This trip was a perfect reminder of why I started my “Thursdays with Noah”. Remember? I was going to  “let the day unfold at Noah’s pace”, and “see what would happen if I let him take the lead, spending as much or as little time along the way as he wanted“.

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is a place I must have passed literally dozens and dozens of times growing up, yet have been only once or twice, and many years ago. I had been thinking a lot about it recently and thought it would be a fun outing with my boy.

We were greeted at the information desk by a very friendly ranger, who handed me a list of rules before we set out. The most important rule, she said, was to “stay on the gravel path”. No problem.

The refuge is a very easy place to navigate. There is basically one path and it takes about an hour to walk around the 1 1/4 mile loop, at a leisurely pace. Noah was happy to stay in the stroller, which was great, as I could get the lay of the land. I soon realized, however, why the ranger made sure I understood the rule about the path. The refuge is basically surrounded by water, which is where most of the water fowl were to be found. But there are wide fields in between the path and the water, making it difficult to see the wildlife without a pair of binoculars.

I was disappointed, and concerned that Noah would soon get bored. But he seemed unusually content to sit in the stroller and be pushed, so I decided to take his cue, relax and enjoy the morning.

We did a nice loop once around, had lunch and headed back out for more. Noah wanted to walk this time and again, I was worried that his inability to get “up close” would prove disappointing.

Instead, we happened upon a giant black caterpillar that kept Noah’s interest for a VERY long time.

We walked a little more and he played with some sticks while I sat and took in the sun, the smells and the sights.

Turned out Noah had no interest in any of the birds.

It didn’t matter.

It was just the 2 of us – quiet, peaceful.


Did I mention sticks?

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