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  • As Roseanne Roseannadanna of “Saturday Night Live” might say if she were with us today, “What’s all this fuss about blue-green algae? Algae are good, aren’t they?” Yes, blue-green algae have become common in the news lately. But I doubt that one in 10,000 people have ever seen one or has any idea about what one is. In actuality, the blue-green alga is not an alga at all (true algae have nuclei), but a bacterium, in fact, a cyanobacterium, one of the first to exist on earth.
  • We’ve just suffered through another northeaster, but fortunately missed Hurricane Joaquin, which went out to sea after bombarding the Bahamas and Bermuda. After a long lull between 1962 and 1983, we’ve had a plethora of costly coastal storms beginning with the March northeaster of 1984 and culminating with Sandy at the end of October 2012.
  • It’s fall and the dogwoods, horse chestnuts, and sycamores have already turned, not so colorfully, mind you. The vast majority of trees around are still green, as are the mountain laurels, blueberries, and huckleberries under them.
  • We all know about the Venus flytrap. It’s a carnivorous plant that lives sparingly in the coastal Carolinas and catches insects in its trap. How many of us, however, know that right here on the East End we have more than a handful of such plants, which eke out a living by catching and eating insects.
  • Growing up on the rural North Fork surrounded by potato fields and water in the mid-1900s was idyllic for most of us. You could work as soon as you could walk, ride your bike anywhere day or night, play outside games like marbles, tag, hide-and-seek, giant steps, listen, look, taste, smell, and touch. You felt safe and secure.
  • A few weeks ago I was in the hamlet of North Sea with two California friends from my yippie days in Santa Barbara. We stopped at Conscience Point, where the first settlers to settle Southampton, from Lynn, Mass., came ashore in 1640.
  • On Sunday I had the pleasure of leading a small group on a poke-and-look nature walk along the Long Pond Greenbelt trails south of Sag Harbor, sponsored by the Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt. “Poke-and-look” because we shuffled along slowly, conversing, asking questions, answering them, and taking in the wonderful flora on either side of the trail as we wended our way towards Crooked Pond.