Five years ago, as part of the N.J. Meadowlands Commission’s Oral History Project, we interviewed lots of folks about the region in the old days. We are going to reprint the best of them here, every Tuesday, for 11 weeks. This week: Don Smith.
Note: Don is giving a talk about the region’s marshes this Sunday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Meadowlands Environment Center. Scroll down for more info.
Don Smith, born and raised in Little Ferry, is a long-time naturalist who knows the Hackensack River and its marshes better than just about anyone.
Don has been with the Meadowlands Commission for most of its 40-year history.
In this audio interview, Don has plenty to say about his childhood, his efforts to fight pollution and save wetlands, and some of the challenges the commission faced — especially in the early years.
Click “Continue reading…” immediately below to hear Don’s comments. Continue reading
This week’s Meadowlands Environment Center talks feature two of our favorite topics, Albert Einstein and the marshes of the Meadowlands.
On Tuesday afternoon, MEC educator Dr. Victoria Madden will tell you all about the amazing scientist, and on Sunday afternoon longtime NJMC naturalist Don Smith will talk about the region’s amazing wetlands. Best to register in advance.
Information on both events follows.
As always, the park itself will remain open from dawn to dusk, and a park attendant will be on site and available if you need assistance.
The Environment Center will continue to be be open on weekends for regularly scheduled walks and programs. Continue reading
Ravens last nested here in 2011, and the nest was totally washed away by Hurricane Sandy in the fall of 2012.
The photos below show each of the ravens perched on a different light pole at Laurel Hill, plus a very large mystery bird in the distance. ID help would be appreciated. It appeared to be an adult, and an older one at that.
To prove that spring must be around the corner, we are pleased to remind you of two upcoming walks — an American Woodcock walk in late afternoon on Saint Patrick’s Day (Monday, March 17) and a Harrier Meadow walk at 10 a.m. on Tuesday March 18. The Woodcock Walk is at Laurel Hill — we’ll look for Common ravens as well.
(To be clear: We will not be taking any woodcocks for a walk on March 17; we’ll be taking a walk to hear them peent and watch their courtship display. We are foolishly hoping the snow and cold weather are gone by then. Last year’s walk was cancelled because of rain, but 2012′s walk was pretty cool.)
Stephen Buckingham writes:
I witnessed a standoff by Disposal Road this past weekend between a Red-tail and an opossum. The Red-tail wanted to eat the opossum, but after fluttering around the opossum trying to figure out whether it was a good idea to move in for the kill, the Red-tail thought better of it and left.
This has been a great winter for owl-watching along Disposal Road. Not only are the Snowies still around, but earlier in the year we had some great sightings of Short-eared Owls and Barn Owls as well.
Fred Nisenholz was nice enough to share several of his Short-ear shots. (Thanks, Fred!)
Note: Next week’s South Bergenite will feature a column about Short-eared owls, featuring NJMC naturalist Mike Newhouse and one of Fred’s photos. (Thanks, Mike and Fred!)
(Also a big thank you to everyone else who sent in owl pix.)