Saturday, November 14, 2009

When the Surf's Truly Up

At Ditch Plains on September 1, 2008, the photographer Blair Seagram was there to capture an astonishing day for surfers. His remarkable photographs are for sale at Tulla Booth's friendly and fascinating gallery in Sag Harbor. These are wide, artful, exquisitely printed images that clearly illustrate why Montauk is, when all the conditions of tide, swell, wind and waves are just right, one of the best surfing venues on Earth.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

An Almost Perfect Montauk Walk

Photographs by Daphne Stern

Scuba divers who heard rumors from far away that November diving in Fort Pond Bay is a magnificent experience get ready to submerge in the Caribbean clear water where, they say, you can spot a pearl in an oyster from sixty feet up on the bluff. Amy is helping Sean O'Neill from Jamesport get into his gloves. He is armed with a spear gun with steel-tipped arrows and word has it that there are blackfish down there big enough for some exquisite meals.

Fellow diver Brandon Hewes from Southampton might appear to be standing on a tropical atoll but he is in Fort Pond Bay a few weeks before Thanksgiving.

The 2009 bait fish hatch seems to be of record proportions. Fishermen like Captain Skip Rudolph report that there are huge clouds of fish food swimming around in the oceans and the bays this fall, so many that the gulls and terns are getting stuffed. Surf fishing up and down the beaches is breathtaking. Striped bass and bluefish are heavy and hungry and are expected to stay that way up until a serious cold front blows in.

Local tribes once used the fruits of the red sumac bushes as cosmetic body paints.

The Hither Woods paths are now deep in crisp, brown oak leaves.

Down a side trail and there is the beckoning aquamarine water.

Erratics are sizable boulders of rock not native to the area that about 10,000 years ago dropped out of the retreating glacier and found its perch. Before human records were kept these erratics were the signposts of the aboriginal peoples. Those that have never been moved are most revered. In Hither Woods there are erratics that have stood in the same spot since the last glacier disappeared north.

The view from Rocky Point across Fort Pond Bay toward a white water tower on the dunes beyond.

Every "Danger" or keep out sign in Montauk sets off suspicious alarms in the minds of tens of thousands of Montauk visitors who profoundly believe that hidden somewhere beneath the landscape is a super-secret government project to travel in time. They are looking for what they call "the portal," through which people may step and be chronologically transported. What is behind the danger sign? The portal seekers believe that every such a sign must hide the secret entrance to one of the time portals, the true story of which is "avoided" by the established press for sinister reasons you might listen to for hours if you had an interest.

The Lost Boulder or, as it is locally called, Split Rock, is the granddaddy of all the East End erratics. People for a thousand years have used it as a guidepost and meeting spot. For the many ghosts and haints on the East End, it is the best table in the house on Halloween and All Souls Day.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Magical Montauk

The moss are the housetops of The Little People (Leprechauns and Menehunes) who build their micropolises on the north side of oaks and on smooth granite rocks.

The tracks through the Hither Woods point the way ahead and the way back.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Almost Perfect Autumn Day

Sunrise at The Yellow Bucket House
November 8, 2009

What Do You Think of These Smileys?

Somebody in Montauk has taken offense from these yellow and black faces painted on the side of what was once an entirely canary yellow motel. That offended citizen contends that the three emoticon smiles all fall well below local aesthetic standards. People who see these smiles every day are taking sides. Some believe they make everyone in Montauk seem flat and bumpkinish. Others say live and let live, while another faction says, "It's a free country," and a few admit, "I like them." The matter is scheduled to come before a meeting of townspeople and The End hopes to cover the matter with all of the resources it demands.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Just Ducky

Photograph and report by Jillian Rennar
(C) 2009 All Rights Reserved

"This flock of mallard ducks has been spotted in Montauk Village all week long. I first saw them on Saturday from my post at John's Pancake House.They landed in the middle of Main Street and then the eleven of them proceeded to use the cross walk to waddle across the street like the Beatles crossed Abbey Road. They congregated around the Montauk Bake Shoppe, perhaps lured by the croissant crumbs.

On Sunday, I happened to spy them parading along the sidewalk, two by two, from the Chase Bank on their way toward John's. I ran and got my trusty camera and before I got back from the car, the bunch were outside the Pancake House mingling with other customers as if they were also waiting on line for breakfast.

They stayed for at least 20 minutes. Crissy and Wendy went outside and started feeding them toast; others gave them pancakes. People came and went yet nothing disturbed them. They were just hanging out. It was very refreshing, silly and happy to share our space with this bunch of birds."