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  • 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.
  • As far as animals without backbones are concerned, insects rule the land, crustaceans co-rule the seas.
  • The leaves are beginning to color up. The tupelos, dogwoods, red maples, and sassafras are always the first to turn.
  •     Only two more weeks to enjoy the wildflowers. Unlike most parts of the country where the spring and summer blooms are the brightest, most colorful, and most abundant, Long Island’s best wildflower season is in the first month of fall. California and Oregon, for example, have only a few species of asters, while Long Island has many. Though those two states have their share of goldenrods, they are few and far between, whereas on Long Island you often find four or five species blooming in close proximity.

  • The migration back to the city is under way. The migration south is under way. Not only are birds leaving us, but fish are going around Montauk Point on their way to warmer waters, dragonflies, and butterflies are moving off, whales, dolphins, and marine turtles are paddling south.

  • This past week saw the beginning of what could promise to be one of the greatest monarch butterfly migrations in a long time. The wind was gentle and blowing out of the southwest and south-southwest on most days after Tropical Storm Irene’s passage. At this time of year the monarchs fresh out of their chrysalises are heading south and southwest, into the wind, and following the shoreline. Since before the year 2000 here on eastern Long Island we have seen very little in the way of monarchs come the end of summer.

  •      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.