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April 2007

Loon in Waldwick


  A common loon caused a bit of a commotion -- and delight -- in Waldwick this week.

    The migratory bird, typically seen in North Jersey only in fleeting views overhead in the spring and fall, parked itself at the base of the dam by Whites Pond off Hopper Avenue.

   In full breeding plumage with red eyes and an iridescent black/green head, the loon caught the eye of passersby, local fishermen and photographers.

  Occasionally, he'd make a brief yodeling call.

    [For more on loons, including vocalizations, try this link:]

  Loons can scarcely walk on land and can’t take off without at least 100 feet of open water. So when the loon did not fly away by Tuesday morning, several people grew concerned -- even though the loon was a photographer's dream.

Continue reading "Loon in Waldwick" »

Honey bees and cell phones

   The Record published my article on the problems facing honey bees on Saturday, and by Saturday night I had several e-mails -- including one from a farmer in Australia.  Just goes to show the reach of the Internet.

   Also had a couple of e-mails from this region  (North Jersey) as well.

   It seems everyone has a theory on what is causing honey-bee colonies to collapse in such great number.


Continue reading "Honey bees and cell phones" »

Spring delayed


[I wrote this for The Record nearly four years ago -- and with a tweak or two, it seemed perfect for today.      --Jim]

     Each leaf,

     each blade of grass

     vies for attention.

    Even weeds

    carry tiny blossoms

    to astonish us.

    "Sunday in Spring"

    - Marianne Poloskey

   SPRING ARRIVED a few days ago in full, as exuberant as freshly uncorked champagne.

   After a strange winter, a string of often chilly and drizzly weeks, then a horrible storm that flooded the area, the sky emerged cerulean blue and the sun radiated a megawatt smile.

      At a local wildlife refuge, nature - bottled up lo, these many weeks - made up for lost time.

   A male cardinal assiduously courted a female with an offering of seeds.

   Robins and red-winged blackbirds readied their nests.


Continue reading "Spring delayed" »

Home stretch?

    Mrs. Ace has definitely settled into a routine. She is still sitting on four eggs, and leaving just after dark for a short while.

   If incubation starts after the first egg is laid, then she is 22-23 days into an incubation that seems to range from 26 to 31 days.

   It is unclear whether the cold first half of April will affect the length of incubation.

   Stay tuned.