Now that the weather has been more bearable, after the recent record heatwave, it is time to get out and work off the Italian ices. The beach walk hasn't been cutting it lately with the high humidity and no breeze. It is always nice to find a cool spot and catch a break in the shade, so I headed to the other end of town.
At the Mill Pond in Stony Brook parents were armed with bread and Cheerios to feed the ducks. A group of squealing kids and adults were tickled to see a giant turtle eating Cheerios. I got some great shots. I realize that it is not politically correct to feed the ducks bread because it attracts rats. However, on that side of the pond there are no signs posted. The ducks and birds were very content – and full.
Just across the street is the Stony Brook Grist Mill, circa 1751. There is plenty of shade there, and of course, a pretty waterfall next to the mill. The lawn is covered in a moss carpet and exotic birds were wading nearby in the creek.
Diagonally across the street is the entrance to Avalon Park and Preserve. http://avalonparkandpreserve.org/ This very special park was created by the Paul Simons Foundation. This is truly a labor of love and when you find the labyrinth, you will understand why. Be sure to pick up a map at the entrance so you can navigate the park and preserve.
The eight-acre park is fabulous with a wood boardwalk and strategic benches. Of course the labyrinth is a must see. The 76-acre preserve is spectacular this time of year. I skipped the forest trail and headed to the wildflower meadow which is in full bloom now. I saw beautiful birds and butterflies. The area near the barn was especially nice for photos and a gentle easy walk.
Even if you are on your lunch hour, it is a great place to regroup and nourish your body, mind, and soul with a nice mix of sun and shade. There was plenty of parking on the street but it can get busy on the weekend. You'll find additional parking at the Village Center and on Shep Jones Lane. Wear comfortable shoes and don't forget your sunglasses!