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  • Shucks, only 12 more days before the days begin getting shorter and the nights longer. You might say that’s the zenith of activity for each new year. After that things start going downhill.
  • On Wednesday an odd couple, mother and near neonate, sadly washed up on the Shagwong beach west of Montauk Point near the opening to Oyster Pond. No unidentifiable Montauk Monster this time, but rather two very identifiable pygmy sperm whales as per Victoria Bustamante’s photographs. Both were bloodied and, apparently, both had already been host to several turkey vultures hanging around that area.
  • How much wood could a groundhog chuck if a groundhog could chuck wood? It’s not quite as much of a tongue twister when you substitute another name for the species.
  • We don’t think of trees as flowering plants, but they are. Oak flowers are just past peaking. The male flowers, called catkins, have shed most of their pollen and are dropping shriveled and brown en masse.
  • After achieving a historic low in the 1960s, owing to wide use of DDT and other pesticides, the Long Island osprey populations have bounced back and are still rising. But the increasing number of cormorants and seals in our waters since the 1990s is nettling their comeback, and now there is a third competitor on the scene to contend with — one most of us are happy for: our national bird.
  • Spring is moving right along in good stead. A car ride through the local roads gives one an up-to-date reading of its progress. Today, for example, during a back-and-forth, up-and-down trip through the back roads of Northwest Woods, the signs of advancing spring were readily apparent.
  • Following the end of World War II there was a big building boom across the country as our servicemen came back from the European and Pacific theaters to resume the American way of life that they missed during four years of nonstop fighting against the Germans and Japanese.
  • Virginia Frati, who lives up the street from me, across from the Morton Wildlife Refuge, has been looking after injured and sick mammals, birds, turtles, frogs, and even snakes for 20 years.
  • Global warming, rising seas, epidemic opioid use, earthquakes from oil drilling, blue-green algae, Zika virus, Ebola, Lyme disease, tidal waves, tornados, radiation leaks, autism, building collapses, drought, famine, pesticide poisonings, graft and corruption, suicide bombers, ISIS, the Taliban, and a passel of other afflictions have hit mankind in the new century with no letup in sight.
  • If you paid attention to the news in February and March, you may know about the resurgence, at least locally, of one of the rarest of whales, the North Atlantic right whale, in New England coastal waters.