On April 10 I went with some friends to the meeting of the Long Island Botanical Society held at Stony Brook University. When we were approaching the campus from the north end of Nichols Road, a red fox streamed across the road from east to west with outstretched tail. When we arrived back at Warren’s Nursery in Southampton (our starting point), a red fox ran across Majors Path into the nursery, its tail in the same position. That made sense, there is an active den with fox kits at that site.
We are in the midst of a drought and there is nothing worse for those early leavers and early bloomers who bet on a premature spring, but not on the dry weather. In 1986 during an extended dry period a wildfire caught hold of Hither Woods in Montauk and burned more than half of it. In 1995 the Westhampton Pine Barrens exploded from too little precipitation and now in 2012 a warm, dry winter and drier, warmer spring has sparked another major forest fire, north and east of Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton.