Time out for beautiful New Jersey…

Time out for beautiful New Jersey…

Goffle Brook Park, Hawthorne, New Jersey


So… this park was built originally as a work project after the great depression, it was designed by the same architects as Central Park NYC, and oddly it is like an oasis in the middle of bustle, just like Central Park (it stretches miles along) ,  I have been trying to show off my state, my home, and honestly explore all the nooks and crannies here in New Jersey that I don’t know, so this was one of those days, I figured the hurricane would have cleared out most of the weather, not so much as it was a mixed day but… a good one, just the same, great walking park, great for families at the southernmost end with tons to do and a dog park !!!

post script: I did bring my trusty journal but no inspiration, which is typical, sometimes, ok, many times when I am out and about in nature I am absorbed by it, so I rarely write when I am on vacation or exploring, I must have looked like quite the odd duck, all dressed up in my work clothes hiking all along and peeking over the brook banks for those perfect duck shots, one woman asked if I was with the survey team (for the trees) and another asked if I was that nice young man who took the photos for the newspaper, I was neither, just someone determined to show that New Jersey is many things, yes, we have our down areas but for a small state we have more than people know, and being a homegrown joizee boy I should highlight all that because even I am unfamiliar with all the amazing things here, but I will show them off, or that is the plan, and maybe write some interesting things in the process…

Red Mill, historic site, Paramus NJ

Red Mill, historic site, Paramus NJ

road nature trees branches
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I made a pact with myself, when I started this blog, that my goal was honesty and personal growth, part of that movement in the nation me is to actively notice things that I see everyday and check them out (instead of passively passing them by), essentially we should see beauty every chance we get, and I also think history is beautiful, there are ugly moments, sure, but history is a vehicle in which we can gain experience without having to live through something ourselves… and learn.  Even in a country as new as this (in the scheme of thing’s america is very new) we have plenty of history, especially here in new jersey.  So saturday I decided to check out this place I have driven by hundreds of times…

I have mixed feelings about the place, I like that it is a little enclave in the middle of major roads (Route 4, 208, rt 80 is not too far), there is a nice path from the lot through the park (it splits, I only went left this time), it is interesting that the park literally is in people’s backyards when you are walking, some owners have gates that open to the park, others, well, their fences seem less comfortable if you get my drift, unfortunately the nakedness of the winter reveals the debris and litter of humanity, is it overwhelming ? no, but certainly noticeable, I picked up a few pieces as I always do, but this place is in serious need of a dedicated patrol to pick up the flotsam, a little effort goes a long way, I guess this is the paramus river, I should google it but I don’t feel like it, the roar of the tiny rapids does pose some nice sound and almost (almost) drowns out the car traffic buzzing about and over, I shall check this out further in the future… it did not inspire a thought on the spot, but upon reflection tonight I wrote this (first draft just for this post):

upon red mill
the common ground now a park
with visions before the founding
now nestled between highways and routes
older than the country still
may outlast the bustle ’bout
and shared the land with history books
for washington surely crossed this little nook
and burr in yuletide of times sure partook
certainly before his career paced north to new york
and even lafayette on his farewell tour
did endure to pass these grounds
and now casual walkers, bikers and pavement encircle
the visitors of note leave their bags and baubles
but I might imagine the red mill will grist for it’s own will
and endure on beyond more generations

I posted a couple of quick vids on my youtube account as well to give you a feel.so, that promise I made to myself… maybe I honored it here, but I am still struggling to be ‘it’ all the time, there are plenty of times I don’t stop and admire… or do the right thing, I’m working on it, so should you, we are barely here in the scheme of things, I know it so easy to say that, I know, I am just a guy and I do not live up to my own standards, but I am trying, I want everyone to give effort, and make this world better, step by step.

“snow shoes” …

“snow shoes” …


tales in trails of movement frozen
upon this still locked land
tracks of rorschach
intersect and interpret the intent of ways
I have not seen them lately, this season
the jacks
the rabbits that usually inhabit
under bush and peaking tree
curiously absent,
but clearly laid out the path
and social gatherings
if I might read tracks
I might know where they are going
I imagine them bounding
stopping for thumping
should they draw into fear
I imagine their locked sudden eyes
constant scanning,
but as now the snow is melting into rain
the crackling of mixed precipitation
and the rabbits once more, like magic, disappear
in my plain sight
but at least I know they are here

branch cold freezing frost
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

notes…. written monday during some lovely weather here in the garden state, one of those storms with a weird mix of snow/sleet.. and fun… so, remember to find beauty wherever you can, take a moment, stop and look for it (it’s there, go ahead), over the past couple of years I have noticed less and less jack-rabbits in my yard/property (it’s not an estate but I do have a small patch of woods behind the house), I also started seeing foxes in the neighborhood (which I have never seen here), I am not in a city but Edison is not exactly a wildlife preserve (for suburbia we do OK nature wise though), I have wondered if the rabbit population was being decimated by the foxes (who are super skittish by the way), I think the foxes are feasting more on domestic cats looking at the tracks on these snowy days (no cat tracks but I have seen cats around other times of year), just a side note, the first time you spot a fox it is a strange affair, at first glance you think “cat” but your mind says otherwise, on second guess you think “dog” but the size and gate is not quite right, and then you spy the tail, and the gig is up, or they look at you briefly before sneaking off and you catch those perfect bermuda ears…

my fave bunny videos:

Monty Python and the Holy Grail Bunny Attack!

Summer School – Bunny Scene

Poems from the beach…

Poems from the beach…

green grass beside sea
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

These were written in Cape May NJ @ David Douglas Park.  I am trying to transport my mind back to that time… it seems so distant now as all vacations/downtime does.

Upon David Douglas Park, Cape May NJ 10.9.2018

the clouds are collapsing, upon the last rays

as we spin away from the sun, passing below the horizon

the clock now turns to dawn

as we approach the time light’s passing

the flocks, have gone, to find their beds

to where? so many, just moments ago

filling the sky and shore with wings

like shadow cut outs

cast about by a child’s whim

all lays calmer without the light

night has a way of subduing sight

Upon David Douglas Park, Cape May NJ (day 2, after the remnants of Hurricane Michael came through) 10.12.2018

walking the beach alone

but there are many residents

and the constant roar

I talk to the birds

I ask them questions

I know they can not answer

I walk this beach alone

seeking fulfillment, enlightenment

from that was before

and will be after

I walk this beach alone.

This is what the beach was like the morning after the remnants of Hurricane Michael rolled through… it was pretty nuts!  The day before it looked like this !

Comments, thoughts and critique is always appreciated, thanks!