I received an early Christmas gift: life itself

I missed nine times out of 10
“What are the deer thinking about?” the Star’s “Nature Notes” columnist often wonders. Durell Godfrey

Haddock are usually found north of Cape Cod in colder waters
Haddock, not seen here in recent memory, have shown up south and east of Montauk of late. Brian Damm caught these on Saturday’s trip aboard the Miss Montauk II. Capt. Jamie Quarasemo

Sexual dimorphism
Of all the vertebrates, birds exhibit the showiest sexual dimorphism, as seen at the Nature Trail in East Hampton Village, where the colorful male wood duck and mallard outshine their female counterparts. Durell Godfrey

Making waves
After seeing Dell Cullum’s photographs of waves as they crest and break on shore, you’ll never look at a wave the same way again, The Star’s “Nature Notes” columnist writes. Dell Cullum

It was interesting to review the ups and downs
Pat Wallace of Shelter Island caught this green bonito on Nov. 19 aboard the Sea Wife out of Montauk.

Mother Nature always holds the upper hand
Lucky for turkeys, the wild turkey hunting season is brief. It opened last week and closes on Friday, Nov. 30. Durell Godfrey

The eastern diamondback terrapin is semi-marine and an inhabitant of our local waters
Jean Held spotted this eastern diamondback terrapin hatchling at Havens Beach in Sag Harbor last week and helped it to safety at Little Northwest Creek. Jean Held

A blackfish jig with a green crab proved the right tool for the job.
The Star’s “On the Water” columnist picked up a six-inch-long seahorse in one of his scallop dredges last week. “Never caught one before,” he wrote. Jon M. Diat Photos

The Baltimore checkerspot butterfly has been found breeding in restored grasslands at Caumsett State Park. Sue Feustel