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  • ­    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.

  • Local discoveries and rediscoveries are still to be made.
  •     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.

  • We cannot sustain ourselves without oxygen, and we can’t exist without nitrogen either, but too much nitrogen, and the balance of nature is seriously out of whack: Think red tide, brown tide, and other algae blooms.
  • Leaves. We can’t live without them; some of us can’t live with them, particularly so after they’ve all fallen and coated every inch of landscape
  • I’ve been hatching out Salt Lake brine shrimp eggs in local seawater for a year and a half. At room temperature, they hatch out into swimming in two days and at about a tenth of a millimeter in length they are barely visible to the naked eye.
  • The leaves are falling. It’s cold. No Indian summer this trip around the sun. No doubt a frigid winter is in store.
  • Napeague Harbor is the only tidal embayment tributary to the Peconic Estuary that has never had any part of its surface waters closed to shellfishing because of pollution.