Articles by this author:
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.
It is the time of the year when migration at sea is almost over for the bluefish, striped bass, and marine turtles. The marine turtles — green, leatherback, loggerheads, and Kemp’s ridleys — are sluggardly in their movement south and don’t swim faster than most people walk.
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.
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.