2009-06-12 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

Summer Activities Begin In Broad Channel
Commentary By Liz Guarino

What great weather we had last weekend—hardly a cloud in the sky, nice breezes, warm sun and lots of birds chirping in the trees. And—of course—at a certain time on Sunday, the smell of barbecue was in the air. But, on Monday night—all that rain!

Sponsored by North Channel Yacht Club, a bus trip to Hilton Casino will take place on Saturday, June 13. Bus leaves from NCYC at 8 a.m.; there will be bagels and coffee at 7:30 a.m. Cost is $35 per person, coin return slot play $30. For seats call Fred Schmitt at 718-634-9472 or John Heaphy at 718- 474-3173.

As a part of P.S. 47's ongoing fundraiser for the American Cancer Society's "Relay for Life" on behalf of Meg Kelly, a well-known and loved teacher who lost her battle to cancer this year, they will sponsor "Night Out at the Ruffle Bar" on Friday, June 19 from 8 'til … , $5 at the door.

There will be raffle baskets and 50/50s. D.J. Scott will provide music. Those who would like to make a monetary donation can do so at: WWW.RELAYFORLIFE.ORG/RIISPARKNY (team name is "Meg's Mighty Meanderers") or stopping by PS 47 to see Eilene Hanning, team captain. Donations accepted until the Saturday, June 27 Riis Park Relay.

A Jamaica Bay Sunset Cruise will take place on Saturday, June 20 from 5 to 8 p.m. The three-hour narrated tour of Jamaica Bay will sail out of Sheepshead Bay.

Learn about the history and ecology of the bay; see nesting peregrine falcons, osprey, herons, egrets, ibis, shorebirds and waterfowl. The cost of $45 includes narrated tour, wine and cheese, fruit, snacks. For more information call 718-318-9344 or e-mail: driepe@nyc.rr.com.

Enjoy a summertime "Bird Walk" in Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge with naturalist Don Riepe on Saturday, June 20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It's breeding season for birds; look for various summertime inhabitants. Wear insect and sun protection, bring bottled water. Sign up in advance at 718-318-4340.

On Sunday, June 21 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge look for wildflowers and hear stories about them. Wear insect and sun protection and sign up in advance at 718-318-4340.

Story Time at the library is held on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. until June 24. Story Time, a half hour spent reading picture books, is for small children, ages 2 to 5.

The novel under discussion by the Book Discussion Group will be Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray on Saturday, June 27 at 11 a.m. at the library. The book is perfect for summer—lighthearted and fun. All are invited.

People who like walking the trails in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge know that it's so quiet that they don't hear the noise from passing cars, trucks and buses inside the refuge.

Despite the fact that the area is technically in NYC, the bird sounds are very clear and often seem much closer than they are. The West Pond trail goes on a fairly straight line toward the bay on the west side of the boulevard to the side of the visitor's center.

The sights along the trail's length are interesting and many. A bat box was placed on the side of the trail some years back (in the hope that it would attract bats if there were any around, I was told at the time); it still seems quite empty. Bats eat a lot of bugs, so it was a hoped-for bit of wildlife.

On another note, most passersby have seen the osprey platform on the west side of Cross Bay Boulevard, but these folks might be interested to see another platform near the edge of the bay and far enough from the West Pond trail that anyone wanting to go near the nest will need a pair of waders and very long legs! The nests are both in use and will have new occupants when the eggs hatch. (A lot more than two pairs of ospreys make their home in the refuge.) The ospreys, the platform and their nest look smaller than actual size, possibly because they're high.

If you have material that you wish to appear in the column on a Friday, please get the item(s) to me by 9:30 a.m. on the Tuesday before the issue comes out.

Please sign your email or note; like the rest of the newspaper, I cannot publish info that comes without a name.

Your email can be sent to: Lizbcbits@aol.com

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