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August 2017

September 2017

Monarch Hatching Pix, including Empty Chrysalis

Thanks to Julie McCall, I was able to monitor the progress of a Monarch chrysalis after Julie had noticed a Monarch caterpillar on a blade of tall grass in the Green Way field on August 24.

I had never realized how a chrysalis changed in appearance, or how delicate it was -- a point driven home after the butterfly hatched on Sept. 17. (Photo above)

Here are some pix that Julie and I took over the past few weeks. I hope they are in order. :- )

(Thank you, Julie!)




Odd Barred Owl Behavior?

About a year and a half ago, Stiles Thomas installed an Eastern Bluebird nesting box for a friend in Gardiner, NY.  Bluebirds have nested successfully there the past two springs.

On Saturday, the box had a different visitor  -- a young Barred Owl that hunted from atop the box in broad daylight for a good 10 minutes.

Seems a bit unusual, no?  (A  big thank you to Philip Jones for the photo above.)

Next Month: Meadowlands Birding Festival

Save the date:  The Meadowlands Birding Festival is Saturday, Oct. 7. It's free, and it features some pretty cool walks and talks. Keynote speaker is Richard Crossley. 

Ron Shields and I will be giving a presentation tied to the fifth anniversary of Schiffer Books' publication of "The Nature of the Meadowlands," the large-format, photo-driven book about the region's environmental comeback that I did with a huge help from Ron and Marco Van Brabant.

I'll talk a bit about the book, and Ron will talk about some of the amazing bird photos he's taken in the Meadowlands, and how he got them.

A full schedule is here.

Registration is here.



The Celery Farm Monarch Hatched!

Thanks to Julie McCall, who discovered a Monarch caterpillar on a blade of tall grass at the Celery Farm, a few of us have been monitoring a Monarch butterfly chrysalis there since late August.

On Sunday, the Monarch hatched -- I missed the butterfly leaving the chrysalis by a minute or two, but I hung around for a half-hour while it dried its wings.

Eventually, it climbed onto the chrysalis, above.

When I returned today, I did not see any Monarchs. It appeared as though someone left out some water or sugar water out for the newbie. Very sweet of them.

I will try to post a few more pix, including some by Julie, later this week.   (Thanks, Julie!)

'Nature of The Meadowlands' in The Record

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An article about "Jersey Icons"by John Ensslin in The Record today  looks at the Meadowlands' remarkable environmental comeback -- including a reference to my book "The Nature of the Meadowlands," regarding the huge NJ Turnpike crash in East Rutherford back in 1973.

The lethal crash, which resulted from a long-burning Meadowlands landfill fire, an inverted air mass, and steam discharged from a PSE&G plant, helped put an end to persistent landfill fires nationwide. 

The photo above is the smog from the fire.

The link is here.