Archive for March, 2009
Dear NJ WILD Readers,
As spring coalesces on all sides, –apparent to our eyes, our ears, even to our noses, — let us not forget the beauty of emptiness. Here is a rosary of images by Fine Arts Photography Gallery 14, Hopewell, Photographer, Martha Weintraub.
She has the attentiveness and fortitude to go out in search of what she calls, “The Last of Winter.”
Even as yellow spurts and purple pulsates, remember how blessed we are in New Jersey with dramatic winters, with colorful winters. Remember the joys of seeing trees pure forms, and tracking intrepid animals.
Celebrate ‘Old Man Winter,’ like a beloved relative, as he takes his leave.
First Cold-Blooded Creature of Spring
Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve
When a friend calls at 8:15 and says, “I want to play hooky,” there is only one answer: YES!
So photographer, Tasha O’Neill, and I took off, despite late long rain and blustery temperatures, for several hours of springquest at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, right below New Hope, Pennsylvania.
I’ll have more to write - but it’s the time to turn out the lights for Mother Nature. So, suffice it to say, we found irretrievable, inescapable spring:
1 painted turtle on slanted log in pond
1 mourning cloak butterfly
some (yes, invasive) lesser celandine
bluebell leaves popping right through stone paths, and some bluebell flowers
some spotted toad trillium leaves
some spotted trout lily leaves
some Dutchmen’s britches leaves
skunk cabbage still purple, dark as monks’ cowls, the color that keeps them warm
spent snowdrops Read the rest of this entry »
“All it takes is to light
one little candle…”
EARTH HOUR -I find this suggestion of Lights Out on March 28 at 8:30 by IKEA to be simply brilliant - pun intended.
Here is our chance to discover the light in darkness. In the process, we will to demonstrate our unity on behalf of the planet, reveal our commitment to turning around the catastrophic climate change we are exacerbating through excessive use of electricity.
The last time we did this, there were fascinating stories about what people learned in the quiet time, the non-electric time.
Today, a friend at work said, “Well, I could turn out all the lights and still watch tv… well, no I couldn’t. I could put on a meditation tape… well, no I couldn’t.” And so forth. Every single thing she thought to do in darkness involved electricity. But she has decided to give darkness a whirl.
This is right up there with Richard Louv’s airplane companion, the young boy who insisted his favorite place is his bedroom, because that is where the electrical outlets are. This conversation launched Last Child in the Woods, Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, and the Children and Nature Network, changing legislation re children outdoors all across our land.
Give darkness a chance. Give the planet a chance. Follow IKEA’s suggestion, and send this post to everyone on your e-list - quick! Before it’s 8:30 Sunday night!
Let me know what you discover!
Mother Nature thanks you.
Welcome Proof of Spring
NJ Wild readers know that my mandate is to open eyes to natural beauties in our own back yards. This is a frank plea that we open our hearts to New Jersey - far more beautiful than many a state, and, yes, filled with wild experiences for those with the seventh sense: APPRECIATION!
You know my paradigm is preservation — appreciation can fire us all to save every inch of open space, green space left in our most populous state.
With this in mind, my morning challenge on my 7-mile commute [from Canal Pointe at Route 1 and Alexander to D&R Greenway Land Trust, (Preservation Central) off Rosedale Road,] was to chronicle spring. Without even getting out of my car because I didn’t have time:
Getting into my car at Canal Pointe, ‘first flowers’, [according to Botanist, Mary Leck, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor at Rider, and my favorite flower mentor,] filled maple trees with spurts the color of cranberries! I was given, not seas incarnadine, but trees incarnadine.
On Yorkbridge, leading out to Canal Pointe Boulevard, a haze of gold suffused every witch hazel tree, putting Cellini to shame. I had not noticed the link between haze and hazel. Nature as punster…
On Province Line Road, [--which I've convinced myself was a Lenni Lenape trail before it became the official boundary between East Jersey and West Jersey before the American Revolution--,] I passed “lavender blue, dilly dilly” all along the road. It seemed as though someone had spilled a bucket of celestial waters that had not yet seeped into earth. Except the ‘water’ was a profusion of crocuses. My first of this season.
Moments later, an ancient stone wall stood proudly, –protective as a hen with chicks-, above toughly delicate white belled flowers. That swathe could have been a veil worn by a Medieval monarch, married in a cathedral with a very long nave. The fabric of this veil was essence of snowdrops. Read the rest of this entry »
Brenda Jones was in the right place at the right time, when this red fox danced across Carnegie Lake not that many weeks ago. As I turn my new life over to NJ WILD, it is this wildness I seek.
Ten months ago, –when Ilene Dube of the Packet insisted that I create and maintain a nature blog, infused with some poetry, for the purposes of encouraging appreciation and preservation of nature–, I knew the blog’s name had to be NJ WILD. Even though I couldn’t have told anyone what a blog is, at that time. But I knew its essence is WILD.
Now NJ WILD has a life of its own. Last week, official statistics reported over 500 viewings in over 30 countries. The primary-hued pie chart showed a hefty red slice of known/local/repeat viewer-participants, and to you I am profoundly grateful always. But, by far, the preponderance of contact comes through “Search Engines.” A phrase I’d never heard a decade ago.
Ilene has launched me on a global voyage. What I want to know, now that we’re all in this together, known and unknown, is WHY is WILD so important to me?
If I cannot see and say WHY WILD is essential, how can I urge you to seek and to save it?
What many do not know is that, last summer, on the heels of beginning NJ WILD, the Muse of Poetry battled the Muse of Preservation, and Preservation won. Although co-founder and publicist of Princeton’s Cool Women Poets, I have turned aside the writing, the publicizing, even attendance at most poetic events. No more nightly critique sessions with U.S. 1 Poets, Delaware Poets, Bucks County Bards, let alone the treasured monthly critique time with Cool Women. They go forward without me, having brought in two new members. I, however, have chosen Preservation, am taking the WILD path. Read the rest of this entry »
NJ WILD readers - please join me at Gallery 14, Friday, March 20, from 6 - 8:30, for my friend, Tasha O’Neill’s newest exhibition: Etudes, Trees in Motion.
QUESTION - what does an art opening have to do with nature, with preservation? If someone hadn’t protected Ken Lockwood Gorge, New Jersey’s Colorado trout stream, set deep in a rocky forest, Tasha O’Neill may never have initiated her new photographic process:
I was with Tasha in New Jersey’s Ken Lockwood Gorge when she was inspired to wield her camera like a paintbrush dipped into light. What you’ll see in Hopewell is a series of luminous Etudes, from local woodlands to the redwood forest.
Joined with Under a Quiet Heaven, works by Jeffrey Yuan, I promise you a luminous experience of photographs like no others I have seen:
O.K., we’ve done it. Changed the clocks. At least, I hope I have. I have another confession to make. Daylight Savings Time’s arrivals and departures thoroughly daunt me. My malady does not even t sound better in French, though most things do - something like peur d’horloge… For weeks before we’re supposed to change those clocks, I know a rather uncharacteristic fear. Fear having to do with clocks.
This is out of character, in that I actually like spiders, especially their webs; and can spend a great long time watching and admiring snakes. I love being in the woods alone. At work, people ask me to pick up the bugs to carry them outside. But I am afraid of the clocks of this morning.
What I ask of NJ WILD readers - does this happen to anyone else?
Here are my three fears:
1) That I’ll forget to change the time and show up everywhere late
2) That I’ll remember to do it, and then do it again
3) That I’ll do it backwards
Now don’t give me any of that Spring-Ahead-Fall-Back nonsense. I’ve known those words all my life. The trouble is, how define ‘ahead’ or ‘back’?
If, for example, you’re a person who doesn’t sleep much (people wonder why I read so much), ‘gaining an hour’ for tasks might feel like losing an hour to someone else.
One of my problems is that, like the New Depression, –where did the money go–?, where does the hour go? Read the rest of this entry »
I have the choice to approve or not approve a comment — I do not approve the conclusion of the reader who writes “this man is a disaster” — and have not decided whether officially to ‘approve’ his comment when so constricted. But in NJ WILD I frequently carry on about America, freedom of speech and other rights. Who am I to deny. What should I do?
meanwhile this is my answer — what should I do?
from cfe to commentator:
the disaster is not this man
it is his predecessor
who is not content with having ruined the worlds respect and affection for America
but who has also deep-sixed our economy so we are right back in the 1930’s or worse
and above all, who missed no opportunity to wreak revenge on Mother Nature - to whose well-being I have committed my life
we are here not to be the planet’s despoilers but her stewards
we have borrowed this planet from our children and grandchildren, some would say stolen
it is time to honor our home
NJ WILD readers may be asking, “Why is she writing about politics in a nature column?” We have to face this: Especially in our most highly populated state, we’re not going to have nature to enjoy, let alone to pass on to children and children’s children, without paying attention to what people in high office at the state and national level are doing to preserver her!
President Obama has written that his reading of Genesis emphasizes — We are here to be earth’s stewards, not her despoilers.
Our new President also understands and reminds all that we are borrowing the earth from our children and our children’s children.
Among these ten points important to all of us, –and emphasized by Move On, quoting Princeton’s Paul Krugman–, is our new President’s commitment to clean energy technology.
What is not written here, but what was most evident, welcome and all-too-rare in our new President’s Inaugural speech, is his commitment to restoring science to its rightful glory.
All of this means, NJ WILD readers, is that the well-being of our earth, our planet, our home, Mother Nature, is in the forefront of President Obama’s consciousness, and therefore in good hands. PLEASE DO WHATEVER YOU CAN in letters to editors, to representatives and senators, and in contributions, to tend our neglected, battered Nature now and from now on.
Your impassioned NJ WILD correspondent.
Dear MoveOn member,
Want to see what change looks like? Real change?
Well, here it is. Last week, President Obama unveiled his budget—his blueprint for America—and it’s ambitious, amazing, and unapologetically progressive. As Paul Krugman said, it will set America on a “fundamentally new course.”1 Read the rest of this entry »
Wondrous Nature captured by Carl Geisler
[President Princeton Photography Club}
a poem about the courage of solitude and the powers of the D&R Canal
it’s too cold!
and the wind!
–new snow with
the rattle of sleet
I can’t go
on my walk
but I must
pull on layers
of everything but
courage which is
in short supply
I meet nothing but pairs –
amorous cardinals (already!)
beside the iced canal
man & dog / girl & dog
even the Towpath
– half thawed / half glazed
is made for two
the one of me
takes the thawing way
CAROLYN FOOTE EDELMANN