Hurricane Irene has come and gone. Last year Earl swept up the coast near the end of August with a great deal of hullabaloo. It missed us but did carry away some of Montauk’s valuable ocean beach sand. Irene had decidedly better aim and hit when the tide was high, washing away beaches and dunes from the Rockaways to Montauk Point.
If you take a ride out to Montauk via the parkway, you will pass through Hither Woods. As you motor along, keep your eyes on the rusting guardrails. Just behind them you will find a very healthy four-foot-high hedge of big bluestem grass, one of the original staples of old Montauk’s bountiful prairie. At one time it stretched from the western end of the Napeague isthmus to the point, a few trees here and there, but mostly grasses and wildflowers.