Manor Park’s Stormy Days
Lying along the waters of the Long Island Sound, Manor Park is filled with beauty. Among other things, one can capture the rising of a fiery red sun, boats anchored in pristine blue waters, gazebos that overlook the Sound, shimmering metamorphic rocks that were once part of the Appalachian Mountain chain, and even hummingbirds gracefully dining on the nectar of a trumpet vine. On some of the typically hot summer days, one can find respite in the Park’s iconic gazebos from a refreshing sea breeze.

Although the waters of the Long Island Sound are usually peaceful, presenting a glassy appearance on calm days and gentle ripples on most others, every now and then, to borrow from Lord Byron, “the sky is changed” and Manor Park and its surroundings are caught in the grips of “storm and darkness.”

During the past six years, two particularly noteworthy storms battered the park. Furious waves lashed the rocks and beyond, storm surges swept over the walls into the park, and howling winds tested the strength of Manor Park’s strongest trees. One such storm was a savage nor’easter that struck the U.S. East Coast on March 12-15, 2010 at the end of what had been a stormy, snowy El Niño winter. The height of the storm occurred on March 13.

Just over two-and-half years later, an unusually strong autumnal blocking pattern coupled with an upper-level trough in the Ohio Valley caught Hurricane Sandy, also known as “Superstorm Sandy,” as it tried to head out to sea and reeled it back toward the U.S. East Coast. As it moved toward and then onto shore on the New Jersey coast on October 29, 2012, it brought fierce winds throughout the New York metropolitan area, huge waves, and an enormous storm surge.

These two storms provide a glimpse of the normally placid Manor Park’s wilder side. Vicious as the wind-wave combination might be during such occasions, there is hidden beauty in the power of the raging elements. Below are select pictures from those two memorable storms.

March 12-15, 2010 Nor’easter:

View from near Umbrella Point

On the path toward the East Gazebo

Waves lash Manor Park’s rocks


View of Umbrella Point

The water attacks a stone bench

The surf batters a wooden fence

View of the West Gazebo

View from near the West Gazebo


Stormlizard said:

Very well written Don with a great set of photographs.

During such weather I prefer to remain indoors having been witness to several major Typhoons in Japan over the years.and a few Hurricanes here during later years.
8 years ago

Stan Askew said:

a beautiful series, Don ... very fine work!
8 years ago

Pam J said:

Beautifully narrated Don as ever.

This place ... from you photos taken in so many different moods.... has stolen my heart.

One day... one day I would love to visit this place.

There is also always an addiction to a lethal beauty... take care.
8 years ago

Don Sutherland said:

Thank you all for the kind words. Sometimes the stormy conditions provide a completely different perspective than one can find at any other time.
8 years ago

William Sutherland said:

Fantastic article and photos!
8 years ago ( translate )

Maeluk said:

Great set Don..I would love to visit during one of these storms :)
8 years ago

Don Sutherland replied to Maeluk:

Thank you, Maeluk. Sometimes one can find enormous beauty in the midst of a storm; the elements are, in a way, nature's passions run wild.
8 years ago

J P Jackson said:

Really excellent work!
8 years ago ( translate )