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August 4, 2010

Passing Summer

Filed under: Summer by Bill @ 10:44 pm

Summer is in full swing. Heat, humidity, thunderstorms (luv them), beer, boats, bbq’s, beaches. And just when I thought it would last forever something happened to remind me that the end is just around the corner.

It was Saturday night. There were steaks on the grill and cocktails in hand when Karilyn mentioned that she had seen Halloween pumpkins and school supplies on sale at the store earlier in the day. Right then and there my summertime bubble burst. I felt as if someone woke me up during a really good dream.

School supplies? Pumpkins? Already? UGH!!

We spent a good half hour discussing how sick it is to have Halloween stuff in the stores at this time of year before resuming normal conversation.

On Sunday morning I found this poem taped to my office door.

On a quiet beach somewhere on Long Island’s north fork.

Passing Summer
by Karilyn Drago

Already shadows grow longer,
night falls more quickly
creeping up on me, as a lover from behind.
Tree frogs call to one another,
sing the melody while crickets chirp the backbeat
and the spider spins her silken web.

A hot July, air barely breathable,
gives way to these cool evenings
with August yet ahead.
It is a false promise, yet a welcome respite – lie to me.

Today I saw school supplies, pencils and notebooks, alongside pumpkins and scarecrows upon the shelf
whispering of cooler days to come.
Not yet, but soon.

I am not ready to concede, oh no, not yet.
Thirty days and more ‘til Labor Day.
It will be hot again.
Summer, firm in her grasp will claim me once more,
unwilling to yield to September and beyond.

I pour another glass of Chardonnay
and toast the summer stars
as they cling to the coal sky –
the overture –
before Cassiopeia and the golden leaves of her
evening gown.

July 26, 2010

Summer Squall at the Snapper Inn

Filed under: Sand, Sea & Sky,Summer by Bill @ 6:55 am

If you were on Long Island yesterday afternoon you may have heard about the tornado warning and maybe even witnessed a severe summer squall blowing through your neighborhood.

We were sitting on the dock at the Snapper Inn enjoying cocktails and the shade provided by thick black clouds. They seemed to be north of us, so I figured whatever was coming would pound the north shore and leave us alone. How wrong I was.

At first there were only a few drops, then it started to rain hard enough for us to move from the dock to the tent. And then, within a matter of minutes the sky opened up and the wind started blowing. Really blowing… The winds even knocked down a tree on the grounds that had been toppled and saved 25 years ago in a different storm.

According to the National Weather Service the storm came through at 40 to 50 mph and produced wind gusts up to 60 mph. Based on what I saw I don’t doubt those numbers.

Here are some pictures…

Black clouds. Nothing to worry about...

A little rain.

The rain begins in earnest.

Visibility is reduced and the wind picks up.

Driving rain is blowing inside the tent; customers and staff race to close the panels.

Storm damage: Down for the second time in 25 years, this tree's trunk is now broken and cannot be saved.

Not long after the rain started, the skies cleared and the evening sun cast a golden glow on boats in the river.

June 7, 2010

Dust, Oysters and Venus

Filed under: Food & Drink,Sand, Sea & Sky,Summer by Bill @ 7:22 am

After a long day slaving away at the computer I went out for some dinner at Kingston’s Clam Bar. It was very windy yesterday and along the way I encountered this dust blowing across a soccer field.

blowing dust

There was so much dust in the air my eyes were burning.

For dinner I had clams and oysters on the half shell followed by a plate of fried calamari, and all washed down with a couple of pints of Paulaner hefe-weizen, a summertime favorite beer.  (Sorry no pictures of dinner.)

After dinner I noticed the planet Venus shining brilliantly in the western sky. The picture just doesn’t do the scene justice, but I hope you get the idea of how beautiful it was.

planet venus

Venus is the very bright “star” in the picture above. You can see the yellow glow of Kingston’s dining room to the right.

September 2, 2008

Post Labor Day Video

Filed under: Summer by Bill @ 6:54 am

Here’s a YouTube video that I made while lamenting the end of summer. I’ll spare you the rant because I did that last year, but I like the video. Not so much the me part, but definitely the music.

“Sunday,” a melancholy instrumental from the album Great Balls of Fire Island, says more about that post Labor Day feeling than I could ever write.

What summer looks like on Long Island

September 7, 2007

Labor Day on Long Island

Filed under: Sand, Sea & Sky,Summer by Bill @ 3:32 pm

At best Labor Day is a holiday of mixed emotions. Although mothers are glad to have the kids back in school I think most, if not all of us feel a little down after the Labor Day weekend. We look forward to a break from the kids and a change in season, but it’s not long after Labor Day passes that we begin to miss the summer.

I’m usually very active during the summer and most years post Labor Day September is a welcome respite from intensive summer fun—a vacation from my vacation if you will. But this year, not so much. I didn’t spend as much time on my boat as I would have liked and I wanted to spend more time sitting on the beach in Southold.

Well, there’s always (hopefully) next year…

A few years ago while vacationing in Atlantique on Fire Island I picked up a music CD called Great Balls of Fire Island.

CDAll but one of the songs are humorous tributes to various aspects of the Fire Island life style. The exception is the stunningly beautiful and melancholy Sunday.

This song describes the classic Fire Island dilemma: you’ve had a great week and don’t want it to end. You’re in a melancholy mood and just wish you had more time. Sunday gives you permission to stay longer by taking a later boat. Ahhh.

Sunday the weekday is a Fire Island vacationer’s Labor Day and Sunday the song inspired me to make the following video. I’ve only used the instrumental portion of the song (it sets the post Labor Day mood). If you want the whole song with the lyrics you’ll have to buy the CD. Well worth owning if you like the Fire Island lifestyle.

I hope you enjoy watching this video as much as I enjoyed making it…


August 27, 2007

Summer Sail on Long Island

Filed under: Sand, Sea & Sky,Summer by Bill @ 3:24 pm

Lately, I’ve noticed the crickets. Louder and louder they’ve become as if to say, “autumn is coming, autumn is coming, autumn is coming.

Well, they’re right. So, I’ve been trying to pack as much into what’s left of summer as possible which, for me, means sailing.

Here are some pictures and a short video I made from the last few times I’ve been out on my boat. Enjoy!

sail and bridge
The corner of my genoa and the Robert Moses Causeway Bridge on the Great South Bay. This shot was taken on August 19. It was very cold that and I had to change into long pants and a sweatshirt.

My good deed for the day… I found this purse floating just under the waves off Ocean Bay Park. After a few tries I managed to snag the strap with my boat hook. I sent a letter to the owner and returned the purse and all its contents intact albeit a little salty.

A beautiful sunrise (it does look like a sunset, but it really is a sunrise) at Atlantique.

Okay, no more tricks, this is a sunset over East Islip.

A couple canoeing near Fire Island. West Fire Island and the Robert Moses Causeway bridge are behind them. They told me they had come all the way from behind West Fire Island.  That’s quite a ways for a canoe and you can’t really tell from the picture, but that’s a very busy channel they’re crossing.

Here’s a short video I made showing the sights and sounds of a typical day sailing on the Great South Bay. The bay is bounded by Long Island on its northern side and Fire Island to the south. Most of this video was shot near Fire Island.

May 29, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend on Long Island

Filed under: Sand, Sea & Sky,Summer by Bill @ 3:21 pm

I packed in a lot this weekend. Now it’s Tuesday morning and I’m almost happy to be back at work. Almost, but not quite. I could use a few more days off. Who couldn’t?

This Memorial Day weekend kicked my butt. Here’s what I did…

Well, I started off by missing the air show at Jones Beach. I miss it every year and every year I promise myself I’ll make a point of seeing it next year. Hasn’t happened yet.

I managed to get my boat in the water, but not until Monday afternoon, so I missed my summer kick-off trip to Fire Island.

I worked on my son’s “yacht.” Always a pleasure. I can’t get him to mow the lawn, but when something needs to be done on Cap’t Joe’s boat it’s, “Hey Dad, I have a question…”

Dropped of my girlfriend’s daughter, Seaweed (I call her Weed for short) at her annual retreat at Peconic Dunes campground then had dinner at BBQ Bill’s in Greenport. The smoked chicken wings were fabulous, but I had to work a little too hard to get the ribs off the bones. I still love the place though.

Celebrated my daughter’s birthday, then later that day celebrated my Girlfriend’s Father’s birthday.

On the way to Peconic we stopped off at Sang Lee Farms for something to snack on. $40 later we were all set. And that was money well spent.

Karen and Fred Lee grow more than 250 different products naturally using organic growing methods and their 16 greenhouses allow them to offer produce very early in the season. Everything at their farm stand is fresh, natural and tastes great.

Look at all those fresh vegetables.

In the farm stand Karen Lee is educator/tour guide. She showed us everything Sang Lee Farms had to offer while explaining how it’s prepared and what foods to pair with it. At her suggestion we took home some pepper jelly to serve over cream cheese and, as promised, it was a hit with our birthday party guests.

Drove back out to Peconic Dunes to pick up Seaweed and celebrate mass on the beach. I’m not a church going man, but I always enjoy the seaside service.

A beach
Father Eugene and Deacon George Reich lead mass in a truly grand cathedral.

Finally, on Sunday afternoon, after the birthday parties were over and all the driving was done, Karilyn and I went to the Snapper Inn to enjoy our favorite summertime drink. No, not Long Island Ice Tea, Gin and Tonic.

There’s nothing like enjoying a cocktail while watching the water on a hot day. Gin & Tonics work for me.

Monday was boat launching day. All went well, except I can’t find my spreaders. I took them off the mast last Fall and now they’re gone. Beats me. I’m ordering new ones today.

Hope your weekend was just as exciting.

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