Monday, November 30, 2009

Hotel at SUNY: the proposed site

The curving line from top to bottom is Nichols Road, a very busy highway that has been kept wooded and non-commercial ... up till now. This plan for a hotel at this spot is a huge environmetal blunder and one hopes the perpetrators of the ill-advised project can be made to see reason. On the left is the main campus. On the right is the Health Sciences Center.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Symphony in grey

Color drains out of the natural world as the days grow shorter. Goldenrod holds up grey fluff where yellow flowers were. Almost everything is grey. This pointed rock is the spot where I took pictures of four young barn swallows on July 7th.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Food pantries

CRDLI (Community Resources Database of Long Island) has long lists of food pantries and soup kitchens and how to donate to them. The need is great.

Another list concentrating on the Coram/Patchogue/Middle Island area, and specifying eligibility.

Smithtown Emergency Food Pantry

Interfaith Nutrition Network
INN sites

Monday, November 23, 2009

Alas, a forest slated for destruction

Stony Brook University has announced plans to build a Hilton Hotel on the campus. Of all the spots they could choose (and there are several good alternate locations) they decided to destroy the eleven acres of mature woodland at the main entrance. I join my voice with the many whose alarm is flooding the new President and the local newspaper with letters. The Stony Brook Environmental Conservancy is very active in this campaign. Here are some of the letters to the newspaper (They start with the 6th letter down):

Newsday article

Letter to The Statesman

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I've been meaning for months to take pictures of the sunflowers growing in front of the library at SCC Ammerman. They were great--but they wouldn't wait for me. They bloomed, made seeds, were partially harvested, and now they are in their bedraggled dotage. Don't you think they still have character?

Friday, November 20, 2009

How many?

How many DOT guys does it take to remove a sign?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Swans, swans, and more swans

In the water

On the shore

Not afraid of humans

Or each other

The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine and fifty swans.

The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold,
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes, when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?
(The Wild Swans at Coole (1919), by William Butler Yeats)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Setauket Grist Mill

Another nice feature of Melville Park: a replica of an original grist mill. Looks pretty authentic, doesn't it? The original mill was built in 1664. It was rebuilt in 1669. A third mill was built with the help of Donald A. Spetta in 1937 and that is the mill that stands there now. The roof was re-shingled about ten years ago.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Isn't it cute?

The boxy Scion. Brilliantly practical/ugly. My bike would fit in the back: more cycling freedom. I went into the showroom on an impulse the other day and sat in one and brought home a brochure. Hmmm ...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Old beech tree in Melville Park

Enlarge the picture and you can just make out some names and initials romantically etched. Wonder if they are still joined in life today?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


June 28

November 3

Less pretty now, but more useful to the birds, and that is its purpose in life after all.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


If you have to be a pest, be a beautiful one.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Little red toes

Spotted today on the prickly pear cactus on Trustees Road. Here's how they looked in the spring (June 29)