Friday, April 29, 2011

Black River. Hacklebarney State Park. Chester, New Jersey. April 2011.

Does it really matter where this is? It's a lovely place wherever you want to place it. Something good can be said about running water. It is soothing and cathartic. Stagnant water translates to trouble, but a raging river is an adventure. Active is better than passive. In its grander form, running water is a natural wonder. I am, of course, not talking about a leaky faucet. Think Niagara Falls, Colorado, Mississippi, and Susquehanna. These mighty rivers have been incorporated in our folklore. They are the subject of poems, songs, and myths. Rivers also teach us to flow, to adapt, and to carry on. It's all water under the bridge, as some say.

This is actually the Black River. It runs through the Hacklebarney State Park in Chester, New Jersey. If you follow the Red Trail for approximately a mile from the parking lot, you'll come to this spot. It's a good hike but not challenging by any means. The trails (there are several) take you down picturesque ravines with picnic benches at cozy spots along the river. The park makes for a great family outing. Dogs are allowed as long as they are leashed.

I made my way along the rocks, down the river, and unto an open area where another trail took me out of the ravine via a slow climb back to the parking lot.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Blue Jay. Bergen County, New Jersey. April 2011.

Last week, I sat down at my dining table to read the overnight emails and posts on Facebook, hot cup of morning coffee at hand, when I looked out unto the deck and saw our little friend on a ledge.

Spring brings new life, and don't the Blue Jays know it. Mating season for these birds runs from March through May. Yep, a new generation of these nest-raiding, territorial birds is germinating among the bushes and tree limbs at this very moment. That's just fine with me. It's the human population explotion that we should be concerned/alarmed about. We're taxing, polluting, and outright destroying the natural resources of this planet as fast as a young lady loses her virginity in Hollywood nowadays. Think gas exploration in the arctic, BP in the Gulf, and mountain top removal in the U.S.

If these photographs look soft to you, you're right. I had to shoot through glass and a screen door. There was no time to set up a better shot because there wouldn't have been a shot if I cleared the way. This is the thing with bird photography---no time to waste. Shoot now!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Wildlife Freedom Rehab. Wanaque, New Jersey. Volunteers Wanted. Spring 2011.

I am reposting a message from Keep Life in the Park (KLIP).


Dear Friends of NJ Wildlife,

Our friend Dee at Wildlife Freedom Rehab is still in need of volunteers. 'Hands on' volunteering is rewarding, and you'll spend time with like-minded people who respect and support our wildlife. If you are physically able and have some free time, what better way to 'give back' to nature? Please phone Dee for more information. Wildlife Freedom Rehab is located in Wanaque, NJ (North Jersey).

Thank you!!!

Dee writes:

I am still looking for some sincere responsible volunteers to help out at my Wildlife facility in Wanaque, New Jersey. The season has begun for orphaned wildlife as we already have some tiny, fox, raccoons and squirrels. Whatever spare time you may have to offer, your assistance will be very much appreciated. I am waiting for some new arrivals from the Humane Society as I write this e-mail. So please contact me ASAP if you have the time or are interested in learning more about our organization and what type of help we need. Pass this e-mail along--and thanks for any help you may have to offer. Dee President --Wildlife Freedom Inc (973) 839-4597

Thank you on behalf of ALL NJ Wildlife
K.L.I.P. (Keep Life In the Park)

Do you vote humanely? League of Humane Voters - NJ

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Philippines. Committee on Animal Welfare. Tambucho Gassing. Oscar Macenas. Fight for Compassion, Not Cruelty.

Believe it or not, the Committee on Animal Welfare (CAW) is again pushing for the reinstatement of Tambucho Gassing as an accepted form of euthanasia in the Philippines.

This comes after CAW dragged its feet from August 2010 to April 2011, stultifying a directive from Secretary Proceso Alcala of the Department of Agriculture to rewrite a previous CAW-endorsed administrative order that embraced Tambucho Gassing like it was a God-sent cure-all for stray or unwanted animals.

For those coming into this matter only now, Tambucho Gassing is not carbon monoxide gassing as CAW would like the world to believe. Tambucho Gassing is death by vehicular exhaust fumes. No gas cylinders are used, just a rubber hose connected to a clunky, old, usually badly tuned gas engine. The animals are entombed in a sealed metal container and toxic fumes are pumped into it. In terms of expediency, the process is slow, inefficient, and ineffective against the problem. In terms of humanity, it is depraved, utterly cruel, an abomination to any civilized society.

This latest effort was a cleverly conceived ruse. The main proponents of Tambucho Gassing at CAW, Drs. Enrique Carlos and Angel Mateo, initially called for a meeting for consultation purposes only, to discuss Administrative Order 13 concerning the gassing. Drs. Mateo and Macenas quickly turned this impromptu meeting into a vote on the issue of Tambucho Gassing. The voting took place under protest from Anna Cabrera of PAWS citing the comments of Atty. Edgardo Sison from the Office of the Solicitor General who realized the impropriety, perhaps illegality, of the vote.

Representatives from other animal welfare organizations were not present; they were conveniently not invited. Thus, opposition was almost non-existent. Divide and Conquer.

Seven of the nine CAW members voted to reintroduce Tambucho Gassing in the provisions of a new administrative order. The two opposing CAW members were the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS). This is the gist of what transpired on April 12, 2011.

But not all is lost.

Secretary Alcala was informed of this subterfuge, this attempt to usurp his authority and ignore his direct order. The Secretary is the highest authority who approves or disapproves administrative orders. The secretary will be meeting with animal rights organizations very soon.

Let it be said again: some people can fool most people most of the time, but they can't fool all the people all the time. CAW take note.

In the meantime, the general animal/pet-loving public must be informed about practicing veterinarians who strongly believe and support Tambucho Gassing as a form of euthanasia. This is a matter of fact, and not contention.

There is an important, fundamental difference between veterinarians who are willing to incorporate Tambucho Gassing into their personal philosophy/practice and those who unequivocally reject such inhumane practices, those who see Tambucho Gassing as contrary to the purpose and spirit of responsible veterinary medicine.

If CAW had its way, it would make executioners out of thousands of Filipino veterinarians.

Do not support veterinarians who do not have the best interest of all animals in their hearts.

Below is information pertaining to the veterinary practice of Dr. Oscar Macenas, representing the Philippine Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) at CAW. Please do not support him:

Macenas, Oscar
Joren Bldg., Circumferential Rd., Marvill Park Subd., Antipolo Rizal

Our Lady of Assumption Dog and Cat Clinic - Cainta
Macenas, Oscar
72 – A Ortigas Ave., Ext, Bo. Sto. Domingo, Cainta, Rizal

Assumpta Dog and Cat Clinic - Marikina
Macenas, Oscar
815 J.P Rizal Barrio Nangka, Marikina City

Assumpta Dog and Cat Clinic - Fairview
Macenas, Oscar
98 – A Don Mariano Marcos Ave., Fairview, Quezon City

Monday, April 18, 2011

Animal Transport. Florida to New York. Razzle Goes Home.

Yesterday evening, Sunday, April 17, 2011, Razzle's long journey to his forever home ended when I handed him over to a mother and child from Brewster, New York. We met in the parking lot of Stew Leonard's in Yonkers. I took possession of Razzle from another volunteer driver in Elizabeth, New Jersey an hour earlier.

Razzle's journey started the previous day in Tallahassee, Florida under the aegis of the All American Dachshund Rescue (AADR). Days before, Razzle's new family saw him online, wanted to adopt him, but Tallahassee lay approximately 1200 miles away.

Enter the network of volunteer animal transporters crisscrossing the United States like a grid. I am a member of the I-95 and I-80 group which are, for those who don't know, two of the longest interstate highways in the U.S. I receive via email information about transports, or runs, that cross my area (NYC, Northern NJ). I get to choose which leg I can possibly do. A volunteer driver normally does one-hour legs, or 60 miles. A driver becomes a link in a long chain of drivers. In Razzle's case, his run consisted of 20 drivers, two days of driving plus an overnight stay in Wilson, NC. The entire run was monitored by Heather Clemmer, an official of the AADR.

In reality, doing a leg will mean more than just an hour of your time. In this case, I initially had to drive down to Elizabeth NJ from River Edge NJ to pick up Razzle. That's nearly an hour's drive. I, then, drove up to Yonkers, NY to deliver Razzle to the adopters. Along the way, I bypassed an hour's delay over the George Washington Bridge by taking the Lincoln Tunnel, traversed Manhattan, drove up the FDR Drive and crossed the East River for I-87 North (Major Deegan Highway). After handing Razzle over, I still needed to get home. That took me another hour by crossing the Tappan Zee Bridge and down the Garden State Parkway.

The video above was taken in Elizabeth NJ as I took possession of Razzle from another driver. I have a video of the adopters taking Razzle from me, an hour later, but I don't have their permission to put their faces on YouTube. There are always dogs & cats needing transport to their forever homes. This example might move you to participate in animal transport, making both animals and humans extremely happy. Sometimes, the difference between life and death is a ride.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Robin. An Afternoon Bath. Van Saun Park. April 2011.

If you haven't noticed, the Robins are out in force. Their reddish, bronzy breasts make them easy to identify. They stand tall and proud; they epitomize the old saying to keep our breast out and stomach in. I spotted a lone Blue Jay a few days ago along the stream that flows through River Edge, and that's a bit of a rare sighting. Even more rare is a sighting of a Cardinal. I reckon even birds have to drink and take a bath, and a waterway is a good place to spy on them for more than a fleeting moment.

Here's one I chanced upon in Van Saun Park. It was an unusually hot day for early April. The temperature peaked around 80F. As I said, the Robins were numerous but this one seemed to have excused himself from the rest to take a most personal bath. And I was there to play voyeur. Fortunately, I had my long telephoto lens on my DSLR and I started clicking away. Photo opportunities don't come easy, particularly with birds. Always bring your camera. No red-blooded biophiliac will be caught without one. Consider it a blessing when a photo opportunity presents itself to you.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

New Jersey Senate Bill 2649. Sen. Bob Smith. Sen. Jennifer Beck. Sponsors of a Deer Massacre. Action Needed. Keep Life in the Park.

A message from our friends at Keep Life in the Park and the Animal Protection League of NJ ======================================

Dear Friends of NJ Wildlife,

I pass along the following action alert on behalf of Animal Protection League of NJ. We must send a clear message to our state Senators that we DO NOT want them to support S 2649. Particularly residents of Districts 12 and 17 (towns listed below).

Please forward this email to those you know who reside in these districts as their voices are crucial. Thank you on behalf of NJ wildlife.

Let's keep fighting for their lives! Merrilee for K.L.I.P.


Dear Members, Supporters, and Friends: On March 21, 2011, S2649 , a bill we thought was bad and unconstitutional, turned ghastly. We realize this is a lengthy email, but please take the time to read it, and act. This is a terrible bill that makes it even worse for the poor beleaguered deer in NJ.

The general provisions of the bill as it was introduced:

-Expand deer killing activities onto forested land that is subject to the Forest Stewardship Program -Add a statewide, general prohibition on feeding of deer - except for the purposes of baiting deer to kill them. -Expand current baiting practices to allow hunters to kill deer, or have a firearm or other weapon in the hunter’s possession, within any distance of a baited area. -Establish a special account to be known as the “Hunters Helping the Hungry Fund" for the purpose of administering a venison donation program.

However, on February 17, 2011 and March 21, 2011 the bill was amended and went from bad to worse.

The amendments:

1. Permits shooting deer at point-blank range over bait 2. May kill deer at any time of day or night 3. Permits the now illegal use of illuminating devices, whether portable or fixed to a motor vehicle or any other kind of vehicle, to locate and stun deer 4. Permits shooting from a vehicle, which is currently illegal unless you are disabled and/or ill 5. Gives the hunter dominated Fish and Game Council control over the regulation of this law - leaving no voice for pro-wildlife citizens 6. Exempts deer breeding farmers from feeding bans 7. At landowner's request, hunters may shoot throughout the months of February and March 8. Directs NJ's Department of Agriculture to manage a venison donation program, including butchering, processing, distribution, and serving of venison donated by recreational hunters to nonprofit charitable organizations (A public relations maneuver.) 9. The Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, NJ Department of Environmental Protection, NJ Department of Agriculture, Fish and Game Council, and the United Bow Hunters of New Jersey, shall study the feasibility of expanding the program.

APLNJ has placed advertisements in 9 NJ newspapers to raise public awareness and help defeat this legislation. To see a full copy of the ad, more details about the bill, etc., on our legislation page. If you would like to see more ads, please consider making a donation.


(1) Find out what NJ legislative district you are in and who your STATE (not federal) Senator is. You can find your state legislative district and Senator at NJLeg . org.

(2) This bill is sponsored by Senators from Districts 17 and 12. If you live in those districts, we need you to reach out to your senator and express your strong opposition to S2649. Ask each to "pull the bill" from a vote.

District 17 Senator Bob Smith: 216 Stelton Rd., Suite E-5, Piscataway, NJ 08854732-752-0770; (Somerset), Highland Park, Milltown, New Brunswick, North Brunswick, Piscataway

District 12Senator Jennifer Beck: 32 Monmouth St., 3rd Floor, Red Bank, NJ 07701732-933-1591; Neck, East Windsor, Englishtown, Fair Haven, Freehold, Freehold Township, Hightstown, Little Silver, Manalapan, Marlboro, Millstone (Monmouth), Oceanport, Red Bank, Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury Township, Tinton Falls

(3) If you do not live in Districts 17 or 12, we need you to check the list below to see how your Senator voted to amend the bill on March 21. A. If your Senator voted YES, demand that they VOTE NO, if this bill comes up for a vote in the Senate again. B. If your Senator voted NOT VOTING, thank them for not voting, but ask them to VOTE NO, if this bill comes up for a vote in the Senate again. Please phone, fax or email your state Senator, after you check the list below. (Note: all senators email addresses are in this format - Sen[their last name] For example:

(4) After contacting your own Senators, please place a telephone call to Senators Smith and Beck. Let them know your feelings about S2649.


Use whatever influence you have to get them to VOTE NO! -Set up a meeting with your Senator at his or her local office. -Bring a group of people who live in the district to this meeting. -Set up a voter registration drive at a local venue and get petitions signed against the bill. -Tell the legislator you are doing all this and more! We'll supply you with all the facts, materials, and petitions. Please contact for more information.

Addiego, Dawn Marie - Not Voting Allen, Diane B. - Not Voting Bateman, Christopher - Not Voting Beach, James - Yes Beck, Jennifer - Yes Bucco, Anthony R. - Not Voting Buono, Barbara - Yes Cardinale, Gerald - Yes Ciesla, Andrew R. - Not Voting Codey, Richard J. - Yes Connors, Christopher J. - Not Voting Cunningham, Sandra B. - Yes Doherty, Michael J. - Not Voting Gill, Nia H. - Yes Girgenti, John A. - Yes Gordon, Robert M. - Yes Greenstein, Linda R. - Yes Kean, Sean T. - Yes Kean, Thomas H., Jr. - Yes Kyrillos, Joseph M., Jr. - Not Voting Lesniak, Raymond J. - Not Voting Madden, Fred H., Jr. - Yes Norcross, Donald - Yes O'Toole, Kevin J. - Not Voting Oroho, Steven V. - Not Voting Pennacchio, Joseph - Not Voting Rice, Ronald L. - Yes Ruiz, M. Teresa - Not Voting Sacco, Nicholas J. - Yes Sarlo, Paul A. - Yes Scutari, Nicholas P. - Yes Singer, Robert W. - Yes Smith, Bob - Yes Stack, Brian P. - Yes Sweeney, Stephen M. - Yes Turner, Shirley K. - Yes Van Drew, Jeff - Yes Vitale, Joseph F. - Yes Weinberg, Loretta - Yes Whelan, Jim - Yes

Angi Metler Executive DirectorAnimal Protection League of NJ PO Box 174 Englishtown NJ 07726P: 732-446-6808 E: To financially support APLNJ's work, please click here: Be Green! Visit and explore a plant-based diet.