Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year 2016

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

First Day Hike in the Mapleton Preserve

Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands invites everyone to a First Day Hike in the Mapleton Preserve on Friday, January 1, 2016, at 11 am. For anyone who made a resolution to walk more, this is a great opportunity to start the new year off on the right foot with an easy hike through the Mapleton Preserve.

The walk will start at the Mapleton Preserve/D&R Canal State Park Headquarters at 145 Mapleton Road in Kingston. Dress for the weather whatever it is. The walk is free and all are welcome. For more information, call 609-683-0483 or visit the FPNL website.

Photo: Jonathan Michalik

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Postcard

Thursday, December 24, 2015

'Twas the night before Christmas . . .

A Visit from St. Nicholas
by Clement Clarke Moore

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night."

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Jordan's — A Holiday Must

One of our favorite holiday shopping spots in Princeton is Jordan's Stationery & Gifts, a Princeton institution for over 33 years. Located in the Princeton Shopping Center, Jordan's has a huge selection of cards, gift wrap, tableware, party goods, Christmas crackers, candles, toys, books, and gifts for everyone on your Christmas list.

Owner Lewis Wildman and his team couldn't be friendlier and more eager to help make your shopping easier. Jordan's has special extended holiday hours starting December 15 through 23 from 8:30 am till 8:00 pm, December 24 from 8:30 am till 5 pm, and Sundays from 11:00 am till 5:00 pm.

Jordan's is well-stocked and ready to help you with your holiday shopping needs. Don't let the parking lot construction at the shopping center discourage you, there is plenty of parking around back. Princeton Shopping Center is located at 301 North Harrison Street in Princeton.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Palmer Square Christmas Tree Lighting

The annual Palmer Square Christmas Tree Lighting will be held on the Green on Friday, November 27, 2015, beginning at 5:00 pm. Santa Claus will be on hand to help light the tree, a 65-foot Norway spruce that holds over 32,000 lights. The event will feature music by Bob Denson's Blues and the Princeton High School Choir.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thanksgiving Day Walk at Mapleton Preserve

Join Karen Linder, president of the Friends of Princeton Nursery Landsfor a walk in the woods on Thanksgiving morning. FPNL's annual Thanksgiving Day Nature Walk in the Mapleton Preserve takes place on Thursday, November 26, 2015, from 10 to 11:30 am. The program will begin at the main office for the D&R Canal State Park, 145 Mapleton Road, Kingston. Come work up a Thanksgiving appetite, search for wildlife and enjoy the abundance and subtle beauty of late fall.

This walk is free and all are welcome, but preregistration is requested. Please call 609-683-0483 to reserve a spot. For more information, visit the FPNL website.

Photo: Gary D. Tonhouse

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

B.D. Lenz at Small World on Saturday

Jazz guitarist B.D. Lenz brings his trio back to Princeton to perform at Small World Coffee on Saturday, November 14, at 8:30 pm.

Small World is located at 14 Witherspoon Street in Princeton.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Parcel 6 Alert

This evening residents in Parcel 6 received the following email from their Parcel Committee:

"Yesterday at about 9 pm, as a resident was pulling into her garage, she was approached by two young, thin, dark-skinned males on her driveway.

"They advised her that they were trying to contact her next door neighbor, but allegedly nobody answered his door. When she offered to call him from her car, they both ran off between the two houses, into the woods.

"The police were ultimately called. This occurs on the heels of the break-in in our parcel that took place a little more than two weeks ago.

"If you encounter any similar incident, you should immediately call the police."

Thank you to the Parcel 6 Committee for keeping us informed.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Shikantaza Trio at South Brunswick Jazz Café

Shikantaza (left to right): Bernhard Geiger, Brandon Lewin, Doug Miller. Photo by Jonathan Michalik.

Shikantaza, a jazz trio that makes music in the tradition of contemporary piano jazz trios like those of Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, will make its third appearance at the South Brunswick Jazz Café on Friday, November 6, 2015. The program will feature expressive arrangements of classic and lesser-known material, along with original compositions from their forthcoming album entitled Retractions.

Shikantaza is Brandon Lewin on percussion, Bernhard Geiger on acoustic bass and Doug Miller on piano keyboard. Click here for more about the trio.

The performance will take place at the Herb Eckert Auditorium in the Senior Center, South Brunswick Municipal Complex, located at 540 Route 522, Monmouth Junction. Admission is $6 at the door. Doors open at 7:30 pm. For further information contact 732-329-4000, ext. 7635, email, or click here.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Fall Back

Remember to move your clocks back one hour tonight. Daylight saving time ends at 2:00 am on Sunday, November 1.

Garden Under Lightning

by Leonora Speyer


Out of the storm that muffles shining night
Flash roses ghastly-sweet,
And lilies far too pale.
There is a pang of livid light,
A terror of familiarity,
I see a dripping swirl of leaves and petals
That I once tended happily,
Borders of flattened, frightened little things,
And writhing paths I surely walked in that other life—

My specter-garden beckons to me,
Gibbers horribly—
And vanishes!

                                        Photo: Denby Jorgensen

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Update: "Community Safety" — You Figure It Out

This afternoon Parcel 6 residents received an email from our neighbor Lennie Libes on behalf of the Parcel 6 Committee. The email, "Parcel 6 Update," gave more information about the "nefarious acts committed in parcel 6 this weekend" reported yesterday by the management company:

"A home invasion occurred in our Parcel within the past few days. The glass in the sliding door of the master bedroom was smashed - allowing entry into the house.

"Plainsboro Police are handling the matter."

We're grateful to Lennie for sending this message.

Click here for Home Security Tips from the Plainsboro Police Department.

Monday, October 19, 2015

"Community Safety" — You Figure It Out

Early this evening the following email with the subject line "Community Safety" was sent to residents from the management office on behalf of the Board of Directors at Princeton Landing:

"It has been brought to management's attention that there were nefarious acts committed in parcel 6 this weekend.

"We do not have all of the details. We would ask all residents to keep watch in the community.

"Please remember to report suspicious people or vehicles to the police. Do not attempt to questions [sic] anyone, or approach them for any reason. Your safety is always the main concern."

No further explanation was provided. It is difficult to take precautions when you don't know what you're taking precautions against.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

KGA Annual Fall Foliage Walk

Kingston Greenways Association will host its annual fall foliage walk on Saturday, October 17, 2015, at 2 pm. This year's walk will be an informal one along the new trail through the Cook Natural Area. On Trails Day in June, volunteers bushwhacked a new pathway through two wooded sections and along field borders in Cook to create a pleasant walk with sweeping views of hillside, fields and forest.

The walk will be a leisurely one, and on mostly level ground. Limited parking is available at the Cook Natural Area, located at the junction of Ridge and Heathcote Roads.  Carpooling is encouraged. For more information, please visit the KGA website or call 609-750-1821.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Nature Guide: Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

Seeing something new when you're out for a walk in nature makes the time seem even more rewarding. Yesterday we came upon a flock of small birds that neither of us had seen before, though Jon was fairly certain it was some kind of flycatcher. So I got a couple of quick shots of these fast-moving little birds, and it was back to the field guides for our Nature Guide Jon Latimer. Here's his report.

"The behavior of this small bird (perhaps 5 inches long) made it immediately clear that it was a flycatcher. They generally station themselves on a branch and fly out to catch insects flying by. This one was part of a group of at least a half dozen that must be migrating south for the winter and had stopped at Mountain Lakes Preserve for a quick meal. Identifying its species is a more difficult challenge.

"This flycatcher is part of a genus of five very similar species in eastern North America known as Empidonax flycatchers. They are notoriously difficult to tell apart. They all have olive upper parts and pale throats and bellies, with whitish eye-rings and wing bars. Even expert birders often rely on voice, behavior, habitat or range to make an identification. We think this is a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, but we are eager to hear from anyone with a different opinion."

Monday, September 28, 2015

Pope Francis Praises the Sisters

During a 45-minute press conference with the media aboard the American Airlines flight that carried him back to Rome, Pope Francis talked about his impressions of the United States and the American people. He had especially warm words of praise for Catholic nuns in the US, saying "they've done marvelous things in education and health."

"The people love the sisters," Pope Francis said.

He jokingly added, "I don't know how much they love the priests, but they love the sisters."

Photo: Tony Gentile/Pool Photo via AP

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Buon Viaggio, Pope Francis

"Dear friends, I embrace all of you in the Lord and I entrust you to the maternal care of Mary Immaculate, Patroness of the United States. I will pray for you and your families, and I ask you, please, to pray for me. May God bless you all. God bless America!"

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Pope Francis in Philadelphia

During his homily at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Pope Francis cited Pope Leo XIII's words to the Philadelphia-born Katharine Drexel—canonized as a saint in 2000—at an 1887 audience: "What about you? What are you going to do?"

Photo: CJ Gunther, epa

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pope Francis at St. Patrick's Cathedral

"In a special way I would like to express my esteem and gratitude to the religious women of the United States. What would the Church be without you? Women of strength, fighters, with that spirit of courage which puts you on the front lines in the proclamation of the Gospel. To you, religious women, sisters and mothers of this people, I wish to say 'thank you', a big thank you... and to tell you that I love you very much."

Thank you, Pope Francis. We love them too.

Photo: CBS2

Pope Francis Addresses Congress

 "Let us remember the Golden Rule: 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'"

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

National Public Lands Day at Mapleton Preserve

Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands will host its annual National Public Lands Day work session in the Mapleton Preserve on Saturday, September 26, 2015, from 2 to 4 pm. National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance the public lands Americans enjoy. Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands invites the public to play a part and contribute to the restoration of the Mapleton Preserve, the former home of Princeton Nurseries and a significant historical site in Central New Jersey.

FPNL's focus this year is removing brush, vines, invasive saplings and shrubs, and collecting litter. Volunteers are asked to bring their own loppers, pruning shears, saws, rakes and shovels. Sturdy shoes, work gloves, long pants, long-sleeved shirts and hats are also recommended.

The entrance to the Mapleton Preserve/D&R Canal State Park is at 145 Mapleton Road in Kingston. For more information, visit the FPNL website or call 609-683-0483.

Pope Francis in Washington

"As the son of an immigrant family, I am happy to be a guest in this country, which was largely built by such families."

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Welcome, Pope Francis

Pope Francis arriived at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington this afternoon for his first visit to the United States. After a short, private meeting with President Obama in the airport terminal, His Holiness got into the backseat of a black Fiat 500L, rolled down the window, waved to the crowd and rode off.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Another Monarch Passes Through

It seems as if there were a lot fewer butterflies in our area this summer. So this past week when we noticed this year's first Monarch visiting our Princeton Landing garden on its journey south, we were delighted. Ironically, it was the same day the Association had TruGreen spraying the community for the entire day. This not only made it difficult to spend time outside, but it also made it impossible to walk on the grass to photograph the Monarch. Luckily, the lantana plants on our deck and in our atrium brought the butterfly in close enough for pictures.

Two days later another Monarch passed through and was still feeding on our deck at sunset. Here are a couple of photos of our latest Monarch.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Downton Abbey Final Season

PBS has released a new Downton Abbey Season 6 trailer in advance of the final season, which premieres on ITV in the UK in just two days. The US premiere on Masterpiece isn't until Sunday, January 3, 2016. Hang in there.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Monarch Passes Through

This Monarch butterfly passed through our Princeton Landing garden today on its way south.

Lake Carnegie — 3:27 pm

Friday, September 4, 2015

B.D. Lenz at Halo Pub on Saturday

Contemporary jazz guitarist B.D. Lenz and his band will be performing at Halo Pub on Saturday, September 5, from 6 to 9 pm. This is a free outdoor event.

Halo Pub is located at 9 Hulfish Street in Princeton.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A New Visitor

It's early September so it's not surprising that butterflies would be showing up in our garden looking the worse for wear. Still we're happy to see this Giant Swallowtail because it's the first one we've spotted.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Question of the Week

Why can't the Association get the maintenance bills to homeowners in a timely manner?

UPDATE: The maintenance bills were received today. Fees are due September 1—that's in two days and tomorrow is Sunday. This is another new low in service from our Association.

Downton Abbey Season 6 Trailer

For those lucky fans in the UK, Downton Abbey will return for its final season on Sunday, September 20. Across the pond we'll have to wait until Sunday, January 3, 2016, for the season premiere on Masterpiece | PBS.

Downton Abbey will pick up in 1925, six months after the season 5 finale. Here's the ITV trailer for the 6th and final season.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Great Spangled Fritillary

This Great Spangled Fritillary showed up on our deck today sadly looking the worse for wear.


Sunday, August 23, 2015


by Paul Laurence Dunbar

I had not known before
   Forever was so long a word.
The slow stroke of the clock of time
   I had not heard.

'Tis hard to learn so late;
   It seems no sad heart really learns,
But hopes and trusts and doubts and fears,
   And bleeds and burns.

The night is not all dark,
   Nor is the day all it seems,
But each may bring me this relief—
   My dreams and dreams.

I had not known before
   That Never was so sad a word,
So wrap me in forgetfulness—
   I have not heard.
                                                        Photo: takomabibelot

Friday, August 21, 2015

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

15th Annual Watershed Butterfly Festival

The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association will hold its 15th annual Butterfly Festival on Saturday, August 8, from 10 am to 4 pm at the 930-acre Watershed Reserve. The festival is a popular family event that attracts around 3,000 visitors every summer. Visit the new Watershed Center and Kate Gorrie Butterfly House. Check out the butterfly and insect exhibits, science happenings in the lab and interactive children's activities. Enjoy live entertainment, food from local vendors, crafts from artisans and more. Participate in the famous Butterfly and Bug Parade (bring your costume). Tethered balloon rides will be available on site for a spectacular view of the Watershed Reserve for $10 per person; children under 3 ride free accompanied by an adult.

Admission is $10 per person or $25 per carload. Parking is provided across from the Watershed Association courtesy of Bristol-Myers Squibb. Shuttles will be provided from the parking area to the festival. No pets or alcoholic beverages allowed. Click here for more information.

The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association is located at 31 Titus Mill Road in Pennington. Click here for directions.

Artwork: Erin McNulty

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tree Identification Walk at Mapleton Preserve

Join Karen Linder, president of Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands, for a tree identification walk at the Mapleton Preserve on Saturday, August 8, 2015, at 2 pm. Learn some of the basics of tree identification by examining native and ornamental trees. Become familiar with their characteristics through discussion and the use of tree guides and an identification key.

Mapleton Preserve/D&R Canal State Park Headquarters is located at 145 Mapleton Road in Kingston. The event is free and open to the public; it will be held rain or shine. Call 609-683-0483 for more information.

Photo of Catalpa tree at Mapleton Preserve by Tari Pantaleo

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Swiss National Day

Photo: Pascal Gertschen, Zermatt Tourismus 2015

Thursday, July 30, 2015

B.D. Lenz in Princeton on Saturday

Jazz guitarist B.D. Lenz and his band will perform On the Green at Palmer Square on Saturday, August 1, from 2 to 4 pm as part of the Summer Music Series. Bring your own lawn chairs and picnic baskets. This event is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


c. 2002 – 2015

Photo: African Bush Camps

Just Peachy Festival at Terhune Orchards

Terhune Orchards is hosting its annual Just Peachy Festival this weekend, August 1 and 2, from 10 am to 5 pm. Join the Mount family at the farm and celebrate one of our state's favorite fruits—peaches. 

A special event at the festival is a "Summer Harvest" farm-to-fork tasting section that features local chefs who will use locally sourced ingredients to prepare recipes for visitors to sample. Terhune Orchards is partnering with Zone 7 for this special offering. The tasting area will be open at noon and continue while supplies last. Admission to the special tasting section is $12 per person. Wine tasting will also be available. For more details on participating vendors and their menus, click here. Event is rain or shine; in case of rain, tasting will take place in the big barn.

Kids' activities will include rides through the orchards on tractor-drawn wagons, pony rides and games. Adults can visit the winery tasting room to sample wines, including the award-winning Just Peachy wine, as well as peach sangria. There will be live music both days from noon until 4 pm.

Food will also be available for purchase at Pam's food tent, offering peach treats including peach pie, peach ice cream, peach salsa and peach cider. Barbecued chicken, hot dogs, salads, homemade gazpacho, apple cider donuts and cider slushies will also be for sale. Pam Mount's popular canning and freezing class will be held on Saturday at 10 am. The class is free. Register here.

Admission to the festival is $5; children under 3 are free. Admission fee includes wagon rides, pedal tractors, barnyard of animals, music, play tractors and children's games. (Additional activities will be available at additional cost.) The farm store and the winery and tasting room are open without an admission fee. Parking is available at the farm, located at 330 Cold Soil Road in Princeton.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Le 14 Juillet

Photo by Yann Caradec

If you can't be there, click here to celebrate!