Recent Stories: Outdoors

Larry Penny
September 10, 2014

Most of September is summer, but in my eyes all of September is fall. Lots of wonderful things start happening at the end of August. The rich and the rowdy leave for the city. There is less traffic on the roads and highways. The days are cooler and the air less humid. Striped bass and neotropical warblers begin their fall migration southward. Snowy tree crickets and katydids sing the loudest. Asters and goldenrods break out in whites, blues, purples, and yellows. Beach plums ripen. Cranberries begin to ripen.

Larry Penny
September 3, 2014

I live across the street from Noyac’s Long Beach, a barely more than 100-foot-wide isthmus between Noyac Road and Route 114. The isthmus, with its county road, Long Beach Road, separates the inner Sag Harbor Cove from the outer Noyac Bay, part of the Peconic Estuary.

Russell Drumm
September 2, 2014

When I heard the news, I thought of his big laugh, big smile. Then the memories began to flood like the tide around the Montauk Marine Basin docks. Carl Darenberg Jr., “Carly,” was always there, like big Carl senior, and Vivian, his mom.

Russell Drumm
August 28, 2014

A week ago, Capt. Skip Rudolph and his wife, Vickie, took the Adios charter boat offshore on an overnight to tuna country. He’s been busy guiding anglers to our rich, inshore grounds for striped bass and blues. It had been a while since the Adios had gone to where the Continental Shelf dives into offshore canyons formed eons ago by rivers of melting glacier.

Larry Penny
August 28, 2014

North American “life zones” as defined by Clinton Hart Merriam in the early 1900s are equivalent to the world’s biomes. They are deserts, northern coniferous forests, or taigas, temperate deciduous forests such as those occupying Appalachia, alpine forests, evergreen tropical forests, and rain forests, and the tundras of Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia, and Siberia, and grasslands. Biomes tend to keep their identity for millennia.

August 20, 2014

Botany again, but before we begin, I should single out an axiom that often goes unnoticed. Someone somewhere somehow knows something that most of us don’t know. Last week I told you about a Mrs. Pychowska who botanized locally in the late 1800s at a time when almost every biologist, botanist, or naturalist was male. A reader, Julie Sakellariadis, emailed me the day after the column came out. She knew about Mrs. P., who was both the wife of Count Pychowska and Eugene B. Cook.

Russell Drumm
August 20, 2014

“They’re marauding all over,” was how Peter Spacek, The Star’s cartoonist, described the bluefish now invading Montauk waters. If any species can “maraud,” it’s Pomatomus saltatrix.

Larry Penny
August 13, 2014

The author Thomas Berger died recently. After “Little Big Man” one of his titles was “Sneaky People.” It portrayed a kind of negative utopia where women dominated in the business world and elsewhere, and their rise to eminence was based on deception and craftiness. Farcical as his novel was, many would say that’s how men came to rule the corporate and political spheres, and in many cases they would be right.

Russell Drumm
August 13, 2014

The annual Rell Sunn surf contest was held at Ditch Plain Beach in Montauk on Saturday. Each year the tournament’s entry fees, raffles, and auction raise money to help disadvantaged members of the community.

Larry Penny
August 6, 2014

I was sitting with one of the world’s most noted algologists and marine phycologists in the world having lunch in a restaurant in Amagansett with him and three women. We had just listened to the address by the National Audubon Society’s president at the Nature Conservancy’s headquarters in East Hampton.

Russell Drumm
August 6, 2014
Aboard Leilani, 5:55 Tuesday morning. She and the other sailboats are wrapped in pink gauze, the light fog lifting along with the sun.

Aboard Leilani, 5:55 Tuesday morning. She and the other sailboats are wrapped in pink gauze, the light fog lifting along with the sun. Coffee. Snapper bluefish break the surface chasing their breakfast, leaving rings that expand on the mirror that is Lake Montauk. A day opening.

Russell Drumm
July 30, 2014

Sure, they loved him. He was their father, a brother, an uncle, a husband. They loved him, but they didn’t know, or appreciate, his inner fisherman. The extended family was spread out on the downtown Montauk beach on vacation a week ago.

Larry Penny
July 30, 2014

While we humans are fighting all over the world, killing children, women, and men, as well as doing in all kinds of rare beasts such as elephants, rhinoceroses, scaled anteaters, and whales for keepsakes, the local fauna are raising families. And I imagine, except in the war-torn and poached parts of the globe, they are doing the same the world over. It is a pity that the most intelligent animal of all lags behind the others even though this very same animal is a reader, polyglot, writer, emailer, and maker and user of all tools ever devised.

Larry Penny
July 23, 2014

Biogeography is the study of flora and fauna and how they got where they are today. It also applies to humans. We are pretty sure that Asians began to settle North America not quite 20,000 years ago when glaciers covered half of the northern hemisphere and sea level was 100 feet or so lower than today. Many, if not all, came by way of the “land bridge,” now submerged, between Siberia and Alaska. Many mammals and other vertebrates came to the Americas by the same route.

Russell Drumm
July 23, 2014

It’s hard to describe. The sound was a rapid quacking like pleading ducks. No, it was more a staccato croaking, frogs imitating a motorcycle, frogs ululating, but it had to be a species of goose I’d never heard before passing by the sloop Leilani on her mooring as I lay on my bunk in the middle of the night that had fallen through Friday’s gloom.

Larry Penny
July 16, 2014

Naming has come a long way since the days of yore. Now it is used to immortalize individuals, mostly politicos, famous athletes, fallen war heroes, and firemen and police shot in the line of duty. It is also used to name new roads in new subdivisions before they exist and to rename existing roads, beaches, parks, libraries, bridges, museums and the like. There are so many things to name and rename it boggles the mind — so many names that there should be a department of naming.

Russell Drumm
July 16, 2014

Jason Behan said it was like that scene in “Jaws” when the residents of Amity go to sea after the killer shark in every manner of craft and with every sort of weapon imaginable. He wasn’t talking about the weekend’s shark tournament. He was describing the scene that has continued to unfold around Montauk Point in recent days with a growing fleet of fishing boats converging on a school of striped bass, the likes of which veteran anglers say they have never seen.

Larry Penny
July 9, 2014

It seems like we are halfway through summer, but in reality we’re less than a third through. The roads are already super-clogged with vehicles, many of which are spiffy and go from 0 to 60 in less than 10 seconds, which is all well and good if you are on the Autobahn, but on Old Northwest Road or Accabonac Highway it’s a bit much.

Russell Drumm
July 9, 2014

Most every experienced surfer knows how to rate the pucker factor in increments of fear, as happened early evening on the Fourth of July in Montauk. Dozens were caught off guard by a rapidly building swell and forced to “scratch for the horizon” — paddle seaward to escape a serious pounding. 

Bella Lewis
July 2, 2014

Beach-goers can go local with this all-in-one method of hitting the dunes and supporting South Fork entrepreneurs. Here are some pointers.

Skip the alcoholic beverages and replace them with some Miss Lady Root Beer, which uses certified organic ingredients and is brewed and bottled locally. Bottles are available from various spots, including Eli Zabar's Amagansett Farmers Market, the Springs and Montauk Farmers Markets, and Sag Town Coffee.

Bella Lewis
July 2, 2014

The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation freed an 800-pound leatherback sea turtle on Sunday that had gotten entangled in a lobster trap line in the ocean about a mile offshore.    

Larry Penny
July 2, 2014

First, a short note to cheer you all for the 4th of July. On Monday I received a communiqué from Kara Jackson, who handles the news for the Nature Conservancy. She said the first eagles to breed on Mashomack, the Nature Conservancy’s pearl on Shelter Island, in more than a century are just about to fledge their chicks. They could easily be in the air on the 4th. Wouldn’t that be terrific?

Russell Drumm
July 2, 2014

“This year we have five satellite tags.” Carl Darenberg, owner of the Montauk Marine Basin, said casually on Monday,