News Story Featuring John Fell

 Coldenham Preservation and Historical Society

The Poughkeepsie Journal has a story about the 250th anniversary of the historic Colden House in Montgomery, N.Y., and mentions John Fell and his son and daughter and explains why the Coldens remained loyal to the king of England. 

John Fell's house on Franklin Turnpike in Allendale is a historic site; he once owned the marsh that is now the Celery Farm Natural Area -- a.k.a. Wolf Swamp and Fell's Meadows back then.

Cadwallader Colden Sr. was a member of the governor’s council, then lieutenant governor of the Province of New York, and  acted as governor several times during the 1760s and 1770s.

The link is here.

My Book Talk in Brooklyn

Had a great time reading the Celery Farm children's books at the Powerhouse on 8th bookstore in Park Slope yesterday.  A nice turnout for a lazy August Sunday morning.

The talk showcased "Duck Enough to Fly," "Icky the Hungry Heron" and "Swan Babies" and featured special guest Jerry Barrack (below), co-author and nature photographer extraordinaire. (Thanks, Jerry!)

I was a little intimidated by the realization that the previous Sunday's speaker was Rowboat Watkins and "Pete With No Pants." I'm just guessing, but anyone named Rowboat must be a tough act to follow.

A big thanks to Powerhouse on 8th's Georgia Schoonmaker for organizing yesterday's event!


World's Largest Mushroom?

Stiles Thomas claims he has the world's largest mushroom growing in his yard, and who are we to argue?

Note: Last month Stiles claimed to have the world's largest strawberry, then claimed that critters ate it before I could photograph it. (This is a distant cousin of the "dog ate my homework" ruse.

Stiles later admitted that he had purchased the alleged large strawberry at a grocery.

I believe the mushrooms are genuine. I have placed a quarter in one of the photos for scale.

Does anyone know what kind of mushrooms they are?


My gracious! Warblers are on the Move

Judy Cinquina writes:

I had a young American Redstart in my birdbath around 5:15 p.m. yesterday. So
the fall warbler migration is in motion.

Let's see who can find (and photograph) the first migrant warbler at the Celery Farm.

That will exclude any Yellow or Common Yellowthroats because they may be local residents, although
Yellows are on the move.

You can witness the Yellow movement along the Transco Trail at DeKorte right now.

(Thanks, Judy! Great idea.)

Bald Eagle @ CF Today -- PIx

Walt Staab is on a roll. On Sunday, he took some awesome pix of a Peregrine Falcon at the Celery Farm. Today, while photographing a raccoon, he looked up to see a Bald Eagle and grabbed a couple of shots.

Thanks, Walt!  (Let's hope the bird comes back on Sunday for the Hour on the Tower folks.)

Link to the post with Walt's Peregrine pix is here

Walt needs to photograph an Osprey next to complete the trilogy of raptors that have made a remarkable comeback after DDT almost drove extirpated them in many parts of the U.S.


Don Torino's New Column: The Unkindest Cuts

Don Torino's new column for the Meadowlands Blog is about the impact on nature when folks cut down too many trees in a neighbrhood.

A sample:

We often forget that our trees are living, thriving life forms essential to life as we know it,  as alive as much as any bird, butterfly or human for that matter.

We just need to put in a little more thought and consideration before we decide to have such a wonderful creature as a tree eliminated from our environment and ultimately the Earth.

The environmental philosopher John Muir once said, “God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools.”

Maybe not, but we can do our part to protect and preserve something as important as a tree. Wherever and whenever we can.

The link is here.

Upon Further Review: Fish Mystery Demystified

Recently, a Painted Turtle laid her eggs in the backyard (next to the Celery Farm).

The next morning, I found a dead fish in the back driveway and the turtle eggs dug up and eaten.

I asked what happened, and what the fish was.

I suspected that a raccoon dug up the turtle eggs and dropped the fish. Marianne Herrmann suspected the same.

As for the fish, answers ranged from crappie to carp to pumpkinseed to rock bass. I was ambiguous and just said, "Tough one."

Since then, another person has weighed in and said Pumpkinseed as well, so that's what I am going with.

Not to mention that it's a great name for a fish.


High Mountain: From a Hike to a View

IMG_4748On a summer day that's not too muggy, a hike to the summit of High Mountain is a pretty cool way to spend an afternoon. IMG_4762

If you look closely among the rocks on the trail along the way, you'll find small chunks of Chert, the sharp rocks that the Lenapes used to make arrowheads and other points.

I found an arrowhead on High Mountain last month. That post is here.

On a recent hike, my wife and found these three -- not to be confused with basalt (below), which looks black when cracked open but eventually turns a rusty gray because of its iron content.

My New Column: NJ Botanical Garden

My latest column for The Record is all about birding at the New Jersey Botanical Garden in Ringwood.

Beautiful gardens, great natural areas, terrific birds _MG_8813and great walks and hikes, all on 1,100 acres.

Old-stylel statues and a manor house, too.

And if you like butterflies -- try the free butterfly festival this Sunday ...

Cool birds I've seen there in the past month include Indigo Bunting, Eastern Bluebird, Ruby-throated Hummingbird and Common Raven.

The link to my column is here.

The link to the NJBG website is here.


If You're in Brooklyn on Sunday...

Icky Cover   mg511-001
 I'll be reading my Celery Farm children's books -- "Icky the Hungry Heron," "Duck Enough to Fly," and "Swan Babies" this Sunday from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at POWERHOUSE on 8th [Park Slope], 1111 8th Ave., Brooklyn.

POWERHOUSE on 8th [Park Slope]
1111 8th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215

POWERHOUSE on 8th [Park Slope]
1111 8th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215

POWERHOUSE on 8th [Park Slope]
1111 8th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Sunday Aug 13, 2017
11:30 am - 12:30 pm

POWERHOUSE on 8th [Park Slope]
1111 8th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Sunday Aug 13, 2017
11:30 am - 12:30 pm

POWERHOUSE on 8th [Park Slope]
1111 8th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215

More info is here.

Answer to Stiles Thomas' Mystery

Stiles asked: "Where was Moses when the light went out?"

This apparently was an old nursery rhyme and part of American folklore.

The answer is: "Down in the cellar, eating sauerkraut."  Congrats to Sally Wiegand and Pat Price for knowing the "correct" answer. I thought Rich's answer was pretty clever.

For a link with just about every nursery rhyme you ever heard of, and more, click here.

The Moses rhyme is the very last one.