Written by Alison M. Jones, NWNL Director
All images © Alison M. Jones.
A tree being gnawed by beavers in NJ’s Upper Raritan River wetlands
On New Year’s Day, I was photographing streamside construction in New Jersey’s Upper Raritan Basin. I’ve been told the orange fencing and new gravel banks are for widening a bridge over State Road 517. Population continues its sprawl into NJ’s rural areas, which creates long traffic jams even on local roads. Yet, just to the south of that stream, I noticed several trees with bark-less rings and carefully-gnawed stumps of saplings. Beavers!
Changes to NJ’s Rockaway Stream, as one of its bridges is widened.
Two days later, back in New York City, I walked out onto East 79th Street for a coffee. My NYC doorman asked how my California friends were faring with all the fires and mudslides. He was worried about the impact of these growing wildfires, even though he’s never been to California. He asked me to tell more people that we must do something about addressing climate change to help those suffering, now and in the future.
A home flooded by San Ysidro Creek and burned in Montecito CA in 2018
My daughter and her partner are proud Cape Cod bee-keepers in their spare time. For Christmas, they asked that donations be made to Dr. Samuel Ramsey – a young African American bee wizard. Ramsey is researching the mites that devastate hives of our winged pollinators working for free across the US, guaranteeing prosperous harvests. The worry today is there is an even more dangerous bee mite in Asia not yet found in N America. Where would we be if crops aren’t being pollinated – especially as more and more people need food? Happily, the day after Christmas, my daughter and her partner were invited to move their hives to a nearby organic fruit and vegetable farm that will sell their honey with the farm’s own produce at a local farmers’ market.
Bee seeking pollen in the Upper Raritan River village of Mountainville, NJ
May such moments of reassurance continue throughout 2019. Happy New Year!