Around Town
National September 11 Memorial & Museum
Vote For Jacquie Lee
CNHS - "It's A Wonder Life"
Ask The Experts
Ask The Expert - Wine Academy Superstores
Jim O’Neill - Event Sales Director
Ask The Expert: Iris Lurie
Bay Wellness
Bay Wellness - Welcome to our newest issue
Bay Wellness - Don't Forget
Bay Wellness - Physician Focus: Steven R. Berkman
Best Bets
The Guide 2014 - Mancini Giuffré Salon & Spa
Best Bet - Atlantic Age Management
The Guide 2015 - Tuscany Italian Specialty Foods
Black Book
Cover Story
Pete Harnisch - Bringing It Home
Bob Ojeda - An Extra Inning
Dr. Yong and Moon Choo…On a Fascinating Life Journey.
Daytripper
Daytripper: AdventureAquarium
Day Tripper - Old Barracks Museum
Day Tripper - American Museum of Natural History
Eats
Staten Island EatBeat - Max’s Es-Ca
Eats: Grape Beginnings
Eats: Mumford's Culinary Center
Etc
Etc - The Facebook Situation
ETC - Beach Bias
Etc - School Daze
Fall Guide
Fall Guide - Performing Theatre
Fall Guide - Kids Fashions
Fall Guide 2014 - The Art of Wine
Featured Artist
Featured Artist - Leah Passafiume
Featured Artist - Carol Bruno
Featured Artist - Dorothy Kaplan
Gift Guide
The Guide 2015 - Ink Couture NYC
Best Bet - Mr Paul's Custom Cabinetry
Best Bet - Family Focus Financial Group
Health Talk
Health Talk - Michael Ginsberg
Health Talk - GENESIS Fertility and Reproductive Medicine
Health Talk - db Orthopedic Physical Therapy
Health, Wellness & Beauty
Health - Orthopaedics
Health - The Wellness Center Pharmacy & Surgical
Health - The Solace Day Spa & Salon
Holiday Buzz 2014
Give a Little - Get a Lot
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Weigh In - What famous person would you invite to your holiday table?
Homes
Shingle Sensation - Ray and Ali McCabe
Tom and Diane Crowley
That's Entertainment - The Pathakars'
Letter
Letter to Colts Neck: Falling Into Good Times
Spring has Sprung!
Warm Winter Wishes
Living in Colts Neck
The Triple Crown
Writing a Legacy with Superintendent Dick Fitzpatrick
All The Pretty Horses
Newsletter Articles
Red Bank Cabinet Company
The Home - ACD Custom Granite
CNHS - "It's A Wonder Life"
Our Picks
Company Profile - KryoLife Staten Island, Inc.
Our Pick: Home Away From Home Academy
Company Profile - CKO Middletown Kickboxing
People On The Move
People On The Move - Arthur Davey
People On The Move: Jackie Mercandetti
People On The Move - Premise Martin
Summer Guide
Where Heritage Meets The Sea
Summer Guide 2014 - Our Jersey Shore
Summer Guide 2014 - Out & About
The Bay
The Bay - Could I Have Diabetes and Not Even Know it?
The Bay - One Stop Women’s Health
The Bay - Welcome to the Premiere
The Guide
The Guide 2014 - Grand Glass Inc.
Our Pick - Osteria Cucina Rustica
The Guide 2014 - Colts Neck Inn
The Home Guide
The Home Guide - Downtown Tile
The Home Guide - Four Seasons® Sunrooms
The Home Guide - casale TILE
Weigh In
StreetBeat - Your Most Memorable Halloween Costume
Weigh In Colts Neck: If you could live anywhere...?!
Weigh In: What subject do you wish they taught in school but don’t?

Etc - Walking through Monmouth County
05/03/2012 - By Steve Froias

Etc - Walking through Monmouth County


Lions and
Tigers and...
Rattlesnakes?!

“I’m going to track rattlesnakes next week!”

In Arizona? New Mexico? The United States Congress in Washington, D.C.?

Nope.

New Jersey.

Who even knew there were rattlesnakes in the Garden State – except on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey”?

But it turns out New Jersey does indeed have its fair share of rattlesnakes, information provided to yours truly by a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialist during a recent hike through one of Monmouth County’s superb parks. I belong to a hiking club of informal and revolving membership, and we have made it our mission to visit every one of these green spaces on scattered Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year.

A GIS specialist uses computer software in conjunction with geographic methods to organize and display data in a useful format. My pal employs those skills on behalf of the State of New Jersey in service to their Division of Wildlife to track wild animals throughout the state, such as found in the woods or Pine Barrens -- not in Belmar or Seaside Heights -- during the summer.

After tackling the hilly Hartshorne Woods along the Navesink River shortly before the winter that wasn’t, we recently embarked once more upon the trails and chose the Manasquan Reservoir in Howell as a good starting point. It is relatively flat, though fairly long at slightly over five miles all the way around, and a good segue into the outdoors after a season of couch surfing. And, I was assured that we wouldn’t happen upon any rattlesnakes. It seems they make their home in North Jersey, perhaps because of its proximity to the Paramus Mall.

Still, for a group of youngish professionals in their 30’s and 40’s, a hike can be a revelatory experience. It’s hardly “Man vs. Nature” -- or “Woman vs. Nature” in this co-ed group --yet revealing nonetheless. This is a group more accustomed to  spending time in downtown Freehold, Red Bank or Asbury Park, after all, and at finer eateries and better barstools everywhere in between.

The first surprise should actually come as no surprise: the 40 year-old mother of three sets the pace. Right out of the SUV, the glam mom who traded in her Jimmy Choo’s for Nike cross-trainers charged ahead during our first hike and left the men gasping behind. She was quickly dubbed the ‘Hiking Demon’ and looked upon with a mix of awe and angst; it’s tough for a guy to get a Guinness gut moving at 8:00 a.m.

Soon, everyone falls into line, although small cliques form. These will evolve  and change throughout the hike over the course of three hours. What is amazing is the sheer volume of confidential exchanges that take place within each, however.

It’s often said that alcohol loosens tongues, but hiking away from the world – as away as being a mile from Rtes. 195 and 9 and perhaps two from the Parkway can be - appears to equally lubricate and so soothe inhibitions. I learn that one person has consulted a pet psychic in order to ‘interrogate’ the family dog and gather information about a home burglary. One on one in the lead, startling details of the investigation into the theft of a laptop, television, X-box and assorted other electronic devices are revealed to me as seen through Fido’s eyes and channeled by a gypsy in Pennsylvania via Vonage!

It’s all very confidential (“I wouldn’t admit this to anyone else...”) and the subject changes abruptly when another member catches up and the two become three and then dissolve into another configuration  where no doubt other secrets are shared.

It’s also remarked upon that hiking through Monmouth County’s parks holds out the promise of benefits beyond the salutary effect on the cardio-vascular system. It’s also a great place to meet people – especially attractive, in-shape people you might want to go on a date with!

The steady stream of vigorous hikers, joggers, runners and cyclists share a robust physicality and pink- cheeked ruddiness which compares favorably to the liquor-rouged, redfaced visages we’ve seen at a  favorite watering hole the night before. Simply put, a lot of the people going our way are hot! The GIS specialist is noting every species of bird you can imagine, but most of us are more interested in  anything in Lycra and sweats rather than feathers.

Yet soon, the end of the trail approaches and we re-form as one unit and discuss the urgent need for a restroom, as none of us has truly succumbed to nature out on the trails. Fortunately, the Manasquan Reservoir has a visitor’s center, which is not always the case in every park we’ve been through. In that case, the best place for lunch is usually the closest.

As we prepare to enter a truly frightening wilderness – traffic on Rte. 9 en route to Panera Bread in Howell – our endangered species guide reiterates that the one snake we have seen was definitely not a rattlesnake – though the slithery denizen of the not-so-deep woods may be romanticized as such soon to give our morning some more panache.

“Besides,” he says “Rattlesnakes shouldn’t scare you. They want to be left alone and won’t seek you out.”

“I’m afraid of the ticks. They are out looking for you.”

And then we are all satisfied that we can feel like Survivors – million dollar prize or not.








Powered by eDirectory™