Staten Island’s Blue Heron Park

One of my favorite places to visit in Staten Island is Blue Heron Park.  If you are coming from Manhattan and using public transportation, after getting off the Staten Island Ferry in Staten Island, take the #78 bus and get off on Hylan Blvd. and Poillon.  It’s best to take a map, because half the time the bus drivers have no idea where it is.  From the corner of Poillon and Hylan, it’s just a short walk up Poillon, by a few of Staten Island’s most beautiful houses, to the first entrance to the park, which is right in front of Spring Pond.  It’s a long bus ride (about an hour), but you will get a good tour–through some of the worse parts and the best parts–of Staten Island for the price of a bus ride.

SPRING POND–March, 2012
Spring Pond in June, 2012

Spring Pond is a kettle pond, formed when the Wisconsin Ice Sheet left a large piece of ice that melted and formed a bowl-like depression, called a “kettle.” Rainwater and run-off filled the depression to form the pond.  Spring Pond is a wetland that naturally filters out pollution.

Lily Pads in March, 2012

Located near Raritan Bay, Blue Heron Park has 250 acres of meadows, streams, woodlands, and 6 ponds all of which I intend on exploring this spring and summer.

I visited the Park yesterday and took these photos.  I saw a flock of blue herons above Spring Pond, but they flew away before I could get my camera up and focused.  I’ll try again next week and update this blog with maybe some better photos.

At the park you can walk the trails while listening to the sounds of nature and watching a great variety of birds or do research in the nature library. The park offers all kinds of nature and craft/art programs and clubs for all ages. If you like nature photography, you will really enjoy yourself here.

Blue Heron Park is only a few blocks from Raritan Bay in Staten Island.

Spring Pond, Staten Island in March, 2012
At Spring Pond in Blue Heron Park, Egret with young blue heron below it.  Also notice snapping turtle.

Visit my other post “Staten Island’s Great Nature Trails” to view more nature walks in Staten Island.

A resident of Butterfly Pond Checking me Out.

All ecosystems change over time. Ponds become marsh then forests. Meadows and fields become forests. Eventually forests burn or are blown-down, and meadows sprout anew providing a home for a whole new succession of plants.

The round pile of leaves in the fork of a tree is a squirrel nest–called a drey. Dreys are located high off the ground for protection from predators. The surrounding branches protect the nest from wind and bad weather.
Butterfly pond in May. Butterfly pond in Blue Heron Park has a trail that goes around it and makes for a pleasant walk in the mornings.

UPDATE:

These are a couple of new photos I took of Spring Pond on June 8, 2012

Blue Heron Pond in June, 2012.  Lily pads cover the pond.
Close-up of Lily on Lily Pad. The Lily pads almost cover the entire pond now. Although the Lily pads look as though they are floating on top of the water, they are connected to the bottom of the pond by long stems. The green leaves serve as landing strips for dragonflies and other insects, as well as frogs and newts.
spring pond on June 8, 2012 at 7:30 a.m.
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