Archive for June, 2009
Tasha O’Neill immortalizes NJ Native Jewelweed
However, some days, the Towpath isn’t an epiphany.
Somedays, it’s what (we spoiled) Princetonians are tempted to call, “Same old/Same old.”
Not exactly “been there/done that” - because no two towpath walks are the same, not even on the same day. However, this morning’s was less than stellar.
The joy was to be OUT there, mud and all, for the first time in who knows how long? June is not what e e cummings had in mind when he ecstasied over “mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.” I knew enough to wear my oldest walking shoes, but still, there were many stretches where walkers and even dirt-bikers had to be very, very careful not to slip and skid into something very like childhood’s eternal Royal chocolate pudding. Read the rest of this entry »
Once again, my escape reading isn’t working! Henry David Thoreau, in a compilation from his journals titled An American Landscape, could be describing so-called Spring, 2009. Couldn’t this be a feature story in any New Jersey paper on virtually any day over the last few months? I’ve been complaining in my New Jersey nature journal, but Henry does it so much better in his Massachusetts!:
The atmosphere thick, mildewy, cloudy. It is difficult to dry anything. The sun is obscured… Bad hay weather. Streams are raised by the showers of yesterday and the day before… The air is close and still. The earth has suddenly become invested with a thick musty mist. The sky… a mere fungus…
The sun has not been visible, except for a moment or two once or twice a day, all this time, nor the stars by night. Moisture reigns…
You cannot dry a napkin at the window, nor press flowers without their mildewing… Read the rest of this entry »
Brenda Jones Shares the Gift of the Green Heron
The rare and elusive green heron, with which miracle Brenda Jones opened my Monday, brought back Green Heron Memories to share with NJ WILD readers.
My first green heron arrived one bucolic summer’s afternoon, as I was reading on the wing dam in the Delaware River above New Hope. [I lived in that arts centre from 1981 - 1987, a place where I became more of a poet, having given up wife-hood.] Bucks County was the setting for my work as a writer and publicist, to elect Peter Kostmayer. I wanted Peter returned as Congressman because he cherished and served the Delaware River so assiduously, so effectively. It was Peter who managed to get the emptier stretches of ‘my’ river (that which I crossed to freedom) named “Wild and Scenic.”
I was a Transition Consultant then, working eerily early and all too late to assist clients in catalyzing change, or in dealing with change thrust upon them. Because of their work schedules, I sometimes had afternoons open - and I turned to the Delaware to be restored. When I see the wing dam now, I cannot believe I made it my own then, my haven, my reading site. The river was gentle at my back, lowering light a curious pink-gold that I encounter nowhere else.
Probably deep in Wendell Berry or Ed Abbey, I was pretty surprised to hear a flutter of wings to my left. I moved my eyes but not my head, to encounter this compact, angular, greeny-iridescent, sharp-beaked, large-eyed creature right at my side. For so long as I stayed there reading, the unknown bird remained. No angel will be more of a surprise, more of a privilege. I had to go home to my Peterson’s Guide to discover it was what was then called the Little Green Heron.
After my year (87/88) in Provence, I still needed a setting other than Princeton: Savannah, Georgia, held dear friends and became my new home in 1988/89. There I lived literally in slaves’ quarters, impeccably updated. Read the rest of this entry »
Tasha O’Neill’s “Resting Rock” in Maine…
This quote was hand-penned in a garden journal I have cherished.
The book itself has flown, somehow —
by Edith B. Holden, Gowan Bank, Olton, Warwickshire, England.
Its simple title, NATURE NOTES for 1908.
An early blog… Read the rest of this entry »
Another Carnegie Lake Photo Miracle thanks to Brenda Jones
William Carlos Williams suggests that “it is difficult to get the news from poems”. Actually, that would be my preferred news source.
That and nature, as captured stunningly, memorably by brilliant photographer, Brenda Jones.
On Princeton’s Lake Carnegie, a gull and a cormorant battle over a fish. Now that’s primal! This is news that matters, news that is life and death.
Dear NJ WILD Readers - where do you prefer to get YOUR news, now that my beloved newspapers are shrinking on all sides?
From “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower”
My heart rouses
thinking to bring you news
that concerns you
and concerns many men. Look at
what passes for the new.
You will not find it there but in
It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
of what is found there.
Scene worthy of Constable skies, at Greenway Meadows, off Princeton’s Rosedale Road
one of 16 trails described in Walk the Trails In & Around Princeton by Sophie Glovier, photography by Bentley Drezner
The rapt audience at Labyrinth Books on Sunday learned that Sophie Glovier’s and Bentley Drezner’s new trail guide, published in April, has sold 1000 copies in this short time! http://www.walkthetrails.org/index.html.
As Dorothea von Moltke, one of Labyrinth’s owners, introduced Sophie and Bentley, Dorothea announced, “This is the first time at Labyrinth that, within a day, every staff member had purchased a copy of a new book.” Dorothea went on to predict that, “It won’t be long before everyone in Princeton has one.”
High praise, indeed, for these first-timers with their splendid pocket (as in cargo pants)-sized guide to 16 trails on preserved land in our region.
These generous, committed preservationists are donating the profits to the book to D&R Greenway Land Trust where I work; to Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, and to Friends of Princeton Open Space. Representatives of all were in the Labyrinth audience, books in hand.
Walk the Trails In and Around Princeton, at $20, may be purchased at Labyrinth, and at D&R Greenway (One Preservation Place, off Rosedale Road, Princeton) Otherwise, call D&R G to order, with nominal postage and handling. [www.drgreenway.org]
To walk with Sophie Glovier, Bentley Drezner and D&R Greenway Director of Stewardship, former head of D&R Canal Commission for 30 years, Jim Amon - call D&R Greenway to register for June 14 Towpath Walk (12:30) and Reception (1:30) at Kingston’s fresh, local sustainable new Eno Terra Restaurant.
This event is a preservation fundraiser at $75 per person, honoring the 20th birthday of D&R Greenway, and the 175th of the Towpath. Delicious foods and wines are being chosen and prepared by the Momo Brothers for this D&R Greenway Founders’ Fete. History and nature will be expertly woven throughout the afternoon, indoors and out.
Using Sophie’s and Bentley’s handsome guidebook can return children and their parents to the nature that is their birthright!
Here is your answer to free entertainment that does not involve long drives, expensive gas, and spewed emissions.
NJ WILD readers know I’ve been writing on nature, travel and history for Princeton Newspapers and New Jersey Magazines, intensively in the 21st Century. Sophie’s books reveals new trails to me, and points (like Ariadne in the Labyrinth) to entries to trails I’ve longed to hike but didn’t know how or where to begin!
Both women lure us out on the trails, or as I would insist, into the WILD of which there is all too little in our daily lives.
In Sophie’s and Bentley’s world, literally mapped out in their book, the random becomes the norm, beauty the outcome. New nature discoveries season each walk, –often the rare and endangered plants and birds–, as though thanking the humans for preserving these 16 trails.
At their Labyrinth Books, through Power Point and voice, both women shared discoveries, –from caves to waterfalls to lily ponds. Particularly memorable are expansive views of the Sourland Mountains, visible from the Greenway Meadows vantage point I’ve photographed and inserted above. That walk is on the 60 acres preserved by D&R Greenway Land Trust, upon which our handsome circa-1900’s barn still resides, serving as home base. Often, Sophie and Bentley alert us that, from this trail, nothing human is in view.
Sophie’s writing has the impeccable clarity of the best journalists. Bentley’s artistry has been turned into postcards which can be removed and mailed to your friends who are not blessed by living in beautiful New Jersey!
Here is Steve Hiltner’s description of the book, from his blog, Princeton Nature Notes - and thank you, Steve!
As many already know, there’s a wonderful new pocket-sized guide to nature trails in and around Princeton available at various bookstores, and also on the web at http://www.walkthetrails.org/index.html.
Even long-time residents of Princeton are often unaware of the many natural wonders to be explored hereabouts. This guide can help change that. Profits from the book go to preserving open space. Sophie is on the board of Friends of Princeton Open Space.
In 1976, my husband and I took our girls to Normandy’s D-Day Beaches, to honor our own Bicentennial Fourth of July. Of course, Diane and Catherine would rather have been at home with friends, watching the Tall Ships converge in Manhattan
Werner and I told the girls simply – “Without the few hours and many deaths upon these sands, we would not be celebrating our Bicentennial!”
We handed each daughter a copy of The Longest Day.”
He and I each opened a copy of Is Paris Burning?”
Diane and Catherine literally settled against rusting tanks in shallow waters, beginning to absorb the saga of the hours that had changed our lives.
Werner and I had chosen to undertake this journey at this time, because our elder would be taking American History the following September in grade school. Imagine our disbelief, asking about D Day in that year’s course material: the history book devoted a handful of paragraphs to that tide-turning Invasion.
Oh, yes, we all finished our books, interrupted by strolls through miles of white cemetery crosses, and a pilgrimage to St. Mere-Eglise, where a dangling statue from the Church steeple recreates the ruse of the paratrooper who played dead in order to survive, all that long and brutal day.
Some weeks later, coming home from JFK, riding over ‘The Narrows’, weren’t the Tall Ships all processing homeward, in stately array!
We must not forget the sacrifices of this day, on the sands and at home, let alone the liberty for which they were made! Nor the tyrannies which called such courage forth.
Return to Naval Historical Center home page.
The original announcement:
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
NJ WILD readers, I urge you to join us at Labyrinth Books on Nassau Street, Princeton, at 3 p.m. on June 7. Author, Sophie Glovier, and photographer, Bentley Drezner, will give a riveting presentation on the process of their nature treks, resulting in the splendid new pocket guidebook to 16 preserved trails in our region, Walking the Trails In and Around Princeton.
Here is a great way to return our children to the nature that is their birthright!
Here is your answer to free entertainment that does not involve long drives, expensive gas, and spewed emissions.
This beautiful, trim guidebook fits in the pocket of cargo pants.
Sophie’s writing has the impeccable clarity of the best journalists. ‘Artistry’ is my reading of Bentley’s photographs of preserved trails.
Both women lure us out on the trails, or as I would insist, into the WILD - to me, the wild is random - and there is all too little of that in our world. In Sophie’s and Bentley’s world, literally mapped out in their book, the random is the norm, beauty the outcome.
Bentley’s artistry has been turned into postcards which can be removed and mailed to your friends who are not blessed by living in beautiful New Jersey!
These generous, committed women/preservationists are donating the profits to the book to D&R Greenway Land Trust where I work, and other non-profits in our region. Walking the Trails In and Around Princeton is $20 and may be purchased at D&R Greenway (One Preservation Place, off Rosedale Road, Princeton) or call to order and pay nominal postage and handling. [www.drgreenway.org 609 924 4646]
This is what I recently sent to all my media contacts and to everyone I know who maintains nature blogs and websites near Princeton.
Putting my oar in re Sophie Glovier’s and Bentley Drezner’s “Walking the Trails In and Around Princeton” at Labyrinth Books on June 7 at 3 –
Everyone who cares about fitness, let alone New Jersey, should be purchasing this splendid pocket-sized guide to 16 trails in our region, all on Preserved land.
Sophie’s and Bentley’s pocket-sized treasure is quintessentially accurate on treks I know. It also teaches me trails, and especially entries, new to me - even though, as you know, I write and photograph on nature for NJ newspapers and magazines and maintain NJ WILD blog for the Packet.
I’m thrilled that profits from Walk the Trails In and Around Princeton support preservation in our region, being funneled into D&R Greenway Land Trust, where I work, and other allied non-profits.
A merry, memorable experience is any time with Sophie and Bentley, and I promise you, NEW HORIZONS and enhanced fitness, with their book in hand.
Sophie Glovier and Bentley Drezner —
Walk the Trails in and around Princeton
Sunday, June 7th, 2009 at 3PM
Labyrinth Books, Princeton
Join Bentley Drezner and Sophie Glovier, creators of Walk The Trails In and Around Princeton. Enjoy a virtual tour of the 16 walks on preserved land featured in this unique guidebook. Sized to fit in your pocket, it includes detailed parking and walking directions and effective maps, as well as beautiful photographs and 16 postcards of local trails. Their talk and slide show will introduce you to the more than 1,000 acres of preserved open space and 25 miles of trails open to the public in and near Princeton. Hidden in plain sight, most of us drive by this open space every day without realizing its natural wonders - waterfalls, secret caves, fields of wildflowers and ponds full of aquatic life.