Students from Harrison’s Washington Avenue School and Harrison Middle School last month had a fun, up-close experience learning to prepare healthy meals on the Meadowlands Environment Center’s Mobile Food Lab.
The program, taught in a converted school bus, encourages healthy eating habits and a curiousity among students in food science and nutrition. The Harrison students learned about the Sense of Taste, the Sense of Smell, created a bird’s nest salad, constructed a Garden in a Bottle and Tested for Vitamin C in Liquids. As you can tell from these videos and photos they had a great time! Thanks to teacher Karen Cristalli for sending these great videos and photos!
For more information on the Mobile Food Lab and how to bring it to your school click here
Join the Bergen County Audubon Society next Tuesday (Jan. 21) for a guided walk through Losen Slote Creek Park and the Mehrhof Pond Wildlife Observation Area, both in Little Ferry. The walk goes from 10 am to noon.
Losen Slote Creek Park is one of the last lowland forests in the Meadowlands and the nearby Mehrhof Pond Wildlife Observation Area is a great place for bird watching. For more info contact Don Torino at 201-230-4983.
Although I have always
thought New Year’s Day to be a sort of silly holiday where the only thing that is
celebrated is the changing of a number on a calendar, I honestly can’t help
reflect on the year past and most of all anticipate what wonders of nature wait
for me around the next birding trail in the coming year.
Birders more than anyone
else I know enjoy talking about the birds of days gone by as much as the anticipation
of the birds of the coming season. Those very special birds seen with special
people in wonderful places will always be part of who we are until we are
birding in the big nature preserve in the sky, and perhaps even after that. I
am as guilty as anyone else. As soon as there is a lull in the bird activity on
a field trip I usually look around just to say to someone, “I remember the time
But assuming that I have
more fields to wander and birding trails to meander it is time to think ahead.
So just in case they are listening I would like to give a shout out to all the
birds, new and old, I will see in 2020.
If you are life bird for
me be sure I spot you with a special friend along. For as magnificent as it is
to see a bird I have never seen before I want someone next to me to share it
with. After all there is not much sense in having such a spiritual experience
if there is not someone who, when you see each other, even after years have passed,
that you can sit with and recall that day when that bird was right there
seemingly just for us to see.
Of course it does not have
to be an old friend. It could be a new birding friend or someone that just
wandered up the trail at the right time. No matter, the experience will bind
you both together as long as the love of nature stays in your soul.
I don’t want you to make
it easy! Well, maybe sometimes. I want to see a new bird when the Meadowlands’
cold winds are whipping, when the snow and ice cover the trail, and when the rain
drops obstruct my binoculars. At least then I will have made sense of my
freezing hands and toes and soaking wet feet and it will be only then that I
will be sure that all is right in the world.
Of course there are those
times when easy would be good, like when I am exhausted sitting on a bench
ready to go home and that special bird lands on a tree right next to me. Or
when there is a rare bird report and I drive all the way there, get out of the
car and actually see the bird! A few of those would not really be bad.
To all the birds of 2020 I
have seen in the past, do not worry, I have not forgotten you. You have played
a major part of who I am and helped make my life a wonderful and special
journey. Please keep allowing me to see the Chickadees hanging upside down over
my head and the Blue Jays taking peanuts from the backyard feeder. I will
always need to see the Canvasbacks wintering at DeKorte Park, the Egrets
gathering on migration and the Killdeer scurrying along the ground. The
goosebumps I get from seeing a Bald Eagle or Peregrine Falcon will never stop
coming and an Osprey on the nest will always help me understand and remember
the good things that we can all accomplish.
And to all the birds I
promise I will get myself off the couch even when I am not feeling that great
to come out for a visit. After all, I know that all my wonderful experiences
could not be had sitting inside. So even as the back gets sore and the old legs
don’t work as well I will be out there not only for myself but also for the folks
that can no longer make it. I will be sure to let them know that I saw all of
you and you are doing well.
And finally it is not
enough to let you know how much I look forward to birding in the New Year.
After all, there is a big responsibility that goes along with that. Just to let
you all know I will do what I can to protect and preserve the places you need
I know too well that we
are at the crossroads and what we do or fail to do will mean whether future
generations get to have you as part of their lives the way we all have for so
many years. So just to let you know it is my hope that 2020 will be a new beginning,
when we all join together to be sure
that everyone gets to live in a safe environment and learns to love,
cherish and most of all visit with the birds, the same way I have been blessed
to, for many years to come
A rare Black-headed Gull, which hasn’t been seen in this area for decades, was reported at River Barge Park in Carlstadt this weekend. Jimmy Macaluso got a photo yesterday. Hopefully the gull will still be around for tomorrow’s (Jan. 7) BCAS walk at the park. The walk goes from 10 am to noon. For more info contact Don Torino at email@example.com or 201-230-4983.