Around Town
AMI Foundation Donates More Than 500 lbs. of Food from 6th Annual Food Drive
QuickChek Opens Newest Store In Morganville
Rumson Country Day School Celebrates the Class of 2012
Ask The Experts
Jim ONeill - Event Sales Director
Ask The Expert - Harbor Lights Financial Group, Inc.
Ask The Expert - Ann Hughes, M.D.
Bay Wellness
Bay Wellness - Don't Forget
Bay Wellness - Physician Focus: Steven R. Berkman
Bay Wellness - How Can An Ultrasound Help?
Best Bets
The Guide 2014 - Mancini Giuffr Salon & Spa
The Guide 2014 - Paramount Oral Surgery
The Guide 2014 - Shrewsbury Wine and Liquors
Black Book
Cover Story
Dutchess of Dearborn
JoAnn Kairys
Twelve - The Hayes Family
Daytripper
Day Tripper: Dover Stone Church
Day Tripper - The Staten Island Childrens Museum
DayTripper: Historical Village at Allaire
Eats
Eats: The Colts Neck Inn
Eats: Delfini Italian Gourmet
Eat Beat - Osteria Cucina Rustica
Etc
Etc - Turkey Day
ETC - Beach Bias
Etc - Walking through Monmouth County
Fall Guide
Fall Guide - Performing Theatre
Fall Guide 2014 - The Art of Wine
Fall Guide 2014 - Activities
Featured Artist
Featured Artist - Molly Gaston Johnson
Featured Artist - Carol Bruno
Featured Artist - Amy Puccio
Gift Guide
Best Bet - A&E Kitchen and Bath
Best Bet - Gables New York
Gift Guide - Monster Mini Golf
Health Talk
HWB2016 - Raritan Bay Medical Center
Health Talk - Pietro Carpenito, M.D.
Health Talk - Adnan F. Danish, M.D.
Health, Wellness & Beauty
Health - Absolute Vein Care
Integrative Health Services at Raritan Bay Medical Center
Company Profile - Center for Sleep Medicine at Raritan Bay Medical Center
Holiday Buzz 2015
Holiday Fun in the City: NYC & PHL
Eat Beat - Holiday Buzz: Dining Out for the Holidays
Restaurant Guide - Osteria Cucina Rustica
Homes
Life and Design
Flight OF Fancy - The Berbers
Country Living - Bullivant
Letter
Letter to Colts Neck: Falling Into Good Times
Warm Winter Wishes
Spring has Sprung!
Living in Colts Neck
It's All in the Details
La Bella Vita!
Montrose Schoolhouse
Newsletter Articles
The Home - Design Trends
The Home - Monmouth St Tile
Eagle Oaks Golf & Country Club - In A League of Their Own
Our Picks
HWB 2015 - New Reflections Plastic Surgery
Our Pick: Golf Greens Fore U
The Home Gallery - Ralco Builders
People On The Move
People On The Move - Arthur Davey
People On The Move - Mitchell Remig
People On The Move - Jeanine Doody, Two River Dairy
Summer Guide
Where Heritage Meets The Sea
Best Bet - The Burr Law Group
Our Pick 2016 - Hot Tubs by HotSpring
The Bay
The Bay - Welcome to the Premiere
The Bay - National Stroke Awareness Month
The Bay - Healthier Heart
The Guide
The Guide 2014 - Marlboro Village Pharmacy
Our Pick - Gerald Peters Goldmine
The Guide 2016 - Visage Hair Studio NYC
The Home Guide
The Home - Rysers Landscape Supply
The Home Guide - Troost Bros., Inc.
The Home - Signature Kitchens of New York, Inc.
Weigh In
Weigh In - Whats the one food item you would never eat?
Weigh In: What Did You Get I Trouble For...
Weigh In Colts Neck: If you could live anywhere...?!

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

Etc - Walking through Monmouth County


Lions and
Tigers and...
Rattlesnakes?!

Im 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 Countys 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 wasnt, 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 wouldnt 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 30s and 40s, a hike can be a revelatory experience. Its 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 Choos 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; its 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.

Its 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 Fidos eyes and channeled by a gypsy in Pennsylvania via Vonage!

Its all very confidential (I wouldnt 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.

Its also remarked upon that hiking through Monmouth Countys parks holds out the promise of benefits beyond the salutary effect on the cardio-vascular system. Its 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 weve 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 visitors center, which is not always the case in every park weve 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 shouldnt scare you. They want to be left alone and wont seek you out.

Im 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™