Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sandy Hook Light

As much as I'm prone to fuss about the lack of visitors during my monthly 5-hour stint at Sandy Hook Bird Observatory, I do appreciate the quiet of sitting on the porch and watching the boats in Sandy Hook Bay. Today there were a few Buffleheads and Red-Breasted Mergansers for company, but the Oldsquaw I look for were a no-show. In a month or two, if I'm lucky, I'll find harbor seals sunning themselves on the rocky shores of the bay.

I finally got caught up with paper-grading that I've avoided for the past few weeks. Glad to not have that hanging over me anymore! I had only ten visitors all day and they all showed up at the same time. So while I was trying to give info to a pair of enthusiastic new birders, I was also trying to monitor the lady shopping for new binoculars. Birders are an honest group and we encourage people to scan the bay as a means to getting a feel for a pair of binoculars. In the midst of so many visitors coming and going and asking questions, I admit to a bit of nervousness with the lady walking in and out of our shop with thousand dollar optics to test them on the porch. For all of my cajoling she left without buying, but the new birders got more information than they probably wanted.

I passed by the lighthouse on my way and took a pic for any of the lighthouse afficionados. Sandy Hook Light is the oldest standing lighthouse in the country and is now landlocked; more than a mile from the ocean's shore at the tip of Sandy Hook due to the shifting sands of our shoreline, when once it was just 500 feet from that point.

17 comments:

Ruth said...

Sounds like a lovely way to spend a day...and I do love lighthouses. I wonder if there are any that are run as a bed and breakfast? :)

Dave said...

That's the one thing that I miss about back east, lighthouses. That old life style had to be a joy, a lighthouse keeper.

NatureWoman said...

Neat lighthouse! I didn't realize this was the oldest one in the country. Do you know it was built? Interesting that it is now landlocked.

LauraHinNJ said...

Ruth: I bet you could find one.

;-)

Dave: I wonder if it wasn't lonely too.

Naturewoman: I think it was 1764 - not the first, but the oldest that is still standing (and operating) today.

Mary said...

The day sounded so peaceful for you. I miss the lighthouses in DE and we still have some models we display in our house. What if the lady had sticky fingers?

Susan Gets Native said...

Nice! My Mom is a lighthouse-lover, and every time we find one, I have to get a picture for her.
Not a bad way to spend an afternoon, Laura!

John said...

Laura's right on the date; the lighthouse predates the United States. I think that the Sandy Hook Lighthouse and the Twin Lights at Navesink are my favorite lighthouses for their uniqueness.

bunnygirl said...

More than a mile from the shore? That's amazing!

Ruth, I'm sure lighthouse B&Bs exist. And I know there's a lighthouse off the coast of Rhode Island where you can sign on to live as lighthouse keeper for a period of time: http://www.roseislandlighthouse.org/

samtzmom said...

Beautiful photo Laura! Glad you at least got your papers graded. I would have loved to have seen the Buffleheads and Red-Breasted Mergansers and to have kept you company as I learned about new birds I've never encountered. :c)

Lynne said...

What a cool volunteer gig! It sounds like a perfect afternoon, and the photo is beautiful.

Madcap said...

Love the photo.

So, I'm not up to speed with your 5 month project. This is on top of your regular job?

Simone said...

That's a nice lighthouse, Laura!

Sandy said...

Sounds like a great day to me! Even if you don't get any visitors! How often are you there?

robin andrea said...

Such a beautiful lighthouse. Your time there sounds very peaceful. When I was little, my family would always go to Sandy Hook when we went down the shore. I wish I could remember more of those excursions. By the time I was old enough to remember where I was going, we were going to Asbury Park.

lené said...

The information about the lighthouse makes me wonder about Cape Hatteras (sp?). When I was living in NC, they were planning to move it inland.

Birders do seem to be a wonderfully warm, enthusiastic bunch of folks.

LauraHinNJ said...

Mary: One of my SIL's collects lighthouse stuff - makes gift-giving easy.

If the lady had sticky fingers that would be a problem! We're supposed to ask for a driver's license to hold, but I don't like doing that to people.

Susan: No, it was a nice day - except for the grading.

John: I posted pics of Twin Lights a while back. Nothing can beat that view.

Bunnygirl: Thanks for that neat link! The light is so far from shore because of the peculiar way the sand moves around the *hook* of Sandy Hook, I think.

Samtzmom: It would have been nice to have company. ;-) Ducks are good birds to start with cause they're so big.

Lynne: I've been doing this forever and I love the view now - our center used to be in the middle of a cornfield!

Madcap: Sorry - I volunteer once a month there, for five hours or so.

Simone: It is, but I get dizzy coming down the stairs!

Robin Andrea: Your NJ roots are showing with that *down the shore* bit! Did you go to the beach at Asbury or the boardwalk? We always went there on Easter Sunday to ride the rides.

Lene: Interesting about the cape Hatteras light - I'd guess that that type of danger from erosion is more typical with lighthouses than them becoming landlocked.

lené said...

It took reading your comment and re-reading your post to understand that the sand movement naturally landlocked the lighthouse. Wow!