Recent Stories: Outdoors

Jon M. Diat
May 25, 2017
Despite launching my boat for the season back on March 13, an overly aggressive early date, this spring’s copiously rainy and windy weather left very few opportunities to wet a line and finally put some fresh fish on the table.

Despite launching my boat for the season back on March 13, an overly aggressive early date, this spring’s copiously rainy and windy weather left very few opportunities to wet a line and finally put some fresh fish on the table. 

Larry Penny
May 18, 2017
The summer birds are back in full force. Most are day birds, but some are nocturnal — the owls and the nightjars such as the nighthawk and whippoorwill.

The summer birds are back in full force. Most are day birds, but some are nocturnal — the owls and the nightjars such as the nighthawk and whippoorwill. 

Jack Graves
May 18, 2017
Ramit Tandon, a Columbia University graduate who left Wall Street for the pro tour recently, swept through the S.Y.S. Open squash tournament this past week, defeating a fellow Indian, Kush Kumar, a member of Trinity College’s national-championship team, 11-3, 11-2, 11-3 in Sunday’s final.

Ramit Tandon, a Columbia University graduate who left Wall Street for the pro tour recently, swept through the S.Y.S. Open squash tournament this past week, defeating a fellow Indian, Kush Kumar, a member of Trinity College’s national-championship team, 11-3, 11-2, 11-3 in Sunday’s final.

David E. Rattray
May 18, 2017
Recreational anglers will have a daily limit of three fish, with a minimum length of 19 inches, when the fluke season opens in New York waters on May 17. The changes are a dramatic reduction from 2016’s five-fish, 18-inch minimum. The recreational fluke season will close on Sept. 21.

Recreational anglers will have a daily limit of three fish, with a minimum length of 19 inches, when the fluke season opens in New York waters on May 17. The changes are a dramatic reduction from 2016’s five-fish, 18-inch minimum. The recreational fluke season will close on Sept. 21. 

David E. Rattray
May 11, 2017
The shadbush are blooming, and the dogwoods and lilacs are, too, which means that there should be fish around. And so there are.

The shadbush are blooming, and the dogwoods and lilacs are, too, which means that there should be fish around. And so there are. 

Larry Penny
May 11, 2017
When I was a boy growing up in Mattituck I poked around everywhere and at everything, collecting many of the things I found, be they animate or inanimate, or, as they say in Twenty Questions, “animal, vegetable, or mineral.”

When I was a boy growing up in Mattituck I poked around everywhere and at everything, collecting many of the things I found, be they animate or inanimate, or, as they say in Twenty Questions, “animal, vegetable, or mineral.” 

T.E. McMorrow
May 4, 2017

Paddle Diva, which has been under fire from the East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals for giving paddleboard lessons in Three Mile Harbor, can continue to operate this season, according to an agreement announced Tuesday between the town and the company, whose owner, Gina Bradley, had sued to stay in business.

Christopher Walsh
May 3, 2017
Declines in terrapin populations have prompted New York to consider banning their harvest.

 The State Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting comments on the possible closing of the diamondback terrapin season. The diamondback terrapin lives in brackish waters on Long Island as well as near the Hudson River and New York Harbor. The law now allows them to be taken with a commercial license from August through April.

Larry Penny
May 2, 2017
Are there flowering plants that live in the seas? Yes, they are called sea grasses because, like land grasses, they are monocots, plants that only display a single leaf upon emerging from the seed.

Are there flowering plants that live in the seas? Yes, they are called sea grasses because, like land grasses, they are monocots, plants that only display a single leaf upon emerging from the seed. 

Larry Penny
April 27, 2017
It’s 3 p.m. on Sunday and the sun is shining in full glory following three days of cloudy rainy weather. The robins and cardinals are singing their territorial songs, the trees are beginning to leaf out, the red maples are flowering, and the scarlet and black oaks are following in their stead. By the time this goes to press, the shads and beach plums will be in bloom, to be followed by the dogwoods, then the mountain laurels. It is spring as I remember it.

It’s 3 p.m. on Sunday and the sun is shining in full glory following three days of cloudy rainy weather. The robins and cardinals are singing their territorial songs, the trees are beginning to leaf out, the red maples are flowering, and the scarlet and black oaks are following in their stead.

Larry Penny
April 20, 2017
A weekend with near-80-degree temperatures and it seems like spring prematurely turning into summer. Alewives, or river herring, are running, ospreys are sitting on nests, hardwood trees are budding, and at Oakland Cemetery in Sag Harbor, trailing arbutus are flowering up a storm, according to Jean Held.

A weekend with near-80-degree temperatures and it seems like spring prematurely turning into summer. Alewives, or river herring, are running, ospreys are sitting on nests, hardwood trees are budding, and at Oakland Cemetery in Sag Harbor, trailing arbutus are flowering up a storm, according to Jean Held. 

Larry Penny
April 13, 2017
Walking is good for you. My doctors say that. Just about every doctor says that. There are three kinds of recreational walking: fast steady walking, group walking with a guide, and walking by yourself or with another while studying the ground, sky, trees, and maybe water.

Walking is good for you. My doctors say that. Just about every doctor says that. There are three kinds of recreational walking: fast steady walking, group walking with a guide, and walking by yourself or with another while studying the ground, sky, trees, and maybe water.

Larry Penny
April 6, 2017
It was, indeed, a very rough March. But April is here and things are starting to pop. One sign of spring is the number of male robins on the greening shoulders along roads. Why they hit these shoulders first before the lawns is a question that has been nagging me for years, but that’s the way it is. On Sunday afternoon along Scuttlehole Road in Bridgehampton there were several, all males, of course. Females usually return several days after the males.

It was, indeed, a very rough March. But April is here and things are starting to pop. One sign of spring is the number of male robins on the greening shoulders along roads. Why they hit these shoulders first before the lawns is a question that has been nagging me for years, but that’s the way it is.

Larry Penny
March 30, 2017
I’m in my 80s and spend a good deal of time thinking about the 1980s, when all sorts of things for the good happened on the South Fork, North Fork, and Shelter Island. And yes, there were many bad things to overcome.

I’m in my 80s and spend a good deal of time thinking about the 1980s, when all sorts of things for the good happened on the South Fork, North Fork, and Shelter Island. And yes, there were many bad things to overcome. 

Larry Penny
March 23, 2017
The birds that have been showing up at your feeder daily will still need another couple of weeks of food to keep them going.

We are not out of the woods yet. It is still cold and the birds that have been showing up at your feeder daily will still need another couple of weeks of food to keep them going. In the past, very few people fed birds, and if they did, it was likely to be something not nutritious like Wonder Bread.

Larry Penny
March 16, 2017
In nature, being the first to set up camp – or come out of hibernation – in the spring has its advantages. "The early bird catches the worm" or, in the osprey's case, the fish, but it also comes with risks; small creatures that emerge or return too early can go hungry in a late-winter snowstorm.

As I write this, a big storm is on the way, maybe the biggest since the 1888 blizzard that killed more than 400 people in the greater metropolitan-Long Island area. Blizzards, hurricanes, northeasters, tropical cyclones, and record rainfalls are just a few of the “acts of God” that are responsible for culling species, diminishing their numbers.

Larry Penny
March 9, 2017
From long before our kindergarten years, the one thing that we all know for certain is that there is life on Earth, and we are immersed in it. In fact, according to the latest findings by scientists examining four-billion-year-old rocks on the shores of Hudson Bay, spiral-tubular minuscule life forms, early bacteria, have been around that long or longer.

From long before our kindergarten years, the one thing that we all know for certain is that there is life on Earth, and we are immersed in it. In fact, according to the latest findings by scientists examining four-billion-year-old rocks on the shores of Hudson Bay, spiral-tubular minuscule life forms, early bacteria, have been around that long or longer.

Larry Penny
March 2, 2017
I was born in a house next to my grandfather’s chicken farm in Mattituck, across the bay. White leghorn chickens may have been the first bird species I opened my eyes to, the first bird species I came to know intimately. Before someone coined the term “free-range chickens” in the late 1900s, that’s what they were, free-range. They ran freely over the expanse of old fields and gardens surrounding my boyhood area, feeding and carrying on as chickens left to their own devices do. At night they either roosted on tree branches or in chicken coops on rails.

I was born in a house next to my grandfather’s chicken farm in Mattituck, across the bay. White leghorn chickens may have been the first bird species I opened my eyes to, the first bird species I came to know intimately. Before someone coined the term “free-range chickens” in the late 1900s, that’s what they were, free-range.

Larry Penny
February 23, 2017
One would think that with this mild weather and melting snow the area would come alive with all sorts of wildlife that, except for the gray squirrels, has largely been in hiding.

One would think that with this mild weather and melting snow the area would come alive with all sorts of wildlife that, except for the gray squirrels, has largely been in hiding. 

Larry Penny
February 16, 2017
Here’s where we get our electric energy from: hydroelectric dams, nuclear power plants, the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas), subterranean heat sources, the sun, wind, and hydrogen.

Here’s where we get our electric energy from: hydroelectric dams, nuclear power plants, the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas), subterranean heat sources, the sun, wind, and hydrogen. 

Larry Penny
February 9, 2017
You’re spinning, I’m spinning, we’re all spinning. Everything is in motion. If you are standing in an island in an ocean transected by the Equator, you are moving easterly at more than 1,000 miles per hour. You just don’t feel it or notice it because the island, the water surrounding it, and everything on it are moving at the same speed. If you are standing upright and motionless on one of the poles, north or south, you are near stationary, except that you turn completely around once every 24 hours. From infancy to old age, you and I, assuming that we have been in the same neighborhood all of these years, have been moving easterly at almost the same speed, but not exactly.

You’re spinning, I’m spinning, we’re all spinning. Everything is in motion. If you are standing in an island in an ocean transected by the Equator, you are moving easterly at more than 1,000 miles per hour. You just don’t feel it or notice it because the island, the water surrounding it, and everything on it are moving at the same speed.

Larry Penny
February 2, 2017
When I dropped out of Cornell University for the second time in 1957 I was about to be drafted. We were not at war then, having settled the Korean police action some four years earlier, but, nevertheless, I didn’t think I was cut out for the infantry so I enlisted. I wanted to go into intelligence so I took my chances on getting into the United States Army Language School in Monterey, Calif. I landed a slot — the last available — in Russian. I thought I would be sent to Europe at the end of the course, but instead I boarded a troop ship in San Francisco, sailed out under the Golden Gate Bridge, and headed for Japan.

When I dropped out of Cornell University for the second time in 1957 I was about to be drafted. We were not at war then, having settled the Korean police action some four years earlier, but, nevertheless, I didn’t think I was cut out for the infantry so I enlisted.

Larry Penny
January 26, 2017
I frequently ask myself why there are so many artists plying their trade on the East End of Long Island. Yes, it’s close to the museums and major galleries in New York, but I think the main reason they are here is the setting. In other words they find the pastoral spaces, ocean and bays, bluffs and woodlands both provocative and attractive. And others I have queried said this area’s most important attribute is its ambient light.

I frequently ask myself why there are so many artists plying their trade on the East End of Long Island. Yes, it’s close to the museums and major galleries in New York, but I think the main reason they are here is the setting. In other words they find the pastoral spaces, ocean and bays, bluffs and woodlands both provocative and attractive.

Larry Penny
January 19, 2017
Every once in a while a bird shows up that takes the South Fork by storm. In the past, it’s been eagles, snowy owls, pelicans, Lapland longspurs, Ross’s gulls, puffins, painted buntings, and scissor-tail flycatchers, to name but a few. Birdwatchers come from all over the United States, even from as far west as California, to see some of those rare birds.

Every once in a while a bird shows up that takes the South Fork by storm. In the past, it’s been eagles, snowy owls, pelicans, Lapland longspurs, Ross’s gulls, puffins, painted buntings, and scissor-tail flycatchers, to name but a few.