Sunday, February 04, 2007

Officer's Row

Volunteer day again at the bird observatory and I didn't see a soul out at Sandy Hook - not even any fishermen - so you know it had to be bad! The wind was really whipping across the bay and it felt like the frozen arctic today.

The bird observatory is housed in that smaller building all the way to the right, partially hidden by the sycamores and hackberry trees that grow around it. There's a long row of 18 buildings like this that front the bay and which are known as Officer's Row from when Fort Hancock was an active army post. There's all sorts of gun batteries and nike missile sites that I may bore you with photos of someday. Anyway, nowadays most of the officer's quarters are empty except for a few local environmental organizations like NJ Audubon, the Littoral Society, and Clean Ocean Action. A pair of Osprey usually nests on the chimney of one of these buildings each summer also.

On summer days when I volunteer I love to sit out on our porch and watch the bay; I even like to do it on reasonably mild winter days. The sunsets on the bay are spectacular! Even though our building is smaller than the officer's housing (I think it used to be the doctor's quarters and the hospital was next door) I imagine it was a very nice place to live. Not so on days like today with that wind! Keeping house must have been nightmarish too, with the constant salt-spray on the windows, not to mention the sand being tracked in all the time. These are the things I think about to pass the time when no one visits.

8 comments:

Laurie said...

I bet it is absolutely beautiful during the warmer months.

Mary said...

Laura, in a month or two you'll have many visitors. I would enjoy the solitude and views, too. There is something about water that is so good for the spirit. A nice getaway. We are having horrible wind and cold here, too.

Susan Gets Native said...

Well, at least it got you out of the house.

You're not the only one with frozen buns!

Jackie said...

Hi Laura, sure wish I had come to Sandy Hook this weekend. I love it when everything is quiet. But it was too cold for these old bones. I could have brought some tea and maybe cookies. One of these days soon.
Jackie

Jayne said...

Just imagine if those walls could talk. Really interesting looking buildings there rich with history.

LauraHinNJ said...

Laurie: It's beautiful at all seasons, really, but the warm weather makes it especially so.

Mary: Usually my volunteer days are pretty quiet and I like that time to sit on the porch and get some papers graded.

Susan: You have a point there!

Jackie: This was not the weekend for a visit! It was really frigid. I'll welcome tea and cookies (and your visit) some other day though. ;-)

Jayne: Yes, that's true. The building behind ours used to be the morgue - now it's a public restroom. I love to remind people of that!

mon@rch said...

Laura - love the photo and sorry very few were around! Good for you being involved with groups like this! Wish we had more people like you helping out!

Patrick Belardo said...

The silence is nice, but that wind is fierce. When I was there in January, everything was fogged in all the way to the road. I luckily had 10 visitors that day!