Articles by this author:
t was the wise Greek Archimedes who in 250 B.C. formulated the principle of buoyancy and that a chunk of something that drops into the sea and floats displaces its own mass. If it sinks below the surface, it displaces its own volume. When a glacier slides off a mountain face into the ocean, it displaces its own mass, and the sea rises proportionately. As it slowly melts away and becomes one with the sea, the sea rises a bit more.
Nature has many survival tricks up its sleeve when it comes to the possibility of being eaten. `We all know how the monarch butterfly is able to escape predation and fly 100 miles or more in a day during its annual migration without suffering a single molestation.
The recent to-do about Cartwright Island raises some interesting questions. We are sometimes prone to think of the present as the past, East Hampton today has always been, Southampton has always been, Lake Montauk has always been the way it is, etc., etc., etc. But in fact things, including our local landmasses and their surrounding waters, are fluxing every minute, during the day when we can see the change and at night when most of us are sleeping. So it is with the contours of the South Fork’s north and south coastlines.
On Saturday the rains came, but it didn’t spoil the first ever release of bobwhites in the hamlet of Montauk by the Third House Nature Center group. Juvenile bobwhite after bobwhite fluttered off into the green tapestry of Montauk County Park atop the hills east of Lake Montauk. Such release of this quail species, native to most of the United States, but not common anywhere, could be the beginning of the comeback of it not only in Montauk, but in the rest of East Hampton Town as well. Two more release days are planned by fall in this five-year program.
Humans are mammals. We Homo sapiens can carry on conversations in hundreds of different languages, keep legible diaries, write histories, sing, act, take tests, practice various vocations, go to schools and universities, indulge in marriage ceremonies and funerals. We are complicated and talented mammals, but in the final analysis, mammals.
This column is about a failed plan to construct a failed recharge basin. It is another Humpty Dumpty story about engineers, town councils, town attorneys, contractors, and the like designing and trying to build a recharge basin to trap runoff water from a farm field in East Hampton on a site along Route 114 in 2010.
On Monday afternoon I went down to the ocean beach and walked between Bridgehampton and Sagaponack. There was the usual bunch of beachgoers enjoying the sun, but what I was there for was to examine the wrack line left by recent high tides and storms, such as the tropical cyclone Chris that brushed our shore last weekend.