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As temperatures slowly climbed above freezing, I ventured out yesterday to view scenes of the wintry landscape left by that Polar Vortex storm everyone was talking about last week. I was hoping that a thaw would be in full force, but everything still looked cold and encrusted in ice. The first place I went to was Sandy Hook, a barrier island in New Jersey facing New York City across Raritan Bay.

View of Sandy Hook Bay.

View of Sandy Hook shoreline, with an empty Osprey nest on the right.

View of Sandy Hook shoreline.

There were hardly any bird, just a few lonely gulls and three Sanderlings.

Sanderlings.

I drove around the old Fort Hancock, an abandoned Army fort, at the tip of Sandy Hook island.

Sandy Hook Lighthouse. It is the oldest working lighthouse in the United States.

There were some antique cannons, the biggest one shown below, and two Cold War era missiles.

Old cannon a Fort Hancock.

Cold War era missiles.

Leaving Sandy Hook I went to my familiar haunt, the Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. All the ponds there were frozen as well, and snow had fallen the previous day.

Winter scene at Edwin B Forsythe NWR.

Another view of winter scene at Edwin B Forsythe NWR.

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