Don Torino, a friend of this blog, has a nifty column — about the importance of getting young folks interested in nature — on the wildnewjersey.tv blog.
Equally cool, Don’s post features photos of the Meadowlands by Marco Van Brabant, another friend of this blog.
Writes Don, “Over time, many factors have allowed kids to become separated from nature. Urban sprawl has destroyed many local natural places where kids used to play.
“Overprotection and a disconnection from nature by parents has caused kids to fear everything from a bird to a bee. We need to find new ways to help bring kids back from the brink of losing their love of nature for good.”
The link is here.
"I took a trip to Mill Creek Marsh Sunday morning. Terribly cold and windy. Got some nice shots of several Mockingbirds there. I also saw a Woodcock there but no photos unfortunately.
"I stopped at DeKorte on the way out, even colder and windier there!!! Only stayed about a half hour but I got some nice waterfowl shots and a cute little Muskrat (below) who was very cooperative for the camera."
Don Smith reported roughly 100 Lesser Scaup and 150 Ruddy Ducks yesterday at Mehrhof Pond in Little Ferry. (Thanks, Don!)
Happy Valentine's Day! Try not to spend it like a Monk [Parakeet].
Where in the Meadowlands did Francisco Artigas take this photo?
We are thinking of chipping in and buying Francisco a color SD card for his digital camera. (Thanks, Francisco!)
Kevin Wright, local historian extraordinaire, has an informative article in the Wayne Patch on Little Ferry's old brickyards.
Mehrhof Pond, a well-known local birding site, was created from a pit that provided the clay for bricks, and the pond itself was named for the brickmaking Mehrhof brothers.
"Representing a combined capital investment of $265,000, ten brickyards operating along the Hackensack River employed traditional methods of production. With the exception of the Mehrhof Brick Company, all used wood fuel to bake raw bricks in scove-kilns. “Soft-mud” brick machines produced over 60 million units of common building brick, a 90% increase over the previous year."
The link is here.
An earlier post on the Mehrhof brick operation is here.
A link to an illustration of a scove-kiln is here; site has other historical brick-making info.
Greg Miller photographed this Common Raven near Laurel Hill late last week. Let's hope they nest again this year.
The Meadowlands Commission and Bergen County Audubon Society are offering a free guided bird walk at DeKorte Park this Friday in conjunction with the Great Backyard Bird Count.
We'll count every bird we see — and hope to get an unusual bird or two along the way — from American Bittern to Orange-crowned Warbler…
The 90-minute walk starts at 10 a.m. Meet inside the Meadowlands Environment Center. Dress for the weather.
Full details follow.
Thought we'd post this Lincoln's Sparrow to celebrate Abe's birthday, even though it was not named after him. Honest!
Doug Morel writes:
"Since weather wasn't too bad, I went back to DeKorte today. Finally got the Snow Buntings, plus the Red-breatsed Mergs Ray Duffy had yesterday(out near NJ TPKE).
"Added a # of M'Lands yearbirds last couple days. Ran down to Kearney & added Coot & PB Grebe.
"Saw a couple falconers attempting to catch the RT Hawk with the jesses this morning, plus some other falconers with a hawk near the No. Arlington compost area opposite Harrier Meadow entrance. (Thanks, Doug!)