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  • Brock, or Brick, or something like that, I think he said his name was, but it was difficult to pay attention the other day because I was on the beach chasing friends’ children in a runaway kayak as they drifted down the bay in the direction of Promised Land. He seemed a nice enough guy, probably in his late 20s or early 30s. He introduced me to his companion, a woman about his age, and said he was renting the house next door.

  • Leo the pig has been in hog heaven these weeks as the bushes, grasses, and shrubs around our yard come into full, high-summer lushness. My wife, Lisa, has been reveling in produce too, although, unlike Leo, she does not waddle down to the edge of the lawn to munch grape leaves right off the vine.

  • A truism about cooking is that if you lay a breaded coating onto just about anything and fry it up in a bit of oil, kids will eat it without objection. Still, it was with no minor degree of amazement that I was able to get a mess of fritters made from a notably pungent shellfish down our brood’s craws the other night.

  • Last week, I wrote about a newfound interest in sea gulls, birds that I had, like many others here, tended to overlook. It was perhaps by some Murphy’s Law that one of my brothers-in-law and I ended up rescuing one on the Fourth of July.

  • It was late in the day, after a child’s birthday party had moved from the beach up to the house, that something I had never noticed before drew my attenton to a raft of black-backed gulls that had gathered near the shore for an evening hunt for crabs.

  • Memo to South Fork businesses that raise prices before the arrival the summer hordes: We live here, too.

  • Two things have greatly improved the way we eat at the Rattray house this spring. First, warmer weather brought the garden to life and helped encourage me to get out on the water to fish and clam. The other is that after talking for years about signing up for weekly produce with one of the community-supported agriculture ventures that have popped up here, we joined Amber Waves.

  • The annual onslaught of ticks is in full swing around here now, which has prompted talk of drastic measures. Each of the members of our human family on Cranberry Hole Road in Amagansett has pulled at least one of the horrifying little pests from his or her person recently, and our animals have been playing unwitting hosts as well.

  • Things could be worse, much worse — and they were on the New England and Mid-Atlantic Coast in the millennia before records about hurricanes were kept.
  • Spring agrees with Leo the pig. Regular readers of this column may recall that about two years ago, over my desperate protests, two of the women of our household insisted that we get a pet of the cloven-hoof variety.

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