This Bucolic Valley
By Michael Zeugin

Less than 50 miles from downtown Newark circumstances conspire in extraordinary alchemy.

In Vernon, on New Jersey’s northern border, state park lands, Newark watershed properties, protected farmlands and federal wildlife refuges come together in a fusion that has rebirthed a wilderness. But this blossoming is under constant pressure from developers.

This threat of destruction drives writer and photographer Michael Zeugin to capture and reveal the beauty found on the fringe of a populous state. This Bucolic Valley emphasizes the Wawayanda and Pochuck mountains. Here is New Jersey exactly as New Jersey is, yet reminiscent of iconic American landscapes.

From river basins in the glacial valley to mountaintop vistas, from Ursus americanus in the forest to dairy and beef cattle in rolling farmlands, these images communicate the essence of what is still rural and accessible in northwestern New Jersey. To enter, click here.

All photographs © copyright Michael Zeugin.

Michael Zeugin, writer, photographer and outdoor sports guide, teaches writing at Rutgers-Newark.