Willows in the genus Salix are in the Salicaceae family along with aspens and poplars
On Monday, a willow alongside Long Beach Road in Noyac, was already yellowing up, anticipating spring and flowering time. Larry Penny

Throughout geologic history ice bridges and land bridges played major roles in the movement back and forth of locomotory species

Wetsuits have turned frigid water into a wine of sorts
A few of Montauk’s hardcore surfers hit the waves, big waves, smack in the middle of the blizzard called Juno, and James Katsipis captured them in action. James Katsipis

Snow is frozen rain that starts with a particle of dust, pollen, clay, or some other tiny thing that serves as a nucleus
It may not actually be true that no two snowflakes are alike, but their varieties are dizzying. Durell Godfrey

Piers are a staple, a construct that everyone understands
Piers, like this one in San Clemente, have been perfected in California. Russell Drumm

Each year we see more and more summer residents winter in the north, robins, catbirds, towhees, red-winged blackbirds, grackles, and great blue herons among them
On the Galapagos, one species of finch evolved into several. Some have thick beaks for crunching, like one of our local finches, the cardinal.  Durell Godfrey

Canaries in the marine coal mine
Surfing is not just riding waves. Let’s hope the Surfing Heritage Foundation will help Montauk’s new Oceans Institute emphasize the good that can come from an intimate appreciation of the sea. Russell Drumm

I noticed a circular mass of leaves and twigs about the size of a basketball

“Killed the cartoonists?” Can the world possibly get more absurd?
What if there was a meteorological anomaly 2,015 years ago, and the water Jesus walked on had, in fact, been frozen by an arctic blast? Peter Spacek

Among the unusual birds observed were two Eurasian wigeons, eight bald eagles, a northern goshawk, a barn owl, a saw-whet owl, and two snowy owls