Dec 30, 2010

On A Colder Note

Sunday morning we rose early to leave our Christmas family in Bayside and head out to the North Fork.  The weather folks warned us of a winter snow bearing up on us, as it was approaching from the south, and we thought it better to outrun the storm rather than get mired in it.  There was almost no traffic on the roads due to the day, the hour and the warnings so the drive was very pleasant as we recalled the events and conversations of the day before, but it was dark and eerie.  As we arrived a very fine snow began, then became suddenly thicker and the winds picked up and up gusting at 50 mph. sometimes higher.  There didn't seem to be much risk of physical danger as long as one used his brains and stayed off the treacherous roads.

So we got in the jeep to see what we could see.  Not much as it turned out.  With such low visibility I doubted that any photos I took would be usable and the chance that a fast moving highway department snowplow could open up our vehicle like a can of sardines sent us back to the nest.

The snow ceased Monday morning around 11 am after accumulating to nearly a foot overall.  It left many deep drifts closing roads.  High tide stacked up by wind flooded many low land areas.  But now we could see for some distance though the wind was still high and so decided to go out again.  Our travels took us from the Peconic Bay in Cutchogue, to the Bay in New Suffolk, on to the Long Island Sound at the Mattituck Inlet and across farmland to the Village of Southold where we stopped at Founder's Tavern for soup and burgers next to a warming fire before heading home.  These are some of the scenes we photographed. 

Click on photos to enlarge.

Peconic Bay at New Suffolk

Mattituck Airport

Green Bouy at the Mattituck Inlet

Wind Over Farmland and a Copse of Trees

Soil Eroded by Wind Mixed With Snow
on Potato Harvesting Trucks

Wind on Low Road

Drifts After the Winds Calmed

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Dec 24, 2010

"From The North Fork" Visits The Keys

We went south to celebrate an 80th birthday, reune with family and get a little fly fishing in over the Thanksgiving holidays.  The Florida Keys have become a second home for us as we have gone there for a few weeks every year for over 35 years, Big Pine Key especially.  One day waiting for the tide to change out in the "back country" flats going into the Gulf of Mexico, I put down my rod and took out the camera.  The 2 PM sun was playing the shallow waters like a prism, color dancing in my eyes.  As we drifted I took nearly 100 photos of the bottom not knowing what to expect as the water and my platform, a shallow draft skiff, was in constant motion.  I was pleased when some of them looked nice, some clear, some more impressionistic...  you just never know.

Click on photos to enlarge, it's more fun.


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Nov 8, 2010

South Harbor Beach

Saturday arrived with clear sunny skies.  It was just warm enough to ward off the bit of chill in the air and make a beach walk very attractive to us.  Amy drove so that I'd have the luxury of being able to look at everything and call the stops to check out sites of interest.  After meandering down around Great Hog Neck near Paradise Point finding some roads we'd never been on before, we headed a short way east then turned toward the bay on South Harbor Road.  Perfect!  The beach appeared to be a clean blank slate save for a woman and her dog in the distance.  In the small harbor reeds wore their fall color and the still, clear waters let one see objects on the bottom.  The small black ones are old snail shells now occupied by hermit crabs.

Nearby a cozy waterfront cottage was nearly hidden in the shore trees.

Walking around for awhile proved the beach to be anything but a blank slate.   
Amy called me over to show me what she'd discovered... a labrinth.

It was fairly large, made of found objects from the beach  
placed in neat rows that described a path...

eventually leading to the end faced by an all-seeing eye.

Here are a few labrinth details that I found interesting.

The Tao of the labrinth

A broken whelk shell placed on a rock.

Barnacles on an old wave-tumbled brick.

Not far off there was an echo... a mini-labrinth.

I'd like to credit and thank the labrinth creator and keeper 
who posted a sign in a baggie asking all to keep it neat.
I like that, whoever you are.

To see more beach art from a past posting click here.

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Oct 29, 2010

Autumn Arrives on the North Fork

The ospreys have gone...

many of the grapes have been harvested and are slowly making their way to become good North Fork wine.  The leaves have colored and are beginning to fall, the pumpkins have arrived in time for Thanksgiving pie.  Most of the striped bass have rounded Montauk Point on their southerly migration.  It's time to bring the kayak up from the beach and put the storm windows back on our old house.   Wood is needed for the fireplace and some of the potted plants should be brought inside.   Time to "button up" for winter.

The large beige "cheese" pumpkin makes the finest pies.

  Most of our farm stands are more humble than this one.  We come here for the duck they carry from Crescent Duck Farm in Aquebogue.

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Oct 7, 2010

"The Heavens are Telling... "

  The approaching dawn once again found me, coffee in hand down by the bay standing in the lightest of air with a hint of salt in it.  As sunrise drew near, clouds like the curtains of heaven slowly changed from crimson to the soft golds and blue of early morning.  The music of Haydn's "Creation" playing in my mind described so beautifully the sky that was opening before me...

"The heavens are telling the glory of God,
The wonders of his work displays the firmament"

Based on Psalms 19.1

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Sep 7, 2010

Tropical Storm Earl

As hurricane Earl came up the eastern seaboard it's power slowly diminished finally becoming a tropical storm by the time it was parallel to the North Fork last Friday afternoon.  The rain measured a little less than three inches in my gauge though it might have been more as rain flying sideways would have a tough time getting in there.  The wind gusted to over forty miles per hour off and on during the day making me glad that we'd buttoned up a bit by taking down hanging plants from the front porch, putting all the lawn furniture in the garage and staking down the canopy over the deck and the boat on it's trailer.  We've seen boats in houses and hung up in trees after Andrew hit Florida so I thought I'd go ahead and take the precaution.  I find it hard to imagine a wind of 125 mph!  We felt our home would not have any problems as it had survived the big one back in 1938 that had destroyed nearby structures.

Around 4 pm, knowing that Earl had passed us by out to sea, we decided to make a run down to the South Fork to take a look at the Atlantic.  With very little traffic on the road we made good time and were on the Ponquogue Bridge approaching the Shinnecock Inlet 40 minutes later, an inlet that was created by the storm in '38, only to find a police car barring most of the road.  I think he was there to warn folks of the deep water ahead but he was letting SUVs through.  It was very deep in places but slowly we were able to get near the inlet, park, put on foul weather gear and step into the wind and driving rain.  I've stood on the jetty and fished in the sun many times with the water below me as much as 10 feet and more.  Today it wasn't a safe place to perch.

Click on photos to enlarge.

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