The southern pine borer that has been devastating pitch pine trees in the Central Pine Barrens including in Westhampton and Hampton Bays, leaving pitch pines mere skeletons from Long Island Sound to the Great South Bay next to the ocean.
Every winter it seems, we have one or two northeasters, but rarely does one come accompanied by both a blizzard and full moon tides. Such was the case over the weekend and we were still digging out on Monday. Some meteorologists are saying that we could have another storm, almost equally as strong, this coming weekend.
By all accounts, winter has finally descended upon us. But as of the date for this column, there are only 39 days until crocuses begin blooming. It’s one of the oddest winters I can remember, one with very few winter birds, only a handful of waterfowl, and, as of yet, no ice skating. One wonders if such a winter will be good for all of those...
I started this environmental and natural history column in 1981, and except for about four years in the latter part of the 1980s it has been going ever since. I hope to keep it going on into the 2020s. We will see. Nature and the environment are in a lot of trouble and need all of the help they can get. Who wants to live on Mars?
A recent study published in The New York Times observed that the female and male humans’ brains were identical in anatomy, yet males and females are so different behaviorally and physiologically in so many ways. How is it possible the brains are the same?
As many of you readers have observed (or heard falling in the night), there was a tremendous crop of acorns this year, notwithstanding the dryish summer. More acorns should produce more squirrels, which are famous feeders on acorns during the winter months, having squirreled hundreds away during the fall.
The winter birds are here until March and April. It’s time to stock the feeders for the long winter haul. Most of us who feed the birds will be carefully watching, identifying, and counting, and so will a bird or two whose powers of observation far outstrip our own — those pesky hawks with the sharp beaks and vice-grip talons.