Recent Stories: Outdoors

Russell Drumm
October 15, 2014

Stephen Lobosco of Sag Harbor, whom many of you will know as the man with an impressive antique fishing lure collection, was coaxed out into the rain by a friend on Saturday morning, a morning that turned into an all-day, arm-wearying, catch-and-release marathon in one of Montauk’s easternmost, south-facing coves.

Russell Drumm
October 8, 2014

Jordan Enck and Tike Albright leaned against the split-rail fence just west of the Montauk Lighthouse on Monday afternoon beside their bikes with fat tires meant for peddling through sand. The bikes were outfitted with PVC tubes, scabbards for surfcasting rods.

Larry Penny
October 8, 2014

Not only are we faced with more and more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere each year, but with global warming resulting from it and acidification of the seas. One might say we are in for calamitous times if we don’t somehow reverse these dangerous headlong trends. But how can we, especially in an age when we are so conscious of our own mortality and want to live life to the fullest? Planes, trains, and automobiles. Coal, oil, and natural gas. Self-indulgence? Yes. The need to survive? Surely.

Larry Penny
October 1, 2014

Call them what you will — aits, isles, atolls, cays, keys, islands, reefs, shoals, even continents — there are millions of them across the globe. The name that I particularly like to describe the smallest of these patches of raised land surrounded by water, very wet marshes, and in some cases even by sand, is hammock, from the Spanish hamaca. We have a lot of them right here in our own backyard.

Russell Drumm
October 1, 2014

Capt. Burt Prince and his mate Gary Starkweather took the Susie E charter boat about 20 miles south of Montauk the other day and returned with a rarity, a porbeagle shark, 7 feet long, 54-inches in girth, and weighing just under 400 pounds.

“He stayed deep. We circled him and he corkscrewed up. Strange. We thought he was a mako, but he did not fight hard,” Prince said.

Christopher Walsh
September 26, 2014
Improved water-quality test results at Northwest Creek prompt state to open long-closed waterway at the end of the year.

Thanks to improved water quality observed in recent surveys, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced on Wednesday that it will open approximately 88 acres of Northwest Creek in East Hampton to shellfish harvesters  during the cold-weather months.

The area has been reclassified from "uncertified," or closed, to "seasonally uncertified." With the improved classification, it will be legal to take shellfish there between Dec. 15 and April 30.

Russell Drumm
September 24, 2014

There’s something sad in September’s light, in her sunsets, in her wind that blows a passionate, late-summer kiss, or whispers her warm goodbye, hasta luego, or, as I’ve heard it said in Kentucky, “Now don’t rush off.”

Larry Penny
September 24, 2014

It’s fall, and pleasant, but dry. It’s another round of the good, the bad, and the ugly. The good? The white and purple asters in the yard that are flowering at a great rate — white wood aster, smooth aster, stiff aster, panicled aster, calico aster, wavy-leaved aster, and heath aster in the order of flowering — with the white wood asters beginning in mid-August. Some goldenrods are chiming in as well, and the bees are going crazy gathering pollen, but as is the state of things in the past several years, none of them are honeybees.

Russell Drumm
September 17, 2014

On Friday, Surfers Healing came to Montauk once again. Israel (Izzy) Paskowitz and his band of Hawaiian surfers travel the East Coast each year visiting popular beaches to take autistic children surfing. Parents travel hundreds of miles to give their kids a day in the waves, an experience that calms and delights them more than just about any other, they say. 

Larry Penny
September 17, 2014

Have we escaped a superstorm? In 2011 we had Irene at the end of August, in 2012, it was Sandy at the end of October. We missed the bullet last year, but the tropical storm season is not over, and when it is, the northeaster season will be right at its heals.

The glaciers are melting, the seas are rising, the globe is warming. Yet, the Farmers Almanac, which is right most of the time, says we are going to have a hard winter. I have yet to see a wooly bear to measure the brown against the black, and have no idea what the winter will be like.

Russell Drumm
September 10, 2014

One of our Ditch Plain regulars, while sitting on a bench in front of the former East Deck Motel, noted that David Schleifer, retired New York City firefighter, surfer, and the kind of fisherman whose name causes fish of all kinds to quiver in fear, looked like he was sitting on the toilet out toward the horizon.

Larry Penny
September 10, 2014

Most of September is summer, but in my eyes all of September is fall. Lots of wonderful things start happening at the end of August. The rich and the rowdy leave for the city. There is less traffic on the roads and highways. The days are cooler and the air less humid. Striped bass and neotropical warblers begin their fall migration southward. Snowy tree crickets and katydids sing the loudest. Asters and goldenrods break out in whites, blues, purples, and yellows. Beach plums ripen. Cranberries begin to ripen.

Larry Penny
September 3, 2014

I live across the street from Noyac’s Long Beach, a barely more than 100-foot-wide isthmus between Noyac Road and Route 114. The isthmus, with its county road, Long Beach Road, separates the inner Sag Harbor Cove from the outer Noyac Bay, part of the Peconic Estuary.

Russell Drumm
September 2, 2014

When I heard the news, I thought of his big laugh, big smile. Then the memories began to flood like the tide around the Montauk Marine Basin docks. Carl Darenberg Jr., “Carly,” was always there, like big Carl senior, and Vivian, his mom.

Russell Drumm
August 28, 2014

A week ago, Capt. Skip Rudolph and his wife, Vickie, took the Adios charter boat offshore on an overnight to tuna country. He’s been busy guiding anglers to our rich, inshore grounds for striped bass and blues. It had been a while since the Adios had gone to where the Continental Shelf dives into offshore canyons formed eons ago by rivers of melting glacier.

Larry Penny
August 28, 2014

North American “life zones” as defined by Clinton Hart Merriam in the early 1900s are equivalent to the world’s biomes. They are deserts, northern coniferous forests, or taigas, temperate deciduous forests such as those occupying Appalachia, alpine forests, evergreen tropical forests, and rain forests, and the tundras of Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia, and Siberia, and grasslands. Biomes tend to keep their identity for millennia.

August 20, 2014

Botany again, but before we begin, I should single out an axiom that often goes unnoticed. Someone somewhere somehow knows something that most of us don’t know. Last week I told you about a Mrs. Pychowska who botanized locally in the late 1800s at a time when almost every biologist, botanist, or naturalist was male. A reader, Julie Sakellariadis, emailed me the day after the column came out. She knew about Mrs. P., who was both the wife of Count Pychowska and Eugene B. Cook.

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.