Sandy Hook Spring At Last!

Bahr's  DoorBahrs Seafood Mecca, Front Door, near Sandy Hook

One of the highlights of this convoluted spring was a quick Friday journey over to Sandy Hook and back, in early May.  It’s a tradition to take my dear friend, Tasha O’Neill, to Bahrs Landing (family-run seafood mecca since 1917 or so) for her late April birthday.  Weather made us tardy this year, but Bahrs was as glorious as ever.  Bayside table, sun-on-water, fishermen returning with their catch, gulls and cormorants following the orange-clad fishermen in their bright boats.

IMG_1038Scallops and Yuengling at Bahrs, and a Lobster Roll Across the Table

We spent the entire gilded afternoon on Sandy Hook’s margins, bird-vigilant.  We were richly rewarded.

Bahr's Sign late Aprio 2010Bahrs Sign — Gateway to Delights

My camera does not do justice to birds, so the osprey nest exchanges and the courting great blue herons, serried rows of cormorants on dark pilings, and the remarkable green heron in a secluded pool will go unimaged in this post.

Osprey Flight, Sandy Hook, NJ 4-26-11 DSC_1175[2]Osprey in Flight Over Sandy Hook, by Brenda Jones

However, there are other signs of spring at Sandy Hook, in addition to rare birds.

HeronJuveniles6x6BrendaJonesGreat Blue Herons, Brenda Jones

The beach became a canvas, splashed with the unexpected soft burgeoning of beach plum and the sturdy renascence of prickly pear.

Tasha Carolyn Bahrs Sandy Hook AprilTasha O’Neill and Carolyn, Bundled for Spring Birding at Sandy Hook

In the distance, at North Beach, the Verrazano Bridge shimmered like a spider’s blue-black web against a washed out Narrows.  Wall Street rose like the wall for which it was names (between properties of the Delafields and the Harveys, I was told, in the Hudson River Valley.  Delafields and Harveys live in Princeton to this day, without requiring walls.)

Beach Plum Tardy blossoming Sandy Hook May 2014Beach Plum Burgeoning, Sandy Hook, Early May 2014

Prickly Pear Rainbow Sandy Hook May 2014Prickly Pear Renascence, Sandy Hook, Early May 2014

Aretmesia Sandy Hook May 2014Artemesia, Sandy Hook, Early May, 2014

I’ll add some images from a winter’s birding day — when the seafood was equally spectacular, and the birding frankly not gratifying.  Our best birds of winter were seen from our table at Bahrs — including a goldeneye.  Our most surprising was in a thicket surrounding a parking lot – a hermit thrush.  Above our car, in a cedar, to be sure, was a flock of cedar waxwings, who flew off as one, making lovely music.

High Clouds and Herons Sandy Hook May 2014High Clouds and Courting Herons, Early May, 2014

No thrushes nor waxwings in May, but the sharp cries of duelling oystercatchers had welcomed us to ‘the Hook’.  And the lilting love songs of osprey serenaded us throughout our sojourn.

Oyster Catcher at BarnegatOystercatcher, LBI, by Brenda Jones

Moral of the story, go in winter, even though bleak, for miracles await.

Return in spring for different winged blessings.

Get yourself out into Nature every chance you get, before climate change strips its glories.

And do whatever you can to preserve Nature everywhere you can, through your splendid local land trusts.  You know who they are!

dugout canoe Lenni Lenape at BahrsIndian Dugout Canoe, Formerly at Bahrs, Lost to Sandy