Recent Stories: Outdoors

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, with every expectation that I would understand what he was saying. How strange. The “satellite-tag” sentence speaks to our time, late June 2014, and this place, Montauk. Imagine explaining its meaning to someone prior to Oct. 4, 1957, the day the Soviet Union put the first satellite into space.

Larry Penny
June 25, 2014

On the evening of June the 11 I drove 43 miles on the back roads in Southampton Town listening for the breeding calls of whippoorwills and chuck-will’s-widows. I’ve been living in Noyac for 35 years and discovered a paved road right down the block that I had never been on, Old Sag Harbor Road, which connects Brick Kiln with Millstone Road where the old Bridgehampton Racetrack was situated.

Russell Drumm
June 25, 2014

“There’s something going on in the ocean,” Chuck Weimar said as he strode along its shoreline on Sunday. Naturally, something always is, but to hear it from the veteran fisherman, captain of the Montauk dragger Rianda S, meant the “something” could be abnormal.

Russell Drumm
June 18, 2014

When pressed during an afternoon sail aboard the sloop Leilani on Monday, Dr. David Nelson allowed that before slipping into semiretirement two months ago he’d helped restore vision to 15,000 eyes, give or take, over the course of his 40-year career as an ophthalmic surgeon. What those eyes might have missed!

Earlier in the day, he’d peddled his bike from Montauk to East Hampton and back, then paddled out for a short surf session in shapely, waist-high waves at Ditch Plain not far from his house. The doctor complained of knee pain, and why not?

Larry Penny
June 18, 2014

We are on the verge of the longest day of the year, the summer solstice. For those living on the equator, it’s just another day. For those on the tiny island of Spitzbergen in the Arctic Ocean off the northernmost coast of Norway, there will only be day, no night.

Russell Drumm
June 11, 2014

Shark tournaments are upon us. The captain’s meeting and beer bash for the Star Island Yacht Club’s 28th annual will take place this evening — entry fee, $1,000 per boat. The chum will flow Friday and Saturday, and sharks will be hoisted up the gibbet to be ogled, weighed, and necropsied.

Somewhere around $30,000 in prize money will be dispensed during the awards ceremony Saturday night, not counting the pool of much larger side bets. God help us.

Larry Penny
June 11, 2014

The cosmos is expanding at an accelerated rate. There are thousands of meteorites ranging in size from a hardball to an aircraft carrier in crazy orbits and asymmetric paths in our solar system; small ones hit the earth annually. A big one like the one that smacked down in the center of Russia last year could hit somewhere in America within the next 10 years. The earth is pockmarked with craters from the strikes of asteroids and meteorites, as is the moon.

Larry Penny
June 4, 2014

My first 21 years were