Archive for the ‘Wildlife’ Category
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by Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com
What to do on a beautiful sunny, yet cold winter weekend day on LI? Forget the malls, the movies or just staying home and veggin’ out, head out to the wilderness the Long Island has to offer! I know what your thinking, some of you, what wilderness? Well there is a ton of wildlife to see on Long Island, weather you want to take a hike in the woods or head out to the beach you won’t be disappointed. One of the best, and one of my favorite things to do is to head to the beach to see the wildlife in the sea – you got it, the adorable harbor seals! If you are living under a rock and didn’t yet know there are a lot of places to to view these beautiful graceful creatures in LI waters. Even you reading this in Queens & Nassau County, there are places to see them there too.
You can see seals on a guided walk given by a few different organizations, or you can head out and see if you can see them on your own. Recently (today if your reading this at post date) I took my cousin and we headed to Cupsogue Beach in Westhampton Beach to see if we could spot any harbor seals, and boy were we in luck! (Cupsogue by the way – was one of the beaches that was completely breached by hurricane Sandy – but they have already dredged and filled in the breach – we were literally standing on it today in amazement that was covered in water not too long ago).
Ok back to the adorable, and somewhat dog-like seals. We were in luck today because the seals were not out on the sand bar sunning themselves, (and would just look like blobs for lack of a better term out in the bay), but instead they were in the water and seemed to us to be fishing for lunch – it was lunch time after all when we were there. They looked like they were having a great time, and popping out of the water and looking at us, looking at them. It was quite comical – almost as if they were looking at us like, “what are you looking at?” or “Are you looking at me?” It is really magical to see these creatures of the sea and land right before us.
I have seen a seal while kayaking in the Peconic Bay a few summers ago with my niece we couldn’t believe our eyes, it got pretty close to us and was so freaking cute! I have kayaked in that bay for 6 consecutive summers, and that was the only time we saw a seal there, not to say they are not there – they can swim pretty fast – but it was unusual for that body of water.
If you are looking for an educational seal walk/hike or want your kids or yourselves to learn about the seals – I would recommend the CRESLI or Montauk Point State Park walks. You will have a guided tour and learn a lot. I have done both in the past. Today was just a great, and oddly warmer at the beach then the mainland, full of seals frolicking in the water, some other onlookers and just a great way to see one of LI’s best wildlife super stars. And if you’re hungry after your walk along Cupsogue head into Westhampton Beach Village and there are cute cafe’s to get your lunch (that you don’t have to swim for), and lovely shops too.
So what kind of seals are there in our waters? Mainly, Harbor Seals are the species that frequent our waters. According to the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation or the DEC if you will, harbor seals are the most abundant; their average dive time is 3 minutes – which seemed to be very accurate today – but can dive for up top 30 minutes; they have large eyes, acute hearing – which made sense because every time we turned around today looking at Hurricane Sandy’s erosion – the seals seemed to pop up and be looking at us, hysterical! They also have long whiskers which are sensitive and help them hunt prey. While they have no tears, they have a mucus that washes over their eyes while under water to help protect their eyes from the salt water and when they are land it gives them a teary eyed appearance. (Who knew?)
Bundle up when you go, dress in layers, bring a good camera if you have it and a zoom lens to get the best photo’s and/or a pair of binoculars. Be patient and watch for them and they will more than likely delight you with their playful show. See below for additional pictures. Enjoy!
by Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com
When you think of Long Island, the first animal that comes to mind is definitely not a Wolf, unless of course you are Teresa DeMaio the Founder and President of Running with the Wolves, Inc. (RWTW). RWTW will be hosting the 8th Annual Long Island Wolf Expo this Sunday, October 2nd at the Sheraton in Hauppauge from 10am to 4:30pm.
Teresa founded RWTW over 10 years ago, which is a wildlife educational organization that teaches workshops about wolves and other wildlife. Teresa started the annual wolf expo to raise funds for the Loki Clan Wolf Refuge Center in New Hampshire. Loki is a place where rescued wolves and wolf dogs can live out their lives in the setting they require. “I supported them via personal donations and then I thought it would be a great idea to have a Wolf Expo, so I could be able to have much better funding to send to them. Our 1st Wolf Expo was so successful we continued to away to lend a hand to Loki Clan Wolf Refuge and other wolf sanctuaries we support,” said Teresa.
The Wolf Expo is about wolves, but Teresa has partnered with other wildlife rescue organizations and there will be many different wildlife exhibits and demos at the expo. People can expect to see, well wolves of course, birds of prey, prairie dogs, desert foxes, reptiles, and a lot of other small wildlife and a beautiful Husky named Astra from Husky House rescue. Children and adults will get to learn about the wolves and wildlife there, how they can help to protect them and support them. Education is very important to Teresa and the other organizations there, so people will not only leave in awe of the wildlife they just witnessed in person, but also to have a new awareness about the wildlife too.
When asked, what drives you to continue your work, Teresa responded, “because of my sheer love and passion for wolves and to help educate the public about them.” Teresa also said, “The most important part of my work is about conservation and teaching about the major role wolves have in our ecosystem. We strive to teach the public that wolves or wolf dogs do not make good pets. Our belief is that wolves should never be pets. It’s their birthright to live in the wild.”
Teresa works closely with the STAR Foundation, located in Middle Island, which is a federally and state licensed rehab center for all kinds of wildlife from birds of prey, foxes, coyotes, farm animals and wolves.
Working also with many different wildlife rescue organizations that house wolves, Teresa gets to work with them hands on for socialization, feeding, ‘discovery time,’ this is where a wolf can be a wolf – spending much of their time running, playing and just being free. There’s so much to learn about their behavior and habits, they change so often. Teresa gets to work with them on a weekly basis and she finds it very rewarding, “they love to have visitors,” said Teresa. But let’s be clear, Teresa does not own a wolf, nor have a wolf living in her house – she is happy to cuddle with her dogs, you can’t cuddle with a wolf – they are still wild.
For a full schedule of the expo click here.
by Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com
This year fall has bestowed cooler temperatures on us faster than some of us may like – but many pet owners know our animals are loving it. It’s also perfect weather to attend the many fall festivals – and of course all the pet events happening across LI. It’s almost impossible to get to every pet event, but there is bound to be an event close to you and most of them are pet friendly – meaning you can bring your well behaved leashed pet with you.
This past weekend at Tanner Park in Copiague, NY – the LI Pet Expo had their 2nd Annual Pet Expo in the Park and if you missed it – there were a ton of fantastic pet vendors, rescue groups, educational groups, loads of demonstrations by dog trainers, dancing dogs and much more. Out of everything that was happening throughout the festival, there was one creature captivating the attention of all four legged and two legged attendees – if you were there you know it was Ike the African Tortoise! This very large tort was not at all bothered, impressed or scared of the many dogs that didn’t know what to make of him. It was very funny to watch a huge search and rescue hound dog freaking out a bit when he first spotted Ike – if the dog could speak, he was surely saying, “What the heck is that thing?!?” And that tortoise Ike could move, he was pretty fast!
On Sunday in Montauk, the 2nd Annual Walk Humane event took place – a 1.5 mile walk on the beach with your dog and vendors and rescue groups from across LI and the East End were there also. It was a beautiful walk but quite chilly and the sky was grey – but that didn’t stop about 200 people from participating. The event stared and ended at the Second House in Montauk, and with live music, silent auctions and of course lots of dogs – it made for a really nice event.
To stay informed of all pet events coming up across Long Island and New York City – be sure to sign up for the weekly Pet Events Newsletter that lands in email inbox’s every Wednesday morning – you can do so right on this page in the upper right hand corner! For more information on the Newsletter or how to get your event listed, click here.
by Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com
Recently we hiked a trail in Manorville, Manorville Hills County Park, which is dog friendly and also has horse trails and mountain bike trails. This path system is a relatively new addition to the Greenbelt Trail for hikers on LI. I know what you’re thinking if you are reading this living in Nassau County – Manorville, you’re either saying, “where is that?” or “I am not driving all the way out there!” First I would say, when you’re on this trail, you really can’t believe you’re still on Long Island – this has to be one of the hilliest trails around – boasting a 150-foot high elevation, (that’s 15 stories high folks), throughout the majority of this 6.5-mile hike we were climbing up some serious hills. It is well worth the drive whether your 20 minutes away or and hour and 20 minutes away. When you are at the top of the highest elevation – it’s just beautiful.
The hike will take you approximately 2 hours 15 minutes. If you do bring your dog be sure you dog is up to a hiking a trail like this. My dog, who is used to being walked 3 or 4 miles and going on hikes, was pretty tired ¾ of the way through, and was wiped the rest of the day! (But he was all ready for another walk the next day – damn good for an almost 10 year old dog!).
Also since this trail is right smack dab in the middle of the beautiful Pine Barren Region – make sure you wear long pants (covering your hiking boots or sneakers) and spray your pants with bug spray. This is tick season (all over LI) and I did have to stop a few times to knock ticks of the dog – yuck, (the natural bug spray from Fetch Doggies Boutique I used on him worked pretty well), but the trails are wide enough for the most part that your not walking through brush. Unfortunately, ticks are par for the course on any and most hikes, parks and even your own well landscaped back yard here on LI. Be sure to check your dog thoroughly a few times during and after any hike – or even after he comes in from your own yard.
So if you are taking part of the 250-Challenge this will be a great hike to add into your challenge, knock out 6.5-miles, and have a great workout climbing those Long Island mountains! The pictures below don’t do justice to how steep some parts were.
We followed the yellow marked trail from the parking area (square yellow marks on sprayed onto trees) to the orange marked trees all the way through, (turned yellow again about ¾ way through, then back to orange) and this is a loop that will bring you back to the parking area. We did this without a map of the trail! However you can purchase a map from the LI Greenbelt and get directions to the park which is off of Country Road 111 (on the north bound side).
We didn’t see too much wildlife during the hike, to my surprise, some birds and a nuclear green colored bug, small lavender colored moths fluttering about, and on our way out a family of deer.
By Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com
The Long Island Pet Expo drew in large crowds from across LI on Saturday, March 5, 2011, and with rain in the forecast for Sunday, expects the same turnout. There is something for every type of pet or animal lover, whether you like dogs, pot bellied pigs, turtles, snakes, parrots and other wild life – this is the best place to see everything under one roof!
If you are thinking of adding a new pet to be a member of your family – there are rescue groups from all areas of LI with pets that are available for adoption from adorable little Yorkie, cats and kittens, amazing American Pit Bull Terriers, wonderful mixed breeds, ferrets and more. Stop by each booth and get to know your local rescues, you may just find you new best friend.
There are also fantastic educational shows and demonstrations for kids and families alike, like the Rainforest Reptiles Shows and the Birds of Prey Program. You will also be oohhh and ahhed watching the flyball, dancing dogs, agility dogs, and the famous poker playing dog “Jilli Dog” and her friends. The bleacher stands were packed full of families watching and cheering on the different shows. If you love cats, there is a cat show going on at the same time – some cat breeds you may have not seen in person before. Tons of vendors too – if you are looking to purchase pet products for your pets.
If you were not able to make it today, the Pet Expo is taking place on Sunday, March 6 as well from 10am to 6pm at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood, NY. For more details, cost and directions click here. Be sure to pick up your complimentary copy of the ‘Pet Press’ published by the Long Island Press.
Also see Sunday’s schedule below.
SUNDAY – March 6
10:30 AM Agility & Frisbee Demonstrations by Doggie U
and LI Road Rage
11:15 AM Dog Pals Dog Trick Show
12:00 Noon Classic K9’s
12:45 PM Dancing with Your Dogs
1:00 PM Jilli Dog
1:30 PM Agility and Flyball Demonstrations by Doggie U
and LI Road Rage
2:15 PM Classic K9
3:00 PM Dog Pals Dog Trick Show
3:45 PM Dancing with Dogs
4:15 PM Classic K9 Dog Show
5:00 PM Agility, Flyball & Frisbee Demonstrations by Doggie U
and LI Road Rage
11:00 AM Rainforest Reptile Show
12:00 Noon Petland Discounts Traveling Pet Show
12:30 PM Birds of Prey Program
1:00 PM Rainforest Reptile Show
1:30 PM Dog Pals- How to Use Feeding Time to Train your Dog
2:15 PM Pet Safe Coalition – “Leave No Animal Behind”
3:00 PM Rainforest Reptile Show
3:30 PM Petland Discounts Traveling Pet Show
4:00 PM Birds of Prey Program
5:00 PM Rainforest Reptile Show
TICA CAT SHOW 10:00 am will continue all day until conclusion