Archive for the ‘Indians’ Category
Filed Under (Agriculture, Birding, Birds, Brenda Jones, Butterflies, Cumberland County, Delaware Bayshores, Delaware River, Farm Markets, Farmers, Farmland, Farms, Indians, NJ WILD, Oceans, Pollution/Poisoning, Revolutionary War, Salem County, rivers) by Carolyn Foote Edelmann on 01-09-2012
SALEM COUNTY’S BUCOLIC HISTORY - ALLOWAY CREEK cfe
NJ WILD readers know my favorite places to travel are the wild ones of New Jersey, –especially central and southern–, particularly near water, salt and fresh.
Often in quest of birds, rare yet plentiful.
You also know that the places I choose are havens on many levels.
However, I may not have emphasized enough that one can visit NJ WILD sites, even on major ‘Holidays’, without crowds.
Hancock House Historic Outbuilding - Revolutionary Site — cfe
If you pull up NJ WILD, it has a search feature. Write in ‘Brigantine’ or ‘Pine Barrens’; ‘Sourlands’ or Sandy Hook; Bull’s Island, the Delaware River, Island Beach, etc. You’ll be given a string of posts on their wild beauty, and directions are often part of the saga. For deepest solitude, plan birders’ hours — first light and last light.
In general, Take The Pretty Way, the back roads.
Salem Preserves — cfe
Tomorrow, a friend and I will launch her new Prius into Salem and Cumberland Counties. We’ll be treated to golden stretches of marshland; to shimmering rivers with splendid Indian names, such as the Manumuskin. We’ll ride on and laugh at the sound of Buckshutem Road. We’ll wonder, as you always must down there, where on earth will we eat? Of course, there’ll be the freshest of Jersey Fresh produce on weathered stands in front of farmhouses of other centuries. Of course, we’ll slide coins into Trust Boxes, as we settle agricultural jewels into our sustainability bags to take home.
We’ll see rare birds, especially eagles. Salem County held our only productive eagle nest during the grim DDT years, which my county (Somerset) is about to reinstitute, as it ‘adulticizes’ mosquitoes in the week ahead. Now, I am not kidding, in Salem and Cumberland Counties, we could see more eagles than we can count.
American Bald Eagle Floating - Brenda Jones
Osprey Claiming Nest, Brenda Jones
Cabbage Whites Nectaring — Brenda Jones
Especially ditto purple martins, but they had all left the Brigantine the last time I was there, weeks ahead of schedule. Theory is that our drought hinders the insect population to such a degree that martin migration is over. I’ll know tomorrow. If not, there could be hundreds of thousands of them, bending the marsh grasses, then darkening skies, along the Maurice River.
Alloway Creek, site of British Massacre of Colonial Soldiers, Salem County — cfe
Look up these sites, and find them for yourselves. There won’t be anyone else on most of the roads to the unknown, actually usually forgotten, Delaware Bay.
Salem County, Tranquillity Base cfe
Short-Eared Owl, Winter, Pole Farm by Brenda Jones
Locals know that U.S. 1 [Business] Newspaper miraculously turns itself over to creativity for two weeks of every summer. Rich Rein calls it “The Fiction Issue,” but it is richly studded with poetry.
To their publication party, everyone is invited (www.princetoninfo.com); all who submitted are encouraged to attend; all writers present are introduced, but only the poets read.
Each year, I reach out to D&R Greenway’s Poets of Preservation, urging them to submit. One never EVER knows if one’s work will appear. But, to my delight, standing in Lucy’s Ravioli Kitchen waiting to pay for scrumptious homemade pasta on Friday, I discovered that the U.S. 1 Fiction Issue editors had indeed selected my poem, “Owl Pellets”, for inclusion in this summer’s issue.
Pick up a (free) copy of this lively publication, over the next few weeks. I find mine, usually, at Main Street Cafe in Kingston, or the little coffee shop next to the Post Office of Rocky Hill. I keep a copy to savor over the weeks ahead, and bring some home to send to family and friends in other states.
It’s pretty rare that a business publication honors pure creativity. i’ve been grateful to Rich Rein, since he founded this newspaper about which “they said it couldn’t be done”, decades ago. For many years, I wrote for them on nature, history, travel and poetry, especially in and of New Jersey.
Here is “Owl Pellets,” written about the Hamilton/Trenton/Bordentown Marsh, which I so cherish, down where all those pylons otherwise support superhighways such as Route 1, 295, and tracks for the spiffy River Line Train.
What intrigues me about this work is that it was written either the day of my hip operation or the day after, at what used to be Princeton Medical Center. A lonnnnngggg way from a marsh, let alone Indians…
all along the downed log
in Trenton’s old marsh
I mean really old
as in ten thousand years of
Lenni Lenape presence
a coalescence of tribes
after the long months
begun by hunger’s moon
the rising of
new pickerel weed
arrayed along greening banks
from inland hunting lives
to sea gathering
but first, this time together
in the Marsh
I descend to the log
studying, not touching
pierced silvery ovals
of bone / feather / fur
they seem arranged
by men with lithe
kneeling in loin cloths
of old deerskin
and new beads
CAROLYN FOOTE EDELMANN
(written in hospital – November, 2011)
U.S. 1 Newspaper Summer Fiction Issue, 2012
Filed Under (Adventure, Amphibians, Animals of the Wild, Birding, Brenda Jones, Hamilton Trenton Bordentown Marsh, Indians, Lenni Lenapes, NJ WILD, Native Americans, Preservation) by Carolyn Foote Edelmann on 13-05-2012
Baltimore Oriole with Fishing Line for Nest Brenda Jones
Most people don’t even know there IS a Marsh in the middle of Trenton (and Bordentown and Hamilton). Let alone the northernmost freshwater tidal wetland, which surges and empties in synch with the tides of the ocean, as amplified by the nearby Delaware River. Let alone that ‘The Marsh’ is Oriole Central this May!
Most people don’t know that the Marsh has mattered to the Lenni Lenapes for at least 10,00 years, that artifacts proving this have been found there over the centuries. That the Lenapes at first didn’t live there, but connected with each other and other tribes in spring, in autumn, en route to or from hunting lives to gathering times at the Shore. That Route #195, which noisily curves above and through the Marsh, began all those centuries ago as the Indians’ footpath to ocean gathering time.
Baltimore Oriole, Full Breeding Plumage - Brenda Jones
For sure, what most people don’t know is that, if you’re in love with orioles, as well as other rarities among our NJ birds, go to the Marsh right NOW! The earlier in the day the better, though late light is good, too. Go with anyone brought there to lead tours for the Friends for the Marsh (www.marsh-friends.org), such as Charles and Mary Leck, Lou Beck and John Marin, among others. Orioles will welcome you immediately, perhaps even before the mute swans glide over to enchant you. Not only Baltimore orioles, but also orchard orioles.
Baltimore Oriole in All His Glory Brenda Jones
If you’re with Charlie, Mary, Lou and John, you’ll be informed that the vaguely chartreuse oriole is a first-year orchard oriole. You may know, from other Marsh trips, –when Orchards and Baltimores conveniently perched on the same empty branch so that you could compare and contrast, as in English class–, that Orchard example will, next year, be the hue of a toasty chestnut.
Spring Lake was named by the Lenni Lenapes, because spring-fed. It may well have been formed by the beavers, who still generously inhabit watery stretches, in what Charlie calls, “Beaver Condominiums”
Beaver Close-Up, from D&R Canal in Princeton — Brenda Jones
There’s a trail map at entry of what is also called Roebling Park. You can hike over a small bridge (see beaver dam, which is different from lodge, to your right) into woods with well blazed trails. And/or turn left at the lake and circle it very slowly, binoculars on everything from posts to vines to tulip trees (Indians carefully burn-hollowed these trunks for canoes) to towering cottonwoods to shrubby arrow-wood viburnum (Indians used this wood for arrows) to dead trees, otherwise known as snags, perfect perching posts for avian visitors and nesters.
Great Blue Heron Brenda Jones
This morning, starting at 8 a.m., an enthusiastic group decided that birding is more important than Mothers’ Day. Birding-by-ear was the name of the game from the start. I’ll try to remember what was seen and heard, so you can pretend you were with us.
To get there yourself, take Route 1 South to South Broad Street Exit at Arena; when exit T’s, that’s South Broad/206 South, there by the River Line Train holding pen. Left is south onto Broad, past Lalor. Turn right at the light (Sewell) after the two green church steeples. Drive through tiny neighborhood until Sewell T’s at the Marsh. Turn left/down and park next to the lake. Miracles of peace, beauty and birding await.
Red-Winged Blackbird in Full Breeding Plumage — Brenda Jones
Mute swans; orchard oriole; red-winged blackbirds; yellow warblers; common yellowthroats; blue-grey gnatcatchers; solitary sandpiper (only there were 2 of these (really rare creatures); great blue heron; mallard pair; beaver lodge; beaver dam; Carolina chickadee with insect in mouth, waiting for us to pass so it could pop into its nest in post hidden by vines to feed young.
Osprey At (Much Heftier) Nest — Brenda Jones
Osprey on scrungy nest on top of hideous power tower, male arriving with outsized nest material, matrimony on his mind. Flock of cedar waxwings, conveniently in emptily dead tree. Warbling vireos everywhere, proving their name.
Cedar Waxwing — Brenda Jones
Red Admiral butterflies, the lepidopteral stars of Spring 2012, first ON parking lot, where everyone could get ‘a good look’ at it, resting mid-flight on the gravel. The next red admiral was on a tree that had been graffitied — on a large 0 after a peace sign. Those with cameras were ecstatic. Those without will never forget those juxtapositions. At the shore, such as Cape May and ‘The Brigantine’ about which I write so often, people recently saw 40,000 migrant red admirals. Warning — they’re not red - they’re orange — but that’s pretty much the norm in nature nomenclature. Remember how orange the redstart is, and to me the red knot is terra cotta…
American Redstart by Brenda Jones — If you ask ME, it’s orange!
We saw a toad upon whose species — the experts could not agree. It was right in the clover by the lake, and still as a stone. Henslow’s? American? I didn’t hear the outcome, because I was on the trail of overhead orioles, irresistibly posing in the full sun we weren’t supposed to have.
Now, answer me. Would you believe a saga like this took place in Trenton. Does all day every day, depending upon the season. Several times, those of us who are riveted by bouquet de fox were stopped in our tracks by fox pungency.
I didn’t take my camera - but Brenda Jones, of course, has pictures of some of our species. I’ll put them in for you.
Put yourSELVES into the Marsh.
And support it, through Friends for the Marsh and D&R Greenway Land Trust, where I work — who preserved and maintain those 1200 crucially moist acres, buffering temperature and drought/flood conditions, and serving as nursery and migrant corridor for species beyond counting.
Although botanist Mary Leck and ornithologist, Charlie Leck, have, indeed counted and you can find the species count for plants, animals, amphibians (fish?), and, of course, birds on www.marsh-friends.org.
Never forget that www.drgreenway.org keeps green New Jersey green
D&R Canal Above Mapleton Aqueduct by Brenda Jones
Where D&R Greenway Began its Preservation Miracles…
Filed Under (Activism, Amphibians, Animals of the Wild, Birds, Brenda Jones, Edward Abbey, Farm Markets, Forests, Hamilton Trenton Bordentown Marsh, Henry David Thoreau, Indians, Lenni Lenapes, Literature, Local Food, NJ WILD, Native Americans, Nature, Nature Writing, New Jersey, Preservation, Sourland Mountains, The Seasons, Trees, Wildflowers, books, habitat, native species, protection, rivers, wild, wildness) by Carolyn Foote Edelmann on 04-03-2012
“…unreconstructed and necessary wildness…” Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire
Enraged Osprey of Carnegie Lake, Brenda Jones
Michael Pollan in general, and his Botany of Desire, in particular, is one of those authors everyone means to read. I hear protestations of intention all the time, always tinged with a kind of wistfulness. Recently, Public Television gave people a visual taste of this man’s paradigm. For me, the visual alone never suffices.
I’ll go so far as to insist that Pollan is an author to re-read. His subject matter is so unexpected (apples and ‘cyder’, marijuana, tulips and potatoes) and his thinking so original. It’s worth taking Pollan in hand, even if you don’t give a fig about nature. Just for the privilege of journeying with him.
Fierce Flight (Great Blue Heron), Brenda Jones
And savoring his pithy phrases, such as “Plants are the true alchemists.” His lament that now, “It is as though nature is something that happens outside,… as if we are gazing at nature across a gulf.” As he sets out in a canoe in quest of Johnny Appleseed’s seminal (couldn’t resist) journeys, Pollan relishes trusting in the river to take him wherever he wants to go.
WILD DELAWARE RIVER, Brenda Jones
In my case, re-reading The Botany of Desire reveals a delicious (pun intended) emphasis upon the WILD.
Trenton’s Apple Bounty, cfe
People can and do tease me for prating of the WILD in New Jersey. In the first segment of The Botany of Desire, Pollan takes an even more unlikely tack — seeking the wild, as did Thoreau, through apples. One of his theses is that Appleseed’s success came because he was not peddling mere fruit, but ‘cyder’ to the pioneers.
West Windsor’s Apple Bounty — cfe
Michael sets the tone with phrases such as “A handful of wild apples came with me” (on his Johnny-Appleseed-Quest.) He insists that “sowers of wild seeds are to be prized.”
Cedar Ridge Preserve Meadow, cfe
Cedar Ridge Wild Mushrooms — cfe
Pollan laments that “we live in a world where the wild places where wild plants live are dwindling.” You’ve heard this line from me in ‘posts’ beyond counting, coupled with urgings to support your local land trusts, especially D&R Greenway, to preserve New Jersey’s wild remnants and to plant New Jersey Natives wherever we can.
Baldpate View, Ted Stiles Preserve, Brenda Jones
Let Michael define “the best of all possible worlds”: “WE’D BE PRESERVING THE WILD PLACES THEMSELVES.”
The next best possible world: “ONE THAT PRESERVES THE QUALITY OF WILDNESS ITSELF.”
Female Harrier Aloft, Pole Farm, Brenda Jones
Male Harrier, “The Grey Ghost”, in ice at Pole Farm — Brenda Jones
The generating thesis of NJ WILD is that the wild exists right in our own back yards:
Wild erupts with the whiff of fox along mown paths of The Griggstown Grasslands. This lovely lofty set of trails, with its compelling Sourlands and Watchung views, awaits but a mile or two north of me on Canal Road, before/beside Griggstown’s Causeway.
Fox Alert, Griggstown Grasslands, Brenda Jones
The wild surprised me last week In burgeonings of wildflowers, deep in the duff of the forest floor, on Bull’s Island in the Delaware. These petite fleurs lifted up the blinding waxy yellow of buttercups. 8 to 10 petals rayed out from yellow centers. These premature spring heralds were nevertheless inviting pollinators. On my hike, they seemed like pieces of eight flung onto the leaf-strewn forest floor.
Why call a delicate plant WILD? Because they arrived there on their own, blooming despite winter on the calendar, pushing through flood detritus that resembled the graphite dust of Thoreau’s pencils. A key quality of the wild is RESILIENCE — New Jersey specialty!
Sourland Mountain Rocks and Water, Brenda Jones
WILD in New Jersey, for me, requires Lenni Lenapes. The land was tended by these peaceful tribes, at least 10,000 years ago. Their vanished presence is palpable on many of my hikes, most especially among Sourlands boulders. Also on trails near Mountain Lakes House, and at Ringing Rocks just across Delaware at Upper Black Eddy. In each case, majestic boulders that render Stonehenge puny rest exactly where they were revealed by water wind and time, before time. The huge stones are frequently encountered in a massive ring. I FEEL Indian councils there, planning tribal actions for the season about to begin. Seasons which, for Lenni Lenapes, triggered travel either to or from hunting to gathering.
Mink at Play, Brenda Jones
In the Hamilton/Trenton/Bordentown Marsh, the Lenapes convened with selected other tribes, before leaving central Jersey hunting grounds for Shore gatherings. This journey and the seasonal constellation of other indigenous peoples was triggered by natural phenomena. Spring’s took place when pickerel weed pierced still waters like arrows.
New Jersey’s Apple Bounty, cfe
Michael Pollan plants a wild tree in his own home garden. His hope - “that such a tree will bear witness to unreconstructed and necessary wildness.”
What can you do about wildness right now, as elusive winter gives way to spring?
Go in search of it.
Buy only native NJ species for your gardens.
Read Michael Pollan
well, you know….
REMEMBER, WILD IS ALL ABOUT HABITAT!
Rare Box Turtle, Camouflaged in Natural Habitat - Cedar Ridge cfe
Generously support D&R Greenway and other Land Trusts, preserving New Jersey’s wild wherever it exist.
Filed Under (Adventure, Amphibians, Animals of the Wild, Birds, Brenda Jones, Climate Change, Forests, Indians, NJ WILD, Native Americans, Nature, New Jersey, Preservation) by Carolyn Foote Edelmann on 17-01-2012
Sourlands Rocks and Water, Brenda Jones
NJ WILD readers know that an essential facet of my hip recovery is walks with friends in nature.
#1, I require nature. #2, doctors and physical therapists require “extension of the surgical leg.” #3 - my pilgrimage now focuses upon stamina.
My forever quest is beauty, but you KNOW that. NJ beauty in particular!
I can walk well, amazingly. However, lumpy trails require the arm of a friend. I told a friend recently, “I’m Shanghai-ing friends to walk trails in right weather.” She retorted, “I’m Shanghai-able.” Fay Lachmann is always “Shanghai-able,” so we made my first return to the Sourlands last week, on a cold and sunny day.
(As Fay helped me recreate this excursion for all of you, Google’s recent NJ WILD readership numbers astonished– 1600 page views a week ago, 1330 last week — I am grateful to each and every one…)
Sourlands Winter Palette, Brenda Jones
The Sourlands’ first winter gift was the richly sustaining palette of this season. Being but a spectator of, not a participant in art, I find myself limited in trying to recreate those tones for you:
What stands out is the array of artsy colors - taupe and puce. Food tones - toast, caramel, burnt toast. Chestnut and walnut and literal hickory nuts from the ragged grey shagbarks on either side. Some beech leaves had already paled to the Devonshire cream tones of April, just before they let go to fertilize themselves.
The most stirring experience remains the darkness of stark trees — jet black, even blue-black as in childhood ink, charcoal, obsidian… Their sculptural qualities were as thrilling as any blockbuster MOMA exhibit.
We were bathed in surprising roseate tones, drawn to various gildings. Of course, always and ever, evergreen bursts.
Alongside the trail, moss erupted in full springtime exuberance, — blinding, St. Paddy’s Day green. Dazzling, sparkling, sun somehow caught in every pouf, and I use that soft word deliberately. Winter not usually being connected with softness…
Brenda’s mosses were a little more subdued, in next-day light.
Moss Abundance, Sourlands, 2012 - Brenda Jones
To the left of our Sourlands trail we came upon a grove of Christmas fern. So named because it can be enjoyed in winter — not usually after Christmas, name or no name. But, January - this was impossible. Each cluster was larger than a peck, smaller than a bushel. Almost waist-high, tendril tips had not even been licked by Jack Frost.
That Christmas fern glen was full of life, –the way I’m always determined to stay in winter, not always succeeding. The ferns were cushiony, bountiful, cradling.
On our right, we came upon first ice miracles. Temperatures had dropped to single digits that week, without undue warming. (Well, NJ WILD readers know that to me, all winter warming is undue and dangerous.)
Due to gelid nights, what would otherwise be vernal (spring) ponds, were solid enough to support minuscule figure skaters. Pond rims were awash in scrolls, as though some master had etched the art of the ’20s and ’30’s onto fine crystal. In fact, Rene Lalique himself or Louis Comfort Tiffany must have spent hours adorning the pools of our Sourland woods. Think Chrysler Building or Empire State — particularly their interior artistry — we were given that level of scrollery.
In the middle of the first small pond, with its Lalique edges, some abstract artist had had his way with the center — it was harsh, yet endearing. Against water the color of patent leather pumps, star slashes created a starry starry night, in daytime. We couldn’t walk away from this beauty. I could almost hear Antiques Road Show experts raving about this rare mastery in winter woods.
Smiling Rock, Sourlands, in another season — Carolyn Foote Edelmann
(We have most photographs courtesy of our splendid fine-art photographer, Brenda Jones. I raved so about this hike that Brenda and her husband, Cliff, took to the trail first thing the next day. They did not come upon Lalique ice. But Brenda captures mood, design, palette, and hardy beauty of this region in her own sensitive/powerful way.
As you enjoy her scenes, remember that D&R Greenway Land Trust has been exceptionally active in preserving and linking Sourlands open space. Support your local land trusts!)
Our next nature delight, –in this season so many deem empty–, was a splendid array of turkey tail fungus on adorning a venerable log. Brenda was as stirred by this as we, without having been ‘tipped off’. I wanted to see what would speak to her.
Brenda Jones’ Turkey Tail Fungus on Downed Log
The trees on this Sourlands trail do not form a monoculture. However, beeches were the stars of our day. Elephant-toned trunks even sported knobby circularities, evocative of elephant legs. I never understand why people are disposed to carve into that silk-satin skin of large beeches. One tree had been particularly scarred. The cynic in me snaps, “The tree will outlive the relationships!”
I frankly hugged that beech, apologizing for human heedlessness.
But someone else had been working over the beech trunk– someone who’s supposed to: the yellow-bellied sapsucker.
No, we didn’t see the bird. But his or her tiny holes ringed the trunk at several levels. Were this insect-season, [which it soon well may be, at the rate we're going, climate-wise], winged protein would be attracted to sap that rises to these beak-sized openings. Attracted and doomed, insects would provide two forms of nourishment to other birds, not limited to sapsuckers.
Distant Woodpecker, Brenda Jones
Brenda and Cliff probably heard, as well as found, this member of the woodpecker family, to send along to you. This is the red-bellied woodpecker, in my experience more often heard than seen; — and, if seen, in woods far more dense than this.
The yellow-bellied sapsucker was not to be viewed by Brenda nor by us - Sibley describes them as “long-winged, rather delicate, quiet and inconspicuous.” Indeed. Fay and I do not remember having heard nor seen any birds, not even vultures on high on that luminous day.
We met few other hikers, all as stunned as we by downed mature trees on all sides, –trees beyond counting. The October snowstorm, Hurricane Irene and who else, Lee?; well, nowadays, virtually any rain or wind, had swooped through this stretch (in Fay’s words, “as though a giant’s huge hand had swept them all to the ground.” If so, those giants had been seriously enraged, as though crashing all dishes off a table after an insuperable quarrel. Humans have warmed climate to such a degree that the ‘water table’ never returns to normal. Soaked ground does not hold trees well, even without wind. If nature is the giant, She has every reason for rage at those who will not slow CO2 emissions while there’s still time, IF there’s still time…
Unabraded Sourlands Trail, Brenda Jones
The trail under our feet, also, had been abraded and even in some cases washed away. At some points I had to walk over rocks — something we hadn’t covered in physical therapy. Nor had I been taught to balance on grey drainage tubes, that until 2011 had always been deep beneath the trail - not in place of the trail, as now.
Even so, being on that road was high privilege.
“There’s a Long, Long Trail A-Winding…”, Brenda Jones
Normally, I’d've gone off to the right on the streamside trail, for the crossing of which I had bought my treasured trekking poles long long ago. And beside which, deep in the forest, I’d come upon my first ever (terrestrial) box turtle. The brook trail loops back in a leisurely manner, around to join our road. The waterside walk would, however, be too rough for me, eight weeks post-op.
Another place I turn off, normally, is to the left, farther along, which takes us to enormous Sourlands boulders. I feel Indians in council among those Stonehenge impersonators, predecessors… And wish that I were among them…
Retracing steps, back to the car, we were bowled over anew by swathes of Lalique ice on either side. Silenced by such elegance in the midst of this hardy woods, we became increasingly aware of the hush on all sides. You would never know that highways, commerce and hunters lurk on all sides of this high haven. Thank our lucky stars for local preservationists, individuals, groups, and the Hopewell Community.
Dappled Sourlands, in another season, Carolyn Foote Edelmann
Finishing my return to the Sourlands, I realized that it is for this, as much as for kayaking, that I had asked Dr. Thomas Gutowski to replace my crippled hip November 9.
Birthday, Christmas and New Year, rolled into one, I can be, anew, a pilgrim in nature.
(Find Sourlands Mountains Preserve sign and some parking to the right, off Greenwood Avenue, a right turn from #518, at Hopewell’s Dana Building)
Canal and Alexander Road Bridge from Kayak - cfe
NJ WILD readers are well aware that I could wear a bumper sticker upon my being:
“I’D RATHER BE KAYAKING”.
And my site of choice, of course, is the D&R Canal.
What most of you do not know, however, is that I haven’t been in a kayak this year. On November 9, I’ll will be having replaced this hip that won’t allow me to enter nor exit (thought I could paddle forever!) a kayak. Hence, so few outdoor experiences in recent months. It’s nearly over.
Meanwhile, I send you this poem, written after a day of doing what I love best.
KAYAK FOR ME!
Blessings to all, Carolyn
The latest I was ever in a kayak was November 23 - there’s plenty of time for YOU!
Thoreau upon the Merrimack
it’s 3 p.m. and a Friday
I’m stroking with urgency
within my red kayak
upon the placid waters
of the Delaware & Raritan Canal
they let us out early on Fridays
from profane corporate halls
to honor summer weekends
but I honor Henry Thoreau
who counted the day lost
when he did not spend several hours
sometimes taking to his canoe
for day after endless northern days
I envy him both boat and brother
time, and strong arms for rowing
upriver all the way
from Concord to Concord
but most of all, I covet
his finding a “foundation
of an Indian wigwam
– perfect circle, burnt stones
bones of small animals
– here, there, the Indians
must have fished”
in my life at its best
I row with Thoreau
Filed Under (Adventure, Animals of the Wild, Birds, Brenda Jones, Indians, Migration, Migratory Flocks, NJ, NJ WILD, Nature, New Jersey, Sourland Mountains, books, habitat, native species, protection, trails) by Carolyn Foote Edelmann on 21-06-2011
Wood Duck - Brenda Jones - Frequently Mentioned in Hopewell Valley Trail Guide ponds
NJ WILD readers are accustomed to my urging exploration, in search of the wild, the beautiful, adventure in our region. I recently was brought a thorough and beautifully written trail guide by Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space. I read and underline a few trail ‘chapters’ every night at supper. Virtual hikes…
Below, find Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space’s launch release. I requested it, once I started paging through this Guide to Walking Trails in the Hopewell Valley.
We’ll soon have the Guides at D&R Greenway Land Trust. Call me at 609-924-4646, Monday through Thursday, and I’ll let you know if they’re in. This is your Open Sesame to “thousands of acres of preserved open space” — free for the hiking, in the legendary next-door Sourland Mountains Region.
Baldpate Mountain View, by Brenda Jones
The Hopewell Valley is due west of us, over Route #518 or Carter Road into Hopewell, then up Greenwood Avenue to my favorite Sourlands Hike. Those ‘mountains’, to me, are a land of history and mystery, miraculously still green and rocky and vibrant, despite the 21st century’s ever-strangling rings of concrete.
The Guide celebrates the partnership of FOHVOS, Mercer County, Hopewell Township, Pennington Borough, Hopewell Borough, the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association and D&R Greenway Land Trust, where I work. Among them, some seventy miles of trails are open, blazed and maintained so that all of us may experience the wild.
Blue-winged Warbler, Baldpate, last week, by Brenda Jones
The point of preservation, however, in MY book, is not human need. It’s the essential habitat requirements of animal, vegetable and yes even mineral - those splendid, monumental Sourlands rocks! Sit upon some of those boulders, in the middle of a hike, and feel the sustenance and even electricity of the earth herself, buttressing you and thanking you for your appreciation.
My Sister, Marilyn Weitzel, Being Sacajawea, Sourlands - cfe
For birds, above all migrant songbirds, these contiguous preserved acres provide meat, drink, sanctuary and flyways. Legendary Sourlands naturalist, Hannah Suthers, bands ‘passerines’ during spring and fall migration, checking their health as well as their numbers. She began counting migrating birds on horseback along Featherbed Lane. Thanks to Hannah, proof exists of the importance of preserved open land to thousands of winged creatures alone, especially on journeys and often for breeding and successful raising of young.
Essence of Hopewell Valley’s Sourlands cfe
What this splendid book, with handsome color photographs of Hopewell Valley scenes, and stunning nature drawings by Heather Lovett, sings to me is, “Whose woods these are, I think I know…” (Robert Frost, of course - this is virtual Frost country.) Whose woods these are, are YOURS.
Come claim your woods and mountains, through these 19 numbered, illustrated, mapped and memorable pages!
Fox Kit at Baldpate last week, by Brenda Jones
Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space
P.O. Box 395
Pennington, NJ 08534
For immediate release
Contact: Patricia Sziber, Executive Director
(609)730-1560 – office
(609)203-4720 – cell
Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space Trail Guide Published
Just in time for National Trails Day, which was celebrated on June 4th this year, Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (FoHVOS) has produced a Guide to Walking Trails in the Hopewell Valley. The 28-page booklet features locations, maps and descriptions of 19 trails open to the public for hiking and enjoyment of nature. Design and printing of the guide was made possible by a generous donation from Pennington residents Jim and Rhonda Vinson, long-time advocates of open space preservation and walking trails for residents in our region.
Mr. Vinson suggested the guide to the Friends in January and FoHVOS Vice President Tom Ogren took the lead on the project. He recruited Hopewell Township resident Mahlon Lovett, Director of Multimedia Design in Princeton University’s Office of Communication, for layout and design. One of the first steps was to decide on a format that would accommodate all of the graphics and descriptive information that would help people locate and enjoy the trails. In addition to the trail maps, the 10- by 7.5-inch booklet includes street locations of the trail heads, trail length and GPS coordinates for the parking areas, plus photos and artwork.
The guide includes seven trails on preserves owned by FoHVOS, as well as those owned or managed by Mercer County, D&R Greenway Land Trust, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, the State of New Jersey and Hopewell Borough—approximately 70 miles of trails in all. Most of the trails provide opportunities for relatively easy walking; the trails on Baldpate Mountain offer a longer and more challenging hike.
FoHVOS President John Jackson remarked, “The trail guide would not have been possible without the hard work and contributions of so many people, whose enthusiasm for the project has resulted in this beautiful booklet. We want to thank the New Jersey Trails Association, D&R Greenway and the GIS Center for the maps and many of the trail descriptions. Special thanks are due to Simcha Rudolph who customized the maps and Chris Berry who verified much of the location information. We also thank Heather Lovett for her wonderful artwork and, especially, Jim and Rhonda Vinson for their inspiration and generosity…and their faith in FoHVOS to carry the project through.”
The Guide to the Walking Trails in the Hopewell Valley will be available at all three municipal buildings in the Hopewell Valley, public libraries and other locations. Residents may also request a copy by sending an e-mail with their name and mailing address and “Trail Guide” in the subject line to email@example.com.
Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space President John Jackson (left) presented the first copy of the group’s Guide to Walking Trails in the Hopewell Valley to project sponsors Rhonda and Jim Vinson at the entrance to Curlis Lake Woods near Pennington.OH
Filed Under (Activism, Animals of the Wild, D&R Canal & Towpath, Destruction, Disaster, Government, Hamilton Trenton Bordentown Marsh, Indians, Lenni Lenapes, NJ WILD, habitat) by Carolyn Foote Edelmann on 23-05-2011
In Memoriam - Beavers of Mountain Lakes Preserve Shot on Friday, May 13
my source Princeton Packet, May 20
What could’ve happened - from my NYC roommate from 1960’s, now living in Washington, D.C.:
That’s a real shame. Washington had a beaver problem a few years back - one of them moved into the Tidal Basin and started cutting down young cherry trees! The Park Service live trapped the critter and released it out in the country, far away.
From a blog called Martinez Beavers: A couple months ago I was avidly reading “In Beaver World” by Enos Mills who was called the “John Muir of the Rockies”.
Beaver works are of economical and educational value besides adding a charm to the wilds. The beaver is a persistent practicer of conservation and should not perish from the hills and mountains of our land. Altogether, the beaver has so many interesting ways, is so useful, skillful, practical, and picturesque that his life and his deeds deserve a larger place in literature and in our hearts.
Brenda Jones’ Images of Beavers of Mapleton Aqueduct
– where and how we met –
Friday the 13th was an unlucky day, indeed, for two beavers of Princeton. On that day, our Animal Control Officer, Mark Johnson, seems to have unilaterally decided that these wild creatures were a nuisance. He took it upon himself to order a strolling woman, Kathleen Hutchins — who had been making beaver pilgrimages each (non-rainy) evening–, to leave the Mountain Lakes Preserve at 7:30 p.m., because he was “going to get rid of them.”
Beaver Swims North of Mapleton Aqueduct - Brenda Jones
Asked why not relocating, the officer’s answer was that he was going to kill them. Relocating would’ve been natural. We go on beaver walks in the Hamilton-Trenton-Bordentown Marsh, right down the road. Botanist Mary Leck and Ornithologist Charlie Leck, who lead these walks, prefer the winter ones, “because you can see the beavers’ breath…” “Not relocating because I am going to kill them” is no answer, a travesty of the highest magnitude.
The officer’s so-called reasons: “The beavers were raising the water and eating the vegetation.”
Beaver Breakfast — Brenda Jones — Mapleton Aqueduct Family
NJ WILD readers know my fascination for and gratitude to beavers, since they brought Brenda and Cliff Jones to me, north of the Millstone Aqueduct, on land preserved by D&R Greenway Land Trust, where I work. The three of us were on pilgrimage to this then new phenomenon. They knew where and when to find these nocturnal beings whose gleaming sculptures had begun to add interest to the canal’s vegetation in recent weeks. Beavers, the essence of wildness, had honored us, as have the American bald eagles, by choosing to live and raise their young in our midst.
Close-up of Millstone Aqueduct Beaver — Brenda Jones
Everyone knows, raising water levels, building dams, building lodges, eating vegetation - those heinous offenses for which the Meadow Lakes “Preserve” beavers had to pay with their lives – this is what beavers do. They are part of the cosmic circle of life. Water-raising is needed so that other forms of life may come into being and thrive. In winters, especially harsh ones, beavers keep waters open so that waterfowl may drink, may swim, may access foods to survive that season’s challenges.
Bufflehead, one of many Winter Ducks who benefit from beaver-open water - Brenda Jones
Who is this “Animal Control Officer” to decide that beavers are not to fulfill their centuries-old purpose on this planet?
It’s WE who are in Beaver Territory! Their rights to these lands and waters pre-date the Lenni Lenape, 10,000-years-ago such light voyagers upon these lands.
Beaver Swimming Away Brenda Jones
Nevermore to Be Seen at Mountain Lakes Preserve…
Letters of protest are being written.
Investigations are underway.
The “Control Officer” is on purported vacation this week.
Protests and investigations will not bring back wild lives.
Beaver Yearling as Narcissus - Brenda Jones
From the Packet article of Friday, May 20, “A permit is needed for the trapping of beaver. It is illegal to shoot beavers, which are a protected species in New Jersey.”
Beavertail Warning, Brenda Jones
later story in Times of Trenton - bolds mine, of course… $100 - $200 fine….
“TROUBLESOME’ — THE NERVE OF US! “When will we ever learn, when will we everrrrr learn?….” cfe
PRINCETON TOWNSHIP — The killing of a pair of troublesome beavers last week by a local animal control officer has sparked an uproar among animal lovers, some of whom think the aquatic tree-munching animals should simply have been relocated.
“It is just terrible to kill them that way,” said resident Kathleen Hutchins. “ It is outrageous that they had to be shot, and people in the neighborhood are really upset about it. People used to walk over with their children to see them. I’d go out at dusk to see them and they were just fabulous.”
Township administrator Bob Bruschi said the beavers were considered a nuisance because they were contributing to flooding at the Pettoranello Gardens section of Community Park North, which is home to a pond and a number of streams. [in other words, ideal beaver habitat cfe]
There was a problem with flooding in the park, Bruschi said, and workers attempted to take down dams the beavers built that made the water level in the pond rise, “but the beavers were very persistent.”
An spokesman for the state Division of Fish and Wildlife said the Princeton animal control department, which is run jointly by Princeton Borough and Township, failed to obtain the required permit prior to euthanizing the beavers, but said that the beavers probably would have had to be killed.
Larry Hajna, a spokesman for the department, said beavers may be trapped either in conibear traps, which kill them, or in live traps. If live traps are used, the animals must be euthanized and may not be relocated, he said.
Bruschi said Princeton animal control officer Mark Johnson said he had checked with state officials beforehand to find out what the process would be to remove the beavers. Bruschi acknowledged that the animal control officer did not receive an actual permit to trap, remove or kill the beavers, but said Johnson thought he had gotten verbal approvals from the state to kill the beavers.
Residents like Hutchins challenged the state policy that requires the beavers to be killed, questioning why they can’t be moved.
“We move black bears,” she said. “Why can’t beavers be trapped and moved? There are a million places they could take them where they would not cause a nuisance, like Lake Carnegie.”
More information is still being gathered about the incident, Bruschi said, adding that it is being handled as a personnel matter.
Township Mayor Chad Goerner, a frequent walker at Pettoranello Gardens, expressed shock and disappointment about the killings and called for an investigation into the way in which the matter was handled.
“I live close to the park and I would walk there just to try to catch a glimpse of the beavers,” Goerner said. “Then I learned from neighbors that they had been shot while people were present in the park. I understand that perhaps they needed to be removed, but I have concerns about the way the situation was handled, both in terms of the humane treatment of the animals and the safety factor, which is a major concern.”
The shooting occurred late at night, when the nocturnal creatures are most active and most accessible. Hutchins said no shooting should occur in a public park, no matter what time or whether the park is closed.
Hajna said fines for illegally trapping a beaver range from $100 to $200 and it is considered a municipal offense.
Local police are looking into the case, he said, but the Division of Fish and Wildlife is not actively investigating at this time. The department will review the report prepared by local police when it is completed, he said.
Goerner said the borough and township should develop a plan for handling similar problems in the future to guarantee the safety of residents.
Filed Under (Adventure, Environment, Farmland, Fishing, Food, Forests, Government, Hamilton Trenton Bordentown Marsh, Indians, KAYAKING, NJ, NJ State Parks, NJ WILD, Nature, New Jersey, New Jersey Pine Barrens, Pine Barrens, Preservation, habitat) by Carolyn Foote Edelmann on 10-04-2011
Spring Tiptoes Through the Pines
Lake Oswego Invites, Pine Barrens, New Jersey, April 2011 (cfe)
Desperate for spring, yesterday, I took a friend –who’d never been in the Pinelands– to this pristine region of our beleaguered, overpopulated state.
Both of us were absolutely enchanted all the day long.
On empty roads, which I term “My Secret Roads”, into Pinelands, I have been taught and taught, “The Journey is the Destination.” My friend experienced this reality. You can, too!
True Pine Barrens Welcome, (cfe)
How to undertake this miraculous Journey: Route 563 South from Chatsworth (Heart of the Pines). First stop into Buzby’s General Store, at the corner of 563 and 532, just south of the firehouse. Go into Buzby’s for Pine Barrens books and products - local, sustainable, traditional and real.
Marilyn Schmidt at Buzby’s with her Easter Tree, by Sharon Olson
Especially buy its splendid, thorough and revelatory Pine Barrens Map, while they last. It was designed by the lady at the desk, my friend Marilyn Schmidt. This powerhouse of a woman saved Buzby’s from oblivion and worse, doing whatever it took to have it named to the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places. She also wrote and published many of the books on Pine Barrens history, lingo, graveyards and foods.
Blueberry Bread, Cranberry Bread, Cornbread Mixes from Buzby’s (cfe)
To Find Lake Oswego: South of Chatsworth, on the left, be on lookout for small thin sign, reading “Oswego”, VERY high in a tree. (Locals hammered the lake’s name to a tree so it would grow up up and away. Pineys are famous for wanting to keep their beautiful region for themselves.)
Turn left and wander along that long not winding lane, between bogs. This time of year, they are flooded lest vital vines be frozen during still chilly nights. You’ll pass a state institute of research on the Pines’ most famous crops, cranberries and blueberries. Bogs are also flooded, to assist with wet harvest.
Cranberry Harvest, Alongside 563, near Chatsworth, Autumn, 2010 (cfe)
Yesterday, I fretted, with state finances in such disarray, will berry research still be funded next time I drive to Oswego?
The first time I took the Oswego road, a minuscule forest fire was running right along both edges. between road and sand, not yet into woods.
Fire is the friend of the Pine Barrens - clearing out pine duff and too many oaks, allowing fire-resistant pitch pines to burgeon anew (newly fertilized by ash), serotinous cones only burst by heat, seeds scattered by firewinds. Without pine duff and oak seedlings, and only without them, the Pines can thrive.
“Sure, a Little Bit of Heaven Fell…” (cfe)
On my forest fire drive, it was deep winter. Flames danced like tiny red snakes, temptation dancers – Firebird, Sheherezade. To continue to watch such a dance, would I give the dancers anything, even John the Baptist’s head?
Beyond whirling tongues of orange and copper and scarlet and gold, snow and ice ruled. Beneath white glaze were waiting Pine Barrens rarities, –carnivorous plants, spring-raucous Pine Barrens tree frogs, spotted turtles, rare corn snakes and special rattlesnakes, curly grass fern, elusive swamp pink…
Firelings writhed merrily along. Pavement ended. Auslanders are not supposed to drive on sugar sand roads. But I was drawn on and on, over the tiny bridge, to that scintillation of lake –absolutely irresistible:
“In Just Spring”, Even Though April, (cfe)
I am forever magnetized by Lake Oswego. Partly because, there, I still feel Indians to whom it used to be sacred.
Sacred Pine Barrens Peat Water of Lake Oswego on Fourth of July (cfe)
Partly because blueberries grow on all sides there, on host shrubs taller than I. The fruit of each bush holds a different flavor, texture, size and juiciness. No wonder New Jersey makes blueberry wine. Sampling those berries in June is like walking through a wine tasting. Except that these ‘grapes’ are blue and high and warm in sun.
Alongside that little bridge that I first met in fire and ice, spring will bring white bells that turn into blueberries.
A little later, air beside the bridge will be perfumed by the white cascades of sweet pepper bush. Everywhere is water, and somewheres kayakers. And sometimes happy swimmers and dabblers. Always appreciators.
Hikers Discuss Lake Oswego Trails (cfe)
This magic enclave is more than 50 and less than 75 miles from where I used to live at Canal Pointe. This magic awaits in all seasons.
Is Bright Moss Spring? (cfe)
However, yesterday, I would say that we found beauty yes but spring, no.
Small State Forest Sign, Not Identifying Lake- Will Sign Be There Next Time? (cfe)
Lake Oswego is a State Park, although the large state sign at entry has been removed. [Not sure whether this is Piney Keep-Out attitude, or State parsimony.
Such absences are ever ominous to a preservationist, but not troubling to the hikers and fishermen of yesterday. Fishermen and -woman grinned from ear to ear, even though they were reluctantly turning their backs on the lake. “What are you catching here?”, I asked, having just finished Richard Louv’s “Fly Fishing for Sharks”, therefore feeling every inch a virtual fisherman. “Pickerel,” they said, glowing. Ah, ha! I’d always wanted to hear of pickerel, this near to the sea.
I remembered that nomadic New Jersey Indians once moved from their hunting (inland) lives to their gathering lives at the Shore, after gathering at our (Hamilton/Trenton/Bordentown Marsh), creating the sand trails that became the 20th Century’s 195 over to Brielle and the sea. I remembered that they knew to move to the ocean when the leaves of pickerel weed (which grows and provides sanctuary for fish in (fake) Lake Carnegie, not only thrust to full height, but opened to full light.
I really wanted to meet a pickerel. But they had no catch - all catch and release, as is the way of fishing in American waters now.
This pine-ringed lake could be the finest Old Pawn jewelry, venerable turquoise set in the richly carved bezel of stately green-black pines.
At Lake Oswego, in all seasons, all is the silence and peace I seek.
Visitors know and respect its soothing, inspiring aura, even when spring won’t arrive.
Our Earliest Flower - the Swamp Maple — Oswego’s Only April 9 Bloom (cfe)
Save Our Wild Salmon documents Obama’s ghoulish salmon plan
October 29th, 2010 - A broad coalition of salmon advocates, along with the State of Oregon and the Nez Perce Tribe, have fired another shot across the bow in the long-running battle with the federal government and its woefully inadequate and illegal efforts to protect an endangered Northwest icon the wild salmon and steelhead of the Columbia and Snake Rivers.
The coalition filed a “motion for summary judgment” asking Judge James Redden to reject President Obama’s Salmon Plan.
Read the press release on the SOS website.
Listen to the story - “Papers Shuffled in Federal Salmon Plan Lawsuit”
“We’d like to pretend this plan is just a ‘trick’ and the ‘treat’ is still to come,” said Michael Garrity of American Rivers. “But we can’t. We’ve been here too many times before. This administration has got to stop trying to put a pretty costume on an ugly plan and start following the law and science. We’re dealing with people’s livelihoods and keystone species on the brink of extinction.”
Stay tuned for more on this story as it emerges next week.
And have a Happy Halloween!
Save Our Wild Salmon