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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
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
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
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
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
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: 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
Don’t Blame the Weatherman

When it comes to the weather, I sometimes think that the Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan summed it up just right: “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” It is famously featured in his song “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” While Dylan does not hold a degree in meteorology, it’s kind of hard to argue with the meaning of those simple lyrics he penned over 50 years ago.

Jun 4, 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
Concerned Citizens Water Sampling Expanded

Accabonac Harbor in Springs and Northwest Creek in East Hampton will receive a new degree of scrutiny after an expansion of a water testing program run by Concerned Citizens of Montauk.

May 9, 2019
Nature Notes: Grosbeak Week

I have never had so many reports of grosbeaks in town in the 37 years or so I have been writing my column for The Star.

May 9, 2019