A Gourd by Any Other Name …

They’ve been arrayed in front of farmstands for several weeks already, but At Quaquanantuck likes to wait at least until we get into October before acknowledging that the season of the pumpkin is upon us. 

That’s right, those harbingers of Halloween, the blank canvases for jack o’lanterns to come—along with the towering columns of trick or treat candy, the weirdly themed greeting cards, the spooky walks, the horror movie reruns, the costumes, the pumpkin spiced everything—are now front and center, commanding a disproportionate share of calendar consciousness as well as display space.

changing weather BB
Weather change. —Bill Beatty Photo

 If it’s possible to look past the merchandising that has co-opted this holiday (as it has practically all the others), it might be said that “it’s great for the kids,” meaning especially the smallest ones, too young to be mischief makers. That would be alright, I suppose, except for the fact that the early push to market Halloween marks the start of the ridiculously early push to market Thanksgiving (Black Friday, Cyber Monday) and Christmas (as measured by, among other indicators, shopping days remaining). The journey from “Boo!” to “Ho ho ho!” grows ever shorter. 

Scarecrow Competition Sponsored by Library
Meanwhile, here’s a Halloween themed activity that should put some good old fashioned fun back into this holiday that isn’t actually a holiday: The Quogue Library is sponsoring its first annual Family Scarecrow Decorating Contest, from October 15 to October 30. scarecrow

All are welcome to stop by and pick up a T-frame at the library’s Midland Avenue optpost from now until October 14. Scarecrows are due back at the library on October 15 and then the library will arrange them along Jessup Avenue so that residents can pick out their favorites and cast a vote at 4 Midland until October 30.

The winners will be announced at the Quogue Firehouse following the Ghost Parade. https://www.quoguelibrary.org/ 

Quogue School PTA Sets Annual Golf and Tennis Outing October 4
Despite all the pumpkin mania, there is still time for several beloved autumn traditions before the ghost parade and trick or treating. 

The Quogue School PTA Scholarship Committee is hosting its 12th Annual Golf and Tennis Outing starting at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, October 4. Along with other PTA projects, the fundraiser benefits the Quogue PTA Scholarship Fund, which awards three scholarships every year—based on academic, athletic and community service achievements—to deserving Quogue School graduates to support their college education.

QFC Golf Course
The first tee beckons at the Quogue Field Club for Friday’s PTA scholarship fundraiser. —A. Botsford Photo

The Quogue Field Club is once again opening its spectacular golf course—number six on the list of the 25 finest nine-hole courses in the U.S.—and tennis courts for this event, with a round-robin tournament offered once again for tennis aficionados. A silent auction, 50/50 raffle, and a dinner following the golf and tennis at the Field Club round out the day’s activities.  

The day’s events will begin with lunch at 12:30 p.m. Golfers will tee off at 1 p.m.; tennis competition begins at 3 p.m. Entry fees for golfers are $600 per foursome; $150 per individual. The tennis round robin is $50 per player. Dinner following the golf and tennis will be $50 per person. 

Sponsorships are also available at the following levels: Event Sponsor, $2,500; Awards & Prizes Sponsor, $1,500; Course Refreshment Sponsor, $ 250; Sponsored Tee Sign, $75. The Quogue PTA is a 501c(3) non-profit organization. Probably too late to mail checks payable to Quogue PTA; for more information, call Sandy O’Callaghan at 917-303-9726. 

Discussion Saturday on “United States and Mexico: Partnership Tested”
The Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program—sponsored by the Quogue Library, facilitated by Susan Perkins, and moderated by David Rowe—will meet at the QFD firehouse on Jessup Avenue at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 5, to explore the topic of “United States and Mexico: Partnership Tested.” Always a good idea to register early for these programs by calling 631-653-4224. US Flag

The United States and Mexico have a long, intertwined history, with both countries prominently featured in each other’s politics and agendas. The war on drugs and immigration and trade issues have taxed the relationship over the years. What impact will new leadership in both countries have on this crucial partnership?Mexico Flag

The Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program provides background information and policy options for the eight most critical issues facing America each year, serving as the focal text for discussion groups across the country. For more information, visit www.greatdecisions.org

Photo by Judith McDermott:   From l to r. WGC’s Nina Lawson and Joy Flynn; Quogue Village Trustee Jeannette Obser, WGC president Inger Mejean and Quogue Mayor Peter Sartorius. 

New Garden Completed at Lily Pond
Thanks to reporting by faithful correspondent Lynda Confessore, At Quaquanantuck can relay the news that the latest addition to the Lily Pond recreation area opposite the Firehouse is the recently completed Native Plant Garden designed by the Westhampton Garden Club. WGC President Inger Mejean and Mayor Peter Sartorius made the opening official with a ribbon-cutting attended by WGC members and Village Trustees.

WGC Lily Pond
Westhampton Garden Club members Nina Lawson and Joy Flynn, left; Quogue Village Trustee Jeannette Obser; WGC president Inger Mejean and Quogue Mayor Peter Sartorius. —Judith McDermott Photo

The Garden Club’s Joy Flynn and Nina Lawson took charge of the installation of native plants that are vital to the maintenance of healthy ecosystems. Sue Avery, an expert in natural design and Environmental Chair of the Federated Garden Clubs of New York State, guided the selection of plants, which are now identified by signage for educational purposes. Dragonfly Ltd. installed the garden and WGC members will maintain it year-round. 

The Lily Pond area was an open lawn in 2004 when Village Trustee Jeannette Obser had the vision and mayoral support to put in a manmade pond filled with water lilies. At the time, Sea Level Construction owner Anthony Bonner said, “Needs a waterfall!” and added one. In good weather, residents can be seen sitting on the memorial benches to enjoy the soothing sounds of water running over the falls and the beauty of the garden. In winter, the pond is transformed into a skating rink for cold weather fun for the community under the supervision of Chris Osborne.

Water lily. —Judith McDermott Photo

View the Mating Flight of the Buck Moth on Saturday
The Quogue Wildlife Refuge is inviting interested area residents to a walk in the Dwarf Pine Plains on Saturday, October 5, at 10:30 a.m. with an eye to learning more about this unique ecosystem and possibly viewing the “Autumnal Mating Flight of the Buck Moth: an Iconic Pine Barrens Species.” Buck Moth

Hike leader John Turner—a Long Island naturalist, author, and one of the co-founders of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society—will discuss the life history of the Pine Barrens Buck Moth, the ecology of the Dwarf Pine Plains, the history of local collective efforts to preserve the Pine Barrens, and whatever else comes up along the way, such as fall migrant birds. 

Hikers will meet at the interpretive trail parking lot in the Dwarf Pine Plains situated at the Suffolk County Water Authority building on the eastern side of County Route 31 just south of Sunrise Highway. The interpretive trail leads south into the Dwarf Pine Plains from the southern end of the parking lot. Reservations are required; call 631-653-4771 to make a reservation; click on (or visit) www.quoguewildliferefuge.org for more information.   

Voluntary Subscriptions Appreciated
Many thanks to all those readers who have signed up for a voluntary subscription, or subscriptions, to At Quaquanantuck. A reminder to all those who have not done so, if you enjoy the column and would like to see it, like Wikipedia, remain free for everyone, please consider visiting the At Quaquanantuck PayPal page by clicking here (or pasting www.paypal.me/atquaquanantuck into your browser) and taking out a voluntary subscription for a suggested $60 a year. If PayPal is not for you, consider sending a check made out to this columnist, Andrew Botsford, and sending it to PO Box 1524, Quogue, NY 11959. 

To all who read the column, At Quaquanantuck offers heartfelt thanks … and a reminder: This is your column, too, and it only gets better when readers send in photos and news and social items of interest to AtQuaq@gmail.com. A column for the community is at its best when it is at least in some measure created by the community. 

Your Comments Welcome
At Quaquanantuck is happy to provide a forum for civil discussion of village issues and initiatives and welcomes all comments. All are encouraged to share observations, ideas and opinions by writing to AtQuaq@gmail.com

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—or the world. 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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