Painted Lady At Young’s Island

Sunday, October 7, 2012,

Two weeks ago I found myself on Young’s Island in Stony Brook Harbor. The island is largely made up from the sand dredged out of West Meadow Creek and Stony Brook Harbor itself. Despite being man-made, the island is now DEC protected, and no one is supposed to land on there. It’s protected because it has become a very important nesting area for Piping Plovers and Least Terns, both of which are disappearing far too quickly. It’s also a very popular nesting area for several species of gulls and shorebirds. This is a good place to spy Oystercatchers, which just might be the most striking looking shorebirds that grace our fair island.

Now, this post is supposed to be about the butterfly in the photographs, correct? What’s all this yakking about protected species and islands? And what was I doing on a DEC protected island in the first place, right? Well, dear reader, while I rarely mention it, I am a member of the Four Harbors Audubon Society. Shucks, I’m even on the board. I’m the photographer. Now that’s a surprise, huh? Anyways, for the past two years, Four Harbors has received permission to kayak to Young’s Island and clean it up. I like to volunteer, because while picking up trash is even less glamorous than it seems, it affords me the chance to photograph some almost unspoiled shore land, and the critters within. Plus it’s kinda cool walking around where few others get to go. Of course, we’re not the only only ones who actually go there. Not all of the trash we pick up is washed ashore. This year, one of the larger pieces of garbage was a four person tent. It would seem that others enjoy being here as well. I don’t blame them for being there, I just wish they’d take their belongings with them.

Alright already. Yes, these are pics of a butterfly. A Painted Lady Butterfly. I know almost nothing about them, even my friend Sue from Four Harbors had to identify it for me. The only thing I know about Painted Ladies is that my Mom always told me to steer clear of them. I don’t understand; I mean, it’s just a butterfly. Mom never warned me about wasps. Go figure. JK



I Was Looking For Loons

Saturday, December 31, 2011,

This is an off-topic post, I admit. Generally my pics are all about wildlife or nature but this is a scene I came upon while looking for wildlife. Plus, it’s a cool pic so why not share it here? Not to mention that I’m a little short of pics to post at the moment.

Three days back I took a drive over to West Meadow Beach. I was hoping to find some loons or maybe some wintering ducks but I didn’t see any. It was a beautiful day but the wind was barreling in from the northwest at over 25mph. While the ducks were probably seeking the shelter of calmer waters some folks saw the very same conditions as a reason to get out and play. This is just one of about eight or nine guys that were zipping back and forth along the beach. It looked like a lot of fun but that wind was brutal. After ten minutes or so I retreated to the refuge of my car and turned up the heat. I may have missed out on the ducks but I think maybe I saw some loons. JK

Fish Crow

Wednesday, September 8, 2010,

Fish Crow at West Meadow Beach

This is a Fish crow. I want to thank my friend Michele from the Four Harbors Audubon Society for insisting that I take these shots. Without her gentle persuasion (read: nagging) I would not have gotten my first verifiable pics of a Fish Crow. I am always psyched to capture a new species so getting this handsome brute under my belt is a real pleasure.

Look at me, Ma! On top of the world!


Juvenile Common Tern At West Meadow Beach

September 7, 2010,

Juvenile Common Tern

This Common Tern youngster was on an exposed spit of sand at low tide at West Meadow Beach in Setauket. He and several other similarly aged birds were standing around waiting for their parents to bring them breakfast. Today’s youth. None of them want to go out and work for themselves. JK

I like this shot. Call me vain.