Sometimes I find bones in the woods! I thought this was a femur at first glance, but upon closer inspection, I’m not really sure what it is… maybe a tibia? Probably from a deer or something.
I’ll be honest: I don’t have much to say about stumps.
The word “stumptown” popped into my head while I was considering this fact.
I couldn’t quite place the word, so I Googled it.
I, being a comics nerd, was probably thinking of Stumptown Comics Fest (April 27-28 in Portland, OR), one of the well-known comics festivals around North America. But it’s also the name of a coffee company and some other things.
None of this has anything to do with New Jersey or, in particular, this stump, but so it goes.
In January, I reported that the New Providence section of the Passaic River Park was impassible. I’ve been back to those woods a couple times since, but it’s always been difficult and disappointing.
THIS HAS SINCE CHANGED (!!!).
Some gang sawed through that giant mess of trees… AND BLAZED IT. (I’ve been meaning to blaze it forever!) Neon orange marks now dot the previously unmarked trail, guiding hikers across un-trail-like areas that they’d never think to hike otherwise. Example below: hello
random patch of weeds new trail.
For several of the larger logs that blocked the path, rather than cut them up… they’re simply part of the trail now. Volunteers have added steps to help hikers hop over logs.
It is AWESOME. Excellent work. I don’t know who you are, mysterious team of trail volunteers, but I love you, and if you want a hand with the next go-round, PLEASE let me help. You’ve rocked my world!
Last night, some coworkers and I left the office together, and we were surprised to find the world covered in half an inch of snow, with more falling as we walked.
“This is the first real snow we’ve had in, like, two years!” said one of my coworkers, excitedly.
I turned to her, to argue the point, and realized: New York City hasn’t had much of any snow for a couple of winters. All the snow has been falling in New Jersey.
We admittedly didn’t have much last year, but we’ve had two or three so far this winter. There was a nor’easter—which I took a vacation day for—and there was another four-or-five inch snowfall last month, which stuck around for the next three weeks. A couple weeks ago, I woke to the sound of snowplows at 4:30AM.
This may be the first snow that’s stuck to New York ground in two years, but New Jersey has been no stranger to snow during that time.
…And half an inch doesn’t count as “real snow!”
So there you are, in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, hiking through the Passaic River Parkway, and suddenly you see a bazillion big weird things that look like hollow candles.
“What the heck!” you say.
You lean close to peer at a label, and learn that these hollow-candle-things are TREE TUBES.
But what on earth are “tree tubes?”
These tree tubes protect native saplings from being browsed and damaged by deer and also act as a mini “greenhouse”, allowing light to filter through and moisture to become trapped within. Once the saplings reach the top of the tubes they (the tubes) will be removed by Parks staff.
For more information about our native plantings please call:
So that’s that.
The Summit/New Providence leg of the Passaic River Park is very close to where I live, and it’s a lovely quiet place to hike when I don’t feel like driving 20 minutes to some big overhyped state park.
Trail maintenance is performed irregularly by volunteers. The section of the trail near me has always been a little neglected, so I periodically go out there with hedge clippers and work gloves, and clean up the trail so it’s nice and hikeable.
Today was my first time out there since Sandy.
Large swaths of the trail are completely obliterated.
Giant 100-foot trees snapped in half—like twigs—then fell on other 100-foot trees, and brought down huge patches of the forest all in one fell swoop. Now there are huge piles of logs blocking the trails, and there’s no way to climb over them, or under them, or around them.
Normally, if the trail is blocked by a tree that I can’t move, I’d simply move the trail around the obstacle… but obstacles of this magnitude require a complete restructuring of the trail, which is a pretty ambitious project. And I didn’t see any obvious alternative routes while I was out there.
This goes beyond my ability to clean up.
Tho’ maybe if I had a chainsaw…
It’s supposed to snow today. This is actually a photo from last year, so I don’t know whether or not today’s snow will look like this or not.* According to our local government weather stations, (Philly/Mount Holly and New York), it’s only supposed to be 0-2″, but NJ Transit announced a system-wide cross-honoring YESTERDAY, so I’m a little concerned. Hopefully it’s nothing.
Of the many praises I sing of my Sony camera, one of the awesome perks (for me) is the exposure. Most of the time, it gets it right; the other 10% of the time, it’s easy to do an exposure lock, exposure compensation, or just set it manually. And when I get it wrong, it’s very quick to adjust the curves in Photoshop.
Sometimes I think I can process these photos quickly because I’m getting good at Photoshop. But then I have to deal with an exposure like this, and it takes forever. There goes that theory.
My last camera— a Fuji Finepix, on which this photo was taken— was not so exposure-friendly. I underexposed the snow in this shot— my fault— and I set the white balance for “shade” because it was overcast (and my Fuji tends towards blue casts), but unfortunately the snow came out reddish (but it looked okay on my LCD screen!).
I’ve struggled to correct the issues in Photoshop. This would be a piece of cake with a JPG from my big camera, but exposures from my little Fuji just don’t give me enough values to work with. Which is weird, right? Because a JPG is a JPG is a JPG.
I hear that this wonky exposure (and highlight/shadow clipping) phenomenon is prevalent on all small-sensor cameras, and I’ve attributed it to each camera’s interpretation of “dynamic range.” Or at least to my understanding of what dynamic range is. Is that about right?
*Or whether the snow already looks like this or not. I usually schedule posts, so I’m actually writing this on Monday night. Which makes it hard to figure out what verb tense I should use when I write. But anyway.