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  • It’s been hot as Hades and unrelentingly humid. In other words, the air is almost filled to capacity with moisture, but not the kind that produces rain. Plants are wilting and songbirds are trying to stay cool by lying low and not singing.
  • If you’re a child, tween, or teen, summer is a time for work and play away from the confines of the classroom. I wouldn’t trade my boyhood and its summer for all the gold in Captain Kidd’s chest. Growing up in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s on the North Fork was all that a lad could wish for.
  • You may have noticed that most of the songbirds have stopped singing and are either preparing to nest again or, more likely, just help their fledglings along while simultaneously nudging them away. Young-of-the-year ospreys have either already fledged or are standing in their nests flapping their wings in earnest as they anticipate the moment of departure.
  • Just about every school kid in the East knows about gypsy moths. If you asked them what one looks like, though, they’d be hard pressed to describe it.
  • Well here we are well into summer and the birds have successfully fledged many of their young. Will they go for a second brood? Piping plovers are one of those species that tries and tries again if it fails the first time around.
  • The inch or so of rain we had on Saturday and Sunday morning really greened up the open spaces. It was readily apparent on driving around the outback areas of Southampton and East Hampton on Monday. The vegetation had been getting thirsty. Its thirst was thusly quenched.
  • Monday night was delicious. It was quiet and as late as 9 objects big and small could still be discerned with the naked eye without the addition of artificial lighting. It was a perfect night to go out and scour the woods and fields for whippoorwills, without leaving the driving seat of my vehicle. So that’s what I did.
  • It rained and winded Monday, not a good day for taking pictures of plants and flowers. But it was okay. We needed the rain and I hope it won’t be the end of it during the coming summer. It was okay because I had finished doing my annual end-of-spring gypsy moth and groundcover monitoring for 2015.
  • It’s the peak of the breeding season for almost every bird, mammal, reptile, amphibian, and fish, not to mention shellfish and crustaceans. It’s also the middle of the landscaping and gardening season, when lots are being cleared, new houses constructed, lawns planted with exotic shrubs, trees, and forms.
  • Long Island had two big fish kills in its inshore waters last week — one in Manhasset Bay, another in the western part of the Peconic Estuary. These two kills involved a single species that is famous for its periodic mass die-offs up and down the Atlantic Coast — the menhaden, Brevoortia tyrannus.