Long Island, New York as a whole is often referred to as a bedroom community of New York City. But, Long Island is much more than that. It is a fish-shaped island that sits in the Atlantic Ocean and is connected to Manhattan by several bridges and tunnels. It was once inhabited by American Indians and as the years passed much of it was turned into farm land and ship building communities by the European settlers. It played a part in the American Revolution and in WWII. Eventually, the farms and shipbuilding communities dwindled while suburban homes and towns grew up throughout the island. Because it is an island surrounded by water it has a vast and beautiful coastline. Although now a very cosmopolitan area to this day Long Island is still filled with natural beauty of all types. It is my beloved home. To enlarge a photo just click on it. And, here is my little corner of Long Island....

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Here we are, 2013 and time to anticipate another summer season on Long Island, bookended by spring and fall.  It's been a rough winter ushered in by Super Storm Sandy last November.  Although the South Shore along all of Long Island was hit the hardest, we here on the North Shore had a lot of damage, as well.  We lost an amazing number of trees and had severe and lengthy power outages.  The trucks have only recently finished grinding them up in the area.  Then, as if Mother Nature hadn't given us enough of her mischief, that storm was followed by the deepest blizzard we've seen in 46 years.  There were more power outages, never before seen drifting, and 36 inches of snow in parts of LI, ours being one of them.  Believe me, we folks around here are really ready for spring this year!  And, a beautiful one it's been so far, with endless sunny days, deep blue skies and warm temperatures with cool breezes.

This week, on May Day, I headed to my all time favorite park and it's surrounding areas to try to capture some of nature's early spring finery.  So, here I'll share a few pictures of the beauty I saw, and if you scroll down to the very bottom of this post there's a short video that captures the sounds of spring, as well...

 Yes, welcome!

Just a taste of spring color at the back entrance to the wooded section of the park.

 Even the weeds were spectacular, although these just may be some sort of wildflower, I suppose.

The beginning of spring around Melville Park's beautiful lake

What a lovely place to soak up some long awaited sunshine!

 Such Abundance.

Many years ago I stood under that very tree and looked up towards the sky.  I was so captivated by it's fragrance and beauty that I snapped a photo and went home to paint what I'd seen.

 I seem to be tree identification challenged this year.  If anyone knows exactly what type of fruit tree this is (apple?), I'd love for you to identify it for me in the "comments" area at the bottom of today's post.  Thanks in advance.   :-)  

Just love this spring green color!

 This speaks for itself, I think.

 Early window box plantings

 The quaint pathway into the wooded area

 A sad remnant of Super Storm Sandy.  The park itself lost many, many trees.   :-(

 Another wonderful place to sit, rest a bit and contemplate the summer of 2013's arrival.

 Even though it's a blurry photo I couldn't leave out a picture of this happy daffodil.  (My apologies to the better photographers out there.)

 The dogwoods are just beginning to pop.

 This one's pretty far along, but I'm sure it will be even prettier next week.

 Even the weeds were showing off!  These dandelion seeds looked like luminescent silver and were positively glowing.  And, with that I headed out of the park and towards one of our local harbors.

 In the distant water just left of center are two clam boats.  They, and the green row boat, are a sure sign of early spring here in Setauket Harbor.  Although, the clammers have probably been out for several months already.  They are hardy men!

 I'm a sucker for a pretty farm stand in spring time.  As you can see our local one is all perched and ready for Mother's Day customers.


 On my way home I had to stop to photograph these beautiful hybrid Tulips that are planted here every year.  As always, they were amazing.

 This is a far cry from the classic 6 petal variety!

 Not that I don't have a soft spot in my heart for classics, too.  I surely do and painted the above "Tulip Riot" painting many years ago when I was inspired by someone's spring garden.

And, of course no spring drive would be complete without a stop at Stony Brook Village.


You can hear the sounds of spring birds here at the Melville Park Lake in this video.  So, turn up your volume if you've a mind to and enjoy!

As always, thank you for looking in.  I hope you've enjoyed this taste of May Day on Long Island, especially my friends and family who have moved away from the Northeast.  With love from me to you...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


It's the beginning of December and I realize the Long Island summer of 2012 is long over.  It decided to go out with a bang this year and we, as so many other LIers, were not unscathed.  A tree fell through the roof of our summer home sending us to the nearby Holiday Inn for a few weeks.  We finally gave up the ship, since repairs are slow in coming with overwhelmed workers, and we headed south to our winter home leaving me missing Long Island and all those who I love there.  So, today before the year is over I thought I'd revisit and share with you this past summer's trip to The Hummingbird Sanctuary in Baiting Hollow.

The sanctuary is owned, run and cared for selflessly by the very generous Professor Paul Adams of Stony Brook University.  It is a several acre parcel of land that sits in Baiting Hollow atop a cliff overlooking Long Island sound.  Think Paradise!  It contains a cliff side garden, a tiny cottage to enjoy inside and out, a shaded meadow and a zig zag path to the beach.  It is a glorious, casual and wonderful place to spend a summer afternoon.

There is so much more to enjoy than the sight of hummingbirds at The Sanctuary, but they are certainly the stars of the show.  So, whether it's hummingbirds, flowers, photography, plein-air painting or meditation you crave, by all means do try to get out to the Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary next summer.  For much more detailed information than I can provide here, for days and hours of operation and directions to the sanctuary, please go to their website:  Long Island Hummer  and/or their blog:  The Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary.  Thank you.

Meanwhile, I hope you will enjoy these few of the hundreds of photos that my husband took during our visits there this summer.  (And, as always, if you'd rather skip my jibber jabber just click twice on any photo and it will enlarge with a row of all the photos in this post below it that you can run through by themselves)...

The Sanctuary Roadway

The Very Official Sanctuary Sign

The Even More Unofficial Parking Lot

The Wonderful Little Hummingbird Cottage, Also Called "Seagull Lodge"

And As You Round The Cottage Corner...

You May Really See A Seagull

The Cottage Back Porch A Delightfully Shady Place To Sit While Searching for Hummingbirds And Overlooking The Cliffside Garden and Long Island Sound

You Will See An Expansive View Of Long Island Sound And Even Connecticut On A Clear Day

 And All The Beautiful Cliffside Garden Visitors

Another Popular Visitor The Bumble Bee

Butterflies Love It Here Too

The Classic Monarch


So Gorgeous

 Hubby's Trick Photography  :)

The Strange Looking Hummingbird Moth

He Seems Like A Cross Between A Bumble Bee And Butterfly And To Mix It Up A Bit More They Are Almost Always Found Where Hummingbirds Feed.

 Looking to the Right of the Cliffside Garden Is The Star Of The Show.....

 Who Will Get To Dessert First?


One Of The Rarer Male Ruby Throated Hummers

 A Few Cliffside Garden Visitor Photos Follow Below...

They Are Such Busy Little Fellows And Gals

This Wonderful Grassy Knoll Lies To The Right Of The Cottage 

 Yours Truly At A Beautiful Spot Overlooking Long Island Sound And Located At The Beginning Of The Winding Beach Trail

Contemplating The Deep Blue Sky?

 This Little Fella Is Taking A Much Earned Rest

Below are photos of some of the flowers you will see that were planted in The Sanctuary by Professor Adams to attract the hummers.  As you can see The Sanctuary is 3 1/2 acres of pure and natural beauty.  I've attempted to name a few of the flowers with their everyday nicknames here, but a horticulturist I am not.  Please help me name them in a comment below if you can!




Crepe Myrtle

Angel Trumpet

A Candid Photo Of Our Patient Photographer

Is This Not A Cliffside Paradise?

Once You Arrive You Really Don't Want To Leave!

Seems As Though He's Saying, "Welcome Back To My Garden"!

As You Walk Through The Cottage To The Cliff's Edge Garden You Quickly Realize That Much Is Going On In Nature's World







When your visit comes to an end and it's time to take one last look at the hummers, the garden with it's pretty pastel flowers, busy butterflies and bees and the cliffside view of Long Island Sound I promise you are going to have a difficult time tearing yourself away from this little piece of Long Island paradise...

 Farewell, until next time...

Thank you Dr. Paul Adams for your tireless work on behalf of our natural world, peace and quiet, and all those of us who you so generously share these precious things with.  I hope you know that your amazing and monumental efforts do not go unnoticed nor do they go unappreciated.  You are truly one of the most special and selfless people I have had the pleasure of meeting.