DeKorte Sunsets and Winter Scenes

Mickey Raine sent a dispatch of his recent DeKorte Park excursions, accompanied by some wonderful photos of canvasbacks, sunsets and ice formations. Thanks Mickey!

We wanted to share some winter delights captured in the Meadowlands–Richard DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst, in this case.

The sunset photos were taken at the very end of January on very cold days, but nothing compared to that last two days.  In any event, there is always something so special about the Golden or Magic Hour at DeKorte, and as I often say, one does not need to have a variety of birds present to truly enjoy this wonderful site, and winter, as cold and challenging as it can be sometimes, offers excellent experiences to learn and appreciate the miracles of nature.

The sunset hour photos are a case in point.  The marsh and mudflats serve as incredible visuals for captivating moments for the camera, and when that golden streak or blanket is cast onto the landscape, there is such a special feeling that wells up–kind of therapeutic, in a sense.  I love the shot Elaine took of the distant setting sun with the silhouettes of the birds in the foreground during their late day feeding time.

The sudden flight of the Canvasbacks was the result of visitors nearby, who had approached the area where I stood, while singing.  So, instead of capturing some possible shots of these beautiful birds resting with head and neck folded under at this time, I was faced with this sudden, unexpected take off, accompanied by a chorus of honks.

I had but a second to readjust, and take what was offered so briefly.  Luckily, although not the set up clarity I would have liked, the general feel of the moment is pretty accurate.  I was not upset at the young adults, for they were having a good time, and had now been aware of the mass from the angle they came.  It was simply nice to see folks taking advantage of this lovely place.

Now, in dramatically changing the theme, and setting, we were treated to a magnificent tour of the one and only place around that allows such easy access to view these miracles of nature in such artistic display.  Yes, there are wetland areas all around the Meadowlands, and other parts of the state–not to mention, elsewhere in country.  However, to see them so readily, when conditions are just right, is something offered in very few places other than DeKorte Park with the Discovery Trail meandering right through the thick of the reed and phragmites via the convenient boardwalk.

Friday, toward the latter end, as often the situation with us, was one of those ideal periods, where the tidal pool, the winds from earlier, the fluctuating temperatures, and buffering/protective reeds allowed for these fascinating creations in nature.  Where else can experience a delightful, free, ice sculpture exhibit as this?  We have been to many marshlands and other wetlands regions in the winter, but nothing comes close to what we can enjoy here with such ease.

The beauty of it all is that these formations are ever changing, and on any given day with the right general conditions, very different shapes can be appreciated–as you can see by comparing this present batch with the ones from several weeks ago.  These formations are so good for learning and critical thinking purposes with kids, since so many scientific factors are involved with each one, stimulating those curious minds to speculate as to the HOW and WHY.

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