Horseshoe Cove Map

Horseshoe Cove Photos

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Hometown Plot: Horseshoe Cove

My home phenology plot is located on Sandy Hook National Recreational Area in Monmouth County, New Jersey. My high school is located on Sandy Hook, and was my inspiration to major in Environmental Studies. The area I chose to study in particular is known as Horseshoe Cove, after the many horseshoe crabs that can be found there. The cove borders the Sandy Hook Bay, and the area I examined was a marshy area right next to the shore.

While both my Burlington plot and Horseshoe Cove border water, they have completely different ecological features. The marshy grasses of Horseshoe Cove facilitate many types of long grasses, while the bedrock of my Burlington plot is filled with many cedars and pines. Sandy Hook is also home to many tourists, and therefore experiences much more human interruption than my Burlington plot. Along with the many marsh grasses found at Horseshoe Cove, there are actually many tree species, consisting mostly of holly and cedar trees. Sandy Hook has one of the largest holly forests in the United States, and it is still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.

Horseshoe Cove is home to many species, while my Burlington plot has very little life. As previously mentioned, Horseshoe Cove is known for its flourishing horseshoe crab population, and I found many horseshoe shells along the shore there. Osprey live and hunt in the marshes, and there is a man-made stand in the center of the marsh for the birds to nest in. Feathers along the shore suggested the presence of various other bird species as well, such as seagulls.

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On this week’s trip to my phenology spot, I could really see the effects the changing of the seasons had on my plot. The floor of the plot was completely covered in orange cedar pieces, leaves, and dried grass. The deciduous trees in the area were almost completely bare, and the cedars were a golden orange color. Unlike previous visits to my seemingly lifeless plot, I was able to hear a single bird calling out in the direction of the thicker forest.

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