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January 22, 2012

First Snow of the Year

Filed under: Winter by Bill @ 7:55 am

Winter on Long Island is off to a slow start. We’ve had inconsistent temperatures and too many warm days for me to even begin to take Old Man Winter seriously. With temperatures above freezing and rain in the forecast what he threw at us yesterday will be gone by tomorrow night, and everything will look like you know what again.

Meteorologists say La Niña and the Atlantic and Arctic Oscillations are responsible for the weather we’re experience this winter. In a nutshell…

Colder Pacific Ocean temperatures caused by La Niña result in less moisture in the air. The Atlantic Oscillations and Arctic Oscillations are in a phase that allows that dry air to flow easily over the country to the east. Less moisture in the air means less snow. With less snow on the ground to reflect solar radiation winter temperatures rise.

I had to work yesterday so I couldn’t enjoy the snow while it was falling, but I did manage to snap a few pictures on the way in. The roads were so slippery that I couldn’t go past 30mph without feeling the car slip–and that’s with snow tires.

An overpass on Southern State Parkway

The roads were VERY slippery.


A barn and trees covered with snow

Everything looks so good covered in snow.


A curve in the road

Driving conditions were really bad at the end of this ramp.


Snow plows with traffic behind them

Snow plows to the rescue!


January 16, 2011

Dusk on a Frozen Bay

Filed under: Winter by Bill @ 9:09 am

I’ve been reading Sippewissett (or Life on a Salt Marsh) by Tim Traver. (Don’t expect a review; the book is about Maine not Long Island.) And it’s hard for me to read about inlets, ponds, fish, shore birds, boats… without wanting to be on the water. Fortunately, living only about 2 miles from the south shore,  it’s easy for me to get to the water whenever I want without disrupting my entire day. Which is good because I ALWAYS want to be near water. So, yesterday afternoon I packed up a cup of coffee, the book, and my camera to do some reading by the bay.

The Great South Bay can be a lonely, cold, unforgiving place during the winter. On nice days you might see some duck hunters, or a few folks in their kayaks, but yesterday was not one of those days. It was cold and cloudy, and we’ve had some pretty cold weather here, so much of the bay is frozen. It was the perfect setting for coffee and a book. Sitting by the bay, when it is cold and dark is one of my favorite things to do. In many ways it is better than a beautiful, sunny day. Some of you might understand…

I read into the fading light until I couldn’t take the eye strain anymore and then got out of the car to take some pictures . The minute I stepped outside I was swarmed by seagulls. They thought I had food and hovered above me just out of reach. I thought they might drop bombs on me, but I was lucky.

Here are some of the pictures I took:

There were well over 100 birds in the air over me.

Jetty at the mouth of Browns River. Fire Island in the background.

The commercial boat Amazing Grace returns from a long day of scalloping.

And those pesky seagulls are still at it.

January 14, 2011

Please Clear Your Fire Hydrants

Filed under: Winter by Bill @ 6:17 am

If there’s a fire hydrant near your house covered with snow, you should dig it out for easy access in the event of a fire. Most people don’t bother, but it really doesn’t take long and the house you save could be your own.

January 13, 2011

Who ordered this?

Filed under: Winter by Bill @ 6:17 am

As much as I love a good storm, I’m getting tired of all this snow. The last thing I needed was a blizzard the day after Christmas. Another storm, before the streets are even fully clear from the first one, is not my idea of a good time. It is very pretty though…

The view out my back door.

The driveway. Ugh.

March 14, 2010

Wind Storm on Long Island

Filed under: Winter by Bill @ 9:56 pm

Well, this storm took me by surprise. I was expecting wind and rain but nothing like this.

It was pretty windy yesterday morning when I got up, and then at around 6:30am I heard a noise and the loud boom of a pole transformer exploding. Fortunately, I didn’t loose power, but the folks on the next block have been without electricity since yesterday morning.

This morning I went for a drive to survey the storm’s handiwork. I cannot believe the amount of damage I saw right in my own neighborhood. If this is any indication of what happened to the rest of the island, then this is a genuine disaster.

Suffolk county is estimating $30 million in damage, while LIPA is scrambling to restore power to thousands of residents. I heard that Con Ed has more outages than they did during hurricane Gloria. Incredible.

Check out these pictures. View them full size to really see the damage. (I’m told that the occupants of the green VW escaped without serious injury.)

February 28, 2010

Scenes of a Snowy February

Filed under: Winter by Bill @ 6:39 pm

It’s been a snowy winter for us here on Long Island and in much of the country for that matter. If you have to get up and go to work, then snow is a major pain, but even as I’m cleaning off my car and cursing the weather, I am struck by its beauty.

Every flake is different and they’re so small it’s hard to believe they can pile up so quickly and cause so much trouble. (Are there more snowflakes in a blizzard then grains of sand on the beach? It hurts my head to even think about it.) In spite of the inconvenience, the delays, and the aggravation, I always find the time to snap a few pictures.

December 21, 2009

Snowstorm on Long Island

Filed under: Winter by Bill @ 8:14 am

Well, winter is off to a roaring start. If you live on the east coast you know we had snow however, if you’re one of those folks who has moved away from Long Island, here’s what you missed yesterday…

At 5am there was already 2 feet of snow on the ground and it was still coming down.

The birds showed up at dawn and they were hungry.

That’s a lot of snow. Shovel and snowblower teamed up to clear the driveway.

Elsewhere, larger machines moved even more snow.

At day’s end a beautiful sunset and clear sky over the Great South Bay.

Snow covered party boats glow in the late sun. (The shadow of my head is under the G in Stranger, my truck is to the right.)

February 9, 2009

Three Sunrises

Filed under: Photo's,Sand, Sea & Sky,Winter 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.


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.


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.


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.


February 1, 2009

New Video: Breaking the Ice

Filed under: Sand, Sea & Sky,Winter by Bill @ 2:10 pm

Yesterday was haul out day for my son’s boat. The procedure is simple: drive the boat to the ramp, wait for the hauler to show up, put the boat on the trailer, and go. Not so easy this time…

It’s been cold on Long Island! We’ve had a few days above freezing, but the nights have all been below the freezing point. For the most part the Great South Bay is free of ice, but the canals still have ice in them.


To get to the ramp my son had to break through over 100′ of ice several inches thick. Breaking ice with your boat is usually not recommend unless you know what you’re doing and have a boat that will take it.

The trick is to push your boat on top of the ice and let the boat’s weight crush the ice underneath it. You don’t want to speed into the ice and risk puncturing your hull. It also helps if the shape of your boat allows it to climb the ice.

If you have a deep forefoot and a plumb cutwater, you’re out of luck. In that case you’ll need someone on the bow with a pole to puncture and clear the ice before you go through it.


Also, don’t be fooled by thin ice. When I was a kid I saw a wooden boat sink because the captain thought he could cut through the thin ice in the marina. He was driving his boat around from his slip to the haulout slip where the Travelift was waiting.

Well, he cut through the ice no trouble at all, but at the same time the sharp ice was tearing through his wooden hull. The boat sank before he was even close.

If you do manage to break ice without sinking your boat, you’ll have a nice clean bottom as a bonus. The crushed ice scrapes everything off, even barnacles.

Here’s the video:

Breaking the ice on haul-out day

Okay, so breaking ice with your boat is not something everyone on Long Island is doing this winter, but that’s why I thought this might be interesting.

Click here for more Long Island videos from

January 18, 2009

Cold on Long Island

Filed under: Winter by Bill @ 8:09 am

If you live on Long Island you’ve no doubt noticed the cold weather, so this is for all of my readers who’ve moved away and miss it here.

With daily highs in the teens and twenties and nighttime lows in the single digits, it’s been pretty darn cold. As dangerous and expensive as the cold weather can be there’s something about extreme weather conditions that excites me.

I know, all you folks in the Midwest are laughing, but for those of us here on The Island, single digit temperatures are not all that common.

The first thing I do when it’s been cold like this for a while is check to see if the bay is frozen, sure enough…

Here are some pictures taken yesterday morning on my way to the barber shop:

In the cold steaming chimneys like this one are a common sight.

Looking west: A half moon hovers over the frozen Great South Bay.

On her way to the Atlantic to fish for clams the dragger Susan H slowly cuts through the ice. Visible on the right is the Ocean Beach water tower.

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