A small snake in HP

 

 

 

Harrington Park herpetologists  — please help me on the identity of this little snake (look at the size of the leaf), photographed on Sunday just off the edge of a road in HP after the morning rains. I am quite sure that he/she is a garter snake.

Here are a few links to learn more about the snakes of New Jersey:

http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/ensp/pdf/snake_broch07.pdf

https://www.google.com/amp/www.nj.com/articles/16618972/slithering_in_nj_meet_the_22_snakes_species_of_the.amp

And here is a link to read more about garter snakes:  http://www.biokids.umich.edu/critters/Thamnophis_sirtalis/

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Father’s Day Fishing Derby 2017

The annual Harrington Park Father’s Day Fishing Derby took place at Pondside Park on 6/18 from noon to 2pm. After a rainy start, the weather cleared up and quite a few people turned out to fish or to play in the park or walk around the pond (as photographer Emily Pearson did!). The fishing derby is sponsored by the HP Rec Commission.

Kudus to Boy Scout Troop 616 for their support of this community event, selling snacks and drinks, and cleaning up after the derby.

 

 

 

 

 

**I am out of town and do not yet know the details of what was caught and released. I hope to get and post this information soon. MAS

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Annual Fishing Derby – June 18th noon-2pm

Annual Fishing Derby!

These photos were taken on a lazy beautiful evening (6/10) at Pondside Park. A toddler and his mom were enjoying the playground, a woman was jogging on the path around the pond, and two adults and a teenager were fishing. The pond side area will be much busier on Sunday June 18th — the annual fishing derby takes place here from noon to 2pm, open to all HP residents 15 years old and younger. Bait is supplied – just bring your poles. Prizes awarded! Sponsored by the HP Rec Commission.

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Earth Machine home composter – demonstration at the Rummage Sale

Stop by the rummage sale at Borough Hall today to learn about the  Earth Machine™ composter. Theresa is shown here discussing the various feature of this home composter, which the Harrington Park Green Team is selling at cost on consignment from the BCUA for $54 each.

FROM THE BCUA SITE: What is an Earth Machine™ composter?” …with ease of use and dependability in mind, the Earth Machine™ was designed to keep moisture in and unwanted critters out. The Earth Machine’s attractive round design creates optimum composting conditions; no corners for materials to dry out. The locking lid is rodent resistant and prevents the lid from blowing away in strong winds. It has a convenient door for harvesting compost. Plus the entire unit can be easily lifted off the compost pile for complete mixing and turning of the pile. Features of the Earth Machine™ include: 1) Large Capacity (80 gallon or 10 cubic feet), 2) Made from recycled plastic, 3) Easy snap together assembly, 4) Fits in any car, 5) Durable and lightweight design, 6) Each compost bin comes with a free composting information book.”

For more information about composting, have a look at www.howtocompost.org or http://www.composting101.com or search this site.  If you can’t make it to the rummage sale, but want to buy an Earth Machine™ composter OR if you have questions about composting or local green issues please email the Green Team at hpgreenteam@gmail.com. Composting and recycling information will be posted on the Community bulletin board in front of Borough Hall and are available in the library.  And check out the Earth Machine™ composter the next time you are at Borough Hall or at the library! Nice to have this option to put food and vegetative waste to good use.

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Spring wildflowers in Harrington Park

This is a wild geranium

These beautiful wildflowers were observed and photographed in the last few days while I was walking on sidewalks by woods on Central Ave in Old Tappan, Loh’s Place, and Blanche/Pondside Park.

 

 

 

 

 

This is Garlic Mustard (alliara)

The same wildflowers can be seen by the edge of the woods bordering Lafayette Ave, Hackensack (woods to the tennis courts), Beechwood Park… anywhere there is some sun (and no herbicides have been applied).

Search “wildflower” for more information &other photos of local spring blooms over the years.

Enjoy photos of other New Jersey spring wildflowers on the Native Plant Society of New Jersey website (they have a Bergen chapter—with local activities): http://www.npsnj.org/photo_galleries/photo_gallery_spring.html.

Another interesting and informative site is: http://uswildflowers.com/stateref.php?State=NJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally — here is very helpful link to a site to use to identify wildflowers:
http://www.mywildflowers.com/identify.asp

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Green Team (and photo of lilacs — wish I could capture their beautiful smell)

The next Green Team meeting is tonight, Wednesday, May 3rd at 7:30 pm in Borough Hall. Join us!
The Harrington Park Green Team is a volunteer group of citizens whose goal is to preserve our town’s natural resources and the quality of life for the citizens of Harrington Park now, and in the future. We are an advisory group to the Environmental Commission and we meet monthly to discuss and act on local environmental issues.
Everyone is welcome to join. (Since January 2015 the Green Team meeting has been incorporated into the HP Environmental commission meeting).
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Keeping chickens in HP

Harrington Park has a small but growing flock of chicken keepers, who enjoy the pleasures and benefits of quirky pets that make our fertilizer and our breakfasts.

The HP Board of Health gives its blessing to the keeping of small flocks, under sanitary, neighborly, bird-friendly conditions, with the renewal of an annual license.

For this and other reasons, chicken keeping is no longer considered a socially marginal nuisance, and can be enjoyed as a way of connecting us to a source of endless wonder and outdoor entertainment, and a way to talk to our children about sustainability and food.

Though keeping chickens is relatively simple on a daily basis, it requires advance preparation and a commitment to ongoing learning. Fortunately, flockster neighbors and newbie-friendly online communities like Backyardchickens.com make trading information and support easier than ever.

The coop is the biggest expense involved, and the choice should be guided by the plan about how to keep and tend the birds. Chicken owners with fenced-in yards can let their birds range, more or less as they were meant to live, and will need a smaller set-up than those whose birds will be confined to a coop and run 24-7.

Either way, selecting a coop designed and built by someone who knows chickens is vital; a trendy, adorable coop is not necessarily predator-proof, and stories of first-night carnage are not uncommon.  Foxes, opossums, weasels, raccoons, hawks, and coyotes all live in town and prey on chickens, and especially if you allow your birds the run of your yard, you must be able to tolerate the occasional loss.  On the positive side, your birds will be happier and healthier, and you will become more attuned to natural phenomena, like death, raptor migration, and the amazing persistence of creatures that live by their wits.

The anxiety in keeping chickens as outdoor pets is arguably offset by the satisfactions.  Tending the birds in the morning and evening is an outdoor ritual to appreciate, even in unfavorable weather.  We enjoy the minor chicken squabbles, real life egg hunts, and beautiful spectrum of eggs our birds bring into our lives.  Receiving a box filled with peeping day-old chicks through the mail is something to look forward to for months, and watching a broody hen accepting and tucking foster chicks under her wings is unforgettable.

To chat about chickens, email me: marisajanuzzithomas@gmail.com.

(photo by Craig Thomas)

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