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  • Three bronze nails sit on my desk. They are hand-forged, about the width of my palm, heavy, and thick. I look at them with a magnifying loupe, hoping for a clue about what they might have come from, but there is nothing.
  • Listening to coverage of the presidential race, I have been struck by a repeatedly heard observation that Hillary Clinton is remote, frosty, not someone you would want to have a beer with. Maybe that is true; presidential candidates sometimes come off far differently than they really are in person. Someone I used to work with years ago who knew Bob Dole said he was a hoot — warm, funny, and a joy to be around. The presidential race press corps, back then, too, decided he was a stiff.
  • I have lived by the beach in Amagansett long enough to be able to tell summer’s changes from the sound of the birds. Now that it is August, spring’s crazy pre-dawn ringing of songbirds in the brush is replaced by the feeding calls of terns hunting baitfish in the shallows. The wind from the north has kicked up small waves, providing an impossible-to-describe background as a few gulls make their lazy yawps.
  • It was Thursday evening, I think, and, eager to get away from the bear attacks of a long week, I drove to the beach at Atlantic Drive on Napeague. There was one other person there when I arrived around 6:30, and he or she was wrapped in a towel and sitting on a chair some distance away from the road end. About a mile to the west through the haze I saw two trucks parked on the state park beach, though at that distance, I could not even really be sure what they were.
  • The osprey are not the first birds to wake up and start carrying on. Near Gardiner’s Bay in Amagansett in the minutes before dawn, when there is only a scattering of light in the east, birds I cannot name by their voices alone twitter from the scrub oak.
  • It turns out that sea robin are fine to eat. Very fine, in fact, which is good, since my son, Ellis, has suddenly become a fishing fanatic. Sea robin have taken over the shallows near our house on Gardiner’s Bay, and for a kid just learning to cast a rod, they hit the lure with satisfying dependability and put up just enough fight to be interesting. There also seems to be an inexhaustible supply.
  • The East Hampton Town Police Department’s official Twitter account reported Monday night that traffic was tied up and creeping westbound out of downtown Montauk following the Fourth of July fireworks. No surprise — people tend to get up and go right after the show ends, no matter that their hurry gains them only a place in a slow queue.
  • A recipe in The New York Times for shrimp broiled with honey and hot pepper caught my eye the other day, and as I read it, it occurred to me that the approach would be worth trying on sea robin. Yes, sea robin.
  • It is strawberry time again, which means time to think about putting up some preserves from the local crop. But the way things go, South Fork strawberries are usually gone by the time I get around to pulling out the canning kettle.
  • The old $50 lawn mower that I bought quite a few years ago from Harvey Bennett may have mowed its last lawn. At this point, I don’t remember if I had spotted it in the Star classifieds or if Harvey had mentioned that he had one to sell. But for $50, how bad could it be?

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