Articles by this author:
It’s the end of summer and all matter of flying organisms — bird, bats, dragonflies, and butterflies — are on the wing. On the last evening of August, at least seven nighthawks flew over the Bustamante house on the northeast side of Lake Montauk. Flocks of migrating tree swallows have been swirling around during the past three weeks, migrating and feeding as they go. When a hungry sharp-shinned hawk or merlin comes by, they gather into tight bunches like schools of baitfish trying to elude predators.
Down the road a piece from where I live is a wonderful nature Shangri-La overseen by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Elizabeth Morton Wildlife Refuge. It once was a farm and now it is a place known by almost everyone on eastern Long Island and elsewhere for its wildlife and geological uniqueness.
Who are the white supremacists? The neo-Nazis? ISIL? The Taliban? Boko Haram? These are some that we know about, but there may be hundreds of other such groups of militant, almost entirely male organizations that in various ways are trying to subvert the rest of us non-belongers and non-believers in devious and perverse ways that we have yet to learn about.
The never-ending mobbing calls of common crows and fish crows continue, but one rarely hears a songbird sing as we approach the halfway point of summer. Most of the birds have bred. The osprey fledglings are learning how to dive for fish. Turkey families are breaking up in preparation for the fall harvest.
Sunday was the last in a string of hot, rainless days. I took my grandson over to the North Fork to look at the Penny family grave site on Factory Avenue in Mattituck. On the way I visited Calverton because Fred Havemeyer, who is running for supervisor in Southampton Town, told me about a large solar farm on Edwards Avenue in Riverhead, not far from the border of Brookhaven.
Summer presses on, hot and humid with an occasional bout of rain. The beaches fill up on the weekend, the traffic is crazy mad on the South Fork’s main thoroughfares, County Road 39, Montauk Highway, Noyac Road, the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, Route 114, and the Scuttlehole-Head of Ponds-7 Ponds-Mecox Roads, which wind through the fields of Bridgehampton and Water Mill and meet North Sea Road north of Southampton Village.