Gull-lover’s Travels

Seal of approval

Although probably fin-up to stay balanced on a submerged rock as the tide continued to come in, this Harbor seal seemed to be waving at a white-headed gull that was perched nearby in Sandy Hook Bay.

If so, perhaps this was a farewell gesture, since the group of seals may be on their way back to summer in northern waters.

Posted in Birds, Fauna, Mammals, Sandy Hook Unit - Gateway National Recreation Area | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Still waters

Reflecting pool

A bit of birch log submerged in one of the park creeks created a rather ghostly image — resting on the blackened leaves of previous winters, with the lacework of reflected bare branches covering it like a translucent shroud.

Posted in Flora, Joe Palaia Park, Trees & Shrubs | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment



Once again, the hardy Snowdrop makes its appearance during an almost-Spring snowfall. Despite the icy environs, a few dewy drops of snowmelt hinted at warmer times to come.

[Previous Snowdrop post.]

Posted in Flora, Flowers, Joe Palaia Park | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deer prudence

Her herd

Well off the main path and back into the woods, a small herd of White-tailed does looked at us with caution but not too much alarm. Two larger bucks stood just off to the right.

Posted in Fauna, Joe Palaia Park, Mammals | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Short and Winding Road

White Line Freezer

Patches of park ice were scattered throughout the woods in the now rootless depressions of fallen trees, their surfaces etched with lines and showing pockets of trapped air. In this case, it was like looking down at a curvy two-lane road through an overcast antique-glass sky.

Posted in Mineral, Weltz Park | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The face of winter

Sleepy hollow

The wrinkled surface, lichen patches, and broken bark hollows of this weathered tree suggested a rather forlorn — or perhaps just sleepy — face surveying the snow-covered woods that surrounded it.

Posted in Joe Palaia Park, Trees & Shrubs | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

… and a park ridge with a pear-shaped tree-like thing

Forest floor fruit

Growing along one of the hillier trails in the park, one clump of bright green moss suggested both a plump pear and a rather squatty evergreen.

Posted in Flora, Fungi, Lichens, & Mosses | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment