Outdoors

A few weeks ago I was in the hamlet of North Sea with two California friends from my yippie days in Santa Barbara. We stopped at Conscience Point, where the first settlers to settle Southampton, from Lynn, Mass., came ashore in 1640.
We were alone on a secret beach, insulated from the crowds on that glorious summer day, and so the plane with its non sequiturious message — a crap duster seeding the clouds with yet another Hamptons pretension — made us feel like members of a cargo cult.
On Sunday I had the pleasure of leading a small group on a poke-and-look nature walk along the Long Pond Greenbelt trails south of Sag Harbor, sponsored by the Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt. “Poke-and-look” because we shuffled along slowly, conversing, asking questions, answering them, and taking in the wonderful flora on either side of the...
I live on a fifth of an acre but there is still enough room to accommodate a visiting deer or two. I rarely see them, but I see their discrete fecal piles here and there, a couple of new ones each week.
The subject is sheer delight. I tied up to the town pumpout station next to the Coast Guard station on Star Island in Montauk on Monday, late morning. While I offloaded what needed to be gone and topped off my water supply, what looked to be a family — a man, a child about 9, and a woman — were fishing off the end of the town dock.
Flow. It’s what we want, not hangs. I have a friend who moved way down south to a dirt-road town called Pavones. It’s located on the southeast side of the Sweet Gulf, Golfo Dulce, not far from the Panamanian border, where some of the finest waves in the world peel along the Costa Rican coastline.
It’s been hot as Hades and unrelentingly humid. In other words, the air is almost filled to capacity with moisture, but not the kind that produces rain. Plants are wilting and songbirds are trying to stay cool by lying low and not singing.
A shiver of sand tiger sharks approached the beach from the south in downtown Montauk and a large body of bluefish that were hunting schools of smaller prey concentrated between the sharks and a bloat of boogie boarders.
If you’re a child, tween, or teen, summer is a time for work and play away from the confines of the classroom. I wouldn’t trade my boyhood and its summer for all the gold in Captain Kidd’s chest. Growing up in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s on the North Fork was all that a lad could wish for.