Ridge somewhere above Buttermilk Falls, looking out over the Poconos. If memory serves, it was probably from Rattlesnake Mountain and nearby are a group of lakes and ponds named Blue Mountain Lakes.
Joe Kazimierczyk’s “Blue Mountain”
mountain_road_walpack.jpg - Near the town of Walpak, Mountain Rd takes you to the base of Buttermilk Falls. From there, it’s a very steep climb up to the Appalachian Trail. I wish I had a picture of Buttermilk Falls - it’s 75′ tall, the tallest waterfall in NJ. There a nice pic on this guy’s blog. This Park Service doc also has a photo: http://www.nps.gov/dewa/historyculture/upload/cmsstgOMR3WC.pdf
Joe Kazimierczyk’s Mountain Road, Walpack
mountain_road_walpack.jpg - Near the town of Walpak, Mountain Rd takes you to the base of Buttermilk Falls. From there, it’s a very steep climb up to the Appalachian Trail. I wish I had a picture of Buttermilk Falls - it’s 75′ tall, the tallest waterfall in NJ. There a nice pic on this guy’s blog. This Park Service doc also has a photo: http://www.nps.gov/dewa/historyculture/upload/cmsstgOMR3WC.pdf
Coppermines Trail by Joe Kazimierczyk
coppermines_tail_2.jpg - this painting is really stylized - nothing like the realism that I paint now, but I think it still captures the feel of Coppermines Trail where and the hemlock filled ravine it follows. There are also some nice waterfalls at the top of this trail. Closer to the bottom of the trail you can see some coppermine tunnels that go back to the mid-1700’s.
BUTTERMILK FALLS DESCRIPTION FROM Internet: This spectacular waterfall cascades down the mountainside just a few feet from the road; it is breathtaking in most seasons, but less so during dry periods. The National Park Service has built interpretive displays along a wooden stairway to the top of the falls, but use caution as it is quite steep and is likely to be damp. Adventurous explorers can take the Buttermilk Falls Blue Trail that climbs 1000 feet above the falls, and ultimately reaches the Appalachian Trail after approximately 1.9 miles. For more information visit http://www.nynjtc.org/trails/ebh/buttermilk.html.
Although Mountain Road is unpaved and rough in some areas, it can be rewarding for wildlife-viewing. There are several parking areas, and, as with the other sites in this region, a host of birds can be found, including American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow, Blue-winged, Hooded, Magnolia and Northern Parula Warblers, Wood, Veery, Swainson’s and Hermit Thrushes, Eastern Wood Pewee, Great-crested Flycatcher and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.
Wikipedia on Joe’s northern region of inspiration:
At the south end of the park, the river cuts eastward through the Appalachian Mountains at the scenic Delaware Water Gap. A one-day auto tour of the park can include waterfalls, rural scenery, and historic Millbrook Village. Visitors can also canoe, hike, camp, swim, picnic, bicycle, crosscountry ski, and horseback ride. Fishing and hunting are permitted in season with state licenses. The park hosts significant Native American archaeological sites, and a number of structures remain from early Dutch settlement during the colonial period.
The birder in me is intrigued, as I hope NJ WILD readers are, also. Do your own North Jersey research, and send me your results as comments. Lead me on new trails. Thank you! cfe
And just in case you’ve forgotten the splendors of Ken Lockwood Gorge, north of historic Clinton:
Sundays are the hardest days for expatriates, even in Provence.
Old Cannes — Le Suquet — from Old Port
It was on Sunday that I most missed family, when I languished without familiar people, views and rituals.
Typical View as I’d Set Out for St. Tropez on Any Day But Sunday
Any other day, I’d be off on a jaunt, –through the Esterel Forest to St. Tropez; up to Nice for real Provencal foods at Lou NIssarda (where even my neighbors in the villa had never been!); over to the Picasso Castle, then the Musee Napoleon in Antibes; a walk out the back way, away from the sea, toward Vallauris; Roman days in Frejus. But Sundays, no. On Sundays, the French were likely to be out on their roadways, with their own unique responses to traffic, signals, signs and laws. On Sundays, I didn’t want to learn new things. I needed something familiar. Hard to come by in a strange land, even one I’d chosen with my entire being.
View From My Cannes Balcony - though I was closer to hotels
In my Cannes life, I quickly learned the only antidote for the homesickness of the expatriate - a very early visit to the Marche Forville in the steep and stony Old Town. The part of Cannes nobody knows - on rue Meynardier in Le Suquet, where I would attend Midnight Mass given in Latin, French and Provencal with dear new neighbors in a matter of months.
What would be somewhat familiar, of course, was food shopping.
What was anything but familiar was the sight of all those farmers, at 8 a.m., literally belly up to bars strung all alongside the old market, downing the local red wine from glasses more like tumblers than ‘ballons’. They’d had long hard drives into ‘the city’ from the country. They had a long day of sales ahead of them, followed by another drive back to their carefully tilled fields. One must be fortified.
Open-Air-Sided Marche Forville, Rue Meynardier, Cannes
It was fortification enough for me to stroll those echoing (open-air-sided) lanes. What always surprised was that the weather followed us IN there. Yes, certain rains - during my first days there, Nice Matin headlines blared, “The Rains of One Month in One Week-End” That was more urgent news than the dire stock-market plunge back home, October of 87. Pompiers - Firemen - were called and called, to pump out wine cellars… I was definitely not in Kansas.
Probably the only truly familiar food was olive oil. The charming man (all the Cannes stall people were charming - real, hearty, hardy, in peasant garb, proud of hands most often in the soil, and eager to share and to teach) asked me what kind of olive oil I preferred. I didn’t know there there was more than one kind. “Well, what kinds are there?,” I managed to ask. He answered at length, and I chose the one with the most beautiful name – ”fruitier”. He absolutely beamed: “C’est mon favorite!”, and gave me the bottle. As in, refused my francs. He had grown and harvested and pressed all the olives that rendered these varying hues and flavors of oil. His full life and pride were in every bottle. Needless to say, I went to him every time I needed olive oil thereafter! Which happened a whole lot more frequently than it had in my American life.
Tomatoes look this ripe in Provence all year round
I knew chevre (goat cheese) - so I went to the chevre lady. “Which chevre to you prefer?,” she inquired, glowing like the parent of a newborn. “What kinds are there?,” I asked anew. This belle dame offered me the chevre of the morning, the chevre of the week, the chevre of last month, or aged. These came four to a squat canning jar; submerged, of course, in olive oil the color of the sun. It was divine. In later weeks, I would try each ‘vintage’, savoring major and surprising differences. What really amazed were “crottins”, which the no-nonsense Provencals loved to offer to foreigners, because “crottins” are goat droppings - in other words, smaller rounds of chevre.
Next came the honey lady. “I would like to buy some honey, s’il vous plait,” I began. You KNOW what she asked. You know my response. This savvy apicultrice took me on a tour of the products of her very mobile bees. Acacia, I remember, and wild flowers (des fleurs sauvages), orange blossom of course. Absolutely new to me, and irresistible forever was lavender honey. Milky in color, slightly granular and yet so smooth - I who never put honey or sugar in tea or coffee, who don’t even LIKE sweets that much, could not sip tea at home from that morning on, without lavender honey.
You would think shopping for chicken for Sunday dinner would be normal (same word in French), familiar. Wrong! I had to wait for the chicken lady to finish her previous transaction (actually, I really wanted to buy her eggs.) A man bought a chicken. It was alive. She tied its legs together. After weighing it and the exchange of francs, she handed it to the man who walked out of the market, chicken flapping like an upside-down angel, until he faded from sight in the increasing crowd.
Very obvious foreigners were rare in the Marche, except for the date sellers. Childhood’s had come in long gold packages from my California aunt, the only good cook in that (former Ohio) family. Her dates had a kind of skin that was papery, a little unpleasant to little girls’ tongues. We usually chopped Aunt Helen’s dates into ‘her’ cookies or ‘her’ date/nut bread. The dates of the datesellers of Cannes came on a long gold stem, fresh from the tree! I had to have a golden string of dates- even though it looked like a life supply. When I sampled the first one, back home on l’Observatoire hill, the fruit was stunningly moist - as though the honey of my new apicultrice had somehow been infiltrated into these strange brown things.
Lavender Crop at Abbey of Senanque - which I did visit, but not in Lavender Time
(all pix from internet - not easy to come by old Provence nor La France Profonde…)
Fish - o.k. — Cannes is a working fishing port. I love fishing villages. This should be familiar. No, indeed! The small fishing boats of my new town, –brightly colored, very Van Gogh–, were only out for a handful of hours. The men would arrange their catch upon oilcloth, UNDER which was ice. The fish came from salt water, you see; Provencals insisted it dies in fresh water - loses all flavor, than which there is no greater crime in France. Each fisherman’s table was right out of Cezanne’s The Card Players – rickety dark legs, the top small and square.
A slendr tuyau, tube, drained meltwater from invisible ice into a bucket that had seen better days. Each fish table looked like a relief map of the mountainous region between Cannes and St. Tropez, without the cork oaks and the stunted pines. Lying on the mountains and slanting down into the valleys were fish. Only they didn’t lie. They actually leapt! into air, flipping bright tails, arching supple necks. Sometimes launching themselves right off that cold oilcloth and onto the Marche floor.
The Old Port, the hill of Le Suquet
There was absolutely not one whiff of what my daughters had called, wrinkling their pretty noses, “eau de fishmarket.” On the contrary, a hint of sea breeze was the present at best, ever enticing. No fish fresher. Living bouillabaisse.
By this time, my string bags were cutting into my fingers. If there were a wind, let alone a mistral, it would be whipping around my ankles, chilling feet and legs despite serious walking shoes and thick socks. Time to return to the car. (that tiny little, tinny little, expensive Renault, then Peugeot which passed for a car…)
First, however, to read with my Sunday meal - a new copy of Nice Matin. In the kiosk outside the Marche, I stopped to buy the paper (they don’t have Sunday papers on Sunday in Provence.) The venerable woman behind the cashregister, also waved away my francs. “Mais, pourquoi?”, I protested.
“Vous etes Americaine. Vous avez sauvez nous,” was her heartfelt answer.
“You are American. You saved us.”
I wasn’t homesick any more.
Upper Raritan, Fly Fishermen’s Paradise - Ken Lockwood Gorge, Tasha O’Neill
GOOD NEWS - FIRST TIME IN MORE THAN A CENTURY: Upper Raritan to Run Free
Dear NJ WILD Readers,
To give you a sense of the magnitude of this preservation miracle, I share Tasha O’Neill’s glorious pictures of Ken Lockwood Gorge on the upper Raritan.
It’s grand in winter in the Gorge. Virtual trips can be made by Googling Ken Lockwood Gorge and feast your eyes on vodka-clear waters, dancing between moss-garlanded black rock walls. Pretend you’re as deft, graceful and successful as all those fly fishermen.
Imagine that our hands are tenderly releasing wild and wily trout into untroubled Raritan waters. This is a dream that can now come true.
I recently watched NJN Special, Along the Delaware, showing the grace of fly fishing in the upper Delaware River. Scenes of artful sportsmen are interspersed with those peaceful kayakers, to the overhead carols of red-tailed hawks… Now, The Delaware’s sister, Raritan, can give forth wild bounty.
For once, humans are making amends to our beleaguered earth.
In the meantime, support your local land trust, such as our D&R Greenway Land Trust, founded to preserve land near the Delaware & Raritan Canal and Towpath. Keep in the forefront of your consciousness the beauty and peril (development/poisoning of waterways) of our beautiful unsung state… Do everything in your power to expand preservation miracles such as this one.
And, go walk the Gorge in all seasons. You may be inspired to paint masterpieces, as have some of D&R Greenway’s key Artists of Preservation.
The NJ DEP has secured an agreement that will open up a large stretch of the
The removal of the dams, financed and carried out by El Paso, will open up a
The settlement marks an important first step in what the DEP hopes will become
The fish to benefit most from the removal of the dams are American shad,
Additionally, the dam removal will make it easier for kayakers,
For more details on the settlement and the stretches of river involved, visit