Wild Westhampton

…nature in the Hamptons…

Archive for January 2009

The Starfish After Dying

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After the season (you know which I mean), my mother and I took our dogs down to Pike’s Beach. It’s always a laugh, seeing how scared Charlie (our black lab) is of water, and Boone (the mutt) has to smell everything he can get his nose near.

However, this particular day, there were hundreds of starfish washed up along the shore, for reasons unknown to us. They were among hundreds of mussels, as well, so perhaps the reason is tied to that. After seeing the animals washed up, we turned around and drove the dogs home (Boone probably would’ve eaten one if he could), although we returned nearer to sunset (sans dogs) to see if they were still there and to take photos.

The Starfish After Dying
07 October 2008
Pike’s Beach, Westhampton Beach, NY

The Great Blue Heron in Flight

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Still after that elusively shy GBH — this is probably the best shot I’ve taken of one “in the wild” and actually alive (on purpose, anyway). This one flew over the roadway by the duck pond while I was stalking an egret on the south side, and soon after its mate flew over as well.

The Great Blue Heron in Flight
17 July 2008
Quiogue, New York

The Daylily

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I usually stay away from too many flower photos, as they tend to lead to folks insinuating a resemblance to genitalia. But I couldn’t resist this orange daylily. These beautiful perennials pretty up our driveway and garden every year.

Fun fact! Some species of daylily are edible, but be careful when crafting your recipe — other species are toxic!

The Daylily
25 June 2008
Quiogue, NY

The Squirrel in the Yard

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This is for my friend L. She once told me this story about how all the women in her family get attacked by crazy squirrels, in their homes, in their office buildings, etc… so that somehow translated in my mind to her having an obsession with squirrels. For years now she’s only gotten stuff from me when it’s had a squirrel on it. She probably doesn’t have a squirrel obsession, but this is for her anyway.

The Squirrel in the Yard
23 May 2003
Quiogue, NY

The Ducklings at the Pond

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At the same pond where swim cygnets, ducklings are also to be found. They’re a bit more rare to spot, growing up faster than their swan counterparts, but the few weeks they are visible, they’re adorable! (And numerous. I think this past summer we had counted at least 17.)

The Ducklings at the Pond
14 July 2008
Westhampton Beach, NY

Cygnets, All Queued Up

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Why did the cygnets line up? To cross the road!

In the pond where they play (which today was frozen over, thanks to sub-zero temperatures), the road divides south and north, and so they spend a considerable amount of time before learning how to fly crossing the road. There are Caution: Wildlife signs about, but from one direction it’s obscured by some trees, and signs don’t necessarily mean that people abide by them anyway.

Cygnets, All Queued Up
02 June 2008
Westhampton Beach, NY

The Plover in the Seaweed

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This plover here is the semipalmated plover, one of the few plovers whose numbers may actually be increasing, and can be seen frequently on our beaches towards the end of August. Supposedly it looks a lot like the killdeer, but I think killdeer look a lot fatter. Sometimes also mistaken for paler species such as the snowy or piping plovers (phantom menace of the Hamptons, much to the chagrin of tourists and beachgoers).

The Plover in the Seaweed
21 August 2008
Montauk, NY