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Nature Notes: Outrun by Summer

Hot, Hot, Hot! Cars, Cars, Cars! Nothing to do but grin and bear it, and observe nature.

Jul 16, 2019
Bedlam on Land and Sea

What was I thinking? 

This column, penned for so many decades by various writers in this long-established newspaper, has been aptly named “On the Water.” It’s a pretty clear and accurate description of its intended content and hopefully the audience appreciates its narrative for better or worse. 

Jul 9, 2019
Nature Notes: Birds Have It Right

All of a sudden it’s July and the traffic is more ferocious than ever. One of the silly things I have indulged myself in is counting the vehicles that whiz by my front window on Noyac Road, the second busiest road on the South Fork. I’ve been doing it since the mid-1980s. The protocol I used is the number of vehicles going east and west during two consecutive four-minute periods. I was anxious to see if the AAA’s projection for travel during the holidays of more than 40 million vehicle trippers had any basis in fact. At any rate, on July 3 shortly after 3 p.m., I counted the most vehicles ever. Based on the number going east and west in eight minutes, the projected hourly rate was 1,575 vehicles per hour, the kind of count one might expect for the Long Island Expressway at a point where Suffolk County and Nassau County meet.

Jul 9, 2019
The Fourth of July Blues

It’s been an unusual season for the normally reliable bluefish this year. Catches were scarce in many locales the past two months, and the fish showed up only a week or so ago in Noyac Bay. Usually they could be found as early as the first week of May in this area.

Jul 1, 2019
Nature Notes: Nature's Puzzles

Here it is half the year gone and I understand less about nature while studying it more. Friday evening was the perfect night for studying the flashes of the fireflies. It was calm, only partly cloudy, and gray tree frogs were singing from the wet spots.

Jul 1, 2019
Nature Notes: Firefly Fiesta

On Sunday night at 8 o’clock I began watching out of my front window on Noyac Road in anticipation of the firefly show to begin. The first flash down low in the herbage at 8:46 started what would become a barrage of flares, 127 of which I tallied until 9, when I stopped. 

Jun 25, 2019
The black sea bass season finally opened on Sunday for New York State anglers. 	Black Gold, at Last

After months of eager anticipation, the black sea bass season in New York finally opened on Sunday. While anglers in New Jersey and Connecticut have been allowed to retain the popular fish as of May 15 and 19 respectively, folks in New York have had to sit on the sidelines while their nearby neighbors have enjoyed bountiful catches for over a month. To rub salt in the wound, Jersey anglers could keep 10 fish per day, while those in the Nutmeg State could retain five. A huge, if unfair, advantage.

Jun 25, 2019
When the Worm Turns

There certainly have been a lot of headlines about tension between the United States and China of late. Trade and tariff warfare have captured most of the attention, and it appears that this ongoing squabble is not about to end anytime soon.

Jun 18, 2019
Nature Notes: Whippoorwill Watch

Whippoorwills were once common throughout the woods of Southampton and East Hampton, especially in Wainscott, which is the center of the South Fork’s oak and pitch pine forest.

Jun 18, 2019
Nature Notes: The Birds and the Bugs

Another week, another step toward summer. Sunday was pleasant, and I took a ride into Wainscott south of East Hampton Airport and explored the woods and shoulders, hoping for a lupine or two. I did find several wildflowers blooming, but not a single lupine, nor the remnants of any bird’s-foot violets, which would have been blooming several weeks ago.

Jun 13, 2019
Trading on Oyster Futures

Gold is alluring to just about anyone and will always be categorized as a very precious metal, valued at its market price on the commodities trading floor. Gold is golden. It’s a given. 

Jun 11, 2019
Nature Notes: Sandhill Crane Here

Last week was a busy one on the South Fork. I received an email with a photo from Mariah Whitmore of a sandhill crane near Multi Aquaculture Systems on Napeague. I immediately informed Terry Sullivan and a few other birders. Terry went out to see shortly after and came back with more wonderful pictures of the crane. Readers of “Nature Notes” may recall reading about the last sandhill crane to visit the South Fork a few years ago, accompanied by Terry’s photo of it.

Jun 4, 2019