Archive for August, 2011
Farmstand Bounty, cfe
NJ WILD readers know my passion for farm markets. What you may not realize is my nearly phobic reaction to supermarkets, with a couple of exceptions (Wegmans being one). What I view with enormous horror is those Weather Channel scenes of people madly buying milk and so forth before storms. So this week’s Category 2, then 1 Hurricane tenses me in ways not shared by most.
On Friday, inadvertently, I found the ideal solution to readying for a storm. Drive over through Hunterdon County to the Delaware River, have a lovely breakfast at Miels, then head upriver and downriver on the Pennsylvania, then New Jersey sides.
Our river has never looked more tranquil - to the point that rare houses were mirror-reflected in nearly still water. Along her edges floated necklaces of rhapsodic people, in flamingo-pink, buttercup-yellow and hot blue tubes.
What does this have to do with hurricane-prep?
Along the way, stop at every roadside stand. Pick up absolutely vine-ripened solid round tomatoes, in a crooked shady lane in front of a McMansion, of all things. No one tends this roadside stand - there is an honor box. There aren’t even prices. You just decide and tuck in your money. You can also buy white eggs and ice-green squash.
At another tiny stand, gather field bouquets enriched with hardy zinnias in pinata colors.
Next to a huge bright green and yellow tractor, choose between white corn and yellow corn from a man who writes your purchase down on a piece of paper with a pencil.
Try to find water for your fellow explorer in a country store next to a brook and the Pennsylvania (pretty much abandoned) version of our canal. Have the cheery proprietress say, “Water? Of course! I had 8 delivered this morning!” It’s not even noon, and her waters are all gone. Revel in the peace of a part of the world where 8 gallons of water is a lot.
Stop beside a high wiry bridge back over the Delaware, which you hope won’t be threatened with the dire rains about to be our fate. Enjoy the hand-painted signs: CORN, PEACHES, TOMATOES, FLOWERS. Choose onions with Pennsylvania dirt still clinging to the roots. Pick up a couple of tiny, rosy, fresh garlic that will probably squirt you when you cut it, the way it does in France. Get some huge heirloom tomatoes under a hand-scrawled sign that says, “BEAUTY ISN’T EVERYTHING!” As you choose your peaches, tell the woman of the stand that, to you, all heirlooms are beautiful.
Interstate Walkway - Bull’s Island Footbridge cfe
Drove slowly south on the NJ side to Bull’s Island, and walk that dazzling footbridge over the hushed Delaware.
Think what drama is in store for your beloved river.
Stop at Maresca’s in Seargentsville, so Emil can cut you four tiny filets, three to freeze; then medium-slice his home-smoked bacon and impeccably wrap each collection of meat in real waxy brown butcher’s paper. Relish his smile and that of the woman (his daughter?) who is so helpful, who finds you their freshly gathered eggs; their fresh mozzarella; praises (so you buy it) their olive oil; and admits to having baked the biscotti and the apricot-centered tiny butter cookies.
Sergeantsville Reflection, cfe
All the way home, know that, in addition to the flavors and the vibrant health of the foods you’ve gathered pre-Irene, you will be savoring these memories.
Early Light on Water, Cape May, NJ cfe
Dear NJ WILD Readers,
Here is an article written but never accepted in the heady days of print journalism, when my nature excursions earned Pate One’s, color, cover leads, and pages and pages of pictures and text.
Commerce, not nature, is in the driver’s seat in our New Jersey these days, not limited to the media situation. There are antidotes, as NJ WILD readers know, especially connected with water, and usually also with birds.
Cape May Bird Observatory Image of Gannet
Cape May, however, came into being through whalers from Cape Cod, a Captain May, in the 1600’s. Most people know her Victoriana and her beaches. However, there are watery stretches where it all still resembles Captain May’s views, and the birding is beyond price. In addition, on the Skimmer, you are with enthusiasts, even scholars - not tourists…
Cape May Victoriana, Christmastime, cfe
One can also take whale-and-dolphin-watching journeys on boats out of the Miss Chris Marina, on your left as you drive into town from the Garden State Parkway.
“Marriage of Air and Water” — Brown Pelican Flying over Cape May Seas: Brenda Jones
Enjoy learning, literally, another side of Cape May. Follow my foote-steps, or boat-steps to experience pristine nature and the stoppage of time…
Your always-traveler, ex-Seasonal-Reporter for any number of local papers… c
Black Skimmers in Flight over the Ocean, Cape May, near the Jetty Brenda Jones
The Skimmer is now boarded at Dolphin Cove Marina across from the Two Mile Beach Unit of the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge at the toll bridge on Ocean Drive, Cape May, New Jersey.
The Skimmer Afloat from Cape May Times
CAPE MAY: OUR VENICE
Compare Cape May to Venice? No way! And yet, I couldn’t get this image out of my head on a recent visit to New Jersey’s southernmost point. Both are water-riddled towns whose greatest glory is long past. In the age of sail, adventurers and merchants; captains, crews; soldiers and brigands crowded their wharves. The Adriatic and the Delaware River served as their Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike combined. Traffic coursed in from all points of the compass until masts blocked out the sun. Residents of both locales made their way deftly, by small craft, on sinuous waterways, — probably more readily than we do, today, by land.
Both Cape May and Venice have riveting effects on creativity. Some of the world’s most famous artists (Turner, Monet, Canaletto, John Singer Sergent) immortalized La Serenissima reflected in her glistening tides, in rain on piazzas. In both places, over the decades, photographers have reached new heights. Even though, — in sea-level Italy or New Jersey –, they are probably the lowest they will ever find themselves – absolute sea level and sometimes, in Venice, below… The light of both sea-girt sites is legendary, — sharpening eyes, attunement and focus.
In both towns, I have found writing inescapable as the seawind. I cannot even go out to eat in either location without notebook and pen. We know Venice had that effect on Thomas Mann, Ruskin, and Mary McCarthy, among others. It may be influx and egress of saltwater and that iodized air that give everything there its cutting edge. Even reading among canals becomes richer. To look up to light reflected on high ceilings, to read to the lap of waves, is to be impregnated by creativity. Even fog, a gale, alters everything dramatically –impressions must be incised somewhere, somehow, because of their very fluidity.
Silent Night - Cape May Christmas
Maybe it’s none of the above – maybe the catalyst is Neptune himself. He’s everywhere, you see. Not only beyond the waves, where dolphins leapt onto their tails as we checked into our Cape May Beach Avenue rooms. The very land becomes tidal. It is, after all, a barrier beach. The purpose of such natural features is to protect the land behind it, to roll over and play dead, as it were, breaking the force of those relentless combers. I’ve been at Cape May at sunrise, sunset, moonrise, in fog that pours like swiftly closed theatre curtains. I’ve hiked her beaches in a three-day-blow, when the temperature (45) matched the miles per hour of that nor’east gale. The land itself throbs. That, too, may quicken creativity. All I know is, that there is an electricity in water-ridden, water-riddled landscapes that is only matched on the rim of steaming volcanoes.
I’ve seen but one tide clock in all my Cape May journeys, — the only timepieces that thrill me. I contend that the traveler him- or herself, — in Venice, in Cape May –among those rippling scarves of water, becomes a thrumming tidal clock.
And you can get right out into this, in the part of Cape May which is Venice-accessible to this day, lacking only the singing gondolier. Climb aboard any of the many nautical tour boats. Set out, — no matter whether you’re on flood tide or neap, whether moon is at apogee or perigee –, to discover reaches and creatures inaccessible by other means. (There are kayaks and canoes, rentable at any number of locations in season – for example, 609-884-3351.)
Rare Shorebird Central: Salt Marsh Safaris on The Skimmer - Cape May Times
I recently set off aboard The Skimmer, run by Wildlife Unlimited (609-884-3100 – www.skimmer.com) on their 1:30 p.m. “voyage of discovery into the Cape’s greatest wilderness – Atlantic coastal back bays.”
(photo) http://www.skimmer.com/theboat.htm This 40-foot pontoon craft has a shallow draft, granting access to sensitive and remote reaches of spartina grass and 4000-year-old peat, where nature’s rarities parade with a confidence born of inaccessibility. Cap’n Bob and his wife and full partner, Linda are not only highly trained naturalists. They blend scientific precision with artists’ appreciation of the wild and the beautiful. Each reveals an almost psychic attunement to the most subtly camouflaged birds, shellfish, even minuscule immature fish. In season, three departures illumine each seaside day. In autumn, we were limited to 1:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Had we had time to read promotional literature provided by our motel, we’d have had $2-off coupons in hand, as did many of the (generally repeat) customers who boarded with us on a soft October day. http://www.skimmer.com/coupon.htm brings you an Internet coupon from their very attractive and informative Website.
Skimmer’s Captain Explains Salt Marsh Creatures — Cape May Times
We asked our returning co-passengers, “What brings you back?” “They are so experienced!,” was the lively consensus. It’s more than that. I’ve been on birding tours where experience had conferred upon the leaders only snobbery, a conviction that neither the birds nor their fellow birders were worthy of their input. Linda and Bob bring the finest gift to those who sail with them – enthusiasm. They come to their roles as highly educated as those who attain Carnegie Hall: Practice, practice, practice, plus years of schooling and days of qualifying exams. Together, they’ve plied Cape May backwaters for 8 years, — three times each day in season. Sometimes they sail out of the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor. Sometimes they affiliate with the renowned Cape May Bird Observatory. However you find them, drop everything, pick up your finest optics, and set sail upon the Skimmer.
Their Craft is Coast-Guard inspected and approved. A roof protects from raindrops. Side windows are glassless, so warm gear may be in order on windy days. Word is that the salt marshes they explore remain mosquitoless in summer, possibly because of efficient killifish noshing ravenously upon mosquito larvae at the perfect moment.
The theme of the Skimmer’s Captain and First Mate is a passion for wetlands. Although ‘mine’ (Hamilton/Trenton/Bordentown Marsh) is freshwater tidal and theirs is salt, the bottom line (pun untended) of these regions is fecundity. A little-known fact is that marshes far exceed rainforests in richness, profusion and diversity of life. 90% of human nourishment has its base in beings and plants of the marshes. Stunning news, considering that filling them in was considered the highest good in the very recent past.
Quantitative types get off on these #s and %s. I, however, go to the marshes for beauty, the primal and pristine. Now I see that it’s no longer necessary to drive seven hours, fight my way across the Sagamore Bridge onto Cape Cod in order to find places where life begins. Wide reaches of autumnally golden grasses burst from bittersweet chocolate peat, intersected by shimmering reaches of saltwater – all right here, ‘in our own backyard’.
Aboard the Skimmer, the journey truly is the destination. We nosed imperceptibly out of our slip past a creek owned by a monarchical great blue heron. Around his stately legs pranced ‘a crowd, a host’ of golden Greater Yellowlegs, a shore bird whose smaller cousin (the Lesser) is one of my favorites at Smithville’s Brigantine Wildlife Refuge. We moved out serenely out into the Inland Waterway, Bob regaling us with tales of politicians somehow treated to whales, as well as unaccustomed privacy, at his hands. We passed merry fishermen, up to their chests in saltwater. Bob assured us, — from his own delight in that sport –, that — with the proper gear, one is not cold.
We moved under old bridges that open by gravity to permit passage of tall masts. On later, land-bound, rubber-tired excursions, I realized that the Skimmer had taken us in and around the Wildwoods, Stone Harbor, etc. But it didn’t matter where we were. What counted was the wildlife, — most especially winged –, which Linda found and Bob coaxed the Skimmer quietly over to inspect. In summer, the Skimmer team monitors Cape May’s osprey nests. We were treated to nest population reports for each platform we passed, whether or not any untidy mass of sticks that serves as osprey nursery remained after recent high winds.
Occasionally, we would nudge ashore, walk out on the back ‘deck’ where Bob was already busy netting tidal creatures. Chartreuse shrimp, transparent as lime Jello, flipped in Linda’s careful fingers. Tiny so-ugly-they’re-cute mummichogs (bait fish) curled upon Bob’s palm. Bob described a shrimp soup, made by people in Asia, from just such net contents – “a pound of shrimp is a pound of pure protein. You eat the whole thing. We just pop ‘em in fat, fry them up into shrimp popcorn.”
Dark shadows on inlet bottoms stretched without limit –mussels, exceedingly immature, rich, glistening in the month’s lowest tide. How many? “A gazillion,” our guide insisted. Bob held holey sea lettuce up to the sun. A green so bright it impacts eyes as fingernails on blackboards strafe ears, this ‘lettuce’ is supple, ruffly. Bob insisted it is edible. When I reached out to taste, he said, “No, not from here. (Because of boat traffic on the Inland Waterway).
Cormorant on Long Beach Island Rocks - Brenda Jones
Double-crested cormorants, — already long gone from Princeton –, seemed to be congregating for a last hurrah in Cape May before their long southward stretch. Able to swim 30 mph underwater, they are surpassed in submarine speed and weight by common loons (to which rarities the Skimmer also bore us). A ‘tardy osprey’ circled us lazily, flashing that Lone Ranger mask into lowering light. Black-bellied plovers in winter plumage (no black bellies!) strutted their stuff on the sand. Ruddy turnstones, despite their endangered condition due to overharvest of horseshoe crabs, paraded along a bobbing log. All the spiky grasses were increasingly gilded as the day wore on. In among the gilt posed tall blinding white great egrets and the occasional cindery great blue heron. There was a timelessness out there in Cape May’s back bays such as I usually have to leave this country to enjoy.
Great Blue Heron, Giving Voice - Brenda Jones
On our way back, Bob and Linda took time to educate all passengers on conservation, on the vital nature of marshes, and briefly to tell us of ‘eagling’ aboard in winter… In another season, enthusiasts can seek out bald eagles with Linda and Bob along the Maurice (pronounced ‘Morris’) River, aboard the Skimmer: http://www.skimmer.com/bald.htm
Ironically, however, we were not treated to black skimmers on our voyage. Only at dawn the next morning, in a downpour, did I find diamond-shaped squadrons of these dapper black-and-white shorebirds, arrowing in from the full sea to the beach before our motel. They move as one organism, flashing white, then black, moving now this way, now that. Only when some inescapable signal has been given and received does the entire troupe arrest, descend. I watched long through silvery raindrops, bright beaks welcome on a sodden morning.
Cape May and Venice share one last similarity. They are so completely different in every way from everything we have come to see as normal. Trucks and highways, cell towers and phones, chain restaurants and traffic lights, green overhead highway signs, exit-mentality. Everything that we absorb as heedlessly as an amoeba surrounds grit suddenly becomes the stuff of nightmares in these watery sisters.
What is real is curtains billowing in a sea breeze; a black wing and an orange beak bisecting a waterway, intensified and doubled as are these two cities by their fluid mirrors. Infused by storied pasts, both cities tremble always on the brink of possibility.
Skimming Over Cape May, Brenda Jones
NJ Wild readers have ‘heard’ me at length on the perils of endangered species, of which red knots and ruddy turnstones are among my favorites, my gravest concerns.
Ruddy Turnstone, Cornell Ornithology Lab
Their migration from winter in South America to breeding in Alaska funnels through slivers of beaches, especially Reed’s and some at Fortescue, along the Delaware Bayshore. Overharvesting of horseshoe crabs has deprived these two species and other shorebirds and laughing gulls of the usual opulent ice-green feast of fertilized crab eggs buried and unearthed along those fragile strands of sand.
Red Knots by the late, lamented, ‘incroyable!’ Ted Cross
Most of you know this on many levels. Here’s an update on the situation.
Do whatever it takes to urge your political representatives to err on the side of caution with (1) Horseshoe Crabs and (2) shorebirds, especially knots and turnstones. Their numbers are reported at hideous lows, from which I don’t see how their populations can ever recover.
Hordes such as these Semipalmated Sandpipers, of Knots and Turnstones, used to be nourished
by the Delaware Bay’s Horseshoe Crab Egg Bountiful Harvest
The following is a news release from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission:
Horseshoe Crabs at Beaches such as Reed’s, Crowding Ashore to Lay Eggs
Horseshoe Crab Board Initiates Addendum VII to Implement Adaptive Management
Horseshoe Crab, Molting
Alexandria, VA - The Commission’s Horseshoe Crab Management Board voted to initiate Addendum VII to implement the Adaptive Resource Management framework. The framework, under development since 2007, will incorporate both shorebird and horseshoe crab abundance levels when considering the optimized horseshoe crab harvest level for the Delaware Bay area. The ARM framework was developed by the Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Geological Survey in recognition of the importance of horseshoe crab eggs to shorebirds in the Delaware Bay Region and was peer-reviewed in 2009.
Horseshoe Crab Eggs - Pearls of Great Price…
The Draft Addendum will additionally address allocation of the ARM harvest output among the four states of New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, and Maryland that harvest horseshoe crabs from the Delaware Bay population. The allocation is based upon multiple decision options, including the proportion of horseshoe crabs harvested that originate from Delaware Bay and a potential harvest cap for Virginia and Maryland to protect crabs that do not originate from Delaware Bay.
The Board had received input on the allocation options from the Delaware Bay Ecosystem Technical Committee at the March 2011 meeting, and from the Horseshoe Crab and the Shorebird Advisory Panels at today’s meeting. All options considered by the committee and panels will be included as options in the Draft Addendum. After review by the Board, the draft Addendum will be available for public comment.
In additional business, the Board approved formation of an ad-hoc working group, made up of technical committee members and biomedical representatives, to develop best management practices to minimize coastwide mortality from the practice of collecting horseshoe crab blood for worldwide biomedical uses. The Board recognizes the important health impacts of the biomedical industry as well as the regional differences that can exist among companies. The working group will report back to the Board on its findings. For more information, please Danielle Brzezinski, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.842.0740.
ASMFC Vision: Healthy, self-sustaining populations for all Atlantic coast fish species or successful restoration well in progress by the year 2015.
Chateau Prieure Lichine, Where we Dined with Alexis and his wife, night after night,
in 1964, Meeting Our First Wine Caves due to his enormous generosity
NJ WILD readers know that, for all my cherishing and championing of our New Jersey, my heart belongs to France in general, and Provence in particular. Where I lived merrily, between the Mediterranean, the pre-Alps, the Alps and the Esterel Massif and Forest (oaks and pines like our Pinelands) from October 1987 through August 1988.
I was homesick for Provence before I ever even knew there was such an entity - when I thought Provence was France and vice versa. My neighbors, Charles Mouzon, the Carre’s, and La Contessa/La Marquise soon set me straight. Fretting over having to return to their home province, like Mary and Joseph at the time of the birth of Jesus, in order to vote - to vote THREE TIMES in 1987, they soon let me know that it was an ordeal, an imposition, to “return to France.” “But I thought THIS is France.” “Mais, Caroline,” they sang vehemently, starting almost every new concept with, “But, Carolyn!…”, “this is not France. It’s Provence!”
Pissaladier, Specialite de Nice, Provence, France
Olives of Nice, Marche aux Fleurs, Nice, Provence, France
I “met” Provence as a separate entity in 1976, Washington’s Birthday week, with my childhood friend, Bernadette Thibodeau. We spent ten days at La Voile d’Or in Cap Ferrat, a Florida-like out-thrust from the South of France where we encountered Heaven on Earth. So splendid was that time, that we reminisce about it to this day. Remembering, actually, this week the maid (bonne a toute faire! - maid who does everything) who brought us vases for our fragrant freesia and mimosa from Provencal roadside markets, the most fragrant flowers of our lives, blooming everywhere in February. Priceless vases from one of the stars in the Cote d’Azur’s hospitality crown, for our flowers which were, essentially, weeds…
Olives of Provence for Sale, Nice, France
So spectacular was that journey in beauty, art, sea and garden views, and above all, wine and gastronomy, that I returned for ‘Spring Break’ with my husband, Werner; my daughters, Diane and Catherine, and dear friends, Weezie and Jack Christian, with their youngest children, Paul and Maureen. The excellence of my haphazard (for that was a sudden journey) time with Bernadette was, if anything, surpassed, with the Christians.
NJ WILD readers already know that, all my life, leaving France, I have felt ripped from the womb.
Reading Kermit Lynch’s Adventures on the Wine Route, A Wine Buyer’s Tour de France, for the second time, I am plunged back into my trueland, –France in general and Provence in particular. To the place about which part-time resident, now, Kermit Lynch insists, “Only here am I chez moi.” (Only here am I where I belong.)
Kermit is a legendary wine importer, who believes, as I do, in ‘natural wines.’ Real wood casques, preferably venerable, and/or from other splendid vineyards, such as Margaux and Latour. No chemicals. No sulphur, no sugars, no water, no wines from other vineyards, let alone wine of other regions.
Alexis Lichine’s Guide to Wines of France, which became our Bible…
Needless to say, in this book, with Kermit, I am spending a great deal of time in caves. Not Lassen Volcanic National Park, where my mother tried to force me to enter caverns formed in various eruptions. Famous for eruptions, she was, and I wanted no part of that energy, nor a tour sous-terre, below the earth, as the French would say.
I didn’t like Mammoth Cave, either, into which my sister and I were dragged, in order to appreciate stalagmites and stalagtites, stand there and watch them grow. Nor — there or another cave, concretions christened ‘organ pipes’? And forget bat caves — though I appreciate bats, and wish them well, not only their imperiled noses.
Footprint of Prehistoric Boy embedded in Floor of Peche Merle Cave, France
The caves I adore, and for which I yearn, are those were prehistoric men and women used dyes and blow-pipes and their own hands, their memories and yearnings for wild beasts, to create art. As I wrote in the poem By Lamplight, “the caves, themselves, cooperating in rare art.” Underfoot, one steps across prints of ancient people, in the half light of that cave where art was essential, where art emerged before words…
Chateau Lascombes Label - we stayed in the tower…
The caves I’m remembering today, however, I experienced with my husband, Werner, in 1964. Guests, first, of Alexis Lichine in Bordeaux; then of the Bouchards in Burgundy, we descended, in steamy July, into primordial cold. The air was redolent of old wines, dust, oak, and time itself. When we sipped wines from the casques, in that heady time on the heels of the legendary 1959, we were to spit the residue onto earthen floors. Candles flickered. Moisture dripped from ceilings and formed on walls. Casques gave way to bottles, often adorned with cobwebs. These legendary vintners loaned us silver tastevins (shallow silver cuplets with a flat thumb-holder lthumb-print-sized bumps to raise each vintage to hesitant candlelight for careful evaluation.)
Bouchard, Pere et Fils, Bottles
We tasted the wine of that year, followed by the splendidly aging, even miracalizing, 1959s. We saw and tasted pale pre-phylloxera wines, poured from cobwebbed heavy bottles.
Not for a moment did I hesitate, let alone regret, cave entry, in Bordeaux and in Burgundy.
Later, on the Friends of the Art Museum (Princeton’s) Tour of Romanesque France, in 1978, I met prehistoric caves, such as Peche Merle. There, walls were decorated with handprints of the artists. Footprints of the peoples of that time were immortalized in those gray floors over which we gingerly moved. Light flickered there, too. The Guide spoke French too fast, and any number of us were caught up in translating for the others. But there were no words for the level of magic held in the cave of Peche Merle to this day.
Human Hand Print, Dye-Blown, Peche Merle Cave, France
Convolutions in those chilly walls had been turned into the flanks and hollows of prehistoric beasts. Perhaps in gratitude for the hunt. Perhaps in petition.
Head of Bear, Cave Wall, Peche Merle, France
Petition, or gratitude - we will never know.
I only know, French caves embraced, did not forfend me.
Here is my poem, published in one of our Cool Women Poets Anthologies, revealing my strong sense that I once had a hand in creating cave art…
Peche Merle Cave Horse
I would return to the caves
carry a small flicker of light
in the pointed clay lamp
that just fits
in the palm of my left hand, leaving
the right free to fumble
and to know the true
contours of this mammoth’s haunch
quick swelling of auroch’s chest
smooth hollow at the bison’s sooty flank
the cave itself collaborating
in new art
NJ WILD readers know I spend most of my days furthering preservation of New Jersey’s scarce land, mostly through facilitating art exhibitions at D&R Greenway Land Trust, as well as welcoming a ceaseless stream of art visitors to our galleries. We show nature art so that people will more greatly appreciate nature, and therefore preserve it.
Right now, guests may enjoy the Garden State Watercolor Society’s 42nd annual art exhibition, “In Step With Nature.” GSWS has chosen this nature theme to tie in with our preservation and stewardship mission. The art is available through October 14. But come to the August 19 Reception and/or Charles McVicker’s Gallery Walk on Wednesday, August 17. Both are free and both start at 5:30 and run to 7:30.
Our reception, August 19, will be a lively mix of artists, collectors, Board Members, preservationists, and often people just in off the street to see what all the fuss (two full parking lots off Rosedale Road) is about. We prefer that you call to register, so that we know how much wine, cheese and fruit to have in readiness - 609-924-4646.
A broad array of images, from realist through impressionist to abstract, stands out from our weathered barn walls. D&R Greenway Curator, Diana Moore, put this work together with an artist’s eye - whether she’ll admit this or not! Twenty one awards were conveyed at the Garden State Watercolor Society’s private reception August 6.
Visitors are welcome at D&R Greenway, One Preservation Place, off Rosedale Road, to see and purchase these stunning works during business hours of business days. A percentage of the purchase price comes to us, a non-profit, to further the saving of land.
A wondrous team of Willing Hands is at my side for receptions, so that guests feel fully welcomed, and all the focus is on the art.
Come, join us. www.drgreenway.org
Here is Tiffany So’s beautiful Constant Contact today:
This is the time of the fruition, then the end, of a great love.
Driving dappled lanes home tonight, far from the Pine Barrens, this poem came surging through, begging to be shared with NJ WILD readers.
Rejoice with me, even though this love was not to be durable.
Remember your own powerful loves…
IT ALL STARTED
when we came upon
carpets of stars
cranberries in flower
trembling white below
the ice blue sky
along the hard-packed dikes
formed golden pyramids
on gleaming amber boxes
here to burst all bonds
course among broad acres
of waving stamens
at day’s end we stood on tiptoe
plucking first blued berries
from among the mauve and pink
at the tips of overarching bushes
tucked among hollies and sheep laurel
through thickets and tunnels
we made our way to the sea
mouths awash in warm berries
CAROLYN FOOTE EDELMANN
NJ WILD readers know that, –long ago, when Ilene Dube of the Packet, insisted I create a blog for their publication–, it include nature, New Jersey, Preservation and Poetry.
That last facet has been all too often overlooked, as the urgency of preservation takes over the world and, therefore, my own creative and professional life.
I remember ‘meeting’ wild rice at the Marsh with my dear friend Mary Leck, Botanist of Rider and forever student of/teacher about the Hamilton/Trenton/Bordentown Marsh. It never ceases to amaze me that wild rice is an annual grass, growing to 8 to 10 feet of height each season.
Mary and Charlie Leck, her husband, Ornithologist of Rutgers, –my treasured guides on so many nature walks–, teach me that wild rice is red-winged blackbirds’ favorite food.
Red-Winged Blackbird, Brenda Jones
When D&R Greenway Land Trust was fortunate enough to bring David Allen Sibley to our side, –to share this legendary bird artist and author with donors, trustees and landowners–, David knew to follow the wild rice as we wandered our Marsh in autumn migration-time. We found red-wings beyond counting, bouncing ecstatically upon the laden stalks.
All of this is earth-reasoning, justification if you will, for giving you my wild rice poem.
When it came to me, the sensations were tactile, visceral, auditory, hyper-real. I could hear the water whisper-slipping under the canoe, which was only of birch bark, and therefore not in New Jersey but probably in my native Michigan or my early-marriage Minnesota. I knew the sound of rice falling onto birchbark, as though I had heard it a thousand thousand times. I could feel the silken grains, cascading on all sides.
Picture the autumn nearly upon us.
Settle into your own canoes, of whatever construction.
Look high at first changing leaves, and reach, reach for the wild rice:
I seek a canoe
still on the silk shore
of some broad Minnesota lake
spice on the air
red-gold bittersweet twining
high among lakeside pines
water more green than blue
stiff/supple grasses parting
as we nose our silent way
to that center to which ancestors were led
by Grandfather Sky/Grandmother Moon
we make no sound
in whisper water
every clump of grass
bending in seasonal submission
my paddle enters the lake
noiseless as the sharpest knife
as my partner thrashes grasses
they bend to right/to left
filling his sweet lap
then our entire canoe
with brown black heads of rices
that have never been anything