Thursday, August 25, 2016

Morton with the Mama

     On Tuesday I took the day off from work after working a very long weekend. I got in touch with my mom to see if we could spend a day out together. We planned to head out east on Long Island, and perhaps I was inspired by all the things I passed for my weekend work like wineries and wildlife.
     Our day began with a special Trip to Elizabeth Morton Wildlife Refuge, lunch is Sag Harbor (um, lobster rolls, anyone?), a wine tasting at duck walk vineyards (and wine haul), and picking up fresh fruit at a local farm stand.
     I want to make a special shout out to my mom, who just finished her chemo treatment and totally kicked some cancer butt. She is amazing and I am so proud of her for being proactive and fearless and teaching my sisters and I about doing the same for ourselves.
     I had a great day out with her and it was a real treat to share Morton with her, we totally fed some birds, responsibly of course!
     Enjoy our trip to Morton...
A silver spotted skipper feeds from the garden outside the ranger station.
An eastern pondhawk suns itself and energies itself to eat lots of mosquitoes.
Skipper species feeding amongst many other pollinators.
Mom caught a back-capped chickadee! We mad sure to only put 3 or 4 seeds in our hand and not to spill on the ground. Rats are an issue here and we saw people handing bags of seeds to kids who just broadcast it everywhere. This unfortunately leads to uneaten seed, which feeds rats, which in turn destroy the nests and eggs of the endangered piping plover that uses the beach on this property.
The wild turkeys were not shy. Initially I was a bit weary- I've been approached aggressively by turkeys as a zookeeper, but these seems to know that good behavior resulted in the ability to mooch from humans with seed. 
A bullfrog in the pond, which also contained turtles, and some large swans.
A cute little pearly crescent suns itself near the open meadow area.

I really enjoyed the turkeys, they were pretty adorable.
We watched a mama turkey with her half grown chick walk the path in front of us. My mom felt bad about eating turkeys because it was pretty cute to see. Often people disregard the turkey as clumsy and dumb, but they can fly (not like a flacon, but they can get lift), they are pretty smart, and when angry- terrifying. Seriously, never cross a turkey- those Thanksgiving drumsticks are muscle and equipped with spurs, they can really kick ass. When that little stuck up kid in Jurassic Park thinks Dr. Grant's description of a velociraptor sounds "more like a 6ft turkey," believe me, you don't want to meet a 6ft turkey. (Also Velociraptors only got about the size of a great dane, but thats another story for another day when I take up paleontology).