POLE FARM RICHES, WITHOUT BINOCULARS

Great Horned Owl, magnificent close-up, by the very talented Brenda Jones

Great Horned Owl, magnificent close-up, by the very talented Brenda Jones

(Heard, not seen, Recently)

NJWILDBEAUTY readers well know that I’ve moved so happily to Lawrenceville, –three-tenths of a mile from the bountiful new preserve, “The Pole Farm.”

Off Cold Soil Road and also off Blackwell Road and also off Keefe road are entries to this wooded paradise, full of rare birds and other wild creatures, and utilized by the nicest hikers and cyclists I’ve ever encountered.

When my sister was here from Illinois, we went to the Pole Farm at least once a day and sometimes twice.  It’s never the same twice.

Now that the seasons are changing, time in the Pole Farm will be more and more colorful.  The first crimson of woodbine is apparent.  A brassy tinge is coming into wild grape leaves everywhere, which will soon gild both sides of the trails in the sunny parts.

Two weekends ago, first a barred owl coasted majestically, then roosted in a number of copses not far from the second observatory platform.  As we walked back along Maidenhead Trail, great horned owls hooted back and forth to one another in the dark woods.

Most of the time I take my new binoculars, which are finally fulfilling me as a birder.  I want the world to know that Bushnell, for a minuscule fee of $10, examined my old non-focusing binoculars, which had been a gift and for which I had absolutely no paperwork, not even a serial number.  Some weeks after I followed their on-line directions re mailing, they sent a beautiful box holding a beautiful case and an impeccable set of absolutely brand new optics.  They and I have been inseparable ever since.  Talk about standing behind their product!

Recently, though, I thought I’d better try walking the Pole Farm without them, to experience that sacred site with my other senses.

Here is a poem that carries the magic to some degree.

For the full magic, come to the Pole Farm, in all lights and all seasons.

This is the reason it’s so vital to preserve open space in New Jersey right now — and don’t forget this in the ballot box in November!  Never has it been more important than now, for our state:  New Jersey:  KEEP IT GREEN!

Short-eared Owl white coloration

Short-Eared Owl by Brenda Jones — to be found at Pole Farm in Winter

 

WITHOUT OPTICS

 

yesterday, I left my binoculars at home

on purpose

determined to experience the Pole Farm

unmagnified

 

entering very early

no one on the trails

 

assailed by fragrance

nearly knocking me off my stride

 

pungent, multi-layered sweetness

heady, even dizzying

 

these aromas

may have been clover’s gifts

–the forceful magenta, truncated white

 

everything so still

I could hear each bee

busy at his nectaring

 

in the half-woods

where thin streams furl

I heard the plucked string

of green frog

–Casals at his tuning

 

along the forest edge, brown thrashers

ruffled underbrush

and trail dust

 

entering the deep woods

I walked into and out of

the piercing salutation

of fox

–part skunk

yet vanishing

before I could say

that ruddy word

 

so leaving new binoculars at home

returned me

to nose

to ears

 

CAROLYN FOOTE EDELMANN

Summer 2014

 

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Remembering Columbia River Gorge

Helicopter over flaming Rowena area of Columbia River Gorge

Helicopter over flaming Rowena area of Columbia River Gorge

Various news services have made it clear that the glorious Columbia River Gorge was assailed by wildfires this past week.  My dear friend, poet Penelope Schott, of Portland, reports the fires are mostly over.  She drives past the hills that were scorched a number of times each week, to and from her writer’s retreat in Dufur, the wheat country beyond the Gorge.

Charred Rowena Area of Columbia River Gorge

Charred Rowena Area of Columbia River Gorge

We know that rainlessness is the norm in Oregon in summer.  But there is a difference between lack of rain and deep extended drought.

The latter, as everyone knows, but few wish to discuss, let alone change, is caused by climate change.  Which is caused by insistence upon using fossil fuels instead of renewable energy.

This summer, before the fires, Penelope and Eric had me visit in both (beautiful, conscious!) Portland and remote, sweet Dufur.  Here, mostly without words, are pictures of the Rowena part of the Gorge, near the Dalles, before fire had its way with that spectacular region.

Watch with me.  Care with me.

Beautiful Columbia Gorge   before fires Summer 2014

Beautiful Columbia Gorge before fires Summer 2014

This was taken from an overlook which could well be the charred scene above.

Curvilinear Route from Portland to Dufur, from overlook at Rowena in Columbia Gorge

Curvilinear Route from Portland to Dufur, from overlook at Rowena in Columbia Gorge

 

Gorge Wildflowers and Ancient Rocks from Glacial Times -- These wildflowers will return

Gorge Wildflowers and Ancient Rocks from Glacial Times — These wildflowers will return

Stalwart Chicory of the Borge

Stalwart Chicory of the Gorge

Three Thrilled Cyclists, Having Achieved Columbia Gorge Rowena Lookout

Three Thrilled Cyclists, Having Achieved Columbia Gorge Rowena Lookout

Penelope and Lily's Favorite Gorge Stop -- a wildflower meadow like a Cluny tapestry... millefiori

Penelope’s and Lily’s Favorite Gorge Stop — a wildflower meadow like a Cluny tapestry… millefiori

May Bounty, Columbia Gorge, Rowena Lookout

May Bounty, Columbia Gorge, Rowena Lookout

Quintessential Parking Lot, Rowena Lookout, Columbia Gorge -- nestled in snowcapped mountains not showing in this scene

Quintessential Parking Lot, Rowena Lookout, Columbia Gorge — nestled in snowcapped mountains not showing in this scene

Gifts of Glacier and Meltwater, Rowena Lookout

Gifts of Glacier and Meltwater, Rowena Lookout

When Columbia Gorge was Evergreen Heaven

When Columbia Gorge was Evergreen Heaven

Road Not Yet Taken, from Rowena Lookout Toward Dufur from Portland Oregon

Road Not Yet Taken, from Rowena Lookout Toward Dufur from Portland Oregon

Oregon Lupine Columbia River Gorge Rowena Lookout

Columbia Gorge from Rowena Lookout, High Desert Country, where Dufur Awaits, across Columbia

Columbia Gorge from Rowena Lookout, High Desert Country, where Dufur Awaits, across Columbia

April Showers brought...

April Showers brought…

HERE’S WISHING CHERISHED ROWENA A SPEEDY RECOVERY.

Here’s wishing increased awareness of the outcomes of catastrophic climate change.

Preserve all open space in your region.

Live a sustainable life.

EATING THE VIEW – Bahrs Restaurant; Sandy Hook

there’s a place I go to eat

the view

in a building weathered yet spruce

 

 

Home is the Fisherman, Bahr's, Sandy Hook

Home Is the Fisherman — from Bahrs Restaurant Table

 

building weathered, yet spruce

high above the Navesink

over in The Highlands

 

inside, all the appropriate accents

whale’s rib–

gigantic lobster claw

grizzled captain figurehead

the requisite polished brass

 

one of the earliest ever

diver’s suits

stands sentry at entry

welcoming

 

every table waterside

sky light tripled

bouncing off inlet

then white fishing craft

to dance along our plates

 

we take binoculars

to table

sometimes cannot order

because we’d have to take our eyes

from fugitive goldeneye swimming below

off petite grebe

disappearing cormorants

 

My sister thinking of her late husband's love of boats. JPG

My Sister Dreaming Across the Inlet at Bahrs

 

most friends know their specialties

without consulting

menus

 

belly clams for Faith

Anne’s oysters,  fried light as tempura

Mike’s delicate scrod

my sister’s and dear Tasha’s lobster rolls

–high and pink and light

above that toasty roll

succulent steamers for Karen

scallops seared   (special order)   for me

 

always the cloud-soft hot biscuits

sun caught in Yuengling

 

Bahr's Biscuits Sandy Hook

 

on the horizon shimmers

our afternoon’s quest

Sandy Hook’s bird-rich reaches

across an emptying inlet

 

below our table

fishermen return

tie up to clean

morning’s catch

 

A Good Day on the Bay, Sandy Hook

 Good Day on the Bay

one day, even I could tell

they were working on roseate

striped bass

Captain later revealing,

“Each brought home his limit”

 

a little boy at the next table

–watching those deft surgeries

when asked, “What would YOU like?”,

answered

–pointing at their bass–

I want one of those.”

 

Bahr's Sign late Aprio 2010

Sky Light at Bahrs