|Chickens at the Normal J. Levy Preserve|
I've been to the preserve a couple of times since high school, I once launched my kayak from here and paddled along the preserve and Meadowbrook Parkway until I hit the salt marsh beyond. I learned that day how important it was to check the tides because I had to walk my kayak back through some deep and sticky muck at low tide. I also have taken my husband here once before, so this was his second visit. And since that time the preserve has acquired a herd of goats that they use to maintain weeds and invasive species, which I thought was interesting. I love goats and I was super excited by the fact that they had a bunch there. Usually you think of goats as pests, but I guess when they are controlled and penned up after they do their "work," it's not a bad deal.
The preserve doesn't have tons of trees, so we mostly saw song sparrows, some red-wing blackbirds, and robins, as far as song birds went. There is a pond at the top of the preserve and around the pond it's mostly grassy. From the top, when visibility is good, you can see Manhattan and a bunch of places around Long Island, including my home town. We had a nice little visit, even with the sun not out, it was much better than the snow we only had three weeks before.
|I also really love the natural color and pattern of Guinea Fowl feathers. Like many domestic fowl, you can get all kinds of looks as far as color variations go, but I like the natural black and white polka-dots.|
|Sing your heart out, lil' song sparrow! These guys were singing up a storm all around.|
|The view from the top - you can see the empire state building and midtown Manhattan. This wasn't even a clear day.|
|My hometown, East Meadow - that giant building is Nassau County Medical Center. I know it has a different name - but it will always be the Medical Center.|
|The water in the pond almost seemed rusty. It was a man made pond - obviously - and the water flowed from a pipe. The sliders seemed a little extra red/orange. Then I noticed that even the geese have a rusty water line along their bellies.|
|These little flowers were about 2inches tall, but the little flowers were so pretty. I have no idea what they are. Any guesses?|
|They reminded me of teenie tiny orchids. They were growing all over the trail sides. People must have thought I was a little nutty kneeling down and taking pictures of these tiny little flowers.|
|A great egret flew over us. They are always so beautiful to see in flight.|
|Not going to lie, I have a really hard time telling lesser and greater scaups apart. So for now, I will just call them scaups.|
|Male scaup on the right, followed by a female.|
|I had just explained to my husband how I wished that an Osprey would be on the platform nest, and then we looked and there was an osprey on the platform nest. He/she was very vocal and just hung out on the nest vocalizing and preening in between.|
|The osprey isn't only being watched by my husband and I...|
|A little osprey fly-by action, when they fly low, you can get a sense of how big they are. This one was quite large.|