The winter birds have been showing up in good numbers

Tales of Friday’s big wind, big surf, big white water, and big striped bass
Surfcasters had to work for their catch on Friday, as a large ocean swell was pushed sideways by a 20-knot southwest wind, but big bass in the 20-to-30-pound range were the payoff. Russell Drumm

Storm Sandy wiped away last fall’s colors a few days before they were about to peak
As autumns go, based on foliage aesthetics and nut production, this is one of the best. Carissa Katz

A sense of wonder
Chris Miller of the West Lake Marina poured hermit crabs, which he calls “blackfish crack,” into a basket for a charter captain Tuesday. Russell Drumm

Fruiting trees, the oaks among them, evolved hand in hand with the birds and mammals

“Had a school of 30-pounders in front of me with no one around. Wow!”
Steve Kramer of Montauk caught this 20-pound striped bass using a Hopkins lure that belonged to the late Percy Heath. Dalton Portella

Fall at its most colorful moment

“If only the fish would come closer, to do battle, to be won”
Surfcasters kept casting as they waited for striped bass to move closer to shore just after dawn at the Montauk Lighthouse on Friday. Russell Drumm

They were some kind of beetle, jet black with four bright markings above, two on each side
The federally-endangered American burying beetles found by Stuart Vorpahl in East Hampton recently are a species thought to be extinct in New York.

Should have seen it coming
Mike Milano jumped into the lead in the Montauk SurfMasters tournament for striped bass over the weekend with this 38.08-pounder. Paulie Apostolides