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  •    The native deer population has been blamed for a lot of things, hosting ticks, causing highway accidents and vehicle damage, eating favorite ornamentals, even defecating on manicured lawns. For several years now deer have also been blamed for removing the underbrush or subshrub groundcover across the South Fork.

  •    It’s a mixed up world, that’s for sure. There are some who have the point of view that world ethnic groups, world languages, world religions, and world nations shouldn’t be mixed up and homogenized in the same melting pot. Others say it’s inevitable, why fight it? The human being is one of the few species that is racing toward one cosmopolitan worldwide identity.

  •    What happened to all the turtles? Of all the years since 1974 that I’ve been riding the roads and watching out for them, this is the year I’ve seen the fewest.
        The two species that regularly cross roads in late May and June, the eastern box turtle and snapping turtle have been few and far between. I have yet to count a single turtle roadkill in 2013.

  •    The Sunday Newsday crossword puzzle requested a five-letter word for “swamp plant.” I’ve been doing all of the Newsday and New York Times crosswords, seven days a week, since the early 1980s. In other words, I’ve done thousands of crosswords and saved them all.

  •    “There’s a tree in the meadow with a stream drifting by.” Some of you may remember that song from the 1940s. It’s old, but the message is still good. The tree stands for constancy, the stream for the passage of time. It’s important to many of us to see that same tree over and over. We may even take it for granted, but when it’s cut down or blown down, we grieve its passing.

  •    In many respects, sound and hearing in nature are just as important as sight. In those species that are more nocturnal than diurnal, sounds and the ability to hear, and differentiate, them is crucial to their survival. Whether an animal species is active in the day or at night, there’s a greater than 50 percent chance that it perceives sound waves or senses vibrations, another form of sound.

  •    I heard my first whippoorwill in the woods behind my grandfather’s chicken farm in Mattituck at 3 years of age. Once you’ve heard this magical, three-syllable, eerie chant coming out of the dark of a warm summer evening you’re hard-pressed to forget it.

  •    Sunday saw a break in the Memorial Day weekend weather. Downtown Montauk was jam-packed, a perfect time to escape into the deserted Montauk outback, as Vicki Bustamante and I are retracing Norman Taylor’s epic 1923 monograph on Montauk’s plants, “The Vegetation of Montauk: A Study of Grassland and Forest.”

  •    Before there were electric typewriters, televisions, credit cards, iMacs, PCs, iPods, personal data assistants, Android phones, GPSs, video games, e-mailing, texting, sexting, baby boomers, soccer moms, and Little League baseball, it was a very different world for us kids growing up on the East End of Long Island.

  •    I was at Morton Wildlife Refuge the other day when one of the private ferrying helicopters flew over on its way to East Hampton Town Airport. It’s hard to tell how high it was, but it seemed much lower than 2,000 feet and it made quite a racket as it passed over my head and, incidentally, over one of the osprey nests we put up around 1988 on the Jessup’s Neck spit. The ospreys were back. The female was sitting down low on the nest, and it was hard to tell if she was affected by the noise and vibrations as much as I was.