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A snowy owl made a stop at the east jetty by the Montauk inlet on Saturday afternoon. The arctic birds move south during the winter, with eastern Long Island and the Great Lakes region generally being the southernmost points of their range. Nature Notes: The Remarkable Feather

A feather is a heck of a thing. Yankee Doodle stuck one in his cap and called it “macaroni” almost three centuries ago. Native Americans used feathers at the end of the arrows to make them go straighter when launched from the bow. Feathers are used far and wide and during the kill-for-plumes era here in America, several plume bearers such as the egrets almost became extinct, which led to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 in the United States, which banned almost all forms of plume hunting.

Dec 20, 2018
Steven Forsberg Sr. and Stan Dacuk of Montauk landed these double-digit blackfish on Saturday. Like Tilting at Windmills

Last Thursday was a rather blustery, chilly day mixed with intermittent rain. The dampness ran through my many layers of clothes and ultimately my body as I rummaged around in my garage securing my fishing tackle and gear for what would likely be my final fishing trip of 2018 the following morning out of Montauk.

Dec 20, 2018
Pat Wallace of Shelter Island caught this green bonito on Nov. 19 aboard the Sea Wife out of Montauk. A Time to Reflect

The jarring blast of chilling arctic winds that we experienced last week also abruptly created a thin glaze of ice on many freshwater ponds, and even a few saltwater coves and creeks. Most important, it served as a stern warning to me that having the very last boat still in the water at the marina may not be the smartest thing.

Nov 29, 2018
After seeing Dell Cullum’s photographs of waves as they crest and break on shore, you’ll never look at a wave the same way again, The Star’s “Nature Notes” columnist writes. Nature Notes: No Two the Same

Water and air. Two of the basic elements of our planet, and when the water occupies the surface they are intimately related. These two forms of matter exchange gases both during the day and the night.

Nov 29, 2018
Of all the vertebrates, birds exhibit the showiest sexual dimorphism, as seen at the Nature Trail in East Hampton Village, where the colorful male wood duck and mallard outshine their female counterparts. Nature Notes: Our Differences

In biology there is something known as sexual dimorphism; the two sexes are different in one or more ways. It even applies to some insects such as the swallowtail butterflies. Almost all vertebrates exhibit some form of sexual dimorphism.

Dec 6, 2018
One yellow-bellied sapsucker alive and well at a feeder in Sag Harbor and the other, below, also in Sag Harbor, the victim of a window-strike. Nature Notes: ‘. . . Oh Why, Can’t I?’

The post-noon photoperiod will lose an hour on Sunday, while the winter solstice is only 50 days away. Any day now the lawn will be coated with gray upon waking, and frosts will soon become an everyday phenomenon.

Oct 30, 2018
Charlie Bateman of East Hampton landed this striped bass on the Oh Brother! out of Montauk. 	Jon M. Diat The Memory Still Haunts Me

On Oct. 23, I joined a group of friends for a full day of fishing on the Oh Brother!, a charter boat out of Montauk whose captain, Rob Aaronson, and his first mate, Rudi Bonicelli, are seasoned pros who know the inshore and offshore waters around Montauk as well as anyone.

Nov 1, 2018
A gray squirrel carried a leaf for a drey it was building in a tree in Sag Harbor. Nature Notes: A Leaf Named Freddy

Fall marches on! At 6:30 last Thursday evening on a trip to Southampton Village by way of Deerfield and Edge of Woods Roads, both lanes were clear and only a single leaf fell. Three hours later on the return trip the roads were half leaf-covered while three dozen leaves floated down. Fall had begun in earnest.

Nov 8, 2018
The Baltimore checkerspot butterfly has been found breeding in restored grasslands at Caumsett State Park. Shangri-la on the Sound

Monday was the first really cold day of fall. Frost had formed overnight on lawns, but it was sunny. Victoria Bustamante picked me up and we were off to Caumsett State Park at the very northwest end of Suffolk County and the Long Island Sound. Once the estate of Marshall Field, complete with a dairy farm, it is now a beautiful 1,500-acre preserve with a local Matinecock Indian name meaning “place by a sharp rock.” The sharp rock was one of several glacial erratics left when the last advance of the Wisconsin glaciation swept down across the whole of northern America more than 10,000 years ago, creating the North Fork and the morainal line of Harbor Hills that runs along the Sound from Southold on the east to beyond Great Neck at the edge of New York City on the west.

Nov 15, 2018
A blackfish jig with a green crab proved the right tool for the job. Old Dogs and New Tricks

I’ve never been an early adopter of the latest fishing techniques, baits, and tackle. Instead, I’ve tended to stick to the tried and true ways I learned. Stubbornness is not a good trait.

Nov 15, 2018