So Soon Spring?

At the risk of jinxing the distinctly un-winter like weather that has been the hallmark of February, At Quaquanantuck is now prepared to ask: was the groundhog correct this year in predicting an early spring? And, further, if the season changes fully a month ahead of the astronomical schedule, is that really an early spring, or something more on the order of a tectonic shift? 

Regardless, in addition to the climatic conditions, there seems to be plenty of phenomenological and photographic evidence that winter, which has never really showed its claws so far, is already yielding to spring.

snowdrops AB
Snowdrops are in bloom and daffodils are already pushing up. —A. Botsford Photo

A sunbathing seal likes having the beach all to itself; a horseshoe crab, perhaps awakened early by dredging at the inlet, pushes ashore on the ocean beach. —Big Chill Photos


Meanwhile, the discussion of our relationship with artificial intelligence and technological advances continues this week as another thoughtful reader, Elizabeth Caputo, weighs in: 

“Your column highlights the impact that technological advances have on our daily lives. There are numerous examples that illustrate the ways our lives have been enhanced and countless tasks are simplified at work, which contributes to a better quality of life. You and your readers have made several intriguing comments. 

“On a personal level, I resist employing technology when feasible. My husband and I treasure paper maps as we plan our road trips. ‘Never go home the same way you came’ is his mantra. You never know what you will see as you experience the scenery with your eyes up, looking ahead. There is now a loss of friendly interactions as you pass by people or share a waiting room, because most people are staring down at their phones. Parents often spend time ‘with’ their children preoccupied with whatever is on the phone. You can never get back the time or experience that you missed.

“My stubborn refusal to acquire Facebook, use Instagram, purchase Alexa, or access Siri are ways I have personally attempted to limit the distractions so I can ‘live in the moment.’ It assists my communication skills; it enables me to improve my ability to truly listen when I am conversing with someone. It lessens the distractions, slows me down, and helps me to be more mindful of what I say. I yearn to improve myself and the break from technology is a positive step toward that goal. Feeling the weight of a book, opening a handwritten letter, speaking to someone instead of texting; all are practices in which I limit my screen time.”

Beach clarity GR
“Clarity.” —Ginny Rosenblatt Photo

The day after At Quaquanantuck received Ms. Caputo’s comments, another email came in, with this subject line: “Creative apps to boost you [sic] business”.

The message read as follows: 

“Hi,
I am pleased to introduce myself and my IT Company, and we are excited to get to work on your new mobile app, and we want to make sure you’re satisfied with our proposal and have full understanding of what to expect in this lengthy process. Building a mobile app is exciting, and our expert IT technical team is fully capable of giving you something unique that will help your business. 

“The following proposal will set a project road map from start to finish. You will have a complete understanding of the process and timeline for completion. And if you have any questions or concerns, please contact me personally. 

“Regards,
“Lumna” 

Putting aside my curiosity about how building a mobile app that is “something unique” would help At Quaquanantuck’s “business,” I consider it important to point out that I never intended to create a mobile app and I never reached out to Lumna or anyone else to help me build one. That said, it is perhaps even more significant that Lumna’s efforts to make sure I’m satisfied with her proposal and have a full understanding of what to expect in this lengthy process are bound to be hampered by the fact that there was no proposal included in the email. 

Is it any wonder that I’m skeptical about the idea of better living through apps? 

At Quaquanantuck encourages readers to join the discussion and share their thoughts on this and any other topics by emailing  atquaq@gmail.com.

Ice Collapse AB
The tide goes out; the ice collapses. —A. Botsford Photo

 Meanwhile, on the subject of apps—and a perfect segue—the Quogue Library is hosting a workshop on Making Mobile Payments at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, at the Firehouse on Jessup Avenue. 

Led by tech wizard Russ Wiesenbacher, the workshop will give participants the ability to “say goodbye to cash, checks, and credit cards.” As some savvy readers—and most young people—know, mobile payment apps have been created to allow users to purchase products and services or exchange money with family and friends, all from a mobile device. 

The workshop will introduce participants to PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay, and other mobile payment products to find out which works best. For information or to register, call the library at 631-653-4224. 

Talk at Wildlife Refuge on White Shark Research
Tonight, Thursday, February 27, at 7 p.m. the Quogue Wildlife Refuge will present a lecture in the Nature Center on the South Fork Natural History Museum’s White Shark Research program.  white shark

As many readers are aware, Long Island’s coastal waters are home to an abundance of sharks, with very little known about any of them. In 2015, a small group of researchers were the first to deploy a satellite tag on a juvenile great white shark off Long Island’s south shore. Over the subsequent two summers, a partnership with OCEARCH enabled them to tag an additional 20 white sharks off Montauk.

In tonight’s presentation, visitors will learn about the continued work of the Shark Research and Education Program of the South Fork Natural History Museum & Nature Center (SoFo).

Quogue Library Discounts at Southampton Ice Rink
By mentioning the Quogue Library, library patrons, friends and families will be entitled to discounted $10 admission for all ages and $5 skate rentals (cash only) at the Southampton Ice Rink starting at 1 p.m. on  Saturday, February 29, and running through 10 p.m. 

From 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, the Southampton Ice Rink on North Highway (County Road 39) will be hosting its third annual Winter Fest, billed as “an afternoon of family fun.” DJ Justin from Beach 101.7 radio will be broadcasting live from rinkside; there will be local vendors offering their wares, a puck shooting contest, face painting, giveaways, and, of course, skating. Winter Fest activities are 1 to 4; public skating until 10 p.m.

Mention the Quogue Library anytime from 1 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, February 29—and on Sunday, March 29 from 12:30 to 7 p.m.—to get the $10 admission price for all ages, instead of the standard $20 for adults and $15 for children.  

Library’s Family Movie Night Features “The Sandlot”
On Saturday, February 29, at 7 p.m. at the Firehouse on Jessup Avenue, the Quogue Library will host another Family Movie Night, this week featuring the 1993 film “The Sandlot.” The Sandlot

When Scottie Smalls (Thomas Guiry) moves to a new neighborhood, he manages to make friends with a group of kids who play sandlot baseball. Together they go on a series of adventures, running into trouble when Scottie borrows a ball from his stepdad that gets hit over a fence.

All ages are welcome; popcorn and pretzels will be served. Pajamas are apparently optional. For more information, call the library at 631-653-4224. 

Library hosting “Quail vs. Ticks” with Ranger Eric
Coming up on Sunday, popular wildlife education Ranger Eric from the Center for Environmental Education & Discovery (CEED) will discuss the life cycle of the quail and how useful these birds are in naturally protecting the Long Island environment from tick invasions. Ranger Eric

This informative and interactive family program will be offered at 11 a.m. at the Firehouse on Jessup Avenue on Sunday, March 1. 

“Ranger Eric,” as students know him, is a biologist, teacher, photographer, outdoorsman, and overall nature lover. He started leading nature hikes in 1987 as a Park Ranger in Colorado and then served two years in the Peace Corps as an Environmental Education Officer. Since then, he has been running nature centers in Colorado, Alabama and New York. 

In 2005 he started his dream company, Your Connection to Nature (YC2N) “because so many kids are so detached from nature and wildlife.” The company’s programs connect classrooms to field studies and give people a better understanding of their local environment. His ongoing wildlife projects include “Save Our Box Turtles,” Quail vs. Ticks Study,” and “Owl Nesting Projects.”

To register or for more information, call the library at 631-653-4224.     

Sign Up Now for QWR Summer Field Ecology Program 2020
The fine folks at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge are currently focusing on early signups for the eight one-week sessions of the children’s Summer Field Ecology program, which will be marking its 51st 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. 

Due to limited class size, popularity of the program, and priority registration for QWR members, sessions may fill up. Early signups are encouraged; visit quoguewildliferefuge.org/summer-camps or call 631-653-4771 for more information. 

Love Letters for Library
Yes, Valentine’s Day has gone by, but it seems that all of February is Library Lovers Month, so it’s not too late to write a Love Letter to Your Library. As the promotional materials tell At Quaquanantuck, “libraries are a magical place full of life and endless stories—both real and imagined. Please share what your library means to you!”

“Letters may be long or short and sweet. They may be a poem or piece of artwork if that’s what inspires you. Tell us about your favorite experience or memory. The best part is that we hear about the ways the library has made a difference in your life.” 

To “send” letters, drop them in the decorated mailbox at Midland Street, or send by U.S. Mail to PO Box 5036, Quogue, NY 11959. Letters will be shared on the library’s social media outlets and put on display in March. 

Earth Yoga at Wildlife Refuge Continues on Wednesdays
Readers are invited to connect with yoga instructor Amy Hess, with the Earth, and with their own mind, body, and spirit during one-hour yoga classes in the Main Room of the Nature Center at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge on Wednesdays at 9 a.m. 

This is another of Amy’s gentle yoga programs for all fitness levels, with a cost of $15 per class. Pre-registration is recommended, but walk-ins are welcome. Call 631-653-4771 to register.

Inn Spot on the Bay Closing for Two Weeks
Due to a family emergency, the Inn Spot on the Bay will be closed until March 13. The Inn Spot will reopen on March 13 and will be serving an Irish dinner on March 13 and 14. 

The cost will be $39 for the three-course prix fixe; there will be seatings from 5 p.m. on Friday, March 13, and Saturday, March 14. The Inn Spot on the Bay is just north of the Ponquogue Bridge in Hampton Bays. Call 631-728-1200 for more information or to make a reservation, or visit  www.theinnspot.com/internationaldiningseries to see the complete menu. 

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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