With wolves eliminated from the park elk populations flourished. Their abundance wasn’t such a good thing for the park’s vegetation though, especially in the richer, low-lying areas along rivers, creeks, and other wetlands where they overgrazed the vegetation, destroying habitat and creating erosion problems.
This attractive tree goes by a few names: shadbush, shadblow, serviceberry, and Juneberry. The reference to shad stems from more ancient knowledge of recognizing patterns of nature. Many years ago shad, a species of anadromous fish, was significantly more abundant than today…
One of the many joys of summer in Suffolk County is spending time in the backyard relaxing with a book, swimming in the pool, gardening, or enjoying a family meal together. I’ve come to realize that during these backyard experiences we’re often not alone.
On an Indian summer kind of morning in mid-October, I decided to explore the Preserve owned by the Villageof Nissequogue at the end of Long Beach Road, on the north side of Stony Brook Harbor. I was hoping to see a lingering diamondback terrapin in the marshes fringing this side of the harbor.
When it comes to cavities it’s all about what kind. A large cavity in your molar? A trip to the dentist because it’s a problem you need to have treated immediately. A deep cavity in the road you travel on to go to the dentist? Worth a phone call to the Superintendent of Highways before it destroys any tires and rims.
Many Long Islanders look forward to the winter. It’s a time for skiing, skating, sledding, and snowman building. It’s an invitation to walk along quiet coastal beaches devoid of the maddening crowds, and it certainly provides the opportunity to reconnect with family and friends during the holidays.
While recently working at my desk at the Scully Mansion I took a momentary break from reading about water quality issues, to turn around to gaze from the 2nd floor window to see if anything was happening outside. Well, my timing was perfect as robins were what was “happening”, big time in fact.
The species names spill off the tongue quickly – “Oh, that’s a Pink Lady’s Slipper…. or a Green Darner….or a Round-leaved Sundew or Great-crested Flycatcher. Perhaps its a Brook Trout….or Eastern Chipmunk or a Diamondback Terrapin”. These names, and hundreds of thousands of others, are the scientifically established common names for these creatures, useful because they help to establish order, definition, and identity.
If you love observing the natural world, once in a while you receive a gift. Maybe it’s a special moment of excitement such as with an osprey hitting the water with talons flaring and, with labored flight, lifting off the surface with a writhing fish firmly ensconced. Perhaps it’s a moment of intimacy provided by a doe nuzzling her fawn or a mother cottontail rabbit licking her newborn young.
A few weekends ago Georgia and I decided to explore McAllister County Park in the Village of Belle Terre with the goal of seeing some winter birds, and secretly hoping to spy a Snowy Owl, a winter visitor occasionally seen here. This not-well-known county park is on the east side of Port Jefferson Harbor and consists of a mined out section of the Harbor Hill Terminal Moraine and a sand spit that extends west to the jetty connecting the harbor with Long Island Sound.