Norman Taylor was a well-traveled botanist and the curator of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. In 1923 he published a monograph on the flora of Montauk, subtitled “A Study of Grassland and Forest.” He probably picked Montauk because it was largely undeveloped and had the second largest prairie on Long Island, and it was topographically varied and bathed with seawater on three sides. Montauk had just about every kind of habitat found elsewhere on Long Island with the exception of pine barrens.
Summer is winding down, but not with a whimper. It’s been a hot one, yes, but also one free of gypsy moths and cankerworms, and the woodlands as of this date are fully foliaged and resplendent in spots. We are blessed on Long Island with almost one of every kind of habitat in America’s lower 48, with the exception of deserts and alpine forests, and the East End has most of them, so it is an ecologist’s dream, at least this ecologist’s dream.