My husband over the work week mentioned how he yearned to go for a day trip, to get out of the house explore somewhere new. My ears caught his words and I reminded him of how I like to spend my free time, exploring places, the newer the better!
I chose for us Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge. Situated mostly in New Jersey, but a little bit of it reaching in to New York. I also saw there were places for us to go to and relax after our exploring that were outdoors, family friendly, and COVID conscious. If we had more time, I'd stop at a farm stand to get some fresh produce, eggs, and honey, being among the offerings we saw along the way.
We made the drive and only explored a very small portion of the place. There are many trails but we mostly explored Liberty Loop Trail. It's flat, level, and gets 5 stars for stroller friendliness. It also gets 5 stars for the bird sights along its middle portion that cuts across the marshland. The baby had a great time and even enjoyed a few of her own firsts!
|It's been a while since I caught a snake! I love snakes and reptiles, in general. Before birds, they were a big obsession of mine, especially in my teenage years. This De Kay's (Brown) snake was a first for me and a first for our baby girl who smiled so big when we showed her this little snake friend.|
|The grasshoppers here were numerous and large, even. I hope one day we can all catch grasshoppers together!|
|Common yellowthroats were in much of the brushy, grassy sides of the trails along with house wren, indigo buntings, catbirds, and N. mockingbirds.|
Hunting over the marsh was a Northern Harrier, swopping and surveying back and forth.
|I knew this place was known for its Sandhill Cranes... but I didn't know I'd see a sandhill crane... more or less, a pair of Sandhill Cranes! Wow!!!!|
|While we didn't get to hear them, like their cousins, who we also had the amazing pleasure and luck to see on our Texas trip, the Whooping cranes, these birds can make quite the noise.|
|As I walked down the trail, the views of the cranes got better and also in the marsh in front of them other little treasures were found like these wood ducks and a few blue wing teals.|
|We saw an adult nearby too, this was another surprise bird that I welcomed into view. |
Such perfect weather and a needed day to clear our minds and spend some family time together out in nature.