High Mountain Feed

High Mountain's Franklin Clove

One of my favorite places to wander is High Mountain's Franklin Clove, which offers history, pre-history, geology and natural history all rolled into one. Here are some of my recent photos from the ravine from both sides, plus a historic early American rock shelter.

It was the first of many discovered by the legendary Max Schrabish, an amateur archaeologist from Paterson. He discovered this one in 1900.

Exciting Wild Turducken News!

IMG_0070 (2)
As I mentioned in my High Mountain Zoom talk for The Nature Conservancy (you can view it here), I may have made a major discovery.

While hiking near the summit recently, I found a huge turducken-like feather with a quarter next to it  (see image below, note quarter)-- the 25-cent coin a well-known turducken calling card.IMG_0074

A few days later, I came across what could be the first-ever Wild Turducken egg found in the wild (see photo above, note telltale quarter).

I have been seeking these elusive birds for years, ever since Joe Koscielny spotted one at the Celery Farm -- but to no avail.

I have tried every fowl and owl call known to science, including a Wild Haggis call imported from Scotland (see below, upper right), but have not been able to lure a wily Turducken yet.

(The Wild Haggis call did lead me to the discovery of the Wild Turken egg.)

I have notified the state about the egg discovery and sent the egg for DNA testing. I am told that because of the flood of Coronavirus testing, the lab probably won't report back to next spring -- perhaps by early April.

Stay tuned!


High Mountain Zoom Talk Info


You can watch a recording of my High Mountain Zoom talk for The Nature Conservancy here.

The Nature Conservancy's web page about High Mountain (with that cool drone aerial footage) is here.

You can read my comprehensive article about HighJW High Mountain Franklin Clove LightHawk Mountain here.

You can read about my favorite High Mountain hike here.

Aerial photo to the right is of the Clove and Franklin Lake (thanks to LightHawk for their help!).

You can download a High Mountain trail map here:

Download High-mountain-park-nature-preserve-trail-map

The late Franklin Lakes historian Jim Longo's video about Franklin Clove is below.

Monday Morning Mystery Answered for Real!

IMG_1435On Monday, I asked:

Near a stream by the Red Trail at the High Mountain Park Preserve, I saw several rocks with small holes in them.

Anyone know what's going on?

William Paterson University Geology Professor Martin Becker writes:

The rock does not appear to be a vesicular or amygdaloidal basalt.

It is also more rounded and not angular as one would expect from the local Preakness Basalt Formation.

The surface color is not a good match either for weathered basalt.  

I think it is a glacial erratic and piece of the Oriskany Sandstone of New York State and what you are looking at are one of two things:

a) non-quartz minerals that have chemically and physically eroded away leaving behind the “holes”

b) remains of ichnofossils in the form of “holes” or “tubes.”  

Prof. Becker asked me to do a test on the rock. Will try to do so...  (Thanks, Prof. Becker!)