A Day Out With The (((Wife))). With Pictures.

14 April, 2009

(((Wife))) and I had something unusual on Monday:  shared days off.  So we loaded up the ice chest (home-made bread, some hard salami, aged cheddar, marinated artichoke hearts, roasted and fresh red pepper (just basic stuff)) and headed to a foreign country.  Well, not a foreign country, just New Jersey.  To Sandy Hook, part of Gateway National Recreation Area.

We saw three horseshoe crabs. Dead, but we still saw three:


We saw boats and ships.  And some of these people (obviously) have more money than I will ever have:


april-2009-0621Part of the beach was blocked off.  Piping Plovers, Black Skimmers and Least Terns (I think it would be cheaper if the bought the terns outright rather than leasing them) were nesting on the beach:


april-2009-0761And we actually got to see some Piping Plovers.  Thank you, National Park Service:  we get to see an endangered species within sight of the New York City skyline:


april-2009-0771And I had some fun with some tries at being artistic:


april-2009-0833We drove back through Freehold.  Stopped for dinner at a Cheesecake Factory.  Ordered four appetizers for dinner.  The bacon-wrapped figs dates stuffed with Parmesan cheese is really weird and really good.

Fun day.  In many ways.



  1. I’m pretty sure Jersey is it’s own planet.

    Sounds like a great day.

  2. I haven’t been to Sandy Hook since 1965. An uncle who lived near Eatontown used to take me fishing for fluke off Sandy Hook.

    Did you know those things bite? When I found out my uncle and his friends thought it was hilarious. Sure learned how to be careful!

  3. Poodles: It felt, in some ways, like a time machine. Many of the shore towns haven’t been Walmartized yet. There are actually small, independent stores. Weird.

    Sarge: Not sure what a fluke is. You’re not talking about a liver fluke, are you?

    Back in ’65? Were the air defense systems at Fort Hancock still in at that time? They actually have some deactivated SAMs on display in the park.

  4. Great pics!

  5. Nice pics. It is always cool to see how similar a beach can be no matter where in the world you are. Though the protected animals beach is something I rarely see sad enough.

  6. Temaskian: Thanks.

    DB: Keep in mind, for my photos, I avoided the most obvious garbage. Many NPS beaches have areas roped off for shorebird breeding this time of year. One of our LE Rangers got sent down south to babysit a nesting area for two weeks. Yes, he got paid to sit on a beach. Nice job. Me? I get to babysit fire camps; he gets to babysit Piping Plovers.

  7. This kind of fluke is a fish, a kind of flat fish… and they taste good! Some of them get about the size of door mats.

    Used to get a lot of sea robins, too. A lot of people threw them back, but my aunt, who was Japanese, could fix them for supper in ways that still make my mouth water to think of them.

    As to liver flukes…given polution…who knows? They may have been an added ingredient.

  8. Sarge: Sounds like flounder. Or at least flounderesque.

    I know liver flukes live in fresh water (usually downstream from sheep). I don’t think they would do well in brine.

  9. You were within sight of the skyline and you didn’t drop by? Gawd was out and I had the place all to myself.

  10. Postman: Spent three weeks on a security detail after September 11, 2001, in New York City. I’m not going back there because I don’t want to tempt the nightmares. Nothing against NYC, just a mental health thingie.

  11. My fiddle teacher (from Red Bank) says it’s a regional name for ‘summer flounder’, and he also fished for them. Just had my lesson, and he brought up how much he missed fishing for them. I told him about your blog, and he thought our discussing it was a ‘fluke’.

    Probably so on Fort Hancock. Those defense rings were still very active.

    There’s an old Nike battery outside of Martinsburg, WV that has actually been turned into apartments. The old burms, anti blast baffles, the whole thing is almost intact.

    A lot of them were simply closed down and if you know what you’re looking at you can find them outside most major cities.

  12. Sarge: “Summer Flounders”? Summer flounders, some aren’t?

    I remember the Mburg site. Was that the one near the VA hospital on Route 9? If so, I lived there when I worked in Harpers Ferry.

  13. Looks like you had a great day. It’s been several years since I’ve been to a New Jersey beach.

  14. Chappie: Had it been 10 degrees warmer, or had there been no wind, it would have been magnificent. As it was, it was great.

  15. I think it was, I haven’t been down there in quite a while. It was just off of Peavine Road, I want to think.

    Summer flounder summer not? Not sure but I loved their spirit, they had a lot of SOLE!

    Let us sing about them! O sole o mio… No floundering about, now!

  16. Swimming on the Jersey Shore…anyone remember the Matawan Creek ocurance?

  17. Sarge: Wasn’t the Battle of Matewan in West Virginia? Like along the Buffalo Creek? How did that get to Jersey?

  18. Matewan was, indeed, WV with a miner’s strike.

    Matawan is the creek the shark swam up and and used as an out-of-the-way snack station about a hundred years ago. My spelling may be off, and the “sharks” may have been different breeds, still…

  19. Sarge: I can never keep some of those Jersey names straight. It is like dealing with a foreign country.

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