Natural swimming ponds rely on plants, rather than chemicals, to filter the water. The plant regeneration area is usually kept separate from the swimming area. Even if you already have a swimming pool, you can enjoy the benefits of a chemical-free pond using the structure you already have with a few design changes. Read a recent Inhabitat article here. See a past Meadowblog post here.
Diamondback terrapin. Photo NJSEA
A small group of nature-lovers had a great visit at Laurel Hill yesterday morning, with Don Torino of the Bergen County Audubon Society leading the way. Don got the scope on the peregrine nest, which sits in a nook high up the rock face above the ball fields. We had a good look at two juveniles and a less-good look at two adults hanging around the nest.
We then checked on the Osprey nest near the RR tracks. An adult posed majestically on the nest while two little heads bobbled at its side. The adult fly off to hunt and soon returned with fish in its talons. We watched it eat while perched on a utility tower. We presume there was some left for the chicks.
Foraging for mulberries. Photo: LCameron/NJSEA
We also saw cormorants, barn swallows, song sparrows, and a lone mallard through the haze.
An unexpected treat was a diamondback terrapin who was striding purposefully the grass. What beautiful markings!
We picked yummy mulberries along the way. And though we bemoaned the extent of the Japanese honeysuckle, we still enjoyed its fragrance and drops of sweet nectar.