As the Northern Hemisphere continues to warm up, natural selection will reverse a long-term trend in warm-blooded animal evolution known as Allen’s Rule. Mammals that stay active in the winter tend to have thicker fur than those that hibernate, just as the plumage of seabirds is thicker than that of land birds in general.
An extraordinary event took place on Saturday — the annual Montauk Christmas bird count, now more than 100 years old and among the very oldest in the country.
It is impossible interpreting the present, but you can come close interpreting history. In my mind the history of East Hampton, and for that matter all of Long Island, is much more interesting than what is happening now. We’ve passed way beyond the age of discovery; we might better describe contemporary life as the age of packaging, marketing, distribution, and bad political theater.
Sunday was a perfect day to take a walk in the woods. Adelaide de Menil and I went to the South Fork-Shelter Island Nature Conservancy’s Sagg Swamp Preserve. Adelaide had never been there, I had not been since 1995 when I led a walk for the Conservancy.