Friday, September 25, 2009

Cape May Point Visit

The rains cleared up by mid-morning yesterday so Denny and I drove down to the Cape May Point State Park at the very end of New Jersey. Entrance is free and what a wonderful park the state has here!

Naturally, the first thing you see upon entering the park is the Cape May Lighthouse. Built in 1859, you may climb the 199 steps to the top for $7 per person. We didn't make the climb, choosing instead to wander over to the large platform filled with people.

That platform turned out to be the bird watchers platform. The park with its freshwater and brackish water marshes and heavy tree and marsh grass cover is a stopping off place for raptors and myriad types of birds migrating south for the winter. Bats and butterflies also stop here in their migrations. The park provides bird watching volunteers and the free use of binoculars for those interested in learning about the birds they are viewing from the platform. I've never seen such huge telephoto lens and expensive camera set ups in all my life--there are some serious birders who come here!

Standing on the platform and looking towards the ocean we saw a massive structure, so Denny and I wandered down a trail to see what it was. What it was is an abandoned WWII bunker used to protect the New Jersey shoreline. Originally, this bunker sat 900 feet back from the beach. As you can see from the picture, erosion is slowly reclaiming the land and eventually the bunker will self-destruct when the pilings can no longer support its weight.

Raptors weren't flying around on our visit, but there were swans on several of the marsh ponds. It was hard to get of shot of them as it was feeding time and they spent most of their time with their heads below the water, like the two on the left.

Yesterday's temperatures were in the high 70s and the air was thick with humidity; a perfect day for enjoying gentle breezes on the beach at the park. According to the park's website during the summer dolphins are a common sight along the beach.

I don't know if this pilot was showing off or just playing around, but he was flying awfully low over the bunker as we walked the beach.

I'm never able to figure out how people find something like this baleen whale jaw bone and know what it is. I would have mistaken it for a large piece of driftwood.

Many cities have festivals, but few would have one dedicated to the Darb's favorite vegetable (NOT!!)


SkippyMom said...

Ha!Ha! My parents actually went to that festival once. Dad? Huge fan of limas - I love the signage.

Sounds like a nice day. Glad it stopped raining for you.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful place. I would have loved the bird watchers platform. It seems all that come to my backyard feeders are sparrows. I would so enjoy some new sightings. :-)

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