Several shorebirds were zipping around the impoundment by Meadowlands Commission headquarters at Dekorte Park on Monday and Tuesday morning. The star of the show was a black skimmer, whose bill cut through the surface of the water like a knife. Great views were available from the boardwalk by the Environment Center on Monday.
The butterflies are really moving into the area, with many species hanging out at DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst and the Amvets Carillon in North Arlington. Above, a broad-winged skipper on a coneflower in DeKorte Park. Below, a yellow sulphur on thistle.
Two great places for nature walks are at the north end of the Meadowlands District in Little Ferry — the BCUA Nature Preserve and Losen Slote Creek Park. The nature preserve is part of an old brick-making site that provided the bricks for major cities along the East Coast. After the brick factory went out of business a long time ago, the land reverted to its natural state, with a clay pit becoming a large pond — Mehrhof Pond. It’s a beautiful place, and known amongst birders for the waterfowl it attracts — notably ruddy ducks and other waterfowl by the hundreds in November. The one caveat is that because the nature preserve is located on Bergen County Utilities Authority property, it is inaccessible without advance permission. You need to go as part of an organized group. You need advance permission to gain admittance. You need to sign an insurance waiver. And it’s not open on weekends or holidays. But the preserve is worth the effort. Because it is not open to the public — for safety, security and insurance reasons — it is well-kept and largely undisturbed. On a recent trip I saw quite a few amazing sights, including a gorgeous Eastern box turtle and a field full of cedar waxwings.
Click "Continue reading" for more information and a look at more images from the BCUA preserve.
The Meadowlands Commission has two upcoming guided canoe tours with room for a few more paddlers. These canoe trips are a great way to view scenery and wildlife that cannot be seen from land. Tours launch from Mill Creek in Secaucus and Sawmill Creek Wildlife Management Area in Lyndhurst. All trips are led by an experienced NJMC tour guide. The commission supplies all of the equipment and give you helpful tips before setting out on the water.
Guiided canoe tours are scheduled the following dates: * Sunday July 26, 8:30 a.m. from Sawmill Creek Wildlife Management Area. * Saturday, August 9, 8:30 a.m. from Mill Creek in Secaucus. Participants should be at least 10 years old and have some canoeing experience. Pre-registration is required. The cost is $15 per person.
For directions to the canoe launches, a registration form or more information, contact NJMC Outreach Naturalist Gabrielle Bennett-Meany at 201-460-4640. Registration forms may also be picked up at the NJMC offices at One DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst. You may also download them from our Web site, www.njmeadowlands.gov.
Mill Creek Marsh is a little hard to find, but it is definitely worth the effort. It is the one place I’d go if I had to get a photo of a snowy egret in a hurry. They are abundant and are typically in range of a decent telephoto lens.
Mill Creek Marsh is also amazing because it is home to a "forest" of cedar stumps — including some that are hundreds of years old.
Click herefor directions and more information. I was there at low tide the other day and took a bunch of shots.
To celebrate the Fourth of July, here’s a 35-second display of nature’s fireworks. (Make sure your "volume" is turned on.) These photos were taken in the past 24 hours near the Meadowlands Commission’s headquarters in Lyndhurst — with a few near the carillon on Disposal Road (Amvets Way) in North Arlington.
The Kearny marsh is a gem located just off Schuyler Avenue in — where else — Kearny. You access the marsh by turning into Gunnell Oval Park and driving around back. The 300-acre marsh is significant because, as the only freshwater wetlands in the Meadowlands District, it provides a major stopover for migrating waterfowl. This time of year, it is decidedly laid back, with dragonflies a-plenty, painted turtles sunning themselves, and some nifty plants — Meadow salsify and black raspberries. For directions and more information on Kearny Marsh, click here.
Click "Continue reading" to see more images and read more about the marsh.
The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission is proud to present “When Dreams Whisper,” an exhibit by nature photographer Hildi Borkowski on display now through July 28 at the Flyway Gallery in the Meadowlands Environment Center.
A reception for the artist is scheduled for noon to 2 p.m. July 13.