Celery Farm Pileated Video

Moe Lehmann shared this recent short video of one of the Celery Farm Pileated Woodpeckers, plus a couple of his Friday Thrasher images. (Thanks, Moe!)

The Pileateds are the stars of the Celery Farm these days, and the thrasher ain't chopped liver.




Fyke Talk on Friday: Stephanie Seymour

There are brds CD coverBe sure to leave your Friday night open. Talented singer/songwriter -- and birder -- Stephanie Seymour is giving a free Zoom presentation for the Fyke Nature Association at 8 p.m. Here's the description of the talk:

Stephanie Seymour's melodic, harmony-laden album "There Are Birds" answers the musical question, "What happens when you combine Aimee Mann, Chrissie Hynde, and Karen Carpenter, add a dash of Matthew Sweet, and mix thoroughly with bird-related tales and imagery?"

It's an album about birds, nature, the passage of time and Stephanie's relationship with these things and more. It's her story told from a bird's perspective and birds' stories revealed through her worldview.

As always, the meeting is free and open to the public. Since it will be on Zoom, we ask that you register in advance, using this link:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Since 2015 Fyke's monthly speaker costs have been funded by a generous grant from the Winifred M. and George P. Pitkin Foundation

Brown Thrasher at the Celery Farm!


IMG_6936Saw my first Celery Farm Brown Thrasher in several years -- by Phairs Pond.

A big thank you to Stephanie Swanzey for letting me know about the bird, sharing these great pics, and (with Moe Lehmann), helping me spot the bird.

Moe found the bird. (Thanks, Moe!)

I wrote a "Bird Watcher" column about the Brown Thrasher in 2019. This gives me an excuse to repost it.

By Jim Wright

Special to The Record

 Two of my favorite slightly wacky birds are the northern mockingbird and the gray catbird. I love the way mockingbirds find a perch and perform their seemingly limitless range of birdsongs. Catbirds, meanwhile, perch in a similar catbird seat and mostly meow.

But neither holds a candle to its similar-size cousin, the brown thrasher, which can sing up to 2,000 different songs and might be the champion mimic in North America.

Continue reading "Brown Thrasher at the Celery Farm!" »

Garlic Mustard! We're Pulling For You!

If you've been walking in the Celery Farm and noticing people pulling and bagging plants with white flowers on top, that's because an invasive plant called Garlic Mustard is running rampant.

That's why several volunteers, including Liam Conroy, Patty Finn, Gaby Schmitt and I, IMG_1305 have been gently removing the plant by its roots and then disposing of it in plastic bags so it cannot germinate. (Sorry if I left out anyone.)

We are concentration on the area around the deer exclosure so native plants have a better chance to thrive. (Above, before and after along the outside of the enclosure.)

As Gaby has pointed out:

Continue reading "Garlic Mustard! We're Pulling For You!" »

Monday Morning Mystery: Answered

IMG_1156 2 (1)On Monday, I asked an easy one...

Another easy mystery. What are these, and where are these?

SalltyTeschon was the first to answer correctly:

"Down around the corner from our butterfly garden before Barking Dog Corner. Glass flats where plants were started."
(Congrats, Sally!)
Below is a video of two Allendale sisters talking about the days when the Celery Farm was actual celery farms.

Fell House Shout-out #1


A big thank you to Rich Carrino and Evergreen Landscaping of Allendale for doing such a great job of mowing and trimming the Fell House lawn.

The Celery Farm was once part of Founding Father John Fell's estate. IMG_1297

(The swampy area was called Fell's Meadows at the time.)

It's great to see the Fell House grounds look so spiffy.

Thank you!




Free ebook on Allendale's Red-shoulders

Survival cover
I can't believe that nearly a decade has passed since some friends and I created "Survival: The Red-shouldered Hawks of Allendale, N.J."

To mark the occasion, I am offering the book as a free download.

The book has everything, including terrific photography by Jerry Barrack, Kevin Watson and others -- plus an interview with the legendary Stiles Thomas and a foreword by the late great Len Soucy.

You can download it here:

Download SURVIVAL-compressed(1)




Visiting the Preserve? Download Trailmap

CF map big-page-001The Celery Farm is a great place to visit, but at 107 acres, it's still a place where people can get lost.

To help find your way around, here's a free trail map created by Deedee Burnside.

It's really cool, and it has the names of all the famous Celery Farm landmarks.

And it even has numbers that coincide with trail markers in case you get lost.

Download CF Trail Map Deedee Burnside


"Duck Enough" @ Farmers' Market Sunday

This Sunday (May 9), my Celery Farm children's books will be for sale at the Ramsey Farmers' Market, with all proceeds going to the Center for Food Action.
The signed books, featuring wonderful photos taken at the Celery Farm, make perfect Mother's Day and graduation presents.
They are the classic "Duck Enough to Fly," "Swan Babies" and "Icky the Hungry Heron" -- $10 each. I did the books with photographers Jerry Barrack and Doug Goodell, who made my words look better.
From 11 a.m. until noon, I'll be on hand to sell (and sign) many of my other books, including my latest ("The Real James Bond"), "The Ghosts of Allendale" and "In the Presence of Nature," a.k.a. "The Celery Farm Book."
Profits from those sales will go to Allendale's wonderful Lee Memorial Library. Great Father's Day presents, perhaps?