Wildlife Preserves Inc. got the opportunity to see Dave Blinder’s Troy Meadows Collection on display at the Parsippany Main Library in March 2024. Art lovers and nature lovers who missed the show will get a second opportunity to see the photos on display, this time in Mount Tabor, starting May 1st! The collection will hang for the month of May at the Mount Tabor Branch of the Parsippany Library, 31 Trinity Park in the historic community of Mount Tabor, NJ.

Open space advocate and naturalist Dave Blinder is a familiar face in the natural areas of New Jersey and beyond, and Troy Meadows Preserve is no exception. Blinder, who has been a visitor to the 2600-acre wildlife sanctuary for almost 15 years, uses his time in the woods to reflect and capture images which are not always field guide identification snaps, but often what the naturalist calls “a capsule in time.”

Visitors to the Mount Tabor Library Branch can now see the world through Dave Blinder’s eyes, with 12 framed photos taken in the wild areas of Parsippany-Troy Hills and East Hanover. What sets this collection apart is the photographer’s inclusion of details that provide context for learning. The series includes something for everyone, and the varied arrangement is really Blinder’s purpose. Though the artist has enough snaps of birds, amphibians, or landscapes to make a complete show of each, he has chosen a mix – organized by dominant color – that showcases the diversity and year-round interest of the Troy Meadows Preserve.

Blinder’s opening photo for the exhibit is a drone shot called Fog Burnoff, taken very early one October morning over Troy Brook in Parsippany. It provides an almost-otherworldly view of trees silhouetted in the morning sun, and as a launching point for the exhibit it is a literal overview of this natural area in Parsippany. “Troy Brook is an incredible body of water,” Blinder points out. The stream banks may be overgrown and difficult to traverse, but the area is incredibly diverse and hosts numerous species including insect-eating birds and “so many wood ducks!”

Fog Burnoff at Troy Meadows by Dave Blinder

Another photo on display, Common Buckeye, Roosting, is deceptively simple but includes a number of details that would interest any serious naturalist. “My friend who did the framing originally had it flipped upside-down,” Blinder explains. Rather than perching atop a branch, the buckeye is hanging underneath a leaf, waiting for the morning dew to dry from its wings. It evidently spent the night under the foliage, safe from the weather and predators above. The muted leaves of late summer also tell a story, in that this common buckeye is the second brood for the state, and only appears in North Jersey in late summer or early fall. “The first batch only makes it as far north as Atlantic County, maybe Sandy Hook,” Blinder informs us. This photo, from mid-September, is one of the earlier appearances of the common buckeye, brood two, in Morris County.

Common Buckeye, Roosting by Dave Blinder

Blinder hopes that his photos will inspire others to appreciate and enjoy the outdoors, and each of his photos provide opportunities to discover more, with the species handily identified in the handwritten title cards. Visitors can check out Green Frog Near Woodlands and try to determine themselves why the frogs aren’t “green” here (hints: check the month when it was photographed, the name of the species vs its color, and the field marks that set it apart from similarly-sized baby bullfrogs.)  Stand in front of Wild Turkey, Toms and try to imagine, who is meant to be on the receiving end of that display? In this case that included the photographer, who was “a little embarrassed” for the tom turkeys for wasting their energy on him, but this is a typical turkey behavior that is not always witnessed by humans.

The Troy Meadows Collection by Dave Blinder will be at the Mount Tabor Branch of the Parsippany Library through the month of May. Mount Tabor Library hours are: Tuesdays 9 AM to 1 PM, Wednesdays 3 PM to 8 PM, Thursdays 3 PM to 8 PM, Fridays 9 AM to 1 PM, and Saturdays 9 AM to 1 PM.

About the artist:

Dave Blinder is a local nature photographer and open space advocate. Dave is a volunteer for the following organizations: Protect our Wetlands Water and Woods, Denville Community Media, and Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce. To support his photography habit, Dave’s day job is that of Real Estate Agent.