There’s a lot going on in the world of nature, all of it free of charge
Milkweed is coming into full bloom, and mating monarch butterflies, which deposit their eggs on milkweed, should not be far behind. Below, box turtles have been moving to and fro as they prepare to lay their eggs. Watch out for them on the roadways and stop to help them make it safely across. Victoria Bustamante and Susan Dusenberry Photos
Three years ago, there was still a hint of Brushy Island in Montauk’s Fort Pond. Today, all that can be seen is a single tree stump sticking out from the water. Victoria Bustamante and Larry Penny Photos

For aquatic creatures like fish, does the lessening daylight alter their habits?
Chad Smith, right, the drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, caught this 41-pound striped bass earlier this month on the Breakaway out of Montauk. With him is the first mate, Eddie Harrison. A picture that ran in this spot last week incorrectly identified the man with a fluke as Mr. Harrison. Capt. Richard Etzel

In humankind as in nature, just about every method to get a given thing done has been tried
Ospreys remain together year after year, returning to the same nests each year, sometimes for decades. Terry Sullivan

My time on the water will significantly increase in about two weeks, as I will formally retire from my job of the past 30 or so years
The crew of the Gotta’ Go posed with their 453-pound mako, the winning fish in the Star Island Yacht Club’s shark tournament last weekend. Star Island Yacht Club
Chad Smith, right, the drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, caught this 41-pound striped bass on Monday morning on the Breakaway out of Montauk. The boat's first mate, Eddie Harrison, is on the left. Capt. Richard Etzel

These widespread primitive organisms are more properly called cyanobacteria
The blue-green organisms that cause the slicks on the local coastal ponds like Lake Agawam, Mill Pond, and Georgica Pond, to name a few of the worst blighted, are among the oldest organisms known to man.

A great white the size of a Chevy Tahoe
Jumbo blue-claw crabs have made an early-season appearance this season.
While colder temperatures earlier in the spring have kept some species away, kingfish, like this one caught and released in Noyac Bay over the weekend, have arrived early in local waters. Jon M. Diat Photos

Cemetery trees create an arboretum, with most of the eastern Long Island species represented
A painted lady butterfly visited pussytoes at Oakland Cemetery in Sag Harbor. Jean Held

On the South Fork it would seem that the stars get dimmer and dimmer with each passing year

Our bay scallops, which many chefs and gourmets cherish as the most succulent and the sweetest in the world, are a commodity that can fluctuate wildly
Scallops that were too small for harvesting last season are getting ready to spawn in our local waters. Jon M. Diat
Spawning carp were active in East Hampton’s Hook Pond last week, as the water level and temperature reached points to their liking. David E. Rattray, editor of The East Hampton Star, netted one from among the reeds near the Main Beach parking lot on Friday. Russell Bennett

John Lombardo of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., landed this nine-pound fluke on the Lazybones on Sunday morning. It was, by all accounts, the largest fluke landed so far this season out of Montauk. Jon M. Diat