Outdoors

The southern pine borer that has been devastating pitch pine trees in the Central Pine Barrens including in Westhampton and Hampton Bays, leaving pitch pines mere skeletons from Long Island Sound to the Great South Bay next to the ocean.
The distribution of all of nature’s living things, including mosquitoes, is in flux.
There is another new nature book in town. This time the town is the Village of Sag Harbor and the nature in the book is Sag Harbor’s birds in photographs, poetry, prose, and other jits and jots.
It may be the most unusual winter I’ve witnessed here in my 63 years of residence on both forks.
Every winter it seems, we have one or two northeasters, but rarely does one come accompanied by both a blizzard and full moon tides. Such was the case over the weekend and we were still digging out on Monday. Some meteorologists are saying that we could have another storm, almost equally as strong, this coming weekend.
By all accounts, winter has finally descended upon us. But as of the date for this column, there are only 39 days until crocuses begin blooming. It’s one of the oddest winters I can remember, one with very few winter birds, only a handful of waterfowl, and, as of yet, no ice skating. One wonders if such a winter will be good for all of those...
One of our largest birds, the bald eagle, was seen on Long Pond south of Sag Harbor by Ellen Stahl.
I started this environmental and natural history column in 1981, and except for about four years in the latter part of the 1980s it has been going ever since. I hope to keep it going on into the 2020s. We will see. Nature and the environment are in a lot of trouble and need all of the help they can get. Who wants to live on Mars?
A recent study published in The New York Times observed that the female and male humans’ brains were identical in anatomy, yet males and females are so different behaviorally and physiologically in so many ways. How is it possible the brains are the same?