Yummygal’s Fun Fact Friday

Bats! Only Native Mammal of St. John USVI

Here it is another Fun Fact Friday my friends! Hope you have enjoyed this beautiful fall week! Also, I’m looking forward to another rocking weekend. (Hope yours is even more rocking than mine.)

Those of you that are in South Jersey…you MUST check out the Burlington County Wine Festival this Weekend. They are featuring over 13 NJ wineries for all of your “grape juice” needs this Saturday and Sunday. The grounds contain over 640 gorgeous acres to spread out and to have a little fun!

I’ll be there as well. Definitely say,”Hi.” Fyi, I don’t bite. Would love to see you.

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Beautiful Waterlemon Cay, St. John

Well for this Fun Fact, I’m taking you to the gorgeous US Virgin Islands. Imagine wind in your hair, a rum drink concoction in your hand and when it gets dark…….BATS! Hahahahaha!! Yup, you will notice them or hear an, “Eek Eek Eek” here or there.

I mention this because most folks see donkeys, goats, deer, turtles, mongoose, lizards, geckos, tree frogs, bananaquits, pearly-eyed thrashers, mantas, dolphins, and an occasional whale. However, the only land mammal native to the Virgin Islands is the bat. There are a few native bats. However, the Fishing Bat is on the endangered list. All other mammals were brought over by the early settlers and have adjusted to the natural environment.

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A kayak on Haulover Bay

So when you are out and about at night enjoying your lovely island…make sure if you hear the, “Eek Eek Eek” that you say, “Good Evening” to them. It is proper island etiquette to the locals…

And after all….they are the native folk!

Have a great weekend everyone. -The Yummygal

Tribute to a Foxhunter: Pomeroy Crossroads By Ben Ruset

Time and again, the Yummygal would like to feature local authors and explorers of our great state of NJ. No one knows the Pine Barrens as much as this guy below. He actually just celebrated his 10 year anniversary of his site. I’d like to feature him since well, they do help me out from time to time. I can’t always take all the credit. Read below. Plus, Ben is an incredible writer and history buff.

Tribute to a Foxhunter: Pomeroy Crossroads By Ben Ruset

In the woods North of Woodmansie, in Byrne State Forest, five lonely sand roads come together in a wide clearing. I had been exploring the area around Union Clay Works earlier that day, and decided to head up to Buckingham to try to find cellar holes and the ruins of the railroad station. Driving North along Buckingham Road, the trail split, and I drove left, passing along a part of the woods that seemed particularly dreary.

The Marker At Pomeroy Crossing

I made my way to the intersection, randomly driving along forgotten sand roads, while keeping an eye on my GPS to keep me from getting hopelessly lost. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a cement marker with the inscription “Pomeroy Crossroads” carved. I had never heard this place mentioned in any books or discussion with fellow Lost Town Explorers, so I took a picture and headed on my way, determined to find out what this place was.

The Location Of Pomeroy Crossroads

A month or so slipped by without any further clues as to what this place was. I had nearly forgotten about it until I bought a copy of Chaseworld – Foxhunting and Storytelling in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens by Mary Hufford. Finally, I was able to get some information on who Pomeroy was and why there is a marker for him in the Pine Barrens! The sport of foxhunting, which normally draws images of hounds crashing across the fields of England, is alive and well in the Pine Barrens, where it has developed it’s own unique identity. Instead of men on horseback, pickup trucks are used. Instead of shouts and yells between hunters, a CB radio keeps them all together. Donald Pomeroy was one of those hunters. In 1985, right before the opening of deer season, he lost control of his pickup truck and crashed into a tree. The New Jersey Sporting Dogs Association placed the marker there in memory of Donald Pomeroy, who had been a well respected member of the foxhunting community.

This article was first published on NJPineBarrens.com in 2003.

Ben Ruset

About Ben Ruset

Ben Ruset has been exploring, photographing, and writing about the New Jersey Pine Barrens for over 10 years. He’s an award-worthy individual whose other hobbies include counting freckles and sampling craft beers. One of his goals is to take some of the hidden and forgotten history of South Jersey and showcase it to the public. Feel free to follow him on Twitter, @njpinebarrens.

You can also see some of his famous writings and explorations at NJ Pine Barrens Website
If you think I explore, YOU HAVE TO CHECK OUT THIS GUY.

Waterlemon & Leinster Bay

Waterlemon & Leinster Bay, St. John USVI

All I have to say is, “WOW.” I think Waterlemon Bay is the BEST beach in St. John. That’s a tough act to follow considering all the gorgeous beaches of my beloved island.

Now, it’s a bit of a hike. I would say about a 1/2 mile. It starts at Leinster Bay. There is limited parking and it fills up very quickly. The best time to come is first thing in the morning to avoid any crowd and to get yourself a nice little parking spot.

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Start of trail, overlooking Leinster Bay

The hike and views are just captivating. Numerous Cacti and native plants surround the trail with the gorgeous view of Tortola and the Sir Francis Drake Channel off on the horizon. It’s also an easy hike. There are not many inclines or declines. The distance walking here is definitely well worth it. You can trust me, my friends. I will NEVER steer you wrong.

Just make sure you wear comfortable shoes because the trail is a bit rocky, but maintained pretty well by the National Park.

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Beautiful cactus lining the hiking tail

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Another view of the water and the Sir Francis Drake Channel

As you continue along your journey, just take a deep breath and capture all the beauty that is around you. Leinster bay meeting Waterlemon, ahhhhhhhhh.

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Portion of the trail along your path

Eventually. You will end up at this gorgeous beauty of Waterlemon. Find yourself a nice little spot, sit down, mellow out, and take it all in. Hope you didn’t forget your snorkel gear. The snorkeling is
INCREDIBLE!

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View of beach

I love this beach because it has such a natural feel.
There is hardly anyone around (if you get here early enough) and it feels totally untouched by humans.

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Shot of the beach with Waterlemon Cay off to the right, the Cay offers the best snorkeling

The beach is a little rocky, however the water is turquoise, calm, and clear. It’s nestled around my favorite friends the mangroves.

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Leinster Bay

Look at how clear the water is here!

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Waterlemon wonderful!

It was the best snorkeling of our trip! With a few baby sea turtles in the mix and gorgeous fish.

If you are looking for an untouched natural beauty beach and don’t mind a bit of a walk, this is well worth it.

My favorite of all the beloved St. John beaches!

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A true gem of St. John

Yummygal’s Fun Fact Friday

Yummygal’s Fun-Fact Friday~ The Peregrine Falcon

Today, I am talking about the endangered Peregrine Falcon. There are only about 3,000 in the US and Canada. The Peregrine are found all over the world excluding Antarctica.

These birds are the fastest animal in the world. They have been recorded at over 200 mph.

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The Peregrine Falcon Exhibit at the Palmyra Cove

They are fast birdies. I would not like to mess with them. They eat rodents and other birds like pesky pigeons.

You can see an exhibit about these guys at the Palmyra Cove. They have a home on top of the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge. The Peregrine can also be found here via this link.

Palmyra Cove Falcon Cam

They are really neat to see and making their come back. Hopefully, won’t be endangered much longer.

Washington Crossing State Park~ General Washington’s Historic Crossing Makes You want to Spark.

Washington Crossing State Park

355 Washington Crossing-Pennington Rd.
Titusville, NJ.

Yummygal’s Top Things To See In The Philadelphia Area.

Around 1700, this area was a happening place. It transported folks back and forth on the river via a ferry for commerce and trade. Fast forward to December 25th 1776, this was about the only passable place for General Washington’s Continental Army to travel across. Plus, this site was very strategic on his part. It was a blistering cold month. Most of the Delaware River was frozen solid. The soldiers froze and starved to death.

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(Sign near the overpass to the Delaware River at Washington Crossing State Park

Washington was able to get his posse to New Jersey safely. This “infamous” crossing was the beginning of a 10 day struggle. These 10 days were climatic. It led to the Battles of Trenton and Princeton. These wars were instrumental victories for Washington’s troops against the Hessians and British soldiers. These “wins” were a defining moment for the American Revolution.

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The site of the infamous crossing. Washington Crossing State Park

During these battles, Washington and his minions set up shop in The Johnson Ferry House about a 1/4 a mile from the banks of the Delaware River. This house served as the vital headquarters.

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The Delaware Canal

The name, Johnson Ferry is derived from the area known as the Johnson plantation. Johnson (Jansen) owned and operated the ferry that crossed the river. As you see, Johnson (the name) plus the ferry he owned and voila….The Johnson Ferry House. However, Johnson had perished years earlier and his heirs inherited the property. His sons were forced to sell their inheritance due to bad debt they both accumulated.

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Inside tour of the John Ferry house

The farm was sold to a man named Abraham Harvey. He in turn rented it to a man named, James Slack. Slack continued with the operations of the ferry and the farm. He saw 2 weeks of soldiers coming and going on the premises.

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Another shot indoors of the John Ferry house

Fast forward 130+ years later, an agglomeration has ensued. In 1912, Washington Crossing State Park was secured at 100 acres. It now encompasses 1,399 acres. Way to go!! Seriously this park is awesome.

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Roadway in the park

The park boasts a Visitor Center Museum and has artifacts of the Continental and Hessian soldiers. Including various weapons, apothecary, uniforms, traditional clothing of the time, and hand-written letters and publications. This center does not allow photography. Sorry folks. This is a “WOW” place to go and see even if you don’t enjoy nature and the park. You will appreciate the affectation.

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Pretty picnic pavilions

Washington Crossing State Park possesses a great view of the Delaware River and the canal. If you are hungry and didn’t bring a picnic lunch, there’s a quaint little bar with pub fare. It has a deck that overlooks the river for your eating delectation. (It’s not in the park, but across a little street from it.)

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Cute pub across the street

Also suited at the park, is a Nature Center and natural area. This section suits 140 acres within the Park. Offering Excellent educational displays for the kids and for us well-to-do adults. The Center has a few animals for the children’s merriment, computers, interactive displays, and books. Plus, Ranger Warren. He is quick-witted and will answer any questions you have. The Ranger is very informative about the area and the wildlife in the park.

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Display in the Nature Center

The most attractive feature at the nature center is the honey beehive. My golly, very cool. The bees come inside via a plastic tube from the outside. You will see an actual working beehive covered in glass with bees producing honey. Just rad!

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The “indoor” beehive

There are many other facilities on the grounds. An outdoor amphitheater that sits up to 800 people. They put out some major acts from time to time. It’s in a very natural hillside setting and the acoustics I hear are awesome.

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More lovely grounds

Other offerings include; Picnic pavilions, 13 miles of hiking trails, horseback riding trails, fishing, the Nelson house, camping, bike riding, bird-watching, etc etc. The list is limitless.

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Washington Crossing State Park

I truly enjoyed my day here at the park. They had an encampment going on with various folks dressed in colonial garb. They were offering oratory history lessons and kid activities.

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Kitchen garden. John Ferry house

The mature trees, the friendly staff, the Delaware River, and everything else above make this an ideal place to visit.

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Pretty as a postcard at the park

Every Christmas, the famous crossing is reenacted and thousands come out to watch.

Enjoy this gracious park my friends. You will enjoy all the FREE accoutrements.

Yummygal on Facebook

You can now reluctantly follow me on Facebook. The readers have spoken. Maybe I’ll throw in where I actually am from time to time. However, this is a great way for us to chat and to keep you updated!

Newton’s Creek, NJ

I am ALWAYS here if you have a question. I’ve been all over this darn state and Delaware Valley.

Talk to you soon!! Go out and adventure my friends! Oh and “friend me” on facebook if you like… It’s on my page.

Until Then… I’m off to a new adventure!

Mad Horse Creek~ Should Be Called, “Mad Horse Creepy.”

Mad Horse Creek

Lower Alloway Township, NJ

I have to say that the ride into Mad Horse Creek is beautiful. Old well-kept homes, farm houses, and acres that seem to run on forever. It is just straight up South Jersey beauty. Quiet and peaceful.

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Pretty Barns along the way to Mad Horse. Tons of them!

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A road barely able to fit one car, yet alone two

However upon my adventure, I kept noticing these signs and sirens everywhere, I thought it was definitely odd. I’m thinking what the heck is this and why? Why do I need to tune into a radio if these sirens go off?

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Crazy sirens for a nuclear fallout

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If you hear those sirens, then tune to the radio station. However, something inside me thinks that if there was a radiation leak you’d already be in danger.

Ummm… And then it hit me. Could it be this? New Jersey’s finest my friends. A nuclear power plant. Yup, thank you for this… This is what people think Jersey is. Also, what the heck am I doing here? How can people actually live around here? In fact, I saw a middle school within sight of the Power Plant.

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Here is how we get our lovely reputation/ The Salem Nuclear Power Plant

It does concern me. I also feel for the people that live near Salem. In how they must have difficulty ever selling their homes. It also makes me wonder….

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Creepy at Mad Horse Creek

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It’s a sin because she’s rather kind of pretty. However, I would be scared to eat any fish from here.

The Nuclear Power Plant is a pressurized water reactor. What about the drinking water? The air quality with radiation? The wildlife? Where does the water go that was used for the cooling of this reactor?

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Yay, Nuclear!

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Boat Ramp at Mad Horse Creek

The Mad Horse River preserve is being sent to my freaky files. It is definitely odd, but worth to check out at least once. It’s like something scary on TV and you just can’t look away.