Recent Stories: Outdoors

Larry Penny
September 22, 2016
In the 1940s almost every family on the North Fork had at least one dog and one cat. Many families kept a larger menagerie — pigs, chickens, goats, cows, and sometimes a horse or two. Horses were an extravagance; you couldn’t eat them nor did they give milk or lay eggs, and they were no longer needed to pull plows and other farm implements, having been replaced in the 1920s and 1930s by tractors.

In the 1940s almost every family on the North Fork had at least one dog and one cat. Many families kept a larger menagerie — pigs, chickens, goats, cows, and sometimes a horse or two.

Larry Penny
September 15, 2016
America is making progress at bringing back lost species of flowers and plants, while simultaneously better protecting animal species that were most vulnerable. The gray wolf and grizzly bear, two species that were approaching extinction in the latter quarter of the 20th century, are now becoming so common in some areas that several states allow hunters to shoot them.

America is making progress at bringing back lost species of flowers and plants, while simultaneously better protecting animal species that were most vulnerable. The gray wolf and grizzly bear, two species that were approaching extinction in the latter quarter of the 20th century, are now becoming so common in some areas that several states allow hunters to shoot them.

David Kuperschmid
September 15, 2016
The crowds that came to Montauk Point to witness the wild surf created by Tropical Storm Hermine were greeted by something large and white beached under the Lighthouse at Turtle Cove. Not a whale but a 27-foot Stamas fishing boat with twin 225-horsepower Yamaha outboard engines. Its name was Living the Dream.

The crowds that came to Montauk Point to witness the wild surf created by Tropical Storm Hermine were greeted by something large and white beached under the Lighthouse at Turtle Cove. Not a whale but a 27-foot Stamas fishing boat with twin 225-horsepower Yamaha outboard engines. Its name was Living the Dream. 

Larry Penny
September 8, 2016
I led a nature walk at Shadmoor State Park for a nice couple from Amagansett who won the walk in the East Hampton Ladies Village Improvement Society auction held on July 30. Their son and a girlfriend, as well as another woman friend and her son, also accompanied us. I took my large white towel along and swept the vegetation on the sides of the trails as we marched on in the chance that I might find a tick or two. Shadmoor is well known for its large deer tick and Lone Star tick populations.

I led a nature walk at Shadmoor State Park for a nice couple from Amagansett who won the walk in the East Hampton Ladies Village Improvement Society auction held on July 30. Their son and a girlfriend, as well as another woman friend and her son, also accompanied us.

David Kuperschmid
September 8, 2016
Resting comfortably in the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” side of the aisle, I’m a somewhat slow adopter of new fishing tackle technologies.

Resting comfortably in the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” side of the aisle, I’m a somewhat slow adopter of new fishing tackle technologies. I use braided lines for bottom fishing but still prefer grandpap’s stretchy monofilament for battling head-shaking species like bluefish. Scented and chemical attractant-infused soft-plastic baits like Gulp!

Larry Penny
September 1, 2016
All animals of a species have culture. If we accept the notion that plants communicate with one another underground via mycorrhizal connections, plants also have culture. In evolution, not only does a species adapt to changing climes and competition by evolving adaptations — as a fish evolving lungs to become an amphibian — but a species also changes its behavior to keep up with quicker changes in its environment.

All animals of a species have culture. If we accept the notion that plants communicate with one another underground via mycorrhizal connections, plants also have culture.

David Kuperschmid
August 31, 2016
Around this time of year, bogus sightings of false albacore begin to percolate among hopeful fishermen. Anglers eager for a tussle with the line-peeling speedster confuse pods of marauding bluefish for their prize. Eyes see what they want to see when falsie fever spreads around the East End.

Around this time of year, bogus sightings of false albacore begin to percolate among hopeful fishermen. Anglers eager for a tussle with the line-peeling speedster confuse pods of marauding bluefish for their prize. Eyes see what they want to see when falsie fever spreads around the East End.

Larry Penny
August 25, 2016
Long Island is the biggest island by far in the Long Island archipelago. This archipelago may not be a true archipelago like the Galapagos in the South Pacific off Ecuador or the Channel Islands off Southern California in the middle Pacific or the San Juan Islands off Washington in the northern Pacific. The status of Long Island as an island has long been in doubt, separated as it is from the rest of New York by the East River. The United States Supreme Court — lawyers, mind you, not coastal geologists or geographers — ruled 9 to 0 that Long Island is not an island but part of New York State’s mainland.

Long Island is the biggest island by far in the Long Island archipelago. This archipelago may not be a true archipelago like the Galapagos in the South Pacific off Ecuador or the Channel Islands off Southern California in the middle Pacific or the San Juan Islands off Washington in the northern Pacific.

David Kuperschmid
August 25, 2016
Bluefish are born mean. A snapper, or juvenile bluefish, will attack just about any lure thrown its way. This silver assassin’s impulsive behavior and voracious appetite make it the perfect target for kids, first-time anglers, and those who just want to have some summer angling fun without committing whole hog to the sport. Even a grizzled surfcaster can enjoy fishing for snappers with an ultralight rod and reel.

Bluefish are born mean. A snapper, or juvenile bluefish, will attack just about any lure thrown its way. This silver assassin’s impulsive behavior and voracious appetite make it the perfect target for kids, first-time anglers, and those who just want to have some summer angling fun without committing whole hog to the sport.

Larry Penny
August 18, 2016
Some human domiciles are 1,000 years old or more. Several on Long Island date back to the late 1600s. Most houses, however, have lost their sense of permanence. Fifty years ago, one would never raze a house to build another one unless it was severely storm damaged or ravaged by fire. Nowadays, houses built in the last quarter of the 20th century are falling to new, larger ones right and left. Houses have lost their sense of permanence just as we who live in them have lost our sense of immortality.

When whippoorwills call and evening is nigh
I hurry to my blue heaven
Turn to the right, a little white light 
Will lead me to my blue heaven. 
I’ll see a smiling face, a fireplace, a cozy room

David Kuperschmid
August 16, 2016
I’ve avoided writing a column about fishing with drones because, quite frankly, I think it’s an idiotic pursuit. But recently I’ve been getting reports from tackle shops that more and more customers are inquiring about using a drone rather than a surf rod to deliver a baited hook.

I’ve avoided writing a column about fishing with drones because, quite frankly, I think it’s an idiotic pursuit. But recently I’ve been getting reports from tackle shops that more and more customers are inquiring about using a drone rather than a surf rod to deliver a baited hook. 

Larry Penny
August 11, 2016
Montauk, in my eyes, is one of the richest places for natural history in the United States. It has grasslands, forests, savannas, freshwater wetlands, tidal wetlands, ponds both permanent and temporary, hills, kettleholes, glacial erratics, cranberry bogs, dunes, ocean beaches, sound beaches, all matter of marine and freshwater fishes, blue-spotted salamanders, and the only ocean coastal bluffs north of the Caribbean Islands. That venerable Long Islander Teddy Roosevelt traveled the world, and he also visited Montauk. He must have loved it. Walt Whitman loved it. I love it.

Montauk, in my eyes, is one of the richest places for natural history in the United States.

Carissa Katz
August 11, 2016
A paddle-out in memory of Russell Drumm will be held at Ditch Plain Beach in Montauk on Saturday at 8 a.m.

A paddle-out in memory of Russell Drumm will be held at Ditch Plain Beach in Montauk on Saturday at 8 a.m. Mr. Drumm, who died on Jan. 16, was a journalist, author, surfer, sailor, and a founder of the Montauk Oceans Institute at the Montauk Lighthouse.

David Kuperschmid
August 11, 2016
Modern surf fishermen rely on rods manufactured with high-performance carbon fibers, reels built with aerospace gear technology, and lines created in chemistry labs to catch fish. Things were a little different at the dawn of surf fishing in Montauk.

Modern surf fishermen rely on rods manufactured with high-performance carbon fibers, reels built with aerospace gear technology, and lines created in chemistry labs to catch fish. Things were a little different at the dawn of surf fishing in Montauk.

David Kuperschmid
August 4, 2016
Of course I did this on purpose, I told my wife, showing her the large silver hook dangling from my left ring finger. You think an experienced fisherman like me could accidentally hook himself, I continued, unsuccessfully hiding a smile. She rolled her eyes, called East Hampton Urgent Care in Amagansett, and off we went to free the shiny devil from my person.

Of course I did this on purpose, I told my wife, showing her the large silver hook dangling from my left ring finger. You think an experienced fisherman like me could accidentally hook himself, I continued, unsuccessfully hiding a smile. She rolled her eyes, called East Hampton Urgent Care in Amagansett, and off we went to free the shiny devil from my person.

Larry Penny
August 3, 2016
In August the insects hold sway. It is time for the most bizarre looking insectsof all, the walking stick and the praying mantis. One very rarely sees more than one or two of these, the largest of our creepy-crawlies, in a season.

In June, early summer days were dominated by the songs and call notes of birds with high testosterone levels. Some humans lucky enough to live in Promised Land on Napeague or on Fort Pond Bay near Navy Road in Montauk, where whippoorwills still breed every summer, heard birdsongs during the day and at night.

Larry Penny
July 28, 2016
Monday night’s rain, though much less than an inch, was just enough to keep the broad-leaved trees from beginning to turn pale green.

Talk about global warming! Man, we are swimming in it. Monday night’s rain, though much less than an inch, was just enough to keep the broad-leaved trees from beginning to turn pale green. The lushness of the foliage characterized by spring is on the verge of collapse. We’ll see if today and tomorrow bring the rains promised daily by the TV weathermen and weatherwomen.

David Kuperschmid
July 27, 2016
Doctors for centuries have suspected that sea air has recuperative powers. They’ve directed patients with a wide range of ailments to head for the shore. Back in 1894, the English medical journal The Lancet offered that “those who are languid and debilitated from over-work or long-continued strain obtain benefit from sea air.”

Doctors for centuries have suspected that sea air has recuperative powers. They’ve directed patients with a wide range of ailments to head for the shore. Back in 1894, the English medical journal The Lancet offered that “those who are languid and debilitated from over-work or long-continued strain obtain benefit from sea air.” 

David Kuperschmid
July 21, 2016
The name menhaden is derived from a blend of Native American words that mean “he fertilizes,” which refers to the fish’s early use as fertilizer, including by the pilgrims in the early-17th century.

The 40-pound striped bass that lately have been blanketing East End fishing docks were drawn to local waters by the arrival of Atlantic menhaden, or bunker as they are known locally.

Larry Penny
July 21, 2016
The dog days of summer are supposed to wait until mid-August, but decided to come in July this year. Ouch! Having said that, the way the climate has been heating up in this decade, come August, the days could get even doggier.

The dog days of summer are supposed to wait until mid-August, but decided to come in July this year. Ouch! Having said that, the way the climate has been heating up in this decade, come August, the days could get even doggier. 

David Kuperschmid
July 14, 2016
If the fish are hanging 75 yards offshore, most anglers can expect a long and frustrating day on the beach. Unless, of course, they own a new, expensive bait launcher.

It’s difficult to cast a sinker and a hook baited with clam or bunker a long distance. Any attempt to muscle the cast often results in a tangled mess or bait flying wildly off the hook. Figure an average surfcaster can fling lead and bait about 50 yards on a good day. An accomplished surfcaster can send them maybe an additional 50 yards, give or take.

Larry Penny
July 14, 2016
There is a very pretty grove of green-leafed trees with bright red-brown flowers and developing fruit on the west end of Long Beach in Noyac, less than 75 feet from the lapping waters of Noyac Bay. On Monday I examined them and found them to be trees of heaven, Ailanthus altissima. I see scores of trees of this species every time I ride along one of the South Fork’s more populated highways. In places Noyac Road is overrun with them, but most of the flowers are much more green than red.

There is a very pretty grove of green-leafed trees with bright red-brown flowers and developing fruit on the west end of Long Beach in Noyac, less than 75 feet from the lapping waters of Noyac Bay. On Monday I examined them and found them to be trees of heaven, Ailanthus altissima.

Christopher Walsh
July 7, 2016
Five traditional boats, tools, and maritime equipment will be for sale on Saturday when the East End Classic Boat Society holds its annual fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hartjen-Richardson Community Boat Shop at 301 Bluff Road, Amagansett, behind the East Hampton Town Maritime Museum.

Five traditional boats, tools, and maritime equipment will be for sale on Saturday when the East End Classic Boat Society holds its annual fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hartjen-Richardson Community Boat Shop at 301 Bluff Road, Amagansett, behind the East Hampton Town Maritime Museum. 

David Kuperschmid
July 7, 2016
One doesn’t need a boat to fish the East End. There are many productive saltwater and freshwater spots from Montauk to East Hampton where anyone with the right gear, a little local knowledge, and persistence can catch fish for fun or for the table.

One doesn’t need a boat to fish the East End. There are many productive saltwater and freshwater spots from Montauk to East Hampton where anyone with the right gear, a little local knowledge, and persistence can catch fish for fun or for the table.