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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.
Try to look beyond the madding crowd. There’s a lot going on in the world of nature, all of it free of charge. North America’s tiniest hummingbird, the calliope from the Pacific Northwest, has come to nectar alongside a ruby-throated male at Joanne Dittmar’s house in Springs on the bay just west of Hog Creek. Sibley defines it as an “accidental.” The ruby-throat is our tiniest bird species; just imagine how hard it would be to see a bird two-thirds its size with the naked eye as it whizzed by.
There’s an old saw that says “there’s more than one way to skin a cat.” It doesn’t actually have to do with removing the pelts from cats, thank God, but more with alternative ways of getting something done that needs to be done. In humankind as in nature, just about every method to get a given thing done has been tried. Some methods fail outright, some work for a while, then others that are more durable and efficient replace them; a few work forever with little change over countless eons, thus the horseshoe crab.