Monthly Archives: September 2020

Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: The Last Flowers of Summer

Golden Rod and Wild Ageratum

The Hummingbirds still scuffle over the last failing flowers of the trumpets vines. Bumble Bees now feed franticly over the Asters and Ageratums, and the Monarchs still search out the Goldenrods on their long perilous migration south. The last flowers of summer, though fading, are not only critical to the lives of countless wildlife but also allow us to survive and fill our souls with joy and delight and at times present us with a sense of quiet grief as the last blooms begin to dwindle away.

The evening skies look different now. There is a cool, crisp morning pinch in the air. We begin to notice we are crunching on early fallen leaves and the lonely anxiety of the unknown coming season grabs at our hearts.

Trumpet Vine

We have all been through a lot this past season. Our profound sense of loss and fear still holds us all hostages and yet through it all nature has become our solace. Nature is now our new support system, our friend and family when we needed it most. Our counselor and therapist, our personal consultant and spiritual advisor. Some have discovered nature for the first time, others are now rediscovering it and some have known it was there all along but never knew how important it truly was. But all now will depend on it more than ever to get them through the oncoming season.

Already Bald Eagles are bringing sticks to their nests preparing for spring and the next generation. Broad -winged Hawks still fill the skies on their long migration as they have done since time and immemorial, and the Blue Jays cache food to get ready for the winter ahead.

After all, the last flowers of summer are the first flowers of the fall and just as nature welcomes in the change of season we will do the same. And like the backyard Chickadee and the Monarch Butterfly we will endure what is ahead and like the wildflowers of the meadows we will still be there, as much a part of the natural world as the Hawk or the Butterfly. Nature is always there for us just patiently waiting for us to come home to its wonders.

 We should not fret over the fading flowers but rather rejoice in the change and embrace the colors of the fall and the raptors of winter and know that like the seasons the flowers of Spring will return with all its eternal beauty as we will emerge with the endless knowledge and understanding that nature will always be a part of who we are wherever and whenever we are ready to listen

See you in the Meadowlands

Rare Bird Sighting (Wood Sandpiper) at DeKorte Park!

Credit: Milton Collins

Milton Collins spotted and photographed a rare for the East Coast Wood Sandpiper at the eastern end of the Shorebird Pool at DeKorte Park yesterday (Sunday, Sept. 20). Chris Takacs reports:

A Wood Sandpiper, a Eurasian bird, was found yesterday morning by Milton Collins. This is the first NJ state record, pending records committee approval and possibly the 6th was east coast sighting ever. 

It’s a small sandpiper, about solitary sandpiper sized. It’s in the company of both Yellowlegs and dowitchers in the east end of the shorebird pool. Shorebird is being controlled to keep water levels lower. 

Credit: Milton Collins

Reminder: Birthday Walk at DeKorte This Coming Monday, Sept. 21!

Help Bergen County Audubon Society field trip leader Lindsay McNamara celebrate her birthday on Monday, Sept. 21, as she leads a walk of DeKorte Park, the gem of the Meadowlands park system! We’ll keep our eyes out for shorebirds, egrets and raptors. The walk runs from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.

Info: Don Torino at or 201-230-4983.