Sketching Out Blog: Sketches of art, watercolor, photos, recipes, books, interviews, Jewish topics, and Highland Park, New Jersey

Sandy Hook: Nature and History

Sandy Hook cove
One of my favorite places in New Jersey is Sandy Hook. Sandy Hook is a little peninsula (a hook?) at the top of the Jersey Shore. On one side there are ocean beaches with places for parking and restrooms. On the other side are little cove beaches. At the far end are a lighthouse and historical buildings.

We first went to the ocean side – it was crowded, and the waves were strong. We then decided to drive closer to the lighthouse, parked the car, and discovered the little cove beach at the top of this post. We swam, had lunch and discovered various beach items.

Sandy Hook lighthouse
I wanted to climb to the top of the lighthouse, but my daughter did not. This is a lesson in patience – I make lists in my head of stuff to do when I have the opportunity. We did watch a movie in the little house next to the lighthouse all about piping plovers, and how they on the threat of extinction list. I suppose I would have to wake up early in the morning and go with another bird lover if I wanted to watch the plovers on the beach myself.

mortar battery at Sandy Hook, NJ
A good number of the buildings at Sandy Hook were once upon a time used by the U.S. military. Above is a mortar battery at Sandy Hook, built about 1898. You can learn more about Sandy Hook and how it was used to defend New York City on this National Park Service article.

horseshoe crabs
I saw these horseshoe crabs (deceased!) on the beach, so I took a photo.
Some facts from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation website:

Four species of horseshoe crabs exist today. Only one species, Limulus polyphemus, is found in North America along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Maine to Mexico… Horseshoe crabs are not true crabs at all. Horseshoe crabs are more closely related to arachnids (a group that includes spiders and scorpions) than to crustaceans (a group that includes true crabs, lobsters, and shrimp). Horseshoe crabs are often called “living fossils” because fossils of their ancestors date back almost 450 million years–that’s 200 million years before dinosaurs existed.

A scene I found beautiful:
Sandy Hook scene

I did post about Sandy Hook way back in 2009.

Eileen says

Hello Leora, wonderful post on your visit to Sandy Hook. I like the lighthouse and the views of the beach and water. It is sad the horseshoe crabs are now listed as endangered. Great series of images. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

Michelle RamblingWoods says

What a great place to visit. I smiled when I heard you describe yourself as a bird lover. I wouldn't have wanted to climb up, but it is because I start to feel closed in. but there was no lack of pretty scenery for the ground lovers... Michelle

DeniseinVA says

Very beautiful Leora, I thoroughly enjoyed your photos. I was surprised to learn that the horseshoe crab was more related to spiders and scorpions than crustaceans, but looking at them I can see why.

A.K. Andrew says

Gosh this looks absolutely gorgeous Leora. What a great spot to live near. And Ive never seen a harsh crab - amazing. Good photos as always:-)

bettyl - NZ says

That looks like a wonderful place to visit. Your photos really show off the place.

EG CameraGirl says

Sadly, there are only a few breeding piping plovers in Ontario this year. They are indeed rare. I love visiting lighthouses so would have gladly climbed to the top with you even though I am afraid of heights. ;)

Lorri M. says

Your photos are lovely, filled with nature, architecture and wonderful contrasts of textures and light. Sandy Hook is a wonderful place to spend some time.

Donna@Gardens Eye View says

Oh Leora this is a wonderful spot...I grew up on the Jersey shore in summer but have not seen this beautiful spot.


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