Articles by this author:
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.
Long Island is an island. More than 450 years after its naming, following its discovery by Columbus, and at least 200 years after geologists said so, New York’s highest court decided that it was indeed an island. But it’s not the only Long Island in America; there’s one on the upper Pacific Coast and no doubt others, should one study the maps closely.
Fall rolls on. It appears to be more like past autumns in the new millennium, except the fall of 2017, when the leaves stayed on the trees until December and forsythia, which normally blooms only in the spring, bloomed in the last half of November.
The autumnal equinox has come and gone, just like that! Prepare for early evenings and late mornings. The birds were hip to equinoxes before the modern humans. Their intellects don’t obfuscate their primary objective. They are already on their way south.