Autumn, 2020

Seasonal Stories

Fall Foliage

The annual fall foliage bloom is dependent primarily on moisture and the first frost, but peak leaf viewing in Northwest New Jersey normally occurs somewhere around the first full week of October.

The Morris Canal Greenway

The Morris Canal Greenway encompasses part of the historic Morris Canal's alignment and is a cooperative effort of the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry, the Canal Society of New Jersey, Waterloo Village and Friends of the Morris Canal. As you walk the Greenway you will see the remains of canal features, including inclined planes, locks, canal bed, and historic industries and communities directly related to the Morris Canal's operations.

Up In Smoke: Warm Season Grasses

They called it "prairie coal". The abundant fuel that kept American midwestern farming families warm through the winters of the late nineteenth century was the tallgrass that grew wild all around them across the plains, twisted into bundles and burned in rudimentary household stoves. Sometimes it was the digested dried dung of grass-eating buffalo or cattle, or straw harvested from the farmer's field, all steady reliable sources of heat-yielding, combustible, carbon-rich biofuel.

Weekend Journey through the Past

Somerset County's annual showcase of historical sites is a free self-guided tour featuring interpreted tours led by guides in period dress, special collections and exhibitions, arts, and a seemingly unending variety of offerings. Visit select historic sites in person on October 10 & 11, 2020 and virtually all month long!

Core Values

Many, many stories adorn the history of the Highlands. But what about the future? What are the significant challenges ahead for our cherished home? That question has an easy answer: climate change.

Cosmology and the Present Moment

With the multiple shock waves of this year's events, it could seem utterly naive to hope that today's adult decision makers could face the challenge of exploring a new cosmological perspective different than the familiar one of the past centuries. But that is exactly what Swimme, Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking have proposed by entreating and encouraging us to change our own inadequate perceptions of the world around us.

Hard Facts and Solid Stories

Nearly everywhere you look there are rocks; big ones, little ones, sometimes fields of them. Curious explorers cannot help but wonder why some have drawn enough attention in days gone by to have been given names of their own.

If Not Now, When?

It's been a tough year's virus we can't seem to control, economic hardship, social unrest across the country, the warmest summer on record, and a citizenry as divided as it has ever been. These are the thoughts running through my mind while driving toward Bonnie Brook on this fall morning. Alongside the road, tawny strains of summer grasses wave in the breeze that sweeps across the fields. A barn leans to one side. In need of painting, the roof sags like the back of an old mare.

Bridges on the Delaware

Most of the original bridge sites on our Delaware River still exist and still hold bridges. The original structures-- wooden, covered bridges-- have been replaced by steel, open-decked spans. But most of these "modern" steel river crossers have been in existence a hundred years or more, and are no longer really modern. Most are still supported by the original stone piers and abutments.

High Point State Park

I found my thrill walking the Monument Trail in High Point State Park recently. The path along the forested mountain top at the top of New Jersey at 1,800 feet offered me palettes of color and texture that only the shallow-soil ridges of High Point can. Golden vistas of New York, Pennsylvania and Sussex County await the woodland explorer seeking gorgeous views and an enchanting w


The best known feature of the Stillwater area is probably Swartswood Lake State Park, but there are myriad treasures throughout the rolling hills and three villages in that corner of Sussex County.

White Lake and the Vaas House

The property, acquired through the state Green Acres Program is enjoyed immensely by fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts. Beyond the crystal clear water and enchanting scenery, there is a story worth knowing.

Homeward Bound on the Morris Canal

A canal boat captain and her daughters navigate the Bread Lock in June, 1863.

Risky Business: Bringing in the Hemp

In August, 2019, the New Jersey Hemp Farming Act became law under the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA). Only those who pass the screening process, criminal background checks and fingerprinting can apply to obtain a license. And there must also be a particular appetite for risk in order to bring in New Jersey's first industrial hemp crop.

The Blair Trail

Follow John I. Blair's life through Blairstown, Hope, Belvidere and Delaware.

Women in New Jersey Agriculture

Women make up twenty-two percent of New Jersey's 15,936-plus farmers, and their rate is steadily increasing. They come with ideals and energy to make the world a better place. They earn a living being outdoors doing what they love, and they come to educate. They all come with grit, knowledge and spirit.

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