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  • If real estate outfits were likely to make new year’s resolutions, I would want them to try to hew more closely to the traditional, if fuzzy, lines of delineation among place names. It is a pipe dream, of course, but it would be nice.

  • Populations of 186 mammals, birds, fish, shellfish, and amphibians were described as likely to drop to critical levels unless urgent conservation action is taken.
  • East Hampton has seemed especially crowded for this time of year. With Christmas on a Thursday, many in the summer house and weekend crowd must have decided to head east and stay here through the New Year’s holiday.

    Not that their being here is something to complain about, but there’s a difference. Drivers on Main Street, for example, have had that certain, uh, tentative quality since Dec. 24. Those of us here on weekdays during the depths of winter will know exactly what I am talking about.

  • So what has happened with that good old-fashioned word “it”? You would think that so useful a word would not go out of style or be forgotten. But, if listening to such well-regarded sources as National Public Radio news is any illustration, it has been almost fully supplanted by “they.”

  • Of all the unlikely places, it was at a wake this week that I found myself talking about births and the fact that this newspaper publishes many fewer notices of them than it used to.

    The wake was for Ed Hannibal, whom a crowd and then some was there to mourn and remember, and I ended up chatting in the back of the room with Eileen Myles, a poet I had long admired and who was Ed’s stepsister, something I had known at one time but nearly forgot.

  • Election results were not known as questions about what to do about three write-in ballots remained unresolved.
  • Perhaps the dumbest thing I heard back when I was covering the East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals came to mind this week as I watched a heavy northeast storm roll in. I cannot recall now what the application was for or where the property was or even who the lawyer was, but I remember blanching when a representative of the owner said the sand on the beach comes and goes and that the sea wall he was advocating would be soon covered and out of sight.

  • Winter memberships in Quail Hill Farm’s community supported agriculture program in Amagansett are still available and cost $395 for a family. A first-time fee for new members is $50. Individual shares are $250. 

    The bounty can include carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cabbage, burdock, squash, beets, celery root, parsley, dried beans, wheat berries, and smoked hot peppers, among other things. Carissa’s Breads is also offering season-long bread shares through Quail Hill, and people can buy loaves individually on Friday pickup days.

  • One of the things I’ve noticed this fall, a season without any even glancing blows from tropical storms or, perish the thought, hurricanes, is that the volume of leaves fallen from the trees by now has been prodigious. Down near the bay where we live in Amagansett, November’s nearly unbroken northerly winds most years push what oak leaves manage to reach the ground swiftly into the underbrush.

  • Everybody else, it seemed, had the same idea. On Sunday, with an afternoon low tide and the temperature forecast to be in the mid-50s, it was time to scallop. The harbor a friend and I checked after lunch was dotted with figures wading around waist-deep. Pickup trucks backed close to the water were lined up side-by-side. At the road access where the sand trail meets the pavement, a couple of people were transferring their haul from plastic bushel baskets into regulation, red-mesh shellfish bags.

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