We just learned something Monday as reported in both Newsday and The New York Times. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continues to rise; it’s up 3 percent over last year. Every time we inhale, we 7 billion humans breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. If that isn’t enough, all of the other billions and billions of organisms including both plants and animals with the exception of a very few, also respire, i.e., consume oxygen and discharge carbon dioxide.
On Sunday at noon while sitting in the living room counting cars going by on Noyac Road, there was a sudden spate of bird activity swirling around the front yard. There were purple finches, red-breasted nuthatches, white-breasted nuthatches, chickadees, titmice, a downy woodpecker, and a Carolina wren. They hung around for about 10 minutes before picking up and heading west — all except the Carolina wren, which was not part of the group.
Two big storms in a row; will God try for three? As Bob Dylan recited so eloquently, “Something is happening, and you don’t know what it is, do you Mr. Jones?” It’s like that now in the world of geoclimatology and geopolitics. The two are meshing in a most confusing way, and while wasteful wars besmirch the earth, people by the thousands are dying for no good reason and sea level rises with no sign of abatement.
Live and learn, no matter how old. Reading Angus Wilson’s latest local bird-sighting blog, I just learned that there is a new species of Canada goose in town and it’s actually been here for a pretty long time, but it’s new to the East End in a couple of ways. Firstly, it was separated from Branta canadensis in 2004 by the American Ornithological Union and given its own scientific name, Branta hutchinsii, or Richardson’s cackling goose.
It’s Monday afternoon. This could be the Big One of which I spoke earlier. It’s pounding Noyac, and the best is yet to come. Noyac Bay is washing across Long Beach Road and marrying Sag Harbor Cove, it’s like the old days, before Suffolk County constructed Long Beach Road. Connecting Noyac with North Haven. I’ve been in this Noyac house since 1979 and have only seen those two water bodies meet up once before.
They say 70 percent of the earth’s surface is water. Astronomers and astrophysicists have conjectured that it comes primarily from comets (frozen water and dust) that struck the earth. One large comet carries a big cargo. If we were one of the cold planets, all this water would be ice. In a hotter climate, it would boil away and the atmosphere would be too hot and humid to sustain life, at least not human life.
Nowadays, we hardly listen to our elders. Everybody wants to fast-track to the top, and young people speak a different language than us senior citizens. Everything is “cool,” but is it really? Before there was a host of school and post-school activities to attend and try to be good at, life was simple. It wasn’t easy, but it was simple. You worked hard and got along.
In less than two months it will be winter. Fall is the season for harvest and storage, in preparation for the cold months ahead. Very few of us maintain root cellars these days; we depend upon supermarkets and mom-and-pops to “store” our vittles. But in nature, October is a busy time. Those creatures that stay on to brave the sleet and snow are in full preparation.