Tags Posts tagged with "Short Beach"

Short Beach

Short Beach is one of the places Smithtown residents go to feel cool in the summer heat. Photo by Rita J. Egan

While heat waves are an expected part of summer, navigating them isn’t always so simple. This weather can often lead to people suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Our area has experienced relentless heat recently. Only halfway through summer, odds are that more scorching weather is ahead of us.

Most North Shore residents in Suffolk County are fortunate to have some form of air conditioning. For those who don’t, local municipalities can offer relief.

Each summer, the towns of Huntington, Smithtown and Brookhaven have helped residents escape intense heat. Huntington officials set up cooling stations during the hottest days of the year. The town announced July 19 that it would make cooling stations available at locations such as Clark Gillies Arena (formerly Dix Hills Ice Rink) and John J. Flanagan Center/Senior Center last week

Huntington, along with Smithtown and Brookhaven, expands hours at public beaches and pools during such weather events, too. When cooling stations or extended hours are needed, municipalities will post this information on their websites and social media pages.

These means of communication also come in handy during other weather events, such as flooding. While rainstorms can temporarily offset high temperatures, they can also quickly flood areas, presenting a public safety hazard. And we are also in the midst of hurricane season, so residents please keep an eye on those weather reports.

Regarding the heat, some helpful tips may come in handy.

When being exposed to hazardous heat, stay well hydrated, eat light, wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing, minimize direct sun exposure and reduce time spent outdoors. These precautions should be heeded by all, especially by those who are older, pregnant or suffering from chronic health conditions. Caregivers should also monitor infants and children more closely than usual.

Of course, a visit to an air-conditioned mall to escape the heat can never be underestimated. A couple of hours of strolling and shopping inside can kill some time as the heat rages outside.

Remember, when going into the mall or a store, do not leave your pet in the car. Temperatures inside a parked car can be much higher than outside — up to 30 degrees or more. Never leave a pet unattended in a parked car, even if the window is cracked open. 

Also, the same precautions taken by humans apply to pets, so make sure they are getting plenty of water and are not outside during the hottest parts of the day. 

While we are fortunate to live in an area with plenty of choices to cool off, many residents are unaware of their options. Check on sick or older neighbors during heat waves just as you would during snowstorms to ensure they have everything they need.

And don’t sweat it; in a couple months, people will soon be enjoying the leaves changing color and a few weeks later will be building snowmen.

Photo by Tom Caruso


Tom Caruso of Smithtown snapped this awe-inspiring image on Aug. 30. He writes, ‘I went to Short Beach in Nissequogue to photograph shorebirds and the sunset. The sun fell toward the horizon and a flock of seagulls and terns took flight and flew right into the fiery colors of this sunset. I was lucky to capture this at just the right moment.

Send your Photo of the Week to [email protected]



Tom Caruso of Smithtown went to Short Beach in Nissequogue on March 13 and came upon his favorite shorebird. He writes, ‘I was walking along the beach when I caught something moving from the corner of my eye.  After a few seconds I realized that it was this piping plover moving through the reeds that washed up on the shore.  I followed it for a while and was able to snap several pictures of it.

Send your Photo of the Week to [email protected]


Tom Caruso
Favorite quote: ‘Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.’ — Ansel Adams


Hometown: Smithtown

Day job: Professional Software Engineer/Development Manager, Broadridge Financial Solutions

Photographer: I developed an interest in photography at an early age, influenced by greats like Ansel Adams. My parents gave me my first 35mm camera in 1972 and my life was forever changed.

Favorite camera: The Nikon D850. I purchased it in December, 2018, and it’s an amazing camera with an incredible sensor.

Favorite lenses: I presently own two lenses for the D850. My walking around lens is an AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm 1:4 G ED and I found this to be a great workhorse giving me the flexibility I need for most shots. When I need tack-sharp images for macros or in dark settings I switch to my AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 G prime lens. Both lenses were refurbished by Nikon when I purchased them.

Favorite locations: I am fortunate to have several beautiful places near my Smithtown home and I visit them frequently to catch them at various times of day and different seasons. These places include Caleb Smith State Park Preserve, Long Beach, Short Beach, Blydenburgh County Park, The David Weld Sanctuary, Stony Brook Harbor, Stony Brook Duck Pond, Kings Park Psychiatric Center and Nissequogue River State Park.

Have you entered any photo contests? My first photo contest was the 2020 Friends of Caleb Smith State Park Preserve The Beauty of Caleb Smith State Park Preserve My image “Deer in Snowstorm” won Honorable Mention in the adult division. I also entered the 2020 Gurwin photo contest. The winners will be announced later this year.

Favorite aspect about taking photos: Landscape and nature photography gives me the opportunity to be outdoors. I love communing with nature and I am happiest when I am wandering in the woods with my camera in hand on a beautiful autumn day. Another aspect of photography I enjoy is knowing that my images bring happiness to others.

Best advice to get that perfect shot: There are a lot of photographic rules that we are told make a great photograph. I sometimes adhere to them but I shoot more on instinct. I know a great shot when I see it whether or not it follows the rules. Always keep your eyes wide open and moving when on a shoot. When in the wild with your camera you have to engage all your senses to find your next capture, not just sight. A faint sound of a crunching leaf turned out to be a snake which lead to one of the photos in this essay. The enormity of a forest can be intimidating but you have to see everything from the largest to the smallest subjects, from a mighty tree to a delicate spider web and all things in between. It is not enough to see the image for what it is but you have to visualize what it could become when post processing. If you do these things you don’t have to look for the perfect shot: it will find you. 

See more of Tom’s photos at www.tomcarusophotography.com.

Photo by Tom Caruso


Tom Caruso of Smithtown was in the right place at the right time when he snapped this photo on Nov. 23.  He writes, ‘I was photographing the river at the Nissequogue River State Park when I heard a commotion behind me.  I turned to see this deer jumping into the river to escape someone’s dog who had chased it out of the woods.  I quickly snapped a few shots and was lucky to get this one just as the deer hit the water.  He swam across the river and exited on Short Beach.’ 

Send your Photo of the Week to [email protected]

Students take samples from Nissequogue River to analyze. Photo by Sara-Megan Walsh

By Sara-Megan Walsh

Hundreds of students from Smithtown to Northport got wet and dirty as they looked at what lurks beneath the surface of the Nissequogue River.

More than 400 students from 11 schools participated in “A Day in the Life” of the Nissequogue River Oct. 6, performing hands-on citizens scientific research and exploring the waterway’s health and ecosystem. The event was coordinated by Brookhaven National Laboratory, Central Pine Barrens Commission, Suffolk County Water Authority and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Northport High School students analyze soil taken from the bottom of Nissequogue River. Photo by Sara-Megan Walsh

“’A Day in the Life’ helps students develop an appreciation for and knowledge of Long Island’s ecosystems and collect useful scientific data,” program coordinator Melissa Parrott said. “It connects students to their natural world to become stewards of water quality and Long Island’s diverse ecosystems.”

More than 50 students from Northport High School chemically analyzed the water conditions, marked tidal flow, and tracked aquatic species found near the headwaters of the Nissequogue in Caleb Smith State Park Preserve in Smithtown. Teens were excited to find and record various species of tadpoles and fish found using seine net, a fishing net that hangs vertically and is weighted to drag along the riverbed.

“It’s an outdoor educational setting that puts forth a tangible opportunity for students to experience science firsthand,” David Storch, chairman of science and technology education at Northport High School, said. “Here they learn how to sample, how to classify, how to organize, and how to develop experimental procedures in an open, inquiry-based environment. It’s the best education we can hope for.”

Kimberly Collins, co-director of the science research program at Northport High School, taught students how to use Oreo cookies and honey to bait ants for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Barcode Long Island. The project invites students to capture invertebrates, learn how to extract the insects’ DNA then have it sequenced to document and map diversity of different species.

Children from Harbor Country Day School examine a water sample. Photo by Sara-Megan Walsh

Further down river, Harbor Country Day School students explored the riverbed at Landing Avenue Park in Smithtown. Science teacher Kevin Hughes said the day was one of discovery for his fourth- to eighth-grade students.

“It’s all about letting them see and experience the Nissequogue River,” Hughes said. “At first, they’ll be a little hesitant to get their hands dirty, but by the end you’ll see they are completely engrossed and rolling around in it.”

The middle schoolers worked with Eric Young, program director at Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown, to analyze water samples. All the data collected will be used in the classroom to teach students about topics such as salinity and water pollution. Then, it will be sent to BNL as part of a citizens’ research project, measuring the river’s health and water ecosystems.

Smithtown East seniors Aaron Min and Shrey Thaker have participated in this annual scientific study of the Nissequogue River at Short Beach in Smithtown for last three years. Carrying cameras around their necks, they photographed and documented their classmates findings.

“We see a lot of changes from year to year, from different types of animals and critters we get to see, or wildlife and plants,” Thaker said. “It’s really interesting to see how it changes over time and see what stays consistent over time as well. It’s also exciting to see our peers really get into it.”

Maria Zeitlin, a science research and college chemistry teacher at Smithtown High School East, divided students into four groups to test water oxygenation levels, document aquatic life forms, measure air temperature and wind speed, and compile an extensive physical description of wildlife and plants in the area.

Smithtown High School East students take a water and soil sample at Short Beach. Photo by Sara-Megan Walsh

The collected data will be brought back to the classroom and compared against previous years.

In this way, Zeitlin said the hands-on study of Nissequogue River serves as a lesson in live data collection. Students must learn to repeat procedures multiple times and use various scientific instruments to support their findings.

“Troubleshooting data collection is vital as a scientist that they can take into any area,” she said. “Data has to be reliable. So when someone says there’s climate change, someone can’t turn around and say it’s not true.”

The Smithtown East teacher highlighted that while scientific research can be conducted anywhere, there’s a second life lesson she hopes that her students and all others will take away  from their studies of the Nissequogue River.

“This site is their backyard; they live here,” Zeitlin said. “Instead of just coming to the beach, from this point forward they will never see the beach the same again. It’s not just a recreational site, but its teeming with life and science.”