Don Torino’s Life In The Meadowlands: Changing Seasons

northern harrier jeff nicolThings are changing in the Meadowlands. Despite the oppressive heat of the last few weeks and what it may say on your calendar summer has gone. Nature has no date book, apps or IPhones. Rather, it prepares as it has done for eons despite our best efforts to take one more visit to the beach and have another barbeque.

raptorNow, the Semipalmated Sandpipers are congregating by the thousands on the mudflats of the Meadowlands, resting and refueling for their incredible journey that began in the Arctic and will end in South America. The Yellow-legs, Egrets and Plovers can also be seen now, meeting together, and well aware that summer in the Meadowlands is rapidly leaving us behind. The last generation of Monarch butterflies, although far less than years past, are flying high over the marshes on their long arduous journey to Mexico. More Warblers are arriving by the day but their visit will be short as the days go by, and the Orioles will not be seen much longer as fall slowly but assuredly arrives.

The skies even look different now for those who take the time to look beyond the turnpike traffic and the jet noises. The cloud formations are changing and the Meadowlands’ beautiful sunsets are now taking on distinct colors and hues, with the days becoming shorter and the night breezes a little cooler. Soon winter raptors like Harriers and Eagles will be arriving to hunt over the Meadows that are rich with food. In addition, many diverse duck species that have spent the summer far to the north will make the Meadowlands home until spring.

The changing of the seasons in the Meadowlands is always a special time, and none will be more beautiful than the coming fall. The wildlife, the colors, and the magic of the Meadowlands all seem to come together for a remarkable display of life that thrives and flourishes once again in this richly diverse urban environment.

This season leave your texting, TV’s and computers behind for a while and take yourself, your family, friends, and neighbors to experience the wonders of nature in the Meadowlands ..see you there.

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