High Mountain's 'Marry Me' Rock

One of the landmarks near the summit at High Mountain is a  graffiti-scarred rock outcropping (upcropping?)  that I have called as "Marry Me" ever since I heard the tale of a young man who hiked up to the summit with his girlfriend long long ago.

He had climbed to the summit and painted "Marry me?" on the rock. Alas, the story goes, his girlfriend was so miffed that he made her hike up the steep mountainside that she answered "No."

On recent visits, I noticed that someone has downgraded the proposal to "Prom?"

If anyone knows more about the "Marry Me" rock legend, please let me know.


The Fell House Garden -- Thank you!

IMG-8929 Big thank to Kathy Vorhis and the Allendale Garden Club for making the garden near the entranee to the Fell House grounds look so beautiful!

Founding Father John Fell is buried in the same cemetery in Coldenham, N.Y., as the first female botanist in America, Jane Colden, and he would no doubt be pleased how great the place looks these days with its beautiful garden, recent new roof and new coat of paint.

Nature Quote of the Day

I found the above quote in a foreword to a book I bought recently.

The book is "The Wissahickon," published by the Garden Club of Philadelphia.

It was written in 1922, and thanks to a mind-set that accompanied that quote, the Wissahickon remains a treasure today.

Protecting nature is a lot like brushing your teeth. It's not something to be done occasionally,  when the spirit moves. It requires constant vigilance.

Help ID This Pigeon at the CF

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Traci Woods writes:

I was at the Celery Farm on Friday around 2:30, and saw 3-4 blue-banded pigeons sitting in a tree across from the spillway.

Are these lost pigeons or pigeons that were released?  Was concerned whether or not they could survive in the wild.
I think these are likely racing pigeons. If anyone has a photo with the band numbers, we might be able to see where they're from.
Rock Pigeons are scarce at the Celery Farm. Not sure if it is countable on eBird, though.
According to an earlier post, racing pigeons have been seen at the CF on at least three other occasions over the years-- by Marsh Warden Stiles Thomas, Ace Birder Rob Fanning, and Seymour Drakes.

Typically, they stop at Lake Appert for water (and to get their bearings or catch their breath).

(Thanks, Traci!)

A Quick High Mountain Hike

Did a quick hike to the summit of High Mountain and Franklin Clove on Thursday.

Great views of Northern New Jersey with Manhattan in the distance, as always.

The Buttermilk Falls I visited by the Clove was flowing nicely, although the heavy rains have re-routed the stream beneath it and cut a new trough through the basalt fragments.


NJ Botanical Garden in Ringwood

Went to visit the terrific NJ Botanical Garden and nearby attractions with my friend Skeets this week.

Bergen County Audubon's butterfly garden looked great, and quite a few butterflies (especially Eastern Tiger Swallowtails) were flitting around.

To see what I think of as organized nature, the NJBG is a great place, and closer by than you might think.