"The Dutch described the fine, tall-grassed meadows, the woodlands, fields of wildflowers, the streams, the variety of the cooing and clattering birds, the deliciousness of the native nuts, wild cherries, currants, gooseberries, hazelnuts, apples, pears, and especially strawberries....
The rivers and streams had so many fish -- striped bass, sturgeon, shad, drum fish, carp, perch, pike, and trout -- that they could be yanked out of the water by hand.... The harbor was crowded with bass, cod, weakfish, herring, mackerel, blackfish, as well as frolicking, diving mammals -- whales, porpoises, and seals. Bears, wolves, beavers, foxes, raccoons, otters, elk, deer, and even a few 'lion,' which may have been panthers or mountain lions, lived in the area....
Jasper Danckaerts, a Dutchman who traveled the New ork City area from 1679 to 1680, wrote, 'It is not possible to describe how this bay swarms with fish, both large and small, whales, tunnies, and porpoises, whole schools of innumerable other fish, which the eagles and other birds of prey swiftly seize in their talons when the fish comes to the surface.'"
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