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September 24, 2009

Fall Sunrise

Filed under: Fall,Photo's,Sand, Sea & Sky by Bill @ 9:26 am

I got up early on the first day of fall to see what the dawn of a new season looks like. It was quite beautiful…

A lone gull at the end of the pier (click pic for full size)

Hmmm. Could this be the same guy from last year’s fall sunrise?

September 22, 2008

First Day of Fall on Long Island

Filed under: Fall,Sand, Sea & Sky by Bill @ 9:27 pm

If you live on Long Island seeing the sun rise over the Great South Bay is a relatively common sight, but I can never get enough of it.

I was up early this morning and took the scenic route to work. I was lucky enough to catch this rower just as he crossed the reflection of the sun on the water.

This almost looks like a sunset, but it is not. This is the sun at 7:08am this morning, 28 minutes after it rose. Today, the Autumnal equinox and also the first day of fall, the sun rose directly in the east and set directly in the west. Yes, you can set your compass by it.

I would love to have been the guy in the boat, but even just catching a sight like this was a great way to start a new season.

September 18, 2008

Mallomars Time on Long Island

Filed under: Fall,Food & Drink by Bill @ 7:01 am

Just 2 weeks ago we Long Islanders were complaining about the end of summer. How it went so fast and there wasn’t enough time, blah, blah, blah. But cooler weather has its rewards (aside from not sticking to the sheets at night).

One of those rewards is my second favorite cookie of all time: Mallomars.

Fig Newtons are my #1 fav, but Mallomars are so close it’s practically a tie. Fig Newtons are available throughout the year, but on Long Island we can only get Mallomars in the cooler weather. They just melt too easily during the summer.

The limited availability exalts these cookies, and this might sound odd, but there’s a box of Mallomars in the cabinet for 2 days now and I just can’t bring myself to open it.

I’ve waited this long, they’re in the house, and rather than tear open the box before the rest of the groceries are put away, I’d like some quiet time to sit down and really savor the first Mallomar of the season.

Does that makes sense to anyone else or I am just nuts?

September 8, 2008

Fall Colors on Long Island

Filed under: Fall by Bill @ 6:45 am

The trees are starting to change color, a sure sign that summer is leaving us and fall is leading the inevitable march towards winter. I spotted this tree on Saturday and it really took me by surprise.

I thought it was too early for this, but nope, September is when the trees start changing color on Long Island. The colors will grow more intense in weeks coming and will be past their peak by about mid October. Keep your eyes open and don’t miss any of it.

October 26, 2007

Pumpkin Picking

Filed under: East End,Fall by Bill @ 3:37 pm

Did a little pumpkin picking on Long Island’s north fork this past weekend. We fought traffic, crowds, and heat, but had a wonderful time. (It’s all part of the experience.)

me holding a green pumpkinI associate pumpkins with flannel shirts and hot soup, not short sleeves and sweat.

The brutally hot weather we had is not all that unusual for this time of year, but this is October and I was hoping for a brisk autumn day.

Left: Every year the pumpkins get uglier and uglier. (Can’t say much about the picker either.) This alien green one came home with us.

Mother Nature gave us blue skies and a lot of sunshine instead, so who am I to argue?

Our first stop was Harbes Family Farm where we picked our pumpkins, walked the corn maze, and had a lunch of roasted corn and fresh pressed apple cider.

Next, we stopped at a few of Long Island’s outstanding wineries. If money were not an issue I’d have a wine cellar stocked with all of my favs…

We also made a stop at Sang Lee Farms for some fresh Long Island Apples, and the Little Cigar Factory for some hand made cigars. I’m not a cigar smoker, but once in a while I’ll have one just to remind myself how much I hate those darn things. (Don’t ask, I don’t understand it either.)

Then we ended the day with a nice dinner at the Modern Snack Bar — not fine dining, but I’ve never felt more at home.

A Cart
We filled two of these carts for a total of 150lbs of pumpkins.

If you haven’t picked your pumpkins yet, finding a place couldn’t be easier. There are signs everywhere for U-Pick style pumpkin farms, and if you want to combine pumpkin picking with wine tasting then just head out to the north fork. Drive east on 25 or 48, and you can’t miss.

November 20, 2006

Yard Work

Filed under: Fall by Bill @ 2:33 pm

What do I do on crisp Autumn day on Long Island?

Long Island is suburbia. House after house. Block after block. Town after town. Pick any water cooler on Long Island and you’ll hear small talk about the things people are doing around their houses. Especially at this time of year.

Autumn is one of my favorite seasons. I love them all, really, and Long Island does the four seasons so well. Each comes in with conviction, yet none overpower us. But fall just has so many things going for it it’s hard not to put it at the top of my list.

The quieting of summer’s energy, the crunch and scent of fallen leaves, and those crisp, frosty mornings ease us into our winter hibernation. It feels so good to slow down.

Oh, but there I go again waxing poetic. The reality of autumn on Long Island is yard work, plain and simple. Is it hard? Yep. Is it boring? Doesn’t have to be.

We have five senses. Pay attention to them and savor what they bring you. This weekend I fixed a leaky chimney, winterized my boat, and did some yard work.

I can’t describe what I felt, smelt, tasted or heard, but…

Here’s what I saw:

Dying Montauk Daisies
The Montauk daisies that attracted so many butterflies have lost all their petals.

Tomato stakes
Windblown tomato stakes stand fruitless vigil over dead tomatoes.

A chimney
Fixing a leaky chimney may be a chore, but it offers an opportunity to see things in an unusual way.

Mocking bird on a sunflower
A mocking bird perched on one of my dead sunflowers.

So, what did you see?

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.

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