SUNNY MEMORIES: Brewster Beach Walk, Cape Cod

Once upon a time, it was October.  Jeanette Hooban, Carolyn Yoder and I were hiking a dunescape near Brewster on Cape Cod.  Virginia Creeper was at its peak.

Woodbine Brewster 'Wing' Trail to Island

Full-moon tides had barely seeped away to allow us access to a beckoning island.

Walking the Plank at Low Tide through Brewster 'Marsh's Wing' Trail

 

High Tide Plant at Low Tide Brewster 'Wing' Trail to Island

High Tide Plant shows us how far the sea can reach.

Compass Grass Drawing its Circles at Brewster 'Wing' Trail to Island

Compass plant scrawls its unique signature in sugary sand.

Autumnal Glory Salt Marsh Brewster 'Wing' Trail to Island

Hallowe’en is very late for peak color.

Low Tide at Cape Cod Bay Brewster 'Wing' Trail to Island

Oyster farmers arrive to gather their succulent harvest.

 

Hawk Tree Brewster 'Wing' Trail to Island

A sentinel tree beckons raptors.

 

Rose Hips Brewster 'Wing' Trail to Island

The last rose hips of summer.

Out of focus, but who has seen gold poison ivy?

Golden Poison Ivy at Brewster 'Wing' Trail to Island

“I must go down to the sea again, the lonely sea and the sky…”      (forever Masefield…)

Low Tide Oyster Harvesters at Brewster 'Wing' Trail to Island

 

“SARAH PALIN SAYS IT’S ALL MY FAULT” Poem

Some years ago, at the time of the BP Travesty in our sacred Gulf Stream, this poem of mine was published in Poets for Living Waters –Looks like it’s time to resurrect it.  In case you may have forgotten, Ms. Palin blames catastrophic climate change on environmentalists::

DEAR SARAH PALIN, by Carolyn Foote Edelmann

DEAR SARAH PALIN,

I understand it’s all my fault
–this Gulf oil disaster, I mean–
not only all that fire
bodies catapulted into air
then drowned
soon likely shark bait
but also this volcano of oil
spewing interminably
into our blue mantle

Sarah, you say
I did this
all of this and more
now some six weeks ago
with no end in sight
and no businessman
politician not even a general
let alone you, Sarah Palin,
knows how to stop
this tornado of oil

it’s also my fault, the oiled birds
Northern gannets
pristine as Josephine
in her Empire gown
frail white silk
adorned with gold
though not quite bees
dark eyes snapping
as she becomes increasingly encased
in ‘my’ oil
more abruptly than all those mastodons
in La Brea’s tar pits

now slender cormorants
who, everyone is sure, are drowning
as they swim along
neck barely afloat
no one realizing
the genius of cormorants
who can fly/swim 30 miles an hour
underwater
when they are not oiled

about the mpg of my car
my old car
for the ownership of which
I am quite guilty
for the replacement of which
I have no means

cormorants
must wave both wings
after every dive
to dry them
so that they may
dive and dive again
–no wave strong enough
to shake off ceaseless poison weight
of oil

it’s my fault, the reddish egrets
you know his own epitaph
written by photographer Ted Cross
for his own recent death
describing his multi-faceted self
on the Other Side
“still searching for the perfect photograph
of the reddish egret”

Ted did not have in mind
this soiled oiled specimen
trying, unsuccessfully
to lift newly leaden
legs wings and feet
out of Gulf mud muck and oil

it’s all my fault
and not because I use the wrong lightbulbs
in a couple of fixtures
nor because I do turn on the heat.
inside, in winter, sometimes
although I’ve been doing without air
conditioning so far this troubled year

it’s my fault
because I am an “extreme environmentalist”
because I think there should never be any more
drilling for oil in our country
because I deplore petrotyrrany
the privatization of profits
socialization of poverty
because I think we should start with the auto companies

well, what do you expect, Sarah?
I grew up in Detroit

I’ve never seen a wolf in the wild
as you do and deplore
–these beings you condemn to bloody deaths
I would embrace

nor have I encountered
a single polar bear
let alone a starving female trying to find food
for her new brood
attempting to swim with them
toward vanishing ice floes

but that’s o.k. with you
Sarah
it makes the hunting
easier

it’s my fault, Sarah
for I am quite literally
a tree hugger

I believe that greed should end
America return to her original nobility
where people pledged lives
fortunes
sacred honor
remember sacred honor?
— ah, well, probably not, Sarah

I believe we are our Planet’s
Keepers

Sarah – who are you?

~~~~~~~~~~

STATEMENT
what everyone must remember, wherever anyone lives (not only those of us in New Jersey’s key migratory corridor, the only state with three coastlines) is that these are our birds, our waters.  Because of the Gulf Stream, this catastrophe is global.  We may have passed the tipping point.  We are all the oiled pelican.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Carolyn Foote Edelmann (see many posts in NJWILDBEAUTY and NJWILD for the Packet Publications, before this –on oil and birds and I then provided stories for the actual newspaper  not virtual, on this subject – collecting local responses).
 

 

EXPLAIN TO ME ABOUT CHRISTIE – ISN’T THIS A DEMOCRACY?

Jeanette Wades in November rain 2015

“The Intrepid” Jeanette Hooban Enjoys Preserved Island Beach State Park November, 2015

OK, how does this work?  65% of New Jersey’s electorate voted nearly a year ago to fund Open Space and Historic Site Preservation in this, the most populous state, the soonest to become completely built out — according to a significant study by Rutgers University.

This morning, I learn that our ‘esteemed’ governor has chosen not to allow the funding for open space and historic site preservation to be conveyed to the organizations geared up to save what remains of the best of New Jersey.

This is the state where 75% of the Revolutionary War battles took place, many of which dire conflicts brought into reality the (former) democracy known as America — as in the two battles of Trenton and the one battle of Princeton and Monmouth, of course.  These battles were fought by our rag-tag-and-bobtail army, many of whom we know were barefoot, leaving bloody footprints in the snow.

These battles were fought because the colonists were enduring “taxation without representation.”

How are Christie’s machinations different from those of King George III, who at leas had madness as an excuse for some of them?

How does an elected official turn his back peremptorily upon THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE?

How does an elected official turn a deaf ear to VOX POPULI, which was the strength of the Roman Empre?

I kept my pledge to write him every day until he signed the recent legislation which his inaction called forth.

As a private citizen, day after day, I wrote our elected Governor that he has a moral and political duty to listen to the voters in his state.

He’s turned his back.  How is this different from the tyranny of kings?

I need someone to explain to this idealist, to this American whose roots go back to Nathaniel-Foote-the Settler, in the 1600s in Massachusetts, then founding Colchester and Wethersfield Connecticut, in quest of liberty: how can an elected official deny these sacred votes?!

And what can we ignored citizens DO ABOUT THIS?

It’s not just New Jersey, with its unique three coastlines, that is hereby imperiled.

It is the planet itself, as open space slows the effects of the catastrophic perils of global warming.

As the French would demand, –the feisty French whose dashing Marquis de Lafayette and serious funding from their king and sturdy well-manned ships ensured our liberty, “EXPLIQUEZ-MOI!”

We must “pay any price, bear any burden,” as my cherished [first President for whom I voted,] John F. Kennedy declared, to preserve our tri-coastlined state, our country, our planet –from people whose motives are light years away from those of freedom, of liberty, of preservation.  We owe it to our state, our country, the planet, and the creatures.

Preservation is not a luxury.  It is a critical necessity, and the planetary clock is ticking, ticking…

Raccoon Tracks at High Tide, Sandy Hook October 2015

Raccoon Tracks at High Tide Near Spermaceti Cove at Sandy Hook

This is the e-mail that triggered the above — how can this BE?!

 

CHRISTIE KILLS LEGISLATION MEANT TO GUARANTEE $80M FOR OPEN-SPACE FUNDING

TOM JOHNSON | JANUARY 20, 2016

Governor’s spokesman offers no rationale for pocket veto, but suggests too many measures were pushed through at end of prior legislative year

Credit: newsworks.org

Typically, funding for open-space and farmland preservation is about as controversial as motherhood and apple pie. Not this year, apparently.

Gov. Chris Christie yesterday pocket vetoed a bill to allocate $80 million to protect open space and farmland, as well as to preserve historic structures, casting uncertainty over what is usually a routine annual funding ritual.

The veto could leave municipalities, counties, and organizations that had been hoping to gain funding for preservation projects hostage to the vagaries of the state budget process for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Christie did not elaborate on why he killed the bill (S-2769), along with dozens of other passed in the final days of the previous legislative session.

His spokesman, Joelle Farrell, offered no specific rationale for the veto either, when asked. In general, however, Farrell said, “Having the Legislature pass more than 100 bills in such a hasty and scrambled way, praying for them to be rubber stamped, is never a good formula for effectively doing public business.’’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WRITE GOV. CHRISTIE RE IMPLEMENTING OPEN SPACE FUNDING NOW!

Jeanette intent upon wild birds and fishermen and whales at preserved Island Beach — OPEN SPACE ESSENTIAL..      site to use:  http://www.state.nj.us/governor/contact/

Could They Be Gannets November 2015 eanette 007

“Could they be gannets?” – Jeanette Intent (Intrepid #1) at Island Beach in NOVEMBER

Dear NJWILDBEAUTY Readers,

Never has your political action mattered more than now.  Whether you live in beleaguered NJ or not, go onto Governor Christie Contact web-site and insist he implement the Open Space funding approved by 65% of his voters.  This must happen now. 

Below, you will find what I just sent, receiving a Thank You for Contacting Me.  I will write each day until that document is signed.

Do not give up in the face of his legendary intransigeance!  Send this writing/signing request to friends in all states — as NJ goes, so goes the nation.  OPEN SPACE is essential for the wild creatures, and even moreso to slow catastrophic climate change.

I assume you all know that I work for D&R Greenway Land Trust, nearing our 20,000-acre point of preservation of the most populous state.  That seemed impossible, too.  But, acre by acre, gathering by gathering, letter by letter, negotiation by negotiation, we are saving New Jersey land, otherwise known as HABITAT.

Join me in this.  None of the creatures, none of the adventures you see in these ‘pages’ could be experienced, let alone photographed, without preservation.

Take ‘pen in hand’.  Be the Vox Populi of the 21st Century! 

Even if you’ve never written a governor before, let alone THIS governor, write him.  New Jersey herself and her WILD CREATURES and WILD SPACES are worth it!

Thank you

cfe

Dear Governor Christie:

You know better than anyone that NJ is slated to be the first completely built-out (read “ruined”) state.  Only you can prevent this disaster.  Implement the open space/preservation funding approved by 65% of your citizens.  Honor the will of the people.  Our government hearkens back to Ancient Rome – where the Vox Populi was sacred.  This is YOUR tipping point.

Carolyn Foote Edelmann
NJWILDBEAUTY Nature Blog

Fox in Snow from D&R Greenway Exhibition by Ray Yeager

Fox of Barnegat Bay by Ray Yeager (Ray Yeager Photography Blog) – taken at Island Beach, open space preserved by wise, courageous New Jerseyans.

This fox is asking you, “What will YOU do!”

HABITAT is ALL!

SHORE DELIGHTS, NJ WINTER

Too many people think Nature stops at Labor Day.  I’m here to insist that our fabulous New Jersey Shore delights in all seasons. 

First Glimpse Iconic Judge's Shack Island Beach New Year's Weekend

FIRST GLIMPSE, ICONIC JUDGE’S SHACK, JANUARY DUNES

Sometimes, I’m convinced, winter is the most exciting.  Come with me, last weekend, to Island Beach, with Ray Yeager – superb photographer of nature (check out his snowy owls and foxes on Ray Yeager Photography or Ray Yeager Photography Blog) and my original Intrepid, Jeanette Hooban:

Island Beach New Year's Weekend Birders Jeanette Hooban, Ray Yeager

RAY AND JEANETTE, LAUGHING AT WINTER

Ray was kind enough to meet us early at the entry booth, to guide us first of all to the iconic Judge’s Shack.  Look that up on line and learn its remarkable history — all these years of family use and impossible survival.

Survivor, Judge's Shack Island Beach New Year's Weekend

ICONIC JUDGE’S SHACK, CROWNING A DUNE

To see magnificent versions, see Ray Yeager’s in first light and last light, by Super Moon and meteor shower, and in the shadow of a space station.

After honoring this Island Beach icon, we went after our other quarry – birds!  At our feet were long-tailed ducks, surfing through waves frontwards and the other way, coasting over crests, standing exultantly at wave peaks and waving like Christ of the  Andes.  (Internet bird photos)

Long-tailed duck Clangula hyemalis, Female, New York, USA

Long-tailedduck non-breeding female -GrahamMontgomery

Long-tailed duck Clangula hyemalis, Male, New York, USA

Long-tailed duck Clangula hyemalis, Male, New York, USA

Spread out across the waves all the way to the horizon were white birds too far to see and identify.  Probably gulls, but they could’ve been foam itself.  Every once in awhile, one would rise, hover like a kingfisher, fold wings until the bird turned into a dagger, then plunge into the sea.  Each contact with water sent up the characteristic geyser that identifies gannet feeding behavior.

gannet- plunging from Internet

GANNET PLUNGE     (from Internet)

Impossibly, those gannets were blindingly white, far whiter than gulls, and so dramatic to watch!

Ray and Jeanette used their smartphones to see if the solemn loon-like bird in front of us, behind the long-tails, was indeed a red-throated loon in winter plumage.  In other words, not a speck of red.  Yes, indeed:

RedThroatedLoon winter plumage from Internet

RED-THROATED LOON (Internet) In Winter Plumage

But the stars remained those hovering gannets:

Gannet hovering from internet

HOVERING GANNET FROM INTERNET

Is it any wonder we walked soft sand forever, staring and staring?

Jeanette and Carolyn Intent upon Gannets by Ray Yeager

JEANETTE AND CAROLYN, INTENT UPON GANNETS, BY RAY YEAGER

Jeanette Tripping Light Fantastic by Ray Yeager

JEANETTE RUNNING DOWN TO THE LONG-TAILS    by Ray Yeager

sunbathing on sugar sand by Ray Yeager

WE NEVER WANT TO LEAVE, by Ray Yeager

King of the Wrack LIne Horseshoe Crab Island Beach New Year's

KING OF THE WRACK LINE, HORSESHOE CRAB

Compass Grass Doing its Thing Island Beach New Year's Weekend

COMPASS GRASS DRAWING ITS CIRCLES

Divine Detritus  Wrack Line Island Beach New Year's Weekend

DIVINE DETRITUS OF WINTER

Fox Tracks in Sugar Sand Island Beach New Year's Weekend

FRESH (!) FOX TRACKS IN SUGAR SAND

January Palette #13 Island Beach New Year's Weekend

WINTER’S CEZANNE PALETTE

Wild Grasses #13 Freshwater Wetlands Island Beach New Year's Weekend

WINTER GRASSES

Winter Color Island Beach #13 Freshwater Wetlands  New Year's Weekend

WINTER TREES

Wondrous Shells of Winter

PERFECT WINTER SHELLS

Unexpected Wreath Barnegat Bay Island Beach New Year's Weekend

UNEXPECTED WREATH!

Key Birding by Ray Yeager

But, we’re really here to bird — “HEAVEN ON EARTH” by Ray Yeager

Profound thanks to all my Intrepids, who’ll brave any condition to experience New Jersey’s Wild Beauty.

Sunny Excursion: Fall Farewell, Spring Growths

Late in December, Fay Lachmann and I hiked the Abbott Marshlands, actually seeking birds.  Which were few and far between.  But nature had other gifts for us, some of them seasonally surprising.

Autumn Last Gasp Abbott Marsh December

FALL’S LAST GASP

Marsh Map Sign 2015

MARSH TRAIL MAP AT ENTRY BY SPRING LAKE – purportedly Indian-named, when they’d gather there between their hunting life inland and their gathering life at the Shore each year.  Our 195 East was their footpath.

Autumn Remnant Abbott Marsh December

FALL FIRE OVERHEAD

Colossal Fungus Abbott Marsh December

HEFTY NEW FUNGUS ON DOWNED LOG, TRAIL-SIDE

Beeches Hang In There Abbott Marsh December

BEECHES IN THEIR WINTER ROBES

Beaver Lodge Stillness by Day Abbott Marsh December

ONE OF MANY BEAVER LODGES – THEY SLEEP IN DAYTIME

New Fungal Growth Abbott Marsh December 2015

NEW SHELF FUNGUS

Shelf Fungus Abbott Marsh December 2015

FADED TURKEY TAIL FUNGUS

Four Swans Not Swimming December 2015

FOUR SWANS NOT SWIMMING – the silence so absolute that, when the swans flew, we could hear the whirr of their wings

Sandy Aftermath Abbott Marsh December

FAY IN A TANGLE OF SANDY-DAMAGE

Beaver Point Abbott Marsh December

NEARING BEAVER POINT

Fern Emergence Abbott Marsh December

NEW FERN GROWTH IN THE FOREST IN DECEMBER

New Onion Grass Abbott Marsh December

ONION GRASS ERUPTING IN THE FOREST IN DECEMBER

New Willow Sprouts Abbott Marsh December 2015

NEW WILLOW GROWTH NEAR SPRING LAKE

End of Trail Abbott Marsh December

END OF TRAIL

Warm Weather Fishermen Abbott Marsh December

SUMMER-LIKE FISHING FROM CANOE

Willow Weep for Me Abbott Marsh December

WILLOW FAREWELL