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October 2008

September 2008

CELERY FARM: Development (and flooding) threat

    If you think the flooding earlier this month was bad, even though the storm was not as bad as expected, can you imagine what would happen if developers tore down the historic home across Franklin Turnpike, leveled the ground, built 11 townhomes on under three acres and sent all the stormwater runoff from the entire site into the Celery Farm?
  Yet that's what developers are planning to do.
  The Save the Fell House Committee is trying to save this historic house. You can help.
  Watch their video (above), visit their Web site, then  -- most important -- attend the Allendale Planning Board meeting in Boro Hall at 8 p.m. on Sept. 18, and let your presence be felt and your voice heard!


   Yesterday (9/14) I co-led a field trip to the Celery Farm for the Meadowlands festival. Highlights were: Parula (3), BT Green, Black-and-White, Magnolia, Nighthawk (being harassed by a Merlin), Cooper's Hawk, GW Teal, and 3 American Wigeon in flight.

Click "Continue reading..." to read this morning's list. Highlights were Merlin and Nashville Warbler.

Continue reading "THE FANNING REPORT" »

CELERY FARM: An Appreciation

John Workman wrote this appreciation  as part of the celebration honoring Stiles and Lillian Thomas' contributions to the Celery Farm. He has allowed to me reprint it here. Thanks, John!

   The Celery Farm is one hundred and seven acres small.   It doesn’t get the thumping, eye-popping natural spectacles seen on the coast, or in the high mountains, or out on the plains of other nature preserves. 

   You won’t see Snow Geese by the thousands here, or sandpipers by the tens of thousands. No bison or caribou blacken "The Farm's" open spaces.  Unless you have a big imagination. 

   But you might (like Stiles and Charlie) see a Peregrine Falcon swoop in and take a Green-winged Teal on the wing.  Right in front of you.  Only a few yards away.

   Or you might (like Judy) be lucky enough to see scores of Common Nighthawks whipping silently and suddenly through the fall marsh air. 

   You might (like my son) see your first-ever American Bittern, surrounded by this species' symbiotic partners:  the photographers.

    Or watch a Woodcock launch into his evening courtship flight, a high spiral which concludes with a free-fall landing. (Many courtship attempts, successful and not, end that way.)

   You might also find out what Dodder is, how Mugwort or Spicebush smells, or what Poison Ivy can do to the careless and uninformed. 

    You will in fact see small wonders, like Jewelweed or Marsh Pennywort.   And perhaps you'll even DO wonders -- like walking on the water after six days of January's bone-snapping cold, and watch (directly beneath your boots) a large snapping turtle swim slowly, in the barely still-liquid solvent. 

    In the spring, you can easily observe warblers of blue, green, and yellow. And maybe even happen upon an orange carp as it performs a splashing, labored lift-off from the lake, then turns its head straight into the wind, and flys up, up, and over the tree-line – all while carrying an Osprey on its back. 

   All this is possible to see at the Celery Farm.  And will continue to be seen there -- within a mere one hundred and seven small acres – thanks to Lillian and Stiles.   Who have been involved and committed, and who have inspired so many of their friends and neighbors to join them.