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September 24, 2009

Fall Sunrise

Filed under: Uncategorized 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…

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

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

August 24, 2009

Hurricane Bill at Robert Moses

Filed under: Uncategorized by Bill @ 7:17 am

I love a good storm, so as soon as the beaches were open I drove down to Robert Moses State Park to see what the surf was doing and if there was any damage to the beach.

I wanted to climb the Fire Island Lighthouse for a bird’s eye view, but unfortunately that part of the beach was still closed. I ended up at field 2.

It was apparent that the surf came all the way up to the dunes. I am not familiar with this part of the beach so I couldn’t really tell how much sand was lost.

Here are some pictures.

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February 9, 2009

Three Sunrises

Filed under: Uncategorized by Bill @ 6:41 am

Here’s three quick shots of Long Island’s beautiful sunrises taken last Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. (I missed Saturday because I was sick.)

On Thursday I was lucky enough to catch a sun dog. That’s the bright little rainbow to the left of the sun near the seagull. Sun dogs are caused by ice crystals in the clouds reflecting the sun’s light and are fairly common during the winter.

sundog

Friday’s sunrise was brilliant red with a beautiful reflection of the sun over the frozen Great South Bay. The reflection shows where the bay is frozen and where it’s not, and I thought that was pretty cool.

sunrise-over-frozen-bay

This last picture, taken on Sunday morning, reminds me of something you might see in the arctic. There was ice everywhere and hardly any sun. In spite of what you might feel by looking at this picture, it was a relatively warm 40+ degrees F and I was quite comfortable without my gloves and hat.

sunrise-over-melting-ice

So that’s three pictures of Long Island sunrises all taken in the same place, at the same time, within a few days of each other. It’s amazing how quickly the sky and the bay change isn’t it?

Edit: 02-11-2009

In reviewing the pictures I took on Sunday morning I found this one, taken with my back toward the sun. This is what the sun was looking at as it was rising.

looking-west

August 14, 2008

Time for Spiders

Filed under: Uncategorized by Bill @ 7:27 am

It’s that time of the year again on Long Island. The time when orb weavers make their presence known by building huge webs around porch lights, shrubs, garden paths, and anywhere else suitable for scaring the pants off unsuspecting passersby.

There are two of these spiders around my house this year. One directly under a porch light, and another in the dark near a sidewalk alongside my house. Both spiders are quite large, but their webs are different sizes. The web in the dark is about 5 feet tall (huge!), while the one under the porch light is only about 2 feet in diameter. I wonder if that’s because the light attracts so much food she doesn’t need a larger web.

I know these are females by their size. The males are much smaller and build smaller, less organized webs. The web below (click pic for full size image) is in almost complete darkness. It is illuminated here only by the flash of my camera.

big spider web

This is a closeup of the spider under the porch light. I don’t know what exact species she is, but does it really matter? It’s big, ugly, and yet incredibly beautiful.

June 20, 2008

Lightning

Filed under: Uncategorized by Bill @ 10:07 am

We had some serious lightning on Long Island’s south shore the other night. My daughter, through sheer will and determination, snapped this picture with her cell phone as we were heading east on Sunrise Highway in Oakdale.

It’s not a great shot, but it does convey the power of a lightning bolt. The odd looking thing on the left is the windshield wiper. In the lower left corner of the picture you can see ripples of rainwater running down the window.

Had we the time we would have watched this storm from the beach (staying in the car of course), which can be quite spectacular.

lightning

June 17, 2008

East End Irony: Custer and the Indians

Filed under: Uncategorized by Bill @ 6:44 am

On Sunday afternoon I drove to my parent’s house in Southold on Long Island’s north fork for our traditional Father’s Day BBQ. Dad passed a few years ago, but I still look forward to spending Father’s Day with my mom and relaxing with my kids. My mom’s house is just a block from the beach and is the perfect place…

I’ve been making this short trip routinely since my folks moved from Massapequa ten years ago and you know how it is with things like this, the car knows the way and you really don’t pay much attention to landmarks anymore. You pull out of one driveway and next thing you know your pulling in to another.

Lately however, I’ve been noticing something strange. Something I’ve been looking at for years but never really saw: The Custer Institute and the Indian Museum are directly across the street from one another.


Heading west from Greenport on 25 you’ll see this sign. Looks like something from a Far Side cartoon doesn’t it?

Seems odd doesn’t it? Custer killed a lot of Indians and in the end was killed by them. But there you have it, the two of them side by side on Main Bayview Road in Southold.

Established in 1927, The Custer Institute is Long Island’s oldest public observatory and was founded by General George Custer’s grandniece, hence the name. The institute is still very active, perhaps more than ever, offering lectures, programs and workshops in astronomy, physics, geology, paleontology and archeology.

The Southold Indian Museum is small but important as it houses the largest collection of Algonquin ceramic pottery anywhere. The museum also owns a 63 acre flint mine in Coxsackie, NY that has been in use for over 7000 years. That’s pretty cool.

I’ll post more info when I actually stop in and visit instead of just driving by. The irony still gets me though…

April 13, 2008

An Hour After Sunrise

Filed under: Uncategorized by Bill @ 10:11 am

I love the early morning hours. The streets are quiet, the air is still, and I have the world to myself.

This morning I saw beautiful white clouds ringed in gold from the early morning sun– a far cry from the stormy weather we had yesterday. By the time I found my camera and drove to the park the sun had risen and the golden color was gone. But there were other things to see on Long Island this fine Sunday morning.

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The sun behind clouds, reeds, and a dead calm Great South Bay

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Waterfall and geese at Brookwood Hall

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The geese take flight

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Yesterday’s stormy weather brought us blue skies and pretty clouds

March 31, 2008

Torn Glove at the Bay Shore Marina

Filed under: Uncategorized by Bill @ 7:50 am

As I was on my belly taking this picture, I heard a voice asking me if I was looking for rats. “No, I’m just taking a picture of this torn glove.” In response to the giant question mark on the guy’s face, I explained that with the crates and crab trap in the background it might turn out to be a nice shot. You know, one of those artistic ones you see for sale in the little shops in Greenport or The Nautical Mile.

torn-glove.jpg

As it turns out the guy asking the questions was John Buczak, one of the few Long Island baymen still earning a living at this ancient, vanishing craft, and it was his dog that bit the thumb off of the glove.

We shot the breeze for a while, covering all the important topics like high fuel prices, decreasing fish populations, increasing regulations, and all the seafood imported from who knows where. We wondered what the future holds for Long Island’s baymen and fisheries, and if it would someday be impossible to eat locally caught fish.

Hmmm…

Read more about John and other noted baymen in this New York Times article.

January 19, 2008

Seaford Dock

Filed under: Uncategorized by Bill @ 10:03 am

Seaford Dock SignWell, that’s not what it was called when I was a kid. At that time I don’t think it even had a name. It was just a plot of land where people kept boats and guys like Captain Eddy, Pops, and Catfish Max rented small outboard powered boats to weekend fisherman hoping to catch some flounder in the bay.

These days, it’s a park with cute little restaurant next door, and one of the places I like to visit when I need some time on the water. So, yesterday I picked up some burgers from All American, which is just a few blocks away, and went to the dock. It was a perfect lunch hour.

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Plenty of benches in the park.

There’s a garden in the middle of the park
And a very nice garden in the center.

After lunch I stopped in at the appropriately named Parkside Café. I’ve never eaten here, but it seems promising. Kaitlyn, the Friday night bartender, told me that the food is excellent and because of its small size, reservations are definitely recommended. Look for a full review from me when the weather gets nice enough to enjoy the waterside seating. (More about Long Island restaurants.)

Bar and dining room
With only about 8 tables this is one of the smallest Long Island restaurants I’ve ever seen.

Seaford dock is located at the end of Sand’s Lane off Seamen’s Neck Road. Now as rustic as it may appear, you don’t want to drive on Sand’s Lane. It’s a very narrow, private road that’s not maintained very well. You’ll sink into potholes and roadside shrubs will scratch your car. It’s also a one-way street leading out of the park, not in.

a very narrow road
The hedges will do a number on your paint job and you’ll bottom out in the potholes.

The only way to get to Seaford Dock is Seamen’s Neck Road to Atlantic View to Archer to Alder.

January 10, 2008

Workers on the Waterfront

Filed under: Uncategorized by Bill @ 9:25 pm

Joe Angevine: HarbormasterI was surfing the back issues of Edible East End this morning and read about an excellent series of photos by photographer Juliana Thomas.

Her project, “On the Edge: Workers on the Waterfront” captures images of people in Greenport, Long Island who earn their living “at the bitter end of a long maritime tradition.”

The 21 photographs in the series are stunning and are accompanied by a short description of how each of the subjects earns their living. Fishermen, dock builders, artists, mechanics, all manor of maritime craftsmen are presented here.

It’s no secret that Long Island’s maritime traditions are on the wane and it really is nice to see people working to preserve them. Not only the artists like Juliana who preserve though documentation, but the tradesmen themselves who preserve by doing, and refuse to give up even when under severe economic pressure.

Having grown up near the water I’m a sucker for maritime sentimentality and these pictures really get me. I’d love to have each one of them hanging on a wall somewhere in my house.

See them here:
On the Edge: Workers on the Waterfront

And here’s a picture of my own.

This is my son, Joe hauling a scallop dredge on his boat last winter. He’s got the bug too and has been working as a commercial fisherman for about 4 years now.

It isn’t easy. The winters are brutal and the pay is not good. The weather can turn in a flash and he’s had his share of close calls.

But I have to say, I get jealous on a beautiful spring day when he’s on his boat and I’m stuck in a cube. On the other hand, I’m always warm, I’m not risking my life, and I can call in sick every now and then.

Joe and scallop dredge

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