Whither Our Weather?

Well, we certainly live in interesting times. And, no, At Quaquanantuck is not referring to the current global geopolitical dysfunction, cultural conflicts, and ethical regression that have, sadly, become the new normal.

Nor is this column referencing the supposedly “super” battle of the last teams standing in the NFL last Sunday, which was so far from interesting as to have a DVR of the contest recommended as a guaranteed cure for insomnia. In fact, for pure boredom, the only thing that might surpass watching the game would be listening—in the minutes, hours and days following the event—to the endless nattering of commentators trying to earn their salaries by dissecting yet another New England Patriots masterpiece. Yawn.

Ice on rocks AB
Stoic’s redundant bar order: ice, on the rocks. —A. Botsford Photo

No, once again it is meteorology that prompts this week’s assessment of modern times. Make what you will of the New York Times story about rising global temperatures and 2018 being the fourth warmest year on record (click here). At Quaquanantuck is merely pointing out that while last week saw temperatures in the single digits, with wind chills in the negative teens and lower, on Tuesday night this week, temperatures were in the 60s in New York, men were walking on 8th Avenue in shirt sleeves and women without coats, and many restaurants had their front doors propped wide open to circulate some fresh air.

Quogo RM Sunset
Quogo Neck sunset, February 3, 2019. —Roger Moley Photo

The Few. The Brave. The Funny?
Regular readers will recall that At Quaquanantuck issued a challenge last week: come up with a joke, or jokes, based on this news item: “Tyson Foods is recalling 36,420 pounds of chicken nuggets because they may be contaminated with rubber, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Tuesday.”

Only a few jokes were sent in, but hey, it’s only the first attempt at this.

Fire Chief and Groundhog Day Master of Ceremonies Chris Osborne, who apparently counts Catskills comedy among his many gifts, came up with a few, only one of which was spiked on the censor’s desk. His one-liners, minus the obligatory rim shot, can be found below:

“This just in, McDonalds is bouncing chicken nuggets off the dollar menu …

“This just in, Firestone is announcing its new line of Radial Nuggets …”

Chris also let At Quaquanantuck know he’d be here all week, and suggested that we all try the veal …

Meanwhile, Yacht Squadron  comedy dinner impresario Christopher Cline offered this: “Contaminated nuggets is the bad news; the good news is that the chickens at least were practicing safe sex.”

Noted wag Roger Moley submitted a few options, including these two, the first of which is best read aloud:  

“Asked to comment on the misfortune of his family’s primary poultry rival, Secretary of Agriculture George “Sonny” Perdue balk, balk, balked.”

And this: “Asked how the rubber ended up in the nuggets, Tyson chairman John H. Tyson replied, “All I know is I told those chickens not to cross the road.”

And finally, a reader who wished to remain anonymous sent this: “As news spread on Wall Street that a massive USDA recall was based on finding rubber in chicken, Marriott Hotel Corp. shares dropped 50%.”

Quahog the Groundhog Predicts Early Spring in His Quogue Debut
The library’s second annual Groundhog Day ceremony, held last Saturday, February 2, in front of the library’s winter palace at the QFD Firehouse on Jessup Avenue, drew a few dozen residents eager for news of when to expect the arrival of spring.

Groundhog 020219A
Organizer Selina Pasca, Master of Ceremonies Chris Osborne, Bill “Thunderstache” Nowak, and groundhog wrangler Katherine Schelp at Saturday’s Groundhog Day festivities at the Firehouse. Note that everything except the groundhog is casting a shadow. —R. Moley Photo

When Quahog the Groundhog (née Malverne Mel) emerged from his container and ran straight into the arms of his handler, Katherine Schelp of the Save the Animals Rescue foundation, it was deemed that he must not have seen his shadow, or he would have dashed back into his transport crate.

The accepted wisdom about woodchuck weather predictions is that groundhogs emerging from their dens that see their shadow typically dart back into their domiciles to curl up and await the arrival of spring some six weeks later. And so Quahog’s behavior indicated to Master of Ceremonies Chris Osborne and Quogue Library Adult Programs Director Selina Pasca that we can expect an early spring. Just how early is not clear: At Quaquanantuck is fairly certain that this week’s warm spell was not the beginning we might all be dreaming of.  

Library Program Explores the Work of Andy Warhol on February 9
In a program sponsored by the Quogue Library,  art history professor Ranelle Wolf will explore the work of an American icon, Andy Warhol, on Saturday, February 9, at 2 p.m. at the Firehouse on Jessup Avenue.Warhol Marilyn

Considered by many to be the ultimate American Pop artist, Andy Warhol is perhaps best known for his appropriation of design forward signifiers of mass produced consumer culture, such as green Coca-Cola bottles and Campbell’s Soup cans as well as iconic Hollywood celebrities, such as Marilyn Monroe. Call the library at 631-653-4224 to register. 

February Film Feast on Saturday at Firehouse
Later on Saturday, February 9, the library is sponsoring the monthly Film Feast, once again hosted by the very hospitable Quogue Fire Department at the Firehouse. That’s right, it’s time once again to join friends, neighbors, and other cinephiles for an evening of fine food and a terrific film, in this case the award-winning 1948 film,  “The Search,” starring Montgomery Clift, Aline MacMahon, and Jarmila Novotna and directed by Fred Zinneman.

The search

This Swiss-American film—which won the Oscar in the now forgotten category of Best Writing, Motion Picture Story—tells the story of a young Auschwitz survivor and his mother, who search for each other across post-World War II Europe.

Many of the scenes were shot amidst the actual ruins of post-war German cities, namely Ingolstadt, Munich, Nuremberg, and Würzburg. Filming took place between June and November, 1947, initially on location in Germany, before the cast and crew went to a film studio in Zurich, Switzerland, to shoot interiors.

The feasting begins at 6:15 and the film will be screened at 7:15. As always, admission is a beverage to share and a dish that serves at least six. Best to call the library at 631-653-4224 to let them know you’re coming and what food you’re planning to bring. Fun winter “mocktails” and water will be provided by the library.

Winter Fireside Poetry for the Entire Family at Wildlife Refuge
The QWR will present an an afternoon of fireside poetry reading in the Nature Center on Saturday, February 16, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., hosted by local poet and published author Maggie Bloomfield.  

The open reading for poets, listeners, and friends invites one and all to bring a poem of their own, a favorite by someone else, or a very short essay to read, or just to come out to enjoy a warm winter respite. All ages, especially children, are invited to read. The topic for the event is “Celebrating Nature and Our Local Environment.” Cookies and tea will be served, and there will be a short intermission. Registration is preferred for this family friendly event; call 631-653-4771.

surf+black scoters
Surf and black scoters. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

Winter Wildlife Camp Returns to Refuge for Schools’ February Recess
No time like the present to sign up children for the Winter Wildlife Camp offered during the upcoming February school recess at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge.  

This popular camp program—running from Tuesday through Friday, February 19 to 22, with sessions of different duration offered—is for kids age 5 to 11. The morning session starts at 9 a.m. and ends at noon; the full-day session also starts at 9 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. each day.

Both sessions of the camp’s well documented “amazing experience” provide three hours of immersion in wildlife, education and an abundance of “fun.”

A hike and a craft will be offered each day, so parents are asked to dress the young outdoorspersons for the weather. In addition, all campers should bring an individual snack and drink each day, plus lunch for those who are signed up for the 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. extended session.

In addition to other activities, during the daily “animal encounter” children will be able to feed and handle some of the animals that live in the Nature Center.

The morning session fee is $45 per day, or $150 for the four-day program. The extended session fee is $90 per day or $330 for the four-day program. Registration and payment are required in advance. Registration and payment are required in advance; call 653-4771. For more information, visit www.quoguewildliferefuge.org or call 653-4771.

At Quaquanantuck encourages readers to send in news and notes and photos of interest to Quogue residents, even if the items are being sent from winter addresses or other parts of the country. Friends and family who enjoy all things Quogue are encouraged to email AtQuaq@gmail.com and ask to be put on the mailing list.

Dave R Otis B
Longtime friends Dave Richardson and Otis Bradley enjoy—what else?— a commercial during the Super Bowl on Sunday. —Lulie Morrisey Photo

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