Recent Stories: Outdoors

David Kuperschmid
April 27, 2016
The lifeblood of fishing has always been the tackle shop. It’s where anglers buy gear, tackle, and baits, learn where the fish are biting, and swap tales with fellow fishermen.

The lifeblood of fishing has always been the tackle shop. It’s where anglers buy gear, tackle, and baits, learn where the fish are biting, and swap tales with fellow fishermen. 

Larry Penny
April 21, 2016
Virginia Frati, who lives up the street from me, across from the Morton Wildlife Refuge, has been looking after injured and sick mammals, birds, turtles, frogs, and even snakes for 20 years.

Virginia Frati, who lives up the street from me, across from the Morton Wildlife Refuge, has been looking after injured and sick mammals, birds, turtles, frogs, and even snakes for 20 years. She never turned away an animal in need.

David Kuperschmid
April 21, 2016
Anglers are drawn to new technology, particularly when it improves the performance of their gear and increases their catch. So it’s not surprising that software companies are developing mobile phone apps for fisherman. The market is huge. There are nearly 49 million recreational fishermen in the United States alone, according to the website Statista.com.

Anglers are drawn to new technology, particularly when it improves the performance of their gear and increases their catch. So it’s not surprising that software companies are developing mobile phone apps for fisherman. The market is huge.

Christopher Walsh
April 20, 2016
Commercial fishermen can take advantage of free safety training programs that will be offered next week at the Montauk Coast Guard Station.

Commercial fishermen can take advantage of free safety training programs that will be offered next week at the Montauk Coast Guard Station.

Larry Penny
April 14, 2016
Global warming, rising seas, epidemic opioid use, earthquakes from oil drilling, blue-green algae, Zika virus, Ebola, Lyme disease, tidal waves, tornados, radiation leaks, autism, building collapses, drought, famine, pesticide poisonings, graft and corruption, suicide bombers, ISIS, the Taliban, and a passel of other afflictions have hit mankind in the new century with no letup in sight.

Global warming, rising seas, epidemic opioid use, earthquakes from oil drilling, blue-green algae, Zika virus, Ebola, Lyme disease, tidal waves, tornados, radiation leaks, autism, building collapses, drought, famine, pesticide poisonings, graft and corruption, suicide bombers, ISIS, the Taliban, and a passel of other afflictions have hit mankind in the new century with no letup in sight.

David Kuperschmid
April 14, 2016
While some dread the approach of April 15, others relish its arrival because it’s the opening of the striped bass season in New York State.

While some dread the approach of April 15, others relish its arrival because it’s the opening of the striped bass season in New York State. The date is also the unofficial start of the saltwater fishing season. I say unoffical because traditionalists argue that April 1, the first day one can catch and keep a winter flounder in local waters, marks the true opening.

Larry Penny
April 7, 2016
If you paid attention to the news in February and March, you may know about the resurgence, at least locally, of one of the rarest of whales, the North Atlantic right whale, in New England coastal waters.

If you paid attention to the news in February and March, you may know about the resurgence, at least locally, of one of the rarest of whales, the North Atlantic right whale, in New England coastal waters. This monster, Eubalaena glacialis, is one of three found in the three largest oceans. The South Atlantic right whale, has the largest population — as many as 10,000 exist.

Star Staff
April 6, 2016
Terry Sullivan, a singer and birder, will lead a walk and speak about his new book at the South Fork Natural History Museum on Saturday.

Terry Sullivan is a well-known folk singer in these parts, but he also is a bird-watcher, writer, and photographer. He will speak on Saturday at the South Fork Natural History Museum about his new book, "My Sag Harbor Bird Notebook: A Conversational Survey." However, to get the full taste of Mr.

Taylor K. Vecsey
April 1, 2016
Rain showers and even snow, as well as strong gusty winds are in the forecast for the first weekend of April.

It is April Fool's Day, but the wind expected this weekend is no joke. 

Larry Penny
March 31, 2016
Some people say that we on the South Fork are going to hell in a handbasket. We look across the Peconics and see mostly green fields of grapes, vegetables, and other produce. Here most of the farmland is up for grabs, but thankfully that wonderful organization, the Peconic Land Trust, is out there grabbing. It is not only keeping viable farmland in production, it is revitalizing farm plots that have long stood dormant and recruiting young farmers, mostly the sons and daughters of old farmers, to make the land fertile once more. In a way, it’s the same way with fishermen.

Some people say that we on the South Fork are going to hell in a handbasket. We look across the Peconics and see mostly green fields of grapes, vegetables, and other produce. Here most of the farmland is up for grabs, but thankfully that wonderful organization, the Peconic Land Trust, is out there grabbing.

Larry Penny
March 17, 2016
Spring peepers, spring peepers, spring peepers, peep, peep, peeping away. It must be spring, I thought, and it was.

“Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes. . . .” No, not “my 19th nervous breakdown,” as Mick Jagger sang, but spring, spring, spring! 

Larry Penny
March 10, 2016
On Saturday morning when Friday’s snow had just begun to melt, I went on Eileen Schwinn’s annual Morton Wildlife Refuge bird walk under the auspices of the East End Audubon Society.

On Saturday morning when Friday’s snow had just begun to melt, I went on Eileen Schwinn’s annual Morton Wildlife Refuge bird walk under the auspices of the East End Audubon Society.

Larry Penny
March 3, 2016
We have been defacing our 30 percent at an ever-increasing pace ever since the industrial revolution ramped up in the mid-1800s. Our factories and our wars are collectively changing the landscape overnight.

Seven continents and seven oceans. The oceans are encroaching on the continents, eating away at them with increasing ferocity. They now occupy more than 70 percent of our world’s outer skin and by time the next millennium rolls around, they’ll probably cover as much as 80 percent.

Larry Penny
February 25, 2016
The southern pine borer that has been devastating pitch pine trees in the Central Pine Barrens including in Westhampton and Hampton Bays, leaving pitch pines mere skeletons from Long Island Sound to the Great South Bay next to the ocean.

March is a stone’s throw away. Let’s hope the stone doesn’t fall on a sheet of ice. The female of the bald eagle pair at Wertheim in Shirley is already incubating eggs. Great-horned owls chicks have probably hatched.

Larry Penny
February 18, 2016
The distribution of all of nature’s living things, including mosquitoes, is in flux.

It hit zero degrees Fahrenheit in Noyac early Sunday morning. An email from someone in northeastern Montauk told me it hit 5 degrees there. I haven’t recorded a zero temperature since 1979 when I moved here. I’ve had an outside thermometer up for almost all of those 36-plus years, so this may have been the coldest temperature the Noyac-Sag Harbor area has witnessed since that time.

Larry Penny
February 11, 2016
There is another new nature book in town. This time the town is the Village of Sag Harbor and the nature in the book is Sag Harbor’s birds in photographs, poetry, prose, and other jits and jots.

There is another new nature book in town. This time the town is the Village of Sag Harbor and the nature in the book is Sag Harbor’s birds in photographs, poetry, prose, and other jits and jots.

Larry Penny
February 4, 2016
It may be the most unusual winter I’ve witnessed here in my 63 years of residence on both forks.

The odd winter continues. In a letter to Newsday, John Cryan of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and one of the original founders of the Pine Barrens Society, calls it a fifth season. It may be the most unusual winter I’ve witnessed here in my 63 years of residence on both forks.

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.