Fire And Ice: A Frigid Icy Morning And Fiery Sunrise At Ship Bottom, Long Beach Island.
The blizzard was over. I awoke to find the town of Ship Bottom still asleep. I looked out at a frigid winter wonderland from my hotel window on Long Beach Island, New Jersey. I was anxious to explore the streets of this seaside community after the blizzard. . I wanted to watch the sunrise on the snow covered beach. After a quick cup of coffee, I changed into my arctic winter cloths, I would need them, and headed outside.
When I left the warmth of my hotel, and stepped outside, I found a frozen and frigid world. The clear, blue twilight skies contrasted with the snow that covered the island like a white blanket.
The temperature was a frigid 11 degrees. There was a blustery northwesterly wind. It was bitterly cold. Although I am used to this type of weather from my Winter hikes in the woodlands near my home in Northeastern Pennsylvania, it was not a pleasant hike. And not one I would expect to take at the Jersey shore.
And the side streets of Ship Bottom were plowed too. I found this to be quite an accomplishment and give a lot of credit to the road crews of the town of Ship Bottom. I thought they would take days to clear the snow the blizzard dumped on the island and then was blown around by the fierce winds that followed the storm. Good job guys! I was glad I didn’t have to trudge though 2 foot drifts to get to the ocean like I did on Saturday morning. But, it was a blizzard, and the side roads were still snow covered and icy. One still had to be careful walking. I walked the deserted E. 7th street in the cold morning twilight,
After crossing the deserted Boulevard, I had yet to see a car or person no my hike, I walked to the E. 7th Street Beach access. I had used the E. 8th street access on Saturday. On the steps, which were buried in the snow, I saw tracks made by some other folks who must have struggled to the top to get a view of the snow covered ocean. I was thankful and followed in their footsteps.
and beach. Here is a video of this scene I uploaded to my YouTube channel. https://youtube.com/shorts/0lT5ObEDSLI?feature=share
But the effort was worth it. The wind blown snow drifts and formations were intricate and amazing. Here is another video I took at the beach. https://youtube.com/shorts/f_fXzX3idRo?feature=share
The sun soon rose over the Atlantic Ocean . It was bitterly cold, but this wonderful scene confirmed my decision to travel to the shore and experience the blizzard and it’s aftermath. The fiery ball of the rising sun contrasted the frozen ice and snow formations along the shore.
I have seen the sunrise on all of our oceans but I have never seen a sunrise or sunset I didn’t like. Like snowflakes they are are so alike yet each is unique. Here is a link to another video of the sunrise. https://youtube.com/shorts/I2qkx3nSicA?feature=share
A strong wind still swirled on the beach. After watching the sunrise I didn’t remain in one spot, as I would have on warm Summer day, but decided to walk along the beach to keep warm. The cold wasn’t the only difference from a warm Summer walk on the beach. Along the edge of the snow drifts was a line of snow and ice that marked the high tide mark where the snow and ocean water met.
I was hoping to photograph some shore bird. There were a lot of sea gulls active on the beach in the raging ocean as the blizzard ended on Saturday. It appeared they were feeding on some sea creatures churned up by the raging waves. However, on Sunday morning there weren’t many birds flying along the beach in the frigid morning sunshine. In fact, there were very few. I only saw a couple of herring gulls,
I also saw this poor bird shivering on the sand on the beach. It was a lone female bufflehead duck. It sat motionless as I approached. It looked cold. However, when I got to close it quickly flew off an landed on the frigid ocean.
and lot of discarded crab legs. I am guessing that they came from crabs the seagulls were feasting on in the churning sea on Saturday. Although I was captivated by the beauty of the Winter beach scene I was freezing and decided, reluctantly, it was time to leave. Here is one last video from my walk on the beach .https://youtube.com/shorts/HRxuWwmV2Zc?feature=share
This family was walking through the snow drifts in the distance. I watched as the walked to the water’s edge and quickly turned around and headed back. I don’t blame them, it was cold. I can’t share all of my photos here in this blog post so please check out this gallery on my website. There are so many photos of the beauty I observed on the Ship Bottom beach. Here is the link . Long Beach Island sunrise January 30 2022.
And, as I did on my previous hike, I again made my way to the bay side of the island . On Saturday there was no ice on the waters of the bay. I was surprised to see that much of the bay was now frozen solid.
I also saw this herring gull that decided to leave the frozen waters of the bay and land on a snow covered roof in town . Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs of the birds I saw on my walk. Long Beach Island walk birds January 30 2022.
walking past some more snow removal work, The town of Ship Bottom was doing a great jobs keeping the roads open. Here is a link to another gallery with some more photos from my frigid morning hike. Long Beach Island hike January 30 2022
It was a frigid, but interesting, hike through the streets of Ship Bottom. I enjoyed seeing the beach town covered in snow. And I was treated to not only the sight of snow on the beach but also a spectacular sunrise. It was a wonderful visit. I was very pleased I decided to drive to the Jersey and watch Nature unleash it’s fury on the coast. I do not wish for these storms to occur, they do cause damage and hardship to the folks who experience them. But I have no control over them. So , hopefully, not for a long time, I will visit again to experience the fury of next coastal blizzard. Thanks for allowing me to share this experience with you!
“I was cold and you were fire, and I never knew how the pyre could be burning on the edge of an ice field”. – Meat Loaf