Earth Day

April 22nd is Earth Day, and being The Nature Place, we take this day seriously! While we think every day should be earth day (remember on Mother’s Day asking why there is no kid’s day, and being told that “every day is kid’s day”?), we like to think of April 22nd as a birthday celebration for our planet.

Earth Day Teach-In

The first Earth Day came about through the efforts of Senator Gaylord Nelson when he realized that this country did not have an environmental agenda, and keep reading…

Ed’s Corner

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.”

-Charles Dickens

red-winged blackbird

I’m always surprised when I see my first flock of robins returning north, or hear the first high-pitched trilling from a wet, marshy area, and then see the returned red-winged blackbirds making these calls. I know these things happen every year keep reading…

Ed’s Corner

winter crocus

Crocuses at the end of January? Snowdrops on February 1? No ice skating yet on our pond!? Do we call this ‘winter’ an extended fall? Is something going on with global warming trends, is the jet stream stuck, do El Nino or La Nina have a role in this, is it just a small blip or anomaly in the larger weather picture, is it making up for last winter? Do you feel a little guilty because you are enjoying it? keep reading…

Ed’s Corner

Have you noticed…

Around the middle of the second week of January there is a distinct change in the daylight. There is a difference in it’s quality and there is more of it towards the end of the day. We are definitely heading toward spring! These changes are felt or internalized by everyone many times at an unconscious level. We only seem to ‘remember’ them consciously when someone makes a remark about the sun now setting after five o’clock, or comments on the different texture of the afternoon light.

January Sky

Because we are a part of nature (in it and from it), it’s not surprising keep reading…

Ed’s Corner

I know that the sun has been setting earlier for the last 3 months or so, but at this time of year it seems to be getting dark by 2pm! Do you feel that too? Am I imagining this, are the shadows tricking me, do the bare trees have anything to do with this?

When I think of our ancestors (the very early ones, not those who came through Ellis Island) I can imagine their fear and trembling as darkness closes in keep reading…

Ed’s Corner

I always like to share the last part of a Thomas Hood poem at this time of year:

“No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds –
November.”

It’s alliteratively filled with no, no and more no’s, but this month also has plenty of yes’s.

Our bird feeder is now frequented by juncos, slate-colored birds who were keep reading…

Ed’s Corner

Autumn is my favorite season, and judging from my own informal polling of opinions, there is a better than 50% chance that it’s yours, too. Why it it so popular? Maybe it’s the cooler weather after a hot summer, or the fresh beginning of a new school year, or looking forward to the harvest and the holidays to come.

crunching autumn leaves

Then there are the smells of autumn that somehow bypass the sensory gates of our reason and are already ‘at work’ inside us – triggering memories, personal keep reading…

Ed’s Corner

a summer hilltop hike

Nature is telling us – as is the calendar – that it’s time to let summer go and to open ourselves to autumn. As many of you know, we at The Nature Place are 4-season advocates of getting out into nature. I always remember my mother keep reading…

Ed’s Corner

Along a Familiar Path

I just got back into the office after a quick morning hike in Harriman Park on one of the trails I will be taking campers on this summer. Even though I know the Harriman trail system very well I still like to check the trails out before I take campers on them. Today’s hike was along the RD (Ramapo-Dunderberg) Trail, my absolute favorite and one where I know all the twists and turns, the best blueberry picking, snake dens, keep reading…

Ed’s Corner

What’s Goin’ On….?

Do you ever have a sense that you’re missing out on something, like Marvin Gaye in his soulful song of the same name? Five am bird song from the maple trees beside my house this morning also asked me the same question. Why am I not outside now (yes, at 5 am) listening to the world as it wakes up? It’s my world, too. And yours.

Maybe Spring fever is meant to give us that extra push to go outdoors and to participate in this world – not other, not parallel, but our – world. There are many keep reading…