South Mountain Reservation

South Mountain Reservation is a large area of preserved land, one small area of it is home to a sculpture garden, dog park, and a wildflower garden. The Wildflower area is a fenced in section of the preserve that is taken care of by volunteers.  One side of it was quite overgrown so I tried the other entrance which brought me directly to the wildflowers, they weren’t fully in bloom yet which just means I will have to go back. As I ventured deeper back I encountered a more swamp-like area with more sculptures aside from the ones at the front gate.  The area was rich with Multiflora Roses, Ferns, and Skunk Cabbage. I had to look up the Eastern Columbine and the purple flower I still am unsure of it looks to me to be in the rose family?

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Lenape Park

Lenape Park is a small stretch of a paved pathway in the middle of a swamp or marsh area. It follows along the Rahway River and it actually is in the middle of a path that connects four parks total. Black Brook Park, Nomahegan Park, and Echo Lake Park are the other three that you can access from it. Lenape Park had a lot of activity from pedestrians. In fact, the other parks do as well. This was somewhat disappointing for me because it made it difficult for me to try to stop to look and watch for wildlife.  At one point I spotted a cottontail rabbit, I stopped to try and take some photos but if I stopped dead I would be a hazard to the cyclists whizzing past or the power walkers. Before I could even get my camera up to snap away someone on a very noisy bike scared it off. They do have protected area for migrating birds so next time I go I will try and get there early enough to do some bird watching.  The Stretch of the park that I did walk was utterly taken over by the multi-floral rose which is an invasive species.

Muttontown Preserve

Muttontown Preserve is a combination of three land plots in Muttontown, N.Y. The land itself is the combination of the former estates and farmland.  Some of the images are of all that is left of King Zog the last monarch of Alabania. The other images are from what was left of the Duryea Farm as well as outer buildings and playhouses in the wooded areas close to the Chelsea Mansion. I grew up near this part of Long Island and there is so much history in your backyard that is taken for granted. I do miss hiking the forgotten about wonders of the past.

Echo Lake Park at Sunset

Last week after our latest snow storm I took a ride over to Echo Lake Park. It was packed with families sleigh riding, but I was able to grab this moment of solitude as I walked back to the car. I did not quite get what I was looking for but that only means hopefully I can get another chance with our next prediction of snow. img_0061

Great Swamp

This image is from my 2nd and most recent trip to Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is in Morris County. This refuse has a lot to offer on its 7800 acres. The Friends of Great Swamp NWR has an amazing visitors center as well as easy access trails. This particular spot was from the overlook parking lot half way between the nature center and the bluebird field. We started our hike at the wildlife observation center parking area which has a boardwalk guiding you though the wooded part of the swamps to blinds overlooking an open field.  On the particular morning we ventured out there were a few reported sightings of Bald Eagles. Maybe we will get to see some next time when we hike a different trail.

 

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Rockefeller State Park

On Halloween we took an adventure to New York we started in Pleasantville making our way though Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, and Croton on the Hudson. In Pleasantville we started out with a lovely hike at the Rockefeller State Park Preserve, where you hike on the  carriage roads that John D. Rockefeller Jr. created for friends and family to enjoy the natural beauty of the land his family owned. On the hike we passed through Stone Barns Center for food and agriculture’s pastures where we were able to see cattle relaxing, sheep going for a walk and not to mention beautiful sights of Bluebirds. Be sure to check back for the Halloween fun we had in the most historic place to celebrate the holiday…..Sleepy Hollow!

Snug Harbor

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is a hidden little gem on Staten Island. I didn’t even get to see the whole area that there was to offer but I went through the Japanese stroll garden and the small green house. Here are a few of the images from my visit. The Random floral arrangements were beautiful clearly from a party the night before and I couldn’t resist taking a couple of pics.

Colors of the storm

During a trip to Turks & Caicos in February, the island was hit with some abnormally rough weather. Nonetheless, the island was still amazingly vibrant I was still mesmerized by the turquoise waters!  These images are from before and during the start of the storm

Prescribed Burn

On a recent hike at Oxbow Nature Preserve in Port St. Lucie my fiancé and I came across a section of the trail that recently was prescribed a burn.  You could still smell  the slightly sweet scent of burning wood but I loved the look of the ashes still in the formation of palm fronds were strewn about as if they were confetti.

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