Archive for January, 2009
Eagerly, I turn this post over to my dear friend, artist Tasha O’Neill. Her images, as everyone always insists, are worth more than 10,000 words.
Tasha O’Neill, Gallery 14, Princeton Photography Club, braves ice to honor winter
The meteorologists’ approach to ‘ice events’, quite literally, leaves me cold. Ice goes way beyond danger, suffusing our everyday surroundings with new beauty, all the more wondrous for being evanescent. There may be no dawn more spectacular than that which reaches us through ice. Recently I learned that ice is essential for wild winter creatures, such as foxes. When it’s cold enough for ice, for enough days, microbes that cause diseases such as the dread mange, cannot survive. Our red and our grey foxes can live and thrive to another season, because of the gift of ice. For me, however, much as I treasure foxes, beauty is enough.
One reason I number so many photographers among my friends is that they go out in all conditions to find and capture beauty where others quail. This is the highest wildness - to take whatever Nature dishes out, and turn it into fine art.are worth more than 10,000 words.
To see Tasha O’Neill’s new departures in the photography’s realm – Etudes:amazing evocations of trees, “trees in a new light,” visit Hopewell’s Fine Arts Cooperative Photography Gallery 14 for her Opening on Friday, March 20. In an open house reception from 6-8:30 p.m., we will wander a Tasha forest, experience mosaics of light to outshine Ravenna.
We are also welcome to “Meet the Photographers” on Sunday, March 22nd from 1-3 pm.
Tasha’s musical theme of Etudes will prove startling yet familiar.
Marty Schwartz, Gallery 14, Princeton Photography Club, captures Winter’s Stark Majesty
Winter needs a press agent. I volunteer. Spring is seriously overrated, winter unfairly castigated. My love affair with this season sneaked up on me. Having grown up in Michigan, then begun married life in gelid Minnesota, I had considered winter my enemy. Until I moved, that is, [1987 - 1989], first to Provence, then to Savannah, Georgia.
Living through two snowless years [well, flakes did descend, once in each place] birthed in me a passion for winter that I never expected to hold. I didn’t WANT marguerites [airy white daisies] in January, as in Cannes. I didn’t LIKE Georgia’s year-‘round roses!
Living without the crimsons and scarlets of autumn was bad enough. Come December, I found myself aching for the sculptural starkness of leafless trees. I required January’s tumultuous gold/purple skies, clouds scudding like galleons before a gale. I was stunned, in 1989, to re-encounter in New Jersey’s weed fields, whispers of rose and mauve and lavender. To have winter pour over me tumults of brass and bronze. New Jersey’s winter palette still stuns me — all subtlety and minimalism, –a potpourri of hues I insist on calling warm.
Even though editors tend to think Nature ends with Labor Day, Read the rest of this entry »
Soup, like the splitting of wood, blesses us twice - in the preparation, and in the use.
In denial of winter’s stringencies, I’ve been shopping at farmers’ markets MORE now, not less. Farm food isn’t exactly wild, but it’s the next best thing to hunting and gathering. I require real nourishment far more in cold and dark times. One way to assure fresh local real meals is to attend Slow Food’s dynamic and pleasurable Winter Farm Markets. See listing in second part of post for two at Tre Piani in Princeton Jan. 25 and March 22.
Like many NJ WILD readers, I’ve been giving a number of supper parties over previous weeks. Between rare food quests for guests and my own requirements of live food if not wild food, I some very promising items remained in my refrigerator after those lovely evenings. On the coldest, iciest day yet, I warmed first my apartment and then my body, mind and spirit, by making what I have christened, “Market Soup.”
Here you see it, steaming and ready for lunch on an equally cold though sunny Sunday.
Listening to our new President, Barack Hussein Obama, this morning, taking his pivotal oath, my heart, mind and memory returned to Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s epic of another courageous journey, Ulysses.
This was Robert F. Kennedy’s favorite poem, quoted as he declared his own run for the Presidency. Each leader in his own way, each in his own time, challenged the rest of us to make this storied voyage with him. Bobby’s travels were aborted. Barack Obama’s were well and truly launched this historic morning.
The new President makes it very clear, each of us ‘mans’ an oar on this journey, the fate of our country and our world riding with us. President Obama makes it very clear, we are to pull together.
O.K., normally I write to NJ WILD readers about beauty and poetry, about peace and restoration/revivivication.
Every once in awhile I simply boil over and this is one of them. The spurious president is going out with a bang not a whimper, and the bang dooms wolves. Can YOU SIT BACK and let this happen unopposed?
Our President-to-be is quoted as seeing Genesis as a mandate for STEWARDSHIP. He is determined to keep reminding the world, not just his own followers, not just Americans, that we are BORROWING THIS PLANET FROM OUR CHILDREN AND OUR CHILDREN’S CHILDREN.
WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO DO TO PRESERVE OUR WILD BROTHERS?
a furious Carolyn
Jasmine, of the Lakota Wolves of New Jersey, gazes with her riveting eyes, deep into the eyes of her human brothers and sisters…
Brenda Jones shares one of winter’s best gifts - a healthy male cardinal.
As sleet falls all around our state, I remind NJ WILD readers — You don’t have to go outside to experience the wild. There is a simple way to bring the wild to you — FEED THE BIRDS.
In the second half of this post, I’ll share feeding secrets learned over my decade-plus years attracting the winged creatures to our Braeburn-off-Snowden gardens, [in the northwest section of Princeton.]
My best success came when I placed soup’s turkey bones on snow near our woods, during the Blizzard of ‘78. Seconds later, an enormous hawk swooped through ceaseless flakes, ‘roared off’ with the steaming turkey neck in its talons. I had never before seen a raptor with dinner-in-hand!
Meanwhile, everything you always wanted to know about birds can be found through Cornell Ornithology Lab. Their publications reveal wise and long-experienced staff on all fronts. Each is passionately committed to excellence in science, word and image. There is no better source for learning about our winged brothers and sisters. http://www.birds.cornell.edu/
Research-addicts such as myself, on that site, can master the features, needs and histories of birds. We can track ivory-bills, mourn the dodo and passenger pigeon. We can contribute to Cornell to speed their vital work, –such as radar tracking of migrants and their ever-increasing library of sound recordings. Cornell’s experts capture the sounds not only of courtship and territorial assertions, but also migrants’ communication on the wing in darkness. We can contribute to “Citizen Science,” participating in Christmas bird counts and tallying bird visitors at our feeders.
But there is an even simpler, more direct, vivid way to learn about birds: FEED THEM!
Bird seed not only provides nourishment in this dire weather. Its fat calories are fuel, besides preparing the winged ones for succcessful courtship and breeding. The better their food, the brighter the colors. Females go for bright males. Male brightness means health, as well as revealing excellent hunting and gathering skills. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed Under (Activism, Adventure, Animals of the Wild, Birds, D&R Canal & Towpath, Environment, Farm Markets, Food, Harvest, Local Food, NJ, NJ WILD, Nature, New Jersey, Preservation, Solitude, Sustainability, The Seasons, Tracking, Tranquillity, Winter, protection, raptors, stewardship, wild, wildness, wolves) by Carolyn Foote Edelmann on 11-01-2009
Brenda Jones immortalizes one of my wild dinner companions, the great horned owl.
My first solo dinner of the New Year held interesting components. My west-facing table held hefty home-made spaghetti, evidence of my split loyalties, featuring the new product, Jersey Fresh (canned! –available at Trenton Farmers Market) tomatoes, accented by herbes de Provence, complete with lavender. Bayberry candles fluttered before lace curtains, framing the relentless darkness of this time of year.
I could call this another “Silent Night.” I might add “Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.” As I relished this deeply nourishing food, I relived sustaining moments with dear friends who know how to honor the sacred times.
My room was quieter than a whisper. Suddenly, out across the floodplain, I heard the haunting courtship calls of the great horned owl. January is their spring. Each year, the male returns first, sounding forlorn to human ears, seeking the return of his mate. Immediately, the dark and my hushed room came alive, throbbing with true wildness. I rushed out onto my Canal Pointe porch, so that my very being could be brushed by sound waves from this welcome dinner companion. Read the rest of this entry »
Are winds of change really sweeping through our country? Are we really turning the tide re our endangered brothers and sisters of the wild? Here is more good news re saved creatures - thanks to activism on the part of ordinary humans like me. Reason to be thankful, yet vigilant.
My father, James Wendell Stower, of the Detroit Times, would be heartbroken at the current perils of print journalism and freedom of the press in our nation. Those ever more slender papers arriving at home and work would break his heart.
I wonder if this man, born in 1910, would rejoice or be baffled that our Packet has requested this blog, this form electronic journalism, NJ WILD.
The poem celebrates my father, Jim Stower, veteran of the Toledo News Bee, the Detroit Times and the Detroit News. He had worked for newspapers, starting in Ohio, managing carrier boys from the age of eleven on, then head of Circulation Promotion at the Times. With the News, Daddy envisioned track meets in Detroit. Soon he was shepherding the building of Cobo Arena, then em-ceeing the opening meet in his tuxedo, which he wore with such panache.
Our father managed the resurrection of the Soap Box Derby; only ending his long tenure after a rich Western boy won by hiding lead in the nose of what was to have been a simple wooden crate on wheels.
Throughout our Michigan childhood, Daddy would take inner city and suburban boys on reward trips for selling and maintaining the greatest number of subscriptions. On trains, we recently discovered, he’d sing all the way, with a rich Crosby croon.
Our father became known amongst hoteliers and municipal leaders throughout our country, for standing for the right of black children to be entertained in chosen cities. He would involve mayors as well as hotels and restaurants in swift cancellation of cities that did not share Daddy’s vision of rewards for all who had earned them. In the late 1950’s, his “Junior Ambassadors” of all races were richly hosted by heads of every canton in Switzerland. They brought an alphorn home in the cabin of the Swissair plane, along with chocolates and cheese.
At the Times, Daddy instituted Newspapers in the Schools, and the Green Pennant safety program for young crossing guards. My father brought ski clinics and gun clinics to city boys; and regattas to wealthy Detroiters, under the umbrella of the Detroit News.
Daddy believed in crusading journalism, and integrity was his middle name. However, when he passed away in his eighties, people at those ceremonies kept referring to this dapper man simply as “Gentleman Jim.”
James Wendell Stower would be heartbroken at the current perils of print journalism and freedom of the press in our nation. Those ever more slender papers arriving at home and work would break his heart.
I am now reading the seminal Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Lincoln-Prize and New-York- Historical-Society-Book Prizewinner. This Pulitzer-Prize-winning historian brings to life my lifelong hero, Abraham Lincoln, (subject of my first term paper) and those he conquered in his bid for the nomination for the presidency. Her compelling chapters that generate page-turning energy equal to any of Dickens’ sequels. Over and over, in the sagas of William Seward, Salmon Chase, Edward Bates and the simple man of Illinois who became president, we read of these determined ever-self-educating men, even as boys, “devouring newspapers by firelight.”
Daring abolitionists all, one of the key factors in the success of the would-be-nominees and those who buttressed them in their campaigns, is the presence of, even the founding of, newspapers to teach the public the truth about the evils of slavery. Phrases ring out on the importance of journalism in Lincoln’s time: “…influential Journal which eventually became the party organ for the Whigs… brilliantly shap[ing] public opinion for nearly four decades.” How have we lost the voice of newspapers? Is this laryngitis terminal, or can it rise anew, with renewed strength, on issues every bit as vital to our times?
In memory of “Gentleman Jim” and the world of print he so honored - knowing, for example, the name of every linotype man and every truckdriver at the Times - I share with you this poem, Down at the Times, about visiting the paper with my father on his working Saturdays. Read the rest of this entry »