Sunday, October 01, 2006

Postcards from the beach

Today was my volunteer day at the Sandy Hook Bird Observatory. This is the view to the right of our center. Are you wondering why I'm posting this bad photo of Canada Geese? Well... I had a surprise visit today from Patrick, another SHBO volunteer and the face behind The Hawk Owl's Nest and his buddy Mike from 10,000 Birds. Patrick was giving Mike a tour of the Hook. Mike made a comment that he's not sure I bird anymore because I never blog about birds. So I felt obligated to post this pic of some birds. Oh, and about 10 minutes after you guys left, Tom B. called to report a possible MacGillivray's Warbler - not sure if that panned out, but you know Tom's penchant for finding the rarest of birds!
Back to the photo tour. Laura from Vitamin Sea and Lene from Counting Petals wanted to see water views. This is the view from the front porch of the bird observatory; technically, you have to walk off the porch and cross the road to see the color in the poison ivy or whatever that is growing at the base of the rocks, but Sandy Hook Bay is gorgeous. Today when I arrived it was cloudy and raining and there were thousands of swallows migrating low over the water and high up in the sky. There were also lots of Monarchs migrating today and nectaring on the goldenrod that blooms along the dunes.
I ventured to the ocean side to get a pic of the water and sand, so that Lene could imagine sinking her toes into it. There were a lot of people out with their dogs once the storm had passed and I enjoyed watching them play in the water. I made the mistake of sitting down in the sand to take pics and the big galoot in this picture came bounding up to me and mugged me with his wet face.
On the way home I visited the Twin Lights lighthouse in Navesink. I haven't been there since grade school, even though I drive by at least once a week.
This pic is of the old 9 foot bivalve lens that had been used to guide ships into New York Harbor and was one of the brightest navigational lights used in the US. The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1949 and a smaller, and much less powerful commemorative light replaced it in 1962. Taken from inside the working *twin* light. Going up the spiral staircase was much easier than coming down! Dizzy city! View from the top of the lighthouse, Sandy Hook is that long spit of land jutting out into the horizon. I enjoyed taking these snapshots today and will post some others in the coming days. Feel free to add a request!

15 comments:

bunnygirl said...

What great pics! I love Canadian Geese, but my relatives in CT say they're so numerous they're a nuisance. Is that true in NJ?

The beach pics are lovely. Funny thing, I'm not too crazy about going to the beach, but I can spend hours looking at photos or paintings of it. Go figure.

And what a fabulous lighthouse! I'd love to know more about the architecture, since it's so not your typical lighthouse.

The more I see of your pictures, the more I wonder why NJ gets such a bad rap!

Sandy said...

What a pretty area! I'll bet you see lots of birds along the shore. I read a couple of days ago, a blog from the coast of Maine, and Sandy, (The Giddy Garden Gnome) had a monarch migration going by there. Wouldn't it be something if it was the same group traveling down the coast?

Ruth said...

Your photos make me want to visit the shoreline of NJ. I have only been to Atlantic City once for a conference and did not remember much beauty. I would love to climb the steps of that lighthouse!

Laura said...

When I think of Jersey, I think of Atlantic City and of Springsteen.
I honestly didn't know it was so pretty. This area is just gorgeous! One of the good things about this meme is it can help change the stereotypical vision that we might have of other states that we haven't yet visited.
I hope the "big galoot" didn't get sand in your camera! ;)
Thanks for these photos, really enjoyed the tour!

samtzmom said...

What a very beautiful place! Thanks for sharing your day in these lovely images. Have a great day.

Mike said...

I'm afraid we didn't hear about the MacGillivray until after I left the hook, Laura. But it was certainly great to meet you!

Patrick Belardo said...

Oh we have such a bad rep here in Jersey!

It was great meeting you finally! I heard about that warbler as I settled onto my couch with a nice glass of iced tea. It turned out to be an aberrant Mourning Warbler - still a neat bird!

NatureWoman said...

Oh, please more beautiful photos of NJ to help us to appreciate it more! I think NJ and NY both have bad reps to those not familiar with either. Whenever I tell anyone out of (NY) state I'm from New York they immediately think city. So now I say Upstate New York.

LauraHinNJ said...

Bunnygirl: They are kind of nuisance here, yep. I'm not one to sunbathe (too pale!), but love the beach and couldn't imagine living anywhere else, really.

I can't tell you much about the lighthouse, but the link has some info. It's built on a hill well back from the shoreline; think it's about 200 feet above sea level.

Sandy: the monarchs are moving now! Love to see them floating through the dunes.

Ruth: Atlantic City isn't very beautiful, although the gamblers probably think so. Pretty shady place, really.

Laura: glad you liked it - I have some park pictures to share also.

Samtzmom: Thanks for enjoying them with me. ;-)

Patrick: Glad you didn't miss anything *good* - I'd like a mourning warbler anyway. Someday I'm going to post pics of the Jersey everyone expects - don't want too many people coming here!

Mike: Yes, it was a nice surprise!

Naturewoman: Yes! NY is only the city and NJ is chemical plants!

threecollie said...

Wonderful, wonderful pictures....just delightful. My brother commutes to NJ from here in upstate NY (only home on weekends) and what he sees there has changed our view of your lovely state.

InterstellarLass said...

These are great photos! I've never been in a lighthouse, but I think they are gorgeous. You did a great job taking pictures!

LauraO said...

Really enjoyed this post and the photos. I've never been to the lighthouse, and haven't been that far south in NJ in many years. Thanks!

LauraHinNJ said...

threecollie: Thanks for stopping by! Odd that your brother commutes to NJ from NY - thought it always went the other way! Must not be an easy life to be away from home all week.

interstellarlass: thanks - glad you liked it. Lighthouses are fun, though I don't much like the steps down from the top.

Laura: Really I'm not that far south of you - only half way to the bottom of NJ!

lené said...

Thanks so much for the sand shot! My toes are smiling. :) I didn't realize that the water was so blue in NJ. After living on the coast of NC, I came to think of the Atlantic as being mossy green colored. Thanks, again.

LauraHinNJ said...

Lene: It is mossy green most days! Strange how the angle of sunlight affects the color of the water, too.

Depending on which camera I'm using, when I take pics at the beach I often like to use a cooling filter in place of the polarizing filter that I ordinarily use to cut down glare. I forgot it that day and my pics were very dull so I tried out the feature on PS - the result on the PC at home looked normal, the color just punched up a bit, but at work - holy cow that water is too blue! My little cheapo digital camera takes nice pics with saturated color that I like, but the expensive one needs help. I think I helped it a bit too much!