Archive for June, 2012
Grebe Swallowing Frog, Brigantine, by Anne Zeman
Natural End for Frog - Nourishing Another Species
NJ WILD readers remember that, when Ilene Dube insisted I begin this nature blog for the Packet, she urged the presence of poetry.
You also know that the focus of my life is preservation, carried out professionally at D&R Greenway Land Trust. It has taken us 23 years to save 23 New Jersey miles.
Every day, all over our state, carnage of this magnitude is taking place, often in the guise of restoration, as at the Pole Farm - although no mention is made upon their signs of the importance of this ‘new habitat’ for wild creatures.
Sometimes my rage takes the form of verse. This, in my world, represents a heightening of fury — prose mere distillation. See what YOU think..
naturalists alert me
that this very week, at midnight,
crept out of winter
left glistening egg clusters
ripening like grapes
in old furrows and new ponds
I know where the frogs spawn
throughout these fields and woods
but heartless engineers
have studded nature’s nurseries
with rip-rap and coarse gravels
torn earth gapes
raw treads scar refuge trails
The Pole Farm has become
yesteryear’s moist furrows
sacred vernal ponds
reduced to memory
CAROLYN FOOTE EDELMANN
Planting locally is a way of redeeming the bulldozed, graded and pesticided places in which we live and making them hum, buzz, sing and bloom again.”
Jared Rosenbaum’s Vision - Native Plant Nursery — by Carolyn Foote Edelmann
Labyrinth Books on Nassau Street is holding the second “Plant Local” book launch, with Author Jared Rosenbaum, Saturday, June 30 at 3 p.m. Drop everything and attend. A long-time reader of garden books, I have never encountered one more artistically illustrated, designed, let alone more clearly yet poetically written. Above all, this is a book with a mission to restore New Jersey’s natural heritage, one home garden at a time.
NJ WILD readers know that my work at D&R Greenway Land Trust involves saving open land in New Jersey, as well as furthering the use of native plants on our preserved lands and now, in local gardens. A splendid book has just emerged, under our auspices: Jared Rosenbaum’s brilliant “how-to-guide for beautiful native plant gardens crafted to support wildlife and plant communities in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Piedmont and adjacent New York.” You have a second chance to hear the author at Labyrinth Books on June 30. (609 497 1600 #225)
Native Plant Nursery Under Construction cfe
Naturalist and evocative photographer, Jared Rosenbaum began as a D&R Greenway intern, rising to Associate Director of Stewardship. He held the vision for our Native Plant Nursery, literally seeded from our preserved properties, early on in his time with us. That dream has been realized. Each year, 100s of species are grown from seeds from our properties, planted and tended by volunteers, and now sold to local gardeners through our handsome Native Plant Nursery. Plants are utilized on our preserved land, which was the original vision. To arrange for purchase, contact Emily Blackman at D&R Greenway, 609-924-4646, X 126.
Jared Rosenbaum’s other dream was a simple, beautiful guide to using native plants in the home garden. “Plant Local” a compendium of simple how-to processes to “create landscapes that sustain nature and enhance our sense of place,” is the stunning result.
Rare Ebony Spleenwort Emerges in Wall Alongside Native Plant Nursery cfe
D&R Greenway held the first launch in early June, with 90 in attendance, selling 77 books, which Jared merrily signed. A portion of proceeds supports D&R Greenway’s native plant initiatives in our state. Some of our native plant work, on the St. Michaels Farm Preserve, will restore the Fresh Kills Landfill to a wildflower meadow, through Jared’s initiative.
NJ WILD readers may recall that Fresh Kills holds remnants of the World Trade Center Disaster. Here, nature herself is redeeming man’s inhumanity to man… through New Jersey native species.
Labyrinth Books on Nassau Street is holding the second “Plant Local” launch, on Saturday, June 30 at 3 p.m. I urge you to drop everything and attend. I am a long-time reader of garden books, and have never encountered one more artistically illustrated, designed, let alone more clearly yet poetically written.
Plants from Native Plant Nursery Surround Pergola in D&R Greenway’s Meredith’s Garden of Inspiration cfe
Arrestingly beautiful photographs of New Jersey native plants evidence the artistry of author Jared Rosenbaum, along with equal-yet-unique images by Rachel Mackow, fine art photographer, and Jared’s wife and book’s dedicatee. Sophie Glovier, author of “Walk the Trails In and Around Princeton,: (now heading into its fourth printing) is the publisher of this new must-have volume.
“Plant Local” is too compact to qualify as a coffee-table book. But the quality and quantity of its information, illustrations and information render it a member of that lofty ’species’.
This book’s mission, to preserve native habitat for New Jersey’s native creatures, including humans, carries “Plant Local” far beyond its own irresistible beauty, into the “manifesto” Dorothea von Moltke describes below.
This is a book to savor as well as to use, over and over, with children at your side: This slender volume could change the world they inhabit and inherit. Working with :”Plant Local” can restore plant species to our region alongside which birds and animals evolved. “Most native insects are specialists on particular plants. …Their disappearance has a negative effect upon all animals.”
The opening paragraph begins the reader’s rich experience: “If we expand our notion of natural areas to include our front and back yards, our homes become habitats, as well… Planting locally is a way of redeeming the bulldozed, graded and pesticided places in which we live and making them hum, buzz, sing and bloom again.”
Here is Labyrinth’s official notice. Jared will speak on the genesis of the book, and sign purchased copies. See you there!
Jared Rosenbaum, Author
Sophie Glovier, Publisher, Sign of the Fox, LLC
122 Nassau Street, Princeton
We invite you for an afternoon of how-to conversation with the author about home gardening with plants native to where you live.
Jared Rosenbaum is the founder of D&R Greenway’s Native Plant Nursery.
This event is free and open to the public.
122 Nassau Street
Princeton NJ 08542
609 497 1600 #225
When a Manhattan friend takes the bus to Kingston, what is the greatest contrast you can provide? One, for sure, is kayaking - which we did the next morning, along the D&R Canal.
Kayak Central, Princeton, Brenda Jones
Her welcome-to-NJ contrast, however, was to head straight west into Hopewell, up Greenwood Avenue, turn left at the red barn, head into and beyond Ringoes and Sergeantsville to Rosemont and over to the Delaware River. Such a brief ride, for such a major transition — and all in golden afternoon light.
Bull’s Island Fern Grove, Carolyn Foote Edelmann
Walking Bull’s Island is always a treat, moored like a verdant ship in the middle of my beloved Delaware. Its trails and woods are frequently inundated, needless to say. This can make for very soft trails, cushioned by charcoal-y basalt from the bottom of the river. Floods, of course, bring nourishment and new species — some blessed, some not so blessed.
Bull’s Island Footbridge, Carolyn Foote Edelmann
Friday evening, after a quick trek over the silvery footbridge to the Black Bass and back, –interstate hiking–, we entered the woods to a chorus of cedar waxwings. Masked and certain feathers gilded, there is no more handsome bird in my lexicon. Leaving sunshine for dapple, we were suddenly surrounded by the wood thrush’s liquid ascending, then descending notes. My friend is accustomed, from Catskill stays, to veeries near woodthrush, and soon we were awash in veery magic.
Cedar Waxwing, Brenda Jones
On either side, ferns rose, — not fragile and furtive as those I usually encounter. But feisty, even aggressive. Some were taller than we are! The Alice in Wonderland sensation was appealing. My friend then decided we were “in Jurassic Park without the critters.”
Veery, Brenda Jones
One creature we did find, a handsome toad who seemed the monarch of the glen. He was not atall ‘afeard’ of humans — sitting there, permitting our presence in his territory.
Lowering light gilded every leaf, especially super-sized jack-in-the-pulpit plants and fading Mayapple.
Mayapple Profusion, Bull’s Island, Carolyn Foote Edelmann
All the while, the river coursed alongside, deceptively quiet, a welcome change from her Manhattan life and even the bus ride out here.
A superb dinner at the Carversville Inn was not only gastronomically superior, but also time travel. In that case, the mid-1800’s surrounded us, as palpably as if we had stepped through ‘the veil.’
Home brought us through fields where some corn is already hip-high, well before the Fourth of July, and silos gleam and preside like church steeples. Sacred farm structures from other centuries were the norm most of the way back to Princeton.
Yesteryear’s Barn, Carolyn Foote Edelmann
All of this in our beautiful New Jersey. Help preserve it — especially her farmland and o, save that river, in every sense.
Your local land trusts do this for you, but we (as in D&R Greenway) require your support. It’s taken us 23 years to preserve 23 New Jersey landscape miles and many waterways. Help move preservation forward, every way you can.
Fog Along the Delaware, Brenda Jones
And get out there and enjoy the unique unpeopled beauty that is still ours, in the beleaguering 21st Century.
This is truly NJ WILD - my encounter with a snake whose species was new to me, in The Glades, in the Delaware Bayshore Region.
This poem is quite literal — I truly did come upon this gleaming creature, with two friends who advised caution, shall we say. In effect, they were convinced we needed to turn around. My response was quite different.
I have never seen a more irresistible reptile. Now I understand Eve…
I am in love with
the black rat snake
sinuous and glossy
as though sewn of patent leather
very much at home here
twined among tree roots
in the preserve called “Glades”
near our Delaware Bay
I never knew
how dark could gleam
my friends flinch
as I bend toward him
it’s all I can do
not to trace
each brilliant facet
reach toward the surge
that was his morning meal
all that keeps this handsome fellow
somnolent and near
CAROLYN FOOTE EDELMANN
Long ago, –when Ilene Dube urged me to begin this nature blog for the Packet Publications–, I, who had never seen a blog at that time, discovered in the naming that I had to define “wild.
One of the key definers, so long as I’ve known of him, starting with Desert Solitaire, is Edward Abbey.
Whenever I read nature books, I write favorite lines in empty pages in the front and the back. Lines which buttress me in my sometimes daunting challenge of preserving land in our New Jersey at D&R Greenway Land Trust five days a week. Lines which form my life paradigm, actually — recognized by Ilene, who was so right that I must communicate in this 21st Century format.
One of my favorite “Abbeyisms” I just added to e-mail signatures, as AOL somehow deleted the carefully crafted sign-off that had always been there.
Basically, Ed Abbey said it all. I don’t need to write about nature for you. All we have to do is to contemplate Ed’s clarion call: “LONG LIVE THE WEEDS AND THE WILDERNESS!” (The Journey Home.)
Ed challenges all authority in ringing tones, such as, “Are we going to ration the wilderness experience?”
D&R Greenway’s Art Curator, Diana Moore, answered Ed’s challenge in her speech at our art opening reception for “Crossing Cultures” - “The message of this exhibition is that D&R Greenway saves land for all.” (Come see this edgey array, so praised by Jan Purcell in the Times of Trenton on Friday: business hours of business days, through July 27.)
Ed saw the earth as a being before the astronauts sent back their image of our jeweled sphere of blue: “The earth is not a mechanism but an organism.”
Protesting roads in national parks, he trumpeted, “You’ve got to be willing to walk!”
(NJ WILD readers - you have read these concepts in these posts ever since we began. These positions wouldn’t be so powerful in me, without Edward Abbey.)
Ed dedicated The Journey Home to his staunch father, “who taught me to hate injustice, to defy the powerful and to speak for the voiceless.”
Ed educates me not only as a naturalist and courageous voyageur, but politically: “All government is bad, including good government.”
His rage at the despoilation of nature pours forth in what used to be called “deathless prose.” Only, in today’s techno-era, –which Ed would deplore–, prose isn’t deathless any more. Ed decries “the degradation of our national heritage”, as I rail against despoilations of New Jersey. Caustically, he blurts, “They even oppose wilderness in the National Parks.”
Ed sums it all up, although s writing of the Southwest. NJ WILD reader, just substitute our beleaguered New Jersey: “THE IDEA OF WILDERNESS NEEDS NO DEFENSE. IT ONLY NEEDS MORE DEFENDERS.”
BE ONE! Support your local land trusts, and walk preserved trails weekly, to remember why preservation and stewardship are the key issues of our day.
(Yes, I know - there’s catastrophic climate change. It is slowed by the presence of nature, trees, broad rivers and absorbent, fruitful wetlands…)
Take your stand against what Ed calls “…a fanatical greed, an arrogant stupidity, … robbing us of the past and tranforming the future into nightmares…”