Loony Day

Saturday, February 24, 2018,

So. I had hiked along the upper fields of Avalon one morning and I saw a bird. As in singular. As in one. It was small and dark and deep in the brush. It may have been a Junco. A lonely Junco at that.

Needing something to calm myself from all that excitement, I drove to Stony Brook Harbor where I saw gulls and more gulls. And then, even more gulls. There were more gulls than you could shake a stick at, even a really big one. So I sat and I waited. I read my Kindle. I played solitaire. I glanced up from time to time and, yep, the gulls were still there.

Another half an hour goes by and still more gulls. I was feeling quite gullible when I noticed a change. A giddy change, a downright loony change. There was a Loon. (Cue Katherine Hepburn: “The Loons, the Loons!”). There was Loon. I know I already said that but after all those gulls, there was a Loon. A Loon! I took some pics as it slowly drifted off.  Then it was just me and the gulls again.

Eventually, another Loon appeared. Maybe it was the same one, I don’t know. I started up with the picture taking again. This time, I noticed a bunch more. Most of them were near where West Meadow Creek empties into the harbor. There were at least 14 of them. There may have been more but they were fairly spread out and with one or another diving and bobbing back up, it’s hard to be certain.

Most of them were too far off for me to get any good pics, but I did get lucky with a few. It seems that crabs were the lunch special for the day and, to my surprise, I think they were swallowed whole. The Loon would come back to the surface, shake the crab free of any sand and grit and then, gulp, it was gone. The crab, not the Loon.

As I headed back to my truck I checked, and yes, the gulls were still there. JK

Bullfrogs in November?

Sunday, November 5, 2017,

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Bullfrogs in November? On Long Island? It’s a world gone mad. Or warm at any rate. This has been an amazingly mild Autumn here on Long Island. There are still Monarch Butterflies fluttering about that should have been on their way to warmer climes weeks ago and just two days ago I came across a pond full of frogs. I was walking through Morton Wildlife Refuge in Sag Harbor when I came across these two handsome brutes and several of their friends in a small pond. To say I was surprised would be an understatement. I mean, who would expect to find frogs sunning themselves this far north this late in the season? Heck, it’s not even their season. I went to Morton to look for turkeys, not frogs. I didn’t find any of the turkeys so I guess I’m happy to have seen the frogs. Happy, but a little confused. JK

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JK

 

Tiny Terrapin

Tuesday, April 18, 2017,

This is a Diamondback Terrapin. A brand new one. Handsome little beastie, no?

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These pics were taken almost a year ago at Sunken Meadow State Park. (Yeah, I’m still behind on my posts). It was the start of a good day. I didn’t know that yet, or rather, I didn’t know how good it was going to to be. I did know that it was a fine morning to be walking the beach and maybe for taking some decent pics. It was late May and I was enjoying a morning before the sweaty days of summer here on Long Island. I couldn’t know it yet, but before my visit was through I’d get some fairly decent shots of a Piping Plover patrolling the beach. Not to mention these pics.

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When I came across this little one – (check out the photo below to see how tiny he was) – I was looking to take pics and video of the hundreds, heck, maybe thousands of Fiddler Crabs that inhabit this little spit of land when I noticed this guy booking away right beneath my feet. I very nearly stepped on him. I failed, completely, to get anything useful of the Fiddler Crabs that day, but just look at what I did get. You can never know what you’re going to find when you step out the door.  

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All we need to do is take that step. Just look and see what’s waiting for us. This and other little wonders are out there every day.  JK

Yuri: Now and Then

Thursday, August 11, 2016,

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Meet Yuri. Handsome brute, no? Or lass, nobody really knows and it doesn’t matter. Yuri is the Bullfrog that has taken up residence at a local artist’s backyard pond. Now, admittedly, a Bullfrog claiming a pond is not front page news but Yuri is the first frog of any species to make a home in this pond in the seventeen years since it was built. The pond has finally been discovered. The top pic is a shot of Yuri at the end of July. This next shot was taken two months earlier, when he was still just a pup. It’s hard to see from these two pics but July Yuri could have swallowed May Yuri whole. My, they do grow quickly. JK

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JK