A Princeton Garden Club has asked me to speak and show pictures on the Pine Barrens. I have written my talk, with all its logistical details. But my experience of the Pines is an idyllic region, dreamlike in beauty and Productivity. It is currently seriously imperiled (five PIPELINES are poised to thread their way through the ‘Barrens’ as we ‘speak’, and our governor is all FOR THIS DESTRUCTION, 17-trillion gallon aquifer of America’s finest waters and acres beyond counting of flammable pines or not.)
This is a typical scene along Route 563 near Chatsworth, the Heart of the Pines.
This is my long-time friend, Marilyn Schmidt, former scientist, former realtor, former tax assessor, author, publisher, illustrator, and keeper of the Heart of the Pines. To learn more about the historic role of Buzby’s, which she saved in a tax sale and had named to the New Jersey and the National Registers of Historic Places, read John McPhee’s legendary The Pine Barrens.
The Pine Barrens even have their own winery, Tomasello’s, an outlet of which is visible from the Bakery at Smithville, near the Brigantine Wildlife Refuge, where NJWILDBEAUTY readers know I go all the time for major birding experiences.
An exquisite lake is Lake Oswego, ideal for kayaking, ringed with evergreens and marvelous wild plants, right down to the water.
As the autumnal equinox approaches, I think of equinotical storms, not the least of which was the infamous Sandy. Our state is still recovering. Although the Brigantine and Lake Oswego and Scott’s Landing and Leed’s Point are very near Atlantic City, where Sandy came ashore — these are tough places, home of salt-of-the-earth people, and they were back on their feet remarkably soon. Here are a few images that give only the slightest clue as to what the land and the people endured, from what they have recovered:
And always a final visit to idyllic Leed’s Point, which lost many buildings, but kept its working fishing village spirit despite all.
All of this beauty survived one of the most savage storm in recorded United States history. Only to fall, now, in 2015, to the forces of politics and greed.