Monthly Archives: June 2008

HACKENSACK RIVER: Terrapins (video)

   This is a great time of year to keep an eye out for diamondback terrapins and other turtles.

   They have been laying eggs for a week or two now, and sunning themselves on the banks of the Hackensack River and nearby marshes at low tide.

   They also go up on land to lay their eggs — that’s how the first image in this 31-second video was captured.

 Diamondback terrapins are amazing reptiles — they are the only species that has adapted to living in brackish waters. They are a threatened species in New Jersey.

   If you want to see one, you have to be quiet — they are typically very skittish. In the video, you can see the terrapins scatter as the camera boat quietly and slowly approaches.

   You can also read more about terrapins here.


MEADOWFEST: Coming Saturday

    Final_logo_layout_meadowfest_3 Make sure to set aside some time on Saturday for the annual Meadowfest at Hudson County Park at Laurel Hill.
   This free event runs from 11 a.m. t
o 4 p.m. and  features all sorts of environmentally oriented activities and educational programs, including pontoon-boat cruises on the Hackensack River, hot-air balloon rides, carnival-type attractions & games, food and refreshments, plus live musical performances.

  Rain date is Sunday, June 15.

  More information here.

WETLANDS: Marsh wren


This tiny bird is the one you hear calling in the phragmites — but seldom see.
  The marsh wren is secretive — except when it sings.
  Listen to the call here.
  Learn more about the marsh wren here 


    This video features a woodchuck looking out of its den on a path in DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst, when Junior butts in.
    For more information on this abundant Meadowlands mammal, click here.
  Note: I realize that it is a bad idea to take hang out in front of birds’ nests or mammals’ dens in an effort to get a family portrait. The animals feel threatened and cannot escape.

  For this video, I used a trick I learned minutes earlier from a professional cameraman: You put the video-cam on a tripod not too far from entrance, hit "record," and walk away. 

  Later on, you come back, retrieve the camera  and see what you caught on video. 🙂