Powww’s first Mushroom walk was a great success! With 50 enthusiastic participants we covered a lot information at a show and tell table cover in a variety of fungi from at least 25 different species.
After the table discussion most of the group trekked off on the teal trail from the parking lot to do some foraging of their own were we found many more fungi to marvel at. Some we positively identified
And some were left as unknown or know only to general group.
Leaderless Walks are small organized groups compromised mostly of butterfly, dragonfly, bird, and botany enthusiasts.The walks are free, informative, and informal. Most will take place on weekdays. If you’d like me to put you in touch with the organizers let me know.
The highlights for me on this trip were getting close-up shots of the Black Racer and also getting the shot of two very young Five-lined Skinks in one frame.
Scenes from the 83rd Annual Boonton Christmas Bird Count
It was great to meet up with all of the passionate local birders this morning at the Empire Diner in Parsippany NJ before getting outside.We overhead stories of double digit Screech Owls and a Barn Owl being detected in the pre-dawn hours.
We had a sunny morning outdoors, tallied 29 species of birds for a total of 175 birds observed in our territory.
Yesterday morning in Morris County NJ I had the good fortune of finding a cooperative and photogenic Gray Catbird during my walk. The photography equipment I used for this birding outing was the Tamron 18-400mm Di II VC HLD telephoto zoom lens paired with my Canon SL2 DSLR. A very nice compact and lightweight setup.
Clicking on the image below will to take you to the high resolution sample from my Google Drive account. Below the image is a little background on the shot and my original caption for facebook.
Gray Catbird in NJ photographed with the Tamron 18-400mm VC + Canon SL2.
Parsippany, New Jersey
A gray morning outdoors this morning made for challenging photography conditions. The key to making usable wildlife shots in dim lighting is to make the main subject (i.e. catbird) just as bright as it would be on a sunny afternoon. Turning the dial to “M” (manual exposure) and raising the ISO (light sensitivity of the camera) will accomplish just that.
I recently completed a short digital video project on beekeeping to be used as a learning tool for the Denville Community Gardens. I filmed local resident, naturalist and beekeeper Mike Leone, of Rockaway Township New Jersey, to provide both the action and dialogue.
Conceptually, Mike and I wanted to keep the video informative but also upbeat. This was easy to achieve as Mike knows many pearls of wisdom about the importance of honeybees and the work which goes into beekeeping.
I found a terrific poppy royalty-free soundtrack online by Kevin MacLeod to set the tone. I created the intro animation myself by drawing a cartoon bee from reference images. I then drew basic animation paths to bring our pollinator to life.
I have received great positive feedback from this Beekeeping production and I look forward to taking on more educational projects in the future. Let me know if you have feedback or comments on this video. I have included a few affiliate links above if you wish to purchase the same equipment I use.
Turn Right at the Green Blaze on the old gravel road to head towards the wetlands.
Green Trail at Jonathan’s Woods county park
The Beaver Brook marsh is a great place to sit and look for wildlife or just unwind.
Beaver Brook marsh with Wildcat Ridge beyond
Beaver dam at Jonathan’s Woods
Following the Green Trail will take you across seasonal stream crossings before you return to the parking lot. You will also pass near the “Cathedral Pine” area which was largely toppled by Hurricane Sandy but has since been re-planted.
Seasonal wetlands on Green Trail
Former Cathedral Pine Area devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The area has since been re-planted and is being monitored by Morris County Park Commission and POWWW.