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October 30, 2006

Stormy Weekend

Filed under: Sand, Sea & Sky by Bill @ 2:13 pm

That a storm hit Long Island this past weekend is news to no one. Many Long Islanders lost power (I was fortunate and did not), lost trees, and sustained property damage.

While everyone was out cleaning up the mess, what was I doing? What I always do after a storm…taking pictures.

Most of my shots are the same old boring storm pix; trees down, etc… but this one I like.

Great South Bay

It’s a dramatic image of the Great South Bay looking west in late afternoon sunshine. You can see the Robert Moses Bridge, and the water tower on Fire Island. What you can’t see is how hard the wind was blowing. I had a very difficult time opening my car door and the bay was kicked up into a spray. I love days like that.

In the Here’s-something-you-don’t-see-everyday department, I found a 1960’s era landing craft at the East Islip marina.

The picture above and the one below were taken just minutes apart. The difference in appearance is due to the direction of the camera. Above is looking west towards the sun. Below is looking east away from the sun.

From the looks of the water in this sheltered part of the marina you’d never know the wind was howling at 30+ knots.

Landing craft

Behind the boat is Heckscher State Park, one of Long Island‘s largest and most popular parks.

October 16, 2006

Long Island’s Migrating Monarchs

Filed under: Fall by Bill @ 2:06 pm

One of the nice things about living on Long Island is it’s easy to see nature in action. The coast is easily accessible and we have a larger number of parks and nature preserves, but sometimes all you have to do is step into your own backyard.

From my yard I’ve been watching the monarch butterflies make their way south for the winter. Although we’re nearing the end of their fall migration I’m still seeing plenty of hungry monarchs feeding on my flowers.

Long Island is directly under the monarch’s flight path as they head to Mexico, Texas and parts of Florida for the winter, so if you have flowers in your yard you’re bound to see the monarchs too.

a butterflya butterfly

I find them all over my Montauk daisies–sometimes half a dozen at once. My son, a commercial fisherman, has been seeing “swarms of them” fly over his boat on the Great South Bay.

It’s hard to believe, but these butterflies travel thousands of miles south every fall to roost in a warmer climate for the winter. In the spring they’ll make the trip back. Simply amazing for such delicate and simple creatures.

Nature watching is one of the great pleasures of living on Long Island and as anyone who knows me will attest, something I never grow tired of.

Why don’t you try it? Bundle up, grab a cup of your favorite hot beverage, and sit quietly in a corner of your yard for a while. I promise you’ll see things you’ve never noticed before.

October 11, 2006

October Sail

Filed under: Sand, Sea & Sky by Bill @ 1:55 pm

A man in a sailboatMy son, Joe and I took advantage of Sunday’s beautiful weather with a quiet sail on Long Island’s Great South Bay.

The wind was light, so we just ghosted along soaking up the late season sun on what was very likely our last sail of the year.

That we are surrounded by salt water is one of the things I love about Long Island.

Even though winter is coming, I won’t stay away from the shore. I just can’t go for very long without hearing, seeing and smelling the sea.

There will be frequent visits to the boatyard and the beach. I’ll daydream my way through a cup of 7-11 coffee, recalling summers past and planning next season’s adventures.

A ferry boat

A nearly empty ferry returns from Fire Island with Robert Moses Bridge and water tower in the distant haze.


A sure sign the sailing season is over.

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