Recent Stories: Outdoors

Larry Penny
January 28, 2016
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.

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.

Larry Penny
January 21, 2016
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 coastal ponds of our area that are in trouble, or will it worsen them?

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.

Larry Penny
January 14, 2016
One of our largest birds, the bald eagle, was seen on Long Pond south of Sag Harbor by Ellen Stahl.

One of our smallest amphibians, the spring peeper, a tree frog that breeds in late March and April, was singing in Hither Woods on Sunday, when the air temperature had reached almost 60 degrees, according to Michael Odestick and his wife, Kelly, who were out for a walk. On the same day, one of our largest birds, the bald eagle, was seen on Long Pond south of Sag Harbor by Ellen Stahl. 

Larry Penny
January 7, 2016
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?

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?

Larry Penny
December 31, 2015
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?

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?

It has to do with hormones, namely, progesterone, but also other vital factors.

Larry Penny
December 24, 2015
Last night at this time it was 33.3 degrees, but never dipped further. That’s the coldest it’s been here in Noyac on the north edge of the moraine since last March. What’s happening?

It’s 10:56 Monday night and the temperature outside my window reads 54.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Last night at this time it was 33.3 degrees, but never dipped further. That’s the coldest it’s been here in Noyac on the north edge of the moraine since last March. What’s happening?

Larry Penny
December 17, 2015
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.

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.

Carissa Katz
December 10, 2015
The Montauk SurfMasters Fall Classic ended on Dec. 1, with fewer contenders than usual, due largely to a season that Paul Apostolides of Paulie’s Tackle described as “tough, tough, tough.”

The Montauk SurfMasters Fall Classic ended on Dec. 1, with fewer contenders than usual, due largely to a season that Paul Apostolides of Paulie’s Tackle described as “tough, tough, tough.” 

“It was probably the toughest season we’ve had in the history of the tournament,” said Mike Coppola, an organizer. 

Larry Penny
December 10, 2015
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.

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.

Larry Penny
December 3, 2015
I think it was D.H. Lawrence who said any village that you couldn’t walk through, one end to the other, in an hour or so, isn’t worth the trip.

I think it was D.H. Lawrence who said any village that you couldn’t walk through, one end to the other, in an hour or so, isn’t worth the trip.

Taylor K. Vecsey
November 25, 2015
A True’s beaked whale, rare to the area, was found dead on Scott Cameron Beach in Bridgehampton last Thursday afternoon.

A True’s beaked whale, rare to the area, was found dead on Scott Cameron Beach in Bridgehampton last Thursday afternoon. It appears the whale was sickly.

Larry Penny
November 25, 2015
The United States Army Corps of Engineers and their contractors did in a few days what Hurricane Sandy of 2012 never did, or Irene a year before Sandy, as well as a host of storms prior to those two.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers and their contractors did in a few days what Hurricane Sandy of 2012 never did, or Irene a year before Sandy, as well as a host of storms prior to those two. 

Taylor K. Vecsey
November 20, 2015
A necropsy is being performed on the 11-foot beaked whale that was found dead at Scott Cameron Beach.

A beaked whale was found dead on Scott Cameron Beach in Bridgehampton on Thursday afternoon. The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation is performing a necropsy Friday afternoon, and will know more about how the whale died after that. 

Larry Penny
November 19, 2015
The black and scarlet oaks with their lobed and pointed leaves may be on the way to becoming live oaks, the ones in the South and California that never lose their leaves in the fall and are, thus, evergreens. It will take thousands of years for such a conversion, but global warming may shorten that time span a bit. We’ll see.

The black and scarlet oaks with their lobed and pointed leaves may be on the way to becoming live oaks, the ones in the South and California that never lose their leaves in the fall and are, thus, evergreens. It will take thousands of years for such a conversion, but global warming may shorten that time span a bit. We’ll see.

Larry Penny
November 12, 2015
Most of the eastern United States is made up of counties, townships, cities, villages, hamlets, and neighborhood areas that have names but have no local government. The western states, which came latest, have counties and cities, but also neighborhoods that have distinct names as in the East. Some of the Midwest states, which joined the union in the middle of its growth, have towns and villages, as well as cities and counties.

Most of the eastern United States is made up of counties, townships, cities, villages, hamlets, and neighborhood areas that have names but have no local government. The western states, which came latest, have counties and cities, but also neighborhoods that have distinct names as in the East.

Russell Drumm
November 5, 2015
One of my closest friends growing up in Levittown was Ronald Kuhlman. His father was a taxidermist, an old-school practitioner of the ancient art who was able to skin a hunter’s pride right down to gut and bone.

One of my closest friends growing up in Levittown was Ronald Kuhlman. His father was a taxidermist, an old-school practitioner of the ancient art who was able to skin a hunter’s pride right down to gut and bone.

Larry Penny
November 5, 2015
The rain and wind of last Wednesday didn’t spoil the fall foliage after all. As of Monday, the oaks in my yard still had three-quarters of their leaves and were more than 50-percent green. Is it a sign of global warming that leaves take longer and longer each year to turn or is it just some enigma that won’t easily be explained and predictable for some time?

The rain and wind of last Wednesday didn’t spoil the fall foliage after all. As of Monday, the oaks in my yard still had three-quarters of their leaves and were more than 50-percent green. Is it a sign of global warming that leaves take longer and longer each year to turn or is it just some enigma that won’t easily be explained and predictable for some time?

Larry Penny
October 29, 2015
On Sunday during a Long Pond Greenbelt walk along the old Long Island Rail Road spur between Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor I had to keep from tripping after rolling on acorns that littered the trail. I dared not to look at the turning leaves in the oaks, sassafras, and hickories above for fear of stumbling on an acorn.

On Sunday morning acorns were knocking on my roof at a rate of 2.5 per minute or 150 per hour. It’s been that kind of fall in Noyac.

Larry Penny
October 22, 2015
Ah, fall, the sound of acorns dropping on the roof on a breezy night can wake you up, but it’s much more comforting than the sound of the rain of frass from a thousand gypsy moth larvae defecating at the same time. The acorn that falls on your roof and rolls off does not fall far from your house.

Ah, fall, the sound of acorns dropping on the roof on a breezy night can wake you up, but it’s much more comforting than the sound of the rain of frass from a thousand gypsy moth larvae defecating at the same time. The acorn that falls on your roof and rolls off does not fall far from your house.

Russell Drumm
October 22, 2015
I made the decision to haul the sloop Leilani, to bring her onto “the hard,” as the sailor calls the land, two weeks ago when one of the prognosticating computer models showed Hurricane Joaquin passing directly over Long Island.

I made the decision to haul the sloop Leilani, to bring her onto “the hard,” as the sailor calls the land, two weeks ago when one of the prognosticating computer models showed Hurricane Joaquin passing directly over Long Island.

Larry Penny
October 15, 2015
As Roseanne Roseannadanna of “Saturday Night Live” might say if she were with us today, “What’s all this fuss about blue-green algae? Algae are good, aren’t they?” Yes, blue-green algae have become common in the news lately. But I doubt that one in 10,000 people have ever seen one or has any idea about what one is. In actuality, the blue-green alga is not an alga at all (true algae have nuclei), but a bacterium, in fact, a cyanobacterium, one of the first to exist on earth.

As Roseanne Roseannadanna of “Saturday Night Live” might say if she were with us today, “What’s all this fuss about blue-green algae? Algae are good, aren’t they?” Yes, blue-green algae have become common in the news lately. But I doubt that one in 10,000 people have ever seen one or has any idea about what one is.

Russell Drumm
October 15, 2015
The whale was white, a silvery white, with one of its graceful pectoral fins languorously draped across its midsection like the arm of an otherworldly odalisque. Beautiful.

It was the light. The afternoon light and the unknown number of days the yearling humpback floated dead before the full moon and the surging remnants of Hurricane Joaquin cast it upon the rocks east of the trailer park in Montauk.

Larry Penny
October 8, 2015
We’ve just suffered through another northeaster, but fortunately missed Hurricane Joaquin, which went out to sea after bombarding the Bahamas and Bermuda. After a long lull between 1962 and 1983, we’ve had a plethora of costly coastal storms beginning with the March northeaster of 1984 and culminating with Sandy at the end of October 2012.

We’ve just suffered through another northeaster, but fortunately missed Hurricane Joaquin, which went out to sea after bombarding the Bahamas and Bermuda. After a long lull between 1962 and 1983, we’ve had a plethora of costly coastal storms beginning with the March northeaster of 1984 and culminating with Sandy at the end of October 2012.

Russell Drumm
September 30, 2015
The small bumper sticker caught my eye a few days ago in a parking lot at the beach. Its message included the ubiquitous heart hieroglyph that stands for the word “love.” Montauk, the whole East End was suffused with silver light that reflects off the sea at the time of the autumnal equinox when the sun sinks lower on the horizon. I call it Silver September.

The small bumper sticker caught my eye a few days ago in a parking lot at the beach. Its message included the ubiquitous heart hieroglyph that stands for the word “love.” Montauk, the whole East End was suffused with silver light that reflects off the sea at the time of the autumnal equinox when the sun sinks lower on the horizon. I call it Silver September.