December 27, 2014

Piled High and Deep

West end of the Bay Head Yacht Club building, Bay Head, New Jersey
Back in the old neighborhood for the holidays, I had a chance to check out the status of the post-Sandy work on a local institution, the Bay Head Yacht Club.

Underside view of the pilings supporting the Bay Head Yacht Club building, Bay Head, New Jersey
Last year, the main building had been lifted and shifted away from its foundation; pilings were slowly being pummeled down to bedrock, some 60 feet below the shallow waters of Barnegat Bay. One year later, it's open (for members) and grander than ever.

Full length view of the Bay Head Yacht Club building from the south, Bay Head, New Jersey.
Seizing the opportunity to expand, the core of the original building was preserved and extended at both ends. An elevator supplements the staircases to ferry people between the dock level and the first floor.

The bay side has more window panes than I would want to count, which must ensure a spectacular view on days better suited to the cozy warmth of the hearth than the breezy porches.

Pair of swans in the late afternoon sunlight, Barnegat Bay, Bay Head, New Jersey
Too bad I missed the open house, which preceded my visit. Poor planning on their part, don't you think?

December 18, 2014

Birds on the Wire

Pair of crows perched on a wire, grooming.
Crows are a common sight, but this pair put on an uncommon show this morning.

The crow on the right must be afflicted with something. (Mites, most likely.) The crow on the left was grooming the infested one, picking away at the back of the other bird's head.

When the helper bird turned and inched away, the itchy bird followed. Edging close, the crow bowed its head to ask for more. The helper was indulgent, for a little while longer, before winging to a higher perch.

The afflicted bird cawed noisily, in protest, before scratching and pecking under an extended wing.

We all try, in our way, to be free. But sometimes, we need a little help from our friends.