Nymphalis antiopa
The mourning cloak butterfly is the first butterfly by a long shot to make its appearance here each year. Vicki Bustamante

Blackback season began on Monday and will run through May 30

The Walking Dunes were desert-like enough to be used in the 1920s to film parts of the silent movie “The Sheik,”
There it was, almost de novo, a new walking dune carved out of the sands of northeastern Napeague. Vicki Bustamante

Even boaters who have spent decades in East End waters get the occasional unpleasant surprise

One of the first plants to flower each year and a true harbinger of spring
A red fox leaped into the reeds at Fresh Pond in Amagansett. The local fox population is booming, and for now is free of mange. Dell Cullum

One way or another, the two sides of Ides are felt by everyone
Feared by striped bass, ducks, and all sorts of small game in our neck of the woods, Harvey Bennett of the Tackle Shop in Amagansett recently ventured to the Caribbean, where he outsmarted a tarpon and a saltwater gar.

Naturalists paved the road to modern science

“Spring is getting a wiggle on,”
Skunk cabbages have been blooming, a sure sign that spring is on its way. Victoria Bustamante

Our destination was the state capital and its museum
An Adirondack guide boat at the New York State Museum in Albany. The museum houses a collection of botanical specimens, some gathered on the East End of Long Island by Roy Latham.

“Je suis pret”
She’ll not do Everest next, perhaps the Camino de Santiago.