Bruce Palmer oversees things at the East Hampton Town’s recycling center in Montauk, directing people with tires to the tire bin, people with old grills and lawnmowers to the metal container, checking for scofflaw dumpers dumping without benefit of a 2013 sticker — all these things with a mind that drifts seaward at times.
Montauk is bipolar this time of year. When the summer’s southwesterly winds start to blow in May and early June, a Mason-Dixon line of sorts runs the length of the peninsula that is the east end of the South Fork.
The land south of the line is shrouded in thick, cold fog where the winter ocean first meets warm air blowing off the land west to east. North of the line, where the cold sea has less influence, the land is often bathed in warm sunlight.