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  • The rain and wind of last Wednesday didn’t spoil the fall foliage after all. As of Monday, the oaks in my yard still had three-quarters of their leaves and were more than 50-percent green. Is it a sign of global warming that leaves take longer and longer each year to turn or is it just some enigma that won’t easily be explained and predictable for some time?
  • On Sunday during a Long Pond Greenbelt walk along the old Long Island Rail Road spur between Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor I had to keep from tripping after rolling on acorns that littered the trail. I dared not to look at the turning leaves in the oaks, sassafras, and hickories above for fear of stumbling on an acorn.
  • Ah, fall, the sound of acorns dropping on the roof on a breezy night can wake you up, but it’s much more comforting than the sound of the rain of frass from a thousand gypsy moth larvae defecating at the same time. The acorn that falls on your roof and rolls off does not fall far from your house.
  • As Roseanne Roseannadanna of “Saturday Night Live” might say if she were with us today, “What’s all this fuss about blue-green algae? Algae are good, aren’t they?” Yes, blue-green algae have become common in the news lately. But I doubt that one in 10,000 people have ever seen one or has any idea about what one is. In actuality, the blue-green alga is not an alga at all (true algae have nuclei), but a bacterium, in fact, a cyanobacterium, one of the first to exist on earth.
  • We’ve just suffered through another northeaster, but fortunately missed Hurricane Joaquin, which went out to sea after bombarding the Bahamas and Bermuda. After a long lull between 1962 and 1983, we’ve had a plethora of costly coastal storms beginning with the March northeaster of 1984 and culminating with Sandy at the end of October 2012.
  • The fall is here, my favorite time of the year. The Hamptons are still the Hamptons, but the traffic is diminished, things slow down, the sky is beautiful, and the leaves turn myriad colors before they fall to the ground in November. It’s the time of the great bird migration and the harvesting of fish and shellfish, just like in the old days.

  • It’s fall and the dogwoods, horse chestnuts, and sycamores have already turned, not so colorfully, mind you. The vast majority of trees around are still green, as are the mountain laurels, blueberries, and huckleberries under them.
  • We all know about the Venus flytrap. It’s a carnivorous plant that lives sparingly in the coastal Carolinas and catches insects in its trap. How many of us, however, know that right here on the East End we have more than a handful of such plants, which eke out a living by catching and eating insects.
  • Growing up on the rural North Fork surrounded by potato fields and water in the mid-1900s was idyllic for most of us. You could work as soon as you could walk, ride your bike anywhere day or night, play outside games like marbles, tag, hide-and-seek, giant steps, listen, look, taste, smell, and touch. You felt safe and secure.
  • Two Wednesdays ago I was back at Crooked Pond south of Sag Harbor, this time with Victoria Bustamante and Arthur Goldberg, both of whom were new to the pond. The exposed flats, with their wonderful array of rare and opportunistic sedges, grasses, and flowers were still thriving.