Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Long Island in Winter

Little Peconic River, Cranberry Bog Preserve
We are sixteen days from the Vernal Equinox (March 20th) and since this winter has been the snowiest in recent memory, Polar Vortex inspired beauty abounded. I don't let the weather stop me from rambling..and there are many beautiful refuges and seashores to explore. So  here is a potpourri of photos taken on Long Island winter rambles.

Little Peconic River, looking the other way from the bridge..
Cranberry Bog Preserve is a 165 acre refuge in Riverhead, New York. There is a mile long loop trail around Swezey Pond, which was made by damming the Little Peconic River to produce a bog for Cranberry growing venture. In the warm moths Lady Slippers and  other native plants, including rare bog plants,  can be found. On this day, all was white and still except for the whistle of a Kingfisher.

The Elizabeth Morton Wildlife Refuge is a 187 acre penninsula on Noyack and Little Peconic Bays. It is best known for it's stunning waterfront and for friendly birds. Unfortunately the refuge is being over run by invasive plants..most notably mile-a-minute vine Despite new signs everywhere, saying "don't feed the wildlife" folks still  come to feed the birds and they are tame.  

House Finch

Tirmouse, the birds posed..I take no credit!

Hello! Eastern Towhee.

I feel friendly!

Song Sparrow

Stocking up!

White Throated Sparrow

As I've said, the birds are friendly..

Snow etched trees in recently designated park land,
 right down the street from me!

Winter Wonderland at Quoque Wildlife Refuge.
Rescued animals are tended at this refuge

Pond at Quogue Wildlife Refuge

Calverton Ponds Preserve is  350-acre oak-pine forest containing coastal plain ponds, one of the rarest wetland types in North America. Coastal plain ponds are fed by ground water, rather than streams. After the turn of the 20th century, Calverton Ponds were altered to create commercial cranberry bogs, which were in operation for over 50 years. Now they are home to fragile ecosystems and rare plants and animals

Reflections on Block Pond
Sandy Pond on a windy day

Cold Ducks on Forge River

Forge River is a mecca for ducks in the winter

But I had better luck having ducks pose for me, near the Smithpoint Bridge, over Bellport Bay. Smithpoint is the gateway to the Fire Island National seashore.

Red Breasted Merganser.

Pair of Western Grebes

A baffle of Buffle heads ;-)

Sunset that night, Over Bellport Bay

Deer hoping for food in Smith Point parking lot.
Of course it is forbidden to feed them. Of course it is done.

Ducks are not the only wildlife to overwinter on Long Island..Seal cruises offered by the Riverhead Foundation, leave from the Freeport Town dock in Nassau County, to explore Hempstead Bay. On the day I went out we found a group of 45 Harbor Seals. Harbor Seals can also be seen on foot, at Cupsogue Beach in Suffolk County.

Time to leave Winter..

Bye, bye..

Another fine Sunset over Bellport Bay..

If winter comes..can spring be far behind?  ~ Shelley


  1. Replies
    1. A little vicarious winter huh? Just as I enjoy the beauty if Florida that you share!

  2. Beautiful photos, Cindy. You caught a nice variety of wildlife and landscape. I'm enjoying every new minute of sunshine as we approach the equinox.

    1. Thanks Scott..this was a special winter..more snow than I'd seen in 20 years.. I quite enjoyed the beauty..but will be glad for the return of the flowers!

  3. I love the view of the Peconic. Somehow even though there is snow in the photo, the landscape looks inviting. I also love the seals, we get a couple here each winter that hangout on the islands of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, but I have yet to lay eyes on one yet.

    1. Hi Les, thanks fir stopping by.. To think we might have met at the Philadelphia Flower show!

  4. Hi Cynthia-I'll be overseeing my cousin Larry's blog until he gets back. I don't know much about birds but I love the scenery in your photos!-especially the reflections and snow etching ones!-Bob

  5. I'll sure miss Larry..hope he doesn't get eaten by a bear..