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January 16 - 23

Points of View

For many, winter is a season for reflection. The challenge of the season strips away pretense, and offers a time for learning.

Jockey Hollow
Although 10,000 winters before had taught native peoples how to adapt, the Morristown encampment of 1789-90 presented a supreme challenge for patriot soldiers. Walk up the hill at Jockey Hollow that held 200 soldier huts for the Pennsylvania Brigade in early 1790. Imagine staying there until it gets warm enough sometime in April to take off your down jacket, not to mention long johns. Imagine standing there without your shoes on, without even one of the huts on top of the hill for retreat from the incessant cold. Try to conceive of something important enough to keep you on that hill for the rest of the winter. More...
Visit the site of the Great Story, Morristown National Historical Park, and learn about the life of a common soldier during the winter encampment. Call 973-543-4030 for more information.

On Thursday (tomorrow, Jan. 17, 7pm ) Hal Benz from the Climate Reality Project will present a slide show and discussion of climate change science, impacts, and solutions. If you have doubts about this immense issue of our time, or want to get clear on the science, make time for this free program sponsored by the Hunterdon County Division of Parks and Recreation. Please pre-register at 908/782-1158. Hunterdon County Arboretum. 1020 State Highway 31, Lebanon (Clinton Twp.)

Should fortune hold for clear skies on Sunday evening (Jan. 20), make your way to the UACNJ Observatory at Jenny Jump State Forest for a Lunar Eclipse Viewing. The moon turns red during this weekend's total lunar eclipse– and is therefore also known as a blood moon. There's no danger from looking at the moon during a lunar eclipse, and don't need any special equipment or to take extra precautions to enjoy a blood moon. The observatory's location 1100 feet above sea level in Jenny Jump State Forest is one of the few dark sky locations left in the state. Dress warm and enjoy the view along with knowledgeable members of the United Astronomy Clubs of N.J. Hot and cold beverages will be available for purchase. 8:30pm - 1am. Free. UACNJ Observatory, 333 State Park Rd. near Hope, 908/459-4909.

Best Medicine

Have a laugh and an evening of warm hospitality at Brook Hollow Winery.
Paul Ritter has built a reputation for good ideas about how to get people through his door at Brook Hollow Winery, even in the dead of winter. Here's one: Comedy Night! On Friday, January 25, bring your own dinner and make a night of it with three great comedians from NYC: Bill Chang, Melvin George, KC Aurora. Ritter's wines, for which he has built an equally impressive reputation, will, of course, be on hand. The winery is open weekends for tastings, accompanied by live music. For more tickets or more information, click or call 908/496-8200. 594 State Highway 94, Columbia.

Life of Wiley

Coyote in Winter. Painting by John Mullane.
If rarely seen, the coyote is frequently heard. In the winter, during the January to March breeding times, listen for nocturnal howls when coyote are at their most vocal. They are happy to tell other coyotes, and the world, their location. Stop and listen. They'll fall silent all too soon.

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Our next issue will be out for Spring, in March. Sign up now for a year round supply of great things to see and do in Northwest New Jersey!
Meanwhile, tap our calendar for the best events for you and your family, or check our current stories. Stay tuned to our Day Trip Map for good ideas for a scenic drive! For the more aerobically inclined, the Outdoor Map shows the way to go, or choose among dozens of natural attractions or outdoor activities suggested on our website. Northwest New Jersey and destinations just beyond those borders, in Pennsylvania and New York, offer brilliant ways to get out and enjoy the pleasures of the season.
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