To get to the beautiful heart of the Other Island, you must pass through some god-awful crap. Staten Island contains some of the ugliest architecture imaginable: McMansions and mobster villas. Plus, very few sidewalks and everybody in a car driving like the world is ending. The place really is America, unfortunately. A style seen entirely too much over there is the stand-alone house with enormous stoop capped by a pair of skinny two-story columns. The Greeks are rolling over in their graves, and Palladio has plucked out his eyes like Oedipus in horror. I didn't waste any pixels on these abominations. This is the view from the top of "Mount Moses" named after the master builder who's highway madness this rockpile resulted from. Serpentinite, a greeny rock, is to be found all over the place here.
Inside the Green Belt, with its 32 miles of trails, you can forget the self-inflicted horrors of the island. I thought these shrooms looked like littleneck clams
Near the Yellow Trail’s intersection with Manor Road, there’s a stand of persimmon trees. Tall and spindly, they may all be related. This is about as far north as this tree gets in the wild. The fruit, not yet ripe, is much smaller than the commercial varities. I like the bark.
This garter snake was recently dead, hence it’s uncomplaining pose.