Spring Awakening

Just as the flora and fauna and, yes, the very terroir of eastern Long Island can be a bit laggard in responding to the astronomical and meteorological wakeup calls of the new season, so, too, contributing photographers are apt to echo nature’s pace when contemplating signs of spring to capture and share with other At Quaquanantuck readers. Or maybe it just took them a little while to feel the sadness of this columnist’s repeated requests for photos before being spurred into action.  

Either way, mirabile dictu, it is with some measure of joy that I can report an email inbox practically teeming with lovely photos this week, which I am only too happy to share in celebration of spring gaining a bit of momentum at long last.

White Bells Raymond Summer
Sign of Spring: “White Bells.” —Raymond Summer Photo

That said, there is no such thing as too many photos, so those who have not yet contributed—and those who so graciously already have—are encouraged, when you witness any phenomena or scenes that speak to you of spring, to please take a photo and send it in to AtQuaq@gmail.com.

Egrets in flight RC
Sign of Spring: Return of the egrets, here in flight. —Rosemary Cline Photo

Only Five More Chances to See HTC’s “Man of La Mancha”
Tonight, Thursday, April 4, at 7 p.m. will be the first of the final five performances of the Hampton Theatre Company production of Dale Wasserman’s “Man of La Mancha”—the company’s first fully staged musical for adults in its 34-year history. The third play of the HTC’s 2018-2019 season, the show will close following the 2:30 p.m. matinee on April 7.

—Tom Kochie Photo

This show has garnered rave reviews and rapturous audience comments so far, as well as nightly standing ovations. The Sunday matinee will likely sell out soon, if it has not already done so, but there are still seats available for the evening performances tonight and Friday at 7 p.m.; Saturday at 8 p.m.; and the special closing weekend matinee on Saturday, April 6, at 2:30 p.m.

In this play within a play, Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes performs a story based on his novel “Don Quixote” for a group of fellow prisoners in a dungeon awaiting a hearing. The score, with music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion, includes the standard “The Impossible Dream,” as well as “Man of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote)” and “I’m Only Thinking of Him,” among others.

The cast of “Man of La Mancha” features three HTC veterans: an outstanding Matthew Conlon in the role of Cervantes/Quixote; Jessica Howard doubling as the Housekeeper and the Innkeeper’s Wife; and James Lotito Jr. playing Carrasco. Taking their first roles with the Hampton Theatre Company are: Anthony Arpino (Innkeeper); Kyle Breitenbach (Muleteer); Andrew Gasparini (Barber/Muleteer); Rick Grossman (Sancho); Sean Jones (Muleteer); Joe Mankowski (Padre); Alyssa Marino (Fermina); Nora Moutrane (Antonia); and Elora Von Rosch (Aldonza).

Playing Sancho, Rick Grossman is reprising the role he played in the recent Broadway national tour of “Man of La Mancha.” As of last Sunday, he has performed this role 250 times.

—Tom Kochie Photo

Edward A. Brennan and HTC Artistic Director Diana Marbury are the directors. Musical direction is by Amy Federico McGrath. Set design is by Sean Marbury; lighting design by Sebastian Paczynski; and costumes by Teresa Lebrun.

Shows on Thursdays and Fridays are at 7; Saturdays at 8. To purchase tickets, visit  www.hamptontheatre.org, or call OvationTix at 1-866-811-4111. For further information, visit the website or email info@hamptontheatre.org.

Sign; New This Spring: Joining thousands of communities around our great nation, Quogue now has its own LED sign in front of the QFD Firehouse. So far, this modern day version of the village crier is being operated by Chief Chris “Big Chill” Osborne, who opted very kindly this week to give a visual shout out to the HTC production of “Man of La Mancha” next door to the Firehouse in the Quogue Community Hall. —Lulie Morrisey Photo

Special Tour of the Night Sky at Custer Observatory for QWR Patrons
Tomorrow, Friday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. there will be a private viewing of the post vernal equinox night sky for Quogue Wildlife Refuge patrons in celebration of International Dark Skies Week at the Custer Institute and Observatory in Southold. Patrons are invited to meet QWR staff at Long Island’s oldest public observatory (est.1927) and the staff from Custer Institute will give a tour of the facilities and the night sky through their powerful telescopes.

This program at 1115 Main Bayview Road, Southold, 11971 is weather dependent. The $10 per person fee goes to support the work of the Observatory; cash or check only. Space is limited so pre-registration is required. Call 631-653-4771 to register, or visit quoguewildliferefuge.org.

Quogue Shop Spring TF
Sign of Spring: Little Q Quogue Shop awakening, with help from sales assistant Hannah Klein. The shop will be open weekends only starting the weekend of April 20, moving to seven days a week when the season hits its stride. –Theresa Summer Photo

Chair Yoga Classes Follow Standard Yoga Fridays at Firehouse
All are reminded that chair yoga is now following standard yoga in the weekly Friday yoga sessions at the Quogue Firehouse sponsored by the Quogue Library. The gifted yoga instructor Amy Hess helps participants achieve a gentle yet effective workout by stretching from the chair and using the chair as a support. Standard yoga sessions are on Fridays at 9:30 a.m. and Chair Yoga follows at 10:45 a.m. The fee is $10 for each class.

Register for all library programs at the Firehouse or at 4 Midland by calling 631-653-4224, or stop by the 4 Midland Street Library location.

Turnstones FM
Sign of Spring: Ruddy turnstones. —Florence Morrisey

Slide Show at Library Website Offers Updates on Construction Project
Since the first stages of construction on the Quogue Library renovation and expansion projectsite preparation and demolitionbegan in December, passersby in the weeks and months since then have seen steady progress on framing for the emergence of a center for learning, creativity, collaboration and community.

As the library website narrative explains, following a tree survey and arborist recommendations, the site was cleared of trees that were diseased, nonnative or impinging on the building foundation, along with decades of accumulated broken limbs, brush and debris in the rear of the property. A landscape plan for the grounds is already in the works for after construction is completed.

The demolition process has paved the way for improvements in the infrastructure, especially with regard to energy efficiency, and the new and renovated interior spaces. Demolition included oil tank (to accommodate the switch to gas) and septic tank/field removal and removal of interior walls to rectify structural deficiencies and to install new wiring throughout.

And now visitors to the website can click on the arrow embedded on the right side of the photo under the text describing work on the project on the library’s website, quoguelibrary.org, and see a series of photos with lots of information packed into the captions.  

Herewith a sample caption: “Yes, our beautiful ceilings remain throughout but the old interior walls will be replaced after repairs and the installation of state of the art wiring for lighting, technology, AV, security and alarm systems.”

Buds Jerry Schwartz
Sign of Spring: “My first friends, my ‘buds’.” –Jerry Schwartz Photo

Sign Up Now for QWR Summer Field Ecology Program 2019
Although there is a Spring Wildlife Camp coming up April 23 to 26 at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge for young nature lovers enjoying the spring recess from school (more info by clicking here), the folks at the QWR are currently focusing on early signups for the nine one-week sessions of the children’s Summer Field Ecology program, which will be marking its 50th anniversary this summer.  

With separate programs tailored to first-timers and returning campers in grades two through six; six and seven; eight through 10; and Little Naturalists age 4 to 6, the one-week-per-customer sessions offer hands-on, intense exploration of some of nature’s secrets, always stressing the importance of the natural world and respect for the Earth and its inhabitants.

For all age groups, the Refuge asks that a parent or guardian stay for the brief introduction on the first day of a child’s program, which is held in the Nature Center. Due to limited class size, popularity of the program, and priority registration for QWR members, sessions may fill up. Early signups are encouraged; visit the  early and include completed Application, Medical Form, and Payment. You will be notified as soon as possible if the session is full. For more information and signup forms, visit quoguewildliferefuge.org/summer-camps/.

NZ autumn Caroll Highet
Sign of …  Autumn: Sunset over Doubtful Sound, Fiordland, New Zealand. Not to be exclusionary, At Quaquanantuck notes, with gratitude to the photographer, that in the southern hemisphere, the March 20 equinox signals the start of autumn. –Caroll Highet Photo

Cuisine of Lone Star State This Week at Inn Spot on the Bay
At the Inn Spot on the Bay, cheffes Colette and Pam will be preparing a menu of down home dishes from Texas for Friday and Saturday evening, April 5 and 6.

Visit www.theinnspot.com/internationaldiningseries to find out more.   

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.

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