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Nature Notes: It’s the Water, Stupid

We have reached a point in the world’s development when species will be lost at a faster rate than evolution can compensate for.

Aug 15, 2019
On the Water: Cod on the Rod

While we are still in the summer season, early Saturday morning in Montauk Harbor felt as if a faint hint of September were in the air. A cold front had passed through a few hours earlier and the breeze was coming from the cooler and drier northwest.

Aug 15, 2019
Nature Notes: Impaired Ponds

Impairment means the water body is high in nutrients (nitrogen compounds and phosphates, for example), algae-ridden, high in intestinal bacteria such as enterococcus and coliform bacterium, or unsafe to swim in.

Aug 8, 2019
Sharks Get Their Close-Up

Once again, sharks have been making headline news. Whether it’s an aerial photo of one lurking close to a popular beach, a scrape with a bather, or a specimen caught from shore, every incident seems to be amplified on social media and other platforms more than ever before.

Aug 8, 2019
Nature Notes: Whales, Ho!

The dead adult humpback whale towed to the Montauk ocean beach last week is just one of several humpbacks that we have been reading about this year in the local newspapers. There have been many sightings offshore and even in Great South Bay and other estuarine water bodies.

Aug 1, 2019
Chumming on the High Seas

On the drive east to Montauk early Friday morning, pale pink hues of the developing sunrise could be seen over the sand dunes alongside the Napeague stretch. Would the fish be on the chew? Only time would tell.

Aug 1, 2019
Nature Notes: Heating Up

It was so hot that nature at night overwhelmed nature during the day. On the evening of July 16, for one example, during Dai Dayton’s full moon walk, the trees and wetlands were alive with the sounds of tree crickets and tree frogs and the air was alive with fireflies.

Jul 25, 2019
Lobster Boil on the Go

Last weekend’s heatwave reminded me why I went to college in Buffalo and not to the palm-fringed campus of the University of Florida. It wasn’t just for the education, but also to enjoy the snow, bitterly cold winds, and to play ice hockey as much as I could. Sounds weird, eh?

Jul 23, 2019
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
On the Water: Tourney Time Again

The calendar reminded me that it was time to get back on the water, grab my rod and reel, and partake of the 19th annual Mercury Grand Slam tournament last weekend out of Montauk.

Jul 18, 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