The inch or so of rain we had on Saturday and Sunday morning really greened up the open spaces. It was readily apparent on driving around the outback areas of Southampton and East Hampton on Monday. The vegetation had been getting thirsty. Its thirst was thusly quenched.
Monday night was delicious. It was quiet and as late as 9 objects big and small could still be discerned with the naked eye without the addition of artificial lighting. It was a perfect night to go out and scour the woods and fields for whippoorwills, without leaving the driving seat of my vehicle. So that’s what I did.
It rained and winded Monday, not a good day for taking pictures of plants and flowers. But it was okay. We needed the rain and I hope it won’t be the end of it during the coming summer. It was okay because I had finished doing my annual end-of-spring gypsy moth and groundcover monitoring for 2015.
It’s the peak of the breeding season for almost every bird, mammal, reptile, amphibian, and fish, not to mention shellfish and crustaceans. It’s also the middle of the landscaping and gardening season, when lots are being cleared, new houses constructed, lawns planted with exotic shrubs, trees, and forms.
Long Island had two big fish kills in its inshore waters last week — one in Manhasset Bay, another in the western part of the Peconic Estuary. These two kills involved a single species that is famous for its periodic mass die-offs up and down the Atlantic Coast — the menhaden, Brevoortia tyrannus.
We just had a glorious weekend in which all the hardwoods, save for the white oaks, which always are the last to foliate, were festooned with fresh green leaves. Thus it was a perfect setting for the arrival of the New World warblers, which every year near the middle of May stop on Long Island to feed and rest after a long flight from their southern winter climes.
The weekend was a blaze of glory. The sun shone, the bay waters were mostly calm, the shads and sweet cherries began to bloom to the west, and the shads along Napeague and in Montauk were on the verge of busting out.