The Mast-Head: Dandelions & Muck

East Hampton Village some time ago adopted more environmentally friendly management of its properties

Suddenly, this became dandelion spring. Their pale yellow heads rose one day in numbers like I had never noticed before. Arrayed over the grass on Mill Hill, they appear as stars. They sparkle between the rows at the Wolffer vineyard on Sagg Road. Outside my office window a line of them straggles across the library’s front lawn.

In warmer places, many already have gone to seed. White tufts wait for the wind as younger siblings begin to spread their petals below. 

Last year at about this time, I wrote about the late Matthew Lester, a young man who was a champion of dandelions — and the bees that gather pollen from them. East Hampton Village some time ago adopted more environmentally friendly management of its properties, such as the Village Green, and dandelions are a visible result; a lively Town Pond may be another.

In the past few months, for one reason or another, I have been at Town Pond often or at least I’ve passed it on the road a lot. In addition to the usual pair of swans and handful of mallards, there have been a number of resident muskrats and, lately, an egret feeding on something, perhaps fish or tadpoles, at the west end near the Hedges Inn.

About a week ago, when I was there with some kids to race a remote-control boat, we spotted two turtles known as red-eared sliders, probably dumped there illegally after they outgrew their aquarium. The kids went over for a look, one nearly losing a sneaker in the muck. Native or not, the turtles appeared healthy and content perching on the bank, at least until the mud-footed child startled them, and they slipped into the water.