Ron took many of the book’s most memorable images – including an amazing sunrise and a couple of picture-perfect bald eagle shots.
“The attraction of the Meadowlands for me has always been the sense of urban wilderness and isolation one can find here,” says Ron, who is also the principal of Harrison High School.
“It’s fascinating to experience the many wonders this area offers while understanding it was once known as the ‘dumps.’ And all of this happens in the shadow of the greatest city in the world. “.
Ron’s two favorite places to photograph nature in the district are both open to the public -- the Kearny Marsh and a back road called Disposal Road, connecting Lyndhurst and North Arlington.
In the warmer months, Ron paddles his kayak into the Kearny Marsh to photograph wildlife without disturbing it.
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His photos from the marsh include a green heron, an American Coot, a Least Bittern, several awesome duck and a perched bald eagle.
In the cooler months, Ron likes to hang out on Disposal Road because a huge assortment of raptors likes to hunt the adjacent former landfills – inkling American kestrels, northern harriers and peregrine falcons.
Ron’s serious interest in photography coincided with the digital age, which has made photography so much simpler.
He started with several unsuccessful attempts at photographing his daughter’s hockey games in dimly lit rinks, which forced him to hone his skills.
Photographing various events and activities at his high school gave him a lot of practice using different lenses in different situations – and then he discovered the natural beauty of the Meadowlands.
“My favorite photo is always my next photo. You always try to improve. From macro to 500mm, the Meadowlands presents photographic opportunities everywhere for everyone.”
One photo, however, has always haunted Ron. It’s a shot of an adult black-crowned night heron perched on the shore of one of the many tributaries of Berry’s Creek at low tide. In the background, you can see a cross-section of the years of abuse suffered by this area.
“This photo has always begged the question for me as to who is really endangered on this planet,” Ron says.
As for his advice on visiting the Meadowlands, his advice is simple: Do it!
“Whether it’s a walking tour of DeKorte Park, a jog through Mill Creek Marsh, a paddle in the Kearny Marsh or a pontoon ride down the Hackensack, get out and see the wonders of your own backyard,” Ron says. “Your perspective of this area will be changed forever. Your sense of wonder will be forever enhanced. “