Seems it’s the same thing every year: The calendar slips past the vernal equinox, the daffodils that were just poking through to daylight start to flower, the birds all try to outdo each other with trilling pyrotechnics, and on teasing sunny days when the wind is calm the temperature can climb over 70.
By all rights (and rites) it should be spring, full of promise for the summer to come.
But then a cold front drops in from the north, the east wind starts to wring icy rain out of a monochromatic gray sky that wipes the colors out of everything, and once again chilled East End residents feel more as though they’ve been banished to purgatory than blessed to be basking in a season of rebirth.
And local sages, for perhaps the thousandth time, offer the well worn admonition that “there is no spring on the East End; every year we just go directly from winter into summer.”
Still, the benchmarks are there—the St. Patrick’s Day parades, the first day of striped bass season (or the IRS deadline, take your pick), Easter Sunday—and should be celebrated, even if only as mile markers counting down to beach season, no matter what the fickle weather might prompt us to believe.
Egg Hunting Season Is Upon Us
Easter weekend in Quogue means egg “hunts,” and the tradition continues with one on Saturday, April 16, and another on Sunday. The Saturday “hunt”—which leans to the “gatherer” side of hunter/gatherer—is sponsored by the Quogue Fire Department on the lawn in front of the firehouse and around the pond and begins at precisely 10 a.m.
The volunteers are once again urging all hunters (up to age 12) to line up early, as the event is typically over by about 10:07.
Children age 2 to 4 accompanied by an adult have a choice of egg hunting sessions at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge on Sunday: session I goes from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. and session II runs from 11 to 11:45, provided there’s still space in either session of this very popular program.
Participants will create a bunny craft and then hop down Peter Cottontail’s Trail to a special spot at the Refuge for an egg hunt. Each child will receive a special gift. The cost is $15 per child; reservations are required and payment is due at time of reservation. Call 631-653-4771 to make reservations.
Spring Wildlife Camp at Refuge
There may still be some spaces left for kids in grades K through 5 in the Spring Wildlife Camp at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, being offered this year Tuesday through Friday, April 19 through 22 from 9 a.m. to noon each day.
As always, campers are promised “a great experience of wildlife, education, and fun!” with each day including a hike, a craft, and meeting animals. Children should be dressed for the weather and campers should arrive with their own individual snack and drink each day.
The cost is $300 for all four sessions; registration and payment are required in advance. For more information, call 631-653-4771; to register online, visit the QWR website (quoguewildliferefuge.org) or click here.
Quogue Library a Conduit for Aid to Ukraine
The library is accepting donations of a few specific items to aid victims of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, noting that due to restrictions by aid organizations and shippers the library can only accept items on the following approved donation list:
Compression bandages; tourniquets; tactical first aid kits; hemostatic agents (Celox or similar); bandages and gauzes; antiseptics; anti-burn gels (Neosporin); and painkillers (Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Advil).
For those interested in making online donations, the clergy and the congregation at St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Riverhead, along with the bishops of the Metropolia of Philadelphia, have created a special online fund, “War Victims and Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine.”
On Wednesday, April 27, at 6 p.m., the Quogue Library will be hosting a virtual program, “Borderlands: A History of Ukraine.” Historian Martin H. Levinson will discuss the compelling history of the former Soviet nation and its diverse populations craving independence. To register, click on the flier under Adult programs on the library’s home page, or click here.
Foreign Policy Association Considers “Biden’s Agenda”
The next installment of the 2022 Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program, offered live at the Quogue Library and via Zoom on Saturday, April 16, at 5 p.m., will focus on “Biden’s Agenda,” or, more specifically, “How is the Biden administration treating foreign policy, among other policies, differently from the last administration?”
According to briefing materials from the FPA, the new administration in Washington promised to reverse many of the policies of the past administration, especially in foreign policy. How are issues such as climate, the pandemic, and alliances being treated under the Biden administration?
Saturday’s discussion will likely consider some of the challenges facing the Biden administration in effecting changes in policy, notably an intractably divided Congress, the continuing toll of the pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and divisiveness and disinformation rendering consensus on most policy considerations almost impossible.
Prospective participants are reminded that the Great Decisions program is not a lecture followed by a Q&A, but a live audience discussion facilitated by Susan Perkins and moderated by David Rowe after a 25-minute documentary on the particular topic being considered.
To register for the April 16 program via Zoom, visit www.quoguelibrary.org and click on the FPA Great Decisions “Biden’s Agenda” flier on the home page, or click here. For more information or to sign up for the live program, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2021 Great Decisions Briefing Book may be purchased ($22) from the Quogue Library or digitally from fpa.org.
Earth Day Celebration at Refuge
All are invited to come and celebrate nature and the beautiful planet we call home at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, April 23, from noon to 3 p.m. The Earth Day activities—co-hosted by the Refuge, the Eastern Long Island Audubon Society, and Westhampton Beach Earth Day—will include birding walks, live animal presentations, crafts, environmental exhibitors, and kayaking and canoeing on Old Ice Pond. No fees and no reservations necessary for this rain-or shine celebration.
As every year, it will be a big day at the Refuge: the Bartlett Tree Experts firm will once again be giving away free native trees; self-guided kayaking and canoeing on Old Ice Pond; a prescription drug take-back program sponsored by the Quogue Village Police Department and the Human Understanding and Growth Seminars (HUGS) program based in Westhampton Beach; electronics recycling by EcoTech; birding walks led by members of ELI Audubon Society; encounters with live animals; handmade and Fair Trade goods for sale; a variety of crafts; and victuals from the Mattitaco Food Truck.
Visitors can also stop by booths staffed by (alphabetically): Bartlett Tree Experts; Di Bernardo Carvings; East End Food Institute; HUGS; the Long Island Invasive Species Management Area; Moonglow Children’s Books; New York Marine Rescue Center; Ozark Images; Peconic Baykeeper; Peconic Land Trust; the Quogue Library; Seatuck Cove Creations; Stepping Stones Soaps; Surfrider Foundation, LI Chapter; Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons; the Whistlin’ Whittler; and the World Village Fair Trade mobile unit.
A reminder: Given all the fabulous programs either sponsored or hosted, or both, by the QWR, residents who have not already renewed their Refuge membership for 2022, and residents who somehow have not joined in previous years, should go to the QWR website, quoguewildliferefuge.org, and make a donation to sign up.
April Native News: “No Mow May” to Help the Bees
This month’s update from Lulie Morrisey and Paula Prentis of Quogue’s Go Native initiative includes a dire warning along with some ideas on how homeowners can help stave off disaster for bees. Herewith their report:
“Bees are facing catastrophic declines. In North America, nearly one in four native bee species is imperiled, according to the Center for Biological Diversity, partly because of habitat loss, pesticide use, climate change and urbanization.
“Lawns typically provide poor habitat for bees. But if allowed to flower, lawn weeds—plants other than grass—can provide rare spring food for bees emerging from hibernation … in fact, dandelions are the honey bees’ first food in the spring, and only source of food until the middle of June when other flowering plants and trees are available for their diet of pollen and nectar.
“Many communities all over the country have adopted “No Mow May”: a call to delay lawn mowing in the spring and allow the clover, dandelions, violets, etc. to flower. nytimes.com/2022/03/28/travel/no-mow-may-wisconsin
“New York State has more than 400 native bee species and many of them are endangered. Their decline imperils food production, as one third of the food consumed in this country comes from crops pollinated by honeybees.
“Please don’t spray your lawn for weeds … and consider the “No Mow May” concept. Remember, your lawn is part of the greater ecosystem, and what you do or don’t do has a significance that goes beyond your own property.”
“We have been researching native shrubs that can serve as hedges or be used elsewhere on your property. Two that stand out are: Inkberry (Ilex Glabra). This shrub, in the holly family, is evergreen and shade tolerant. “Shamrock” variety can reach 6’. A great replacement for boxwood and birds love the winter berries. Deer resistant. https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/ilex-glabra/
“Northern Bayberry (Myrica Pensylvanica). A fragrant shrub that will reach 8’. Very beneficial to wildlife: flowers provide nectar for moths and butterflies; berries remain all winter, which migrating birds will feast on. While deciduous, the tan leaves stay on the bush most of the winter. https://www.monrovia.com/northern-bayberry.html
“Other shrubs native to North America are Spice Bush, Button Bush, Carolina Allspice and Buckeye (deciduous); and American Holly, Rhododendron Maximum, Kalmia Latifolia (laurel) in the evergreen category.
“Think about integrating some of these native shrubs into your landscape plan!”
“The author of ‘Nature’s Best Hope’ and ‘Bringing Nature Home’ gives fascinating talks on conservation and biodiversity in our own backyards.” [One of these talks got Paula and Lulie hooked last year.]
“The Quogue Wildlife Refuge has a link on its website (quoguewildliferefuge.org/news/natures-best-hope-a-conversation-with-doug-tallamy) which connects to one of his YouTube talks. We urge you to listen and learn … and see how the choices we make on our individual properties have a profound impact on life on our planet.
“Warning! You will not be the same person after you watch this! We weren’t!”
Quogue Association Springing Ahead
Veering to the sunny side of the street, the Quogue Association’s latest eblast newsletter begins with an array of exclamations: “Spring is in the air! The birds are chirping, the sun is shining and the Quogue Village Office is accepting applications for 2022 Village Beach Stickers!”
Along with releasing the calendar for this summer’s major QA events (more on that below) the newsletter details some of the Association’s other initiatives, including: providing coffee tumblers to the Quogue Market; working on a Wetlands Preserve Project; supplying rocking chairs to the Village Beach; and awarding a scholarship to a graduating high school student.
All of the Quogue Association’s undertakings, large and small, are funded by memberships and donations, so this is another organization hoping that all residents will either renew their membership for 2022 or sign up to join for the first time. Quogueassociation.org.
An At Quaquanantuck Calendar: Mark Yours at Home
Taking the lead from the Quogue Association, and in consideration of the fact that the column currently comes out only once a month (typically), At Quaquanantuck is publishing a first attempt at a village calendar, listing events and programs in the near future and on into the summer. The hope is that such a listing might help readers to plan more judiciously. Time will tell, as it always does.
Friday, June 24: Concert on the Village Green sponsored by the Quogue Association.
Saturday, July 23: Quogue Association Duck Race and Reception at the Village Dock on Quogo Neck.
Saturday, August 20: Quogue Association Beach Party at the Village Beach.
Saturday, April 16, 1 p.m.: Create a Digital Calendar in 5 Steps; in-person program.
Saturday, April 16, 1 to 4 p.m.: Stony Brook University Hospital interns will provide blood pressure screenings and offer evidence-based health information on any topic.
Saturday, April 23, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: New York State Jet Ski (Personal Watercraft) and Boating Certification Class.
Wednesday, April 27, 6 p.m.: in-person program on Creating a Presentation in Google Slides.
Friday, April 29, 4 p.m.: “And Now a Word from Our Sponsor”—A look back at the early days of television; in-person program.
Saturday, April 30, 1 p.m.: virtual Spring Brunch with Chef Rob Scott via Zoom; recipes and ingredient lists will be available at the library service desk.
Saturday, April 30, 4 p.m.: in-person opening reception for library art gallery exhibition, “The Road Show,” featuring work by Grant Haffner and Kate Rasche, on view from April 30 to May 31.
Saturday, May 14, 6 p.m.: Film Feast featuring “To Catch a Thief” (1955; Alfred Hitchcock) starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.
For more information on all programs, visit the Quogue Library website, quoguelibrary.org.
April 30: Last day of Quogue Village spring leaf pickup program.
May 10, 7:15 p.m.: Public Hearing on proposed 2022-2023 Quogue School budget and Quogue Library budget at the Quogue School on Edgewood Road.
May 15: New leaf-blower noise ordinance goes into effect. (More on this in the May 12 At Quaquanantuck.)
May 17, 2 to 8 p.m.: Vote on Quogue School budget and Quogue Library budget, at the Quogue School or by absentee ballot.
May 26, 7 p.m.: Hampton Theatre Company opens “A Doll’s House, Part 2” by Lucas Hnath at the Quogue Community Hall, running through June 12. hamptontheatre.org
June 18, 7:30 p.m.: Quogue Chamber Music presents the Merz Trio in concert. Quoguechambermusic.org
Sunday, July 3, 2 to 6 p.m.: Celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Quogue Library and 200th Anniversary of the One-Room Schoolhouse, at the library.
Saturday, July 16, 7 p.m.: 14th annual Wild Night for Wildlife to benefit the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. quoguewildliferefuge.org
Tribute to Art Cooley in Production
Two former students are putting together a virtual tribute to Quogue native son Art Cooley, who died on January 30.
In addition to being a beloved biology teacher at Bellport High School, Art was a former director of the Quogue Wildlife Refuge and was known nationally as a founder of the Environmental Defense Fund. One of Art’s former students, Gail Tooker, created the Summer Ecology program at the Refuge in 1970.
Art was the oldest son of a somewhat legendary figure in the village, Harvey Cooley, who served as the Mayor of the village from 1956 to 1966, was the headmaster of the Quogue School and an eighth grade teacher there, and was the Scoutmaster for the local Boy Scout troop.
The tribute currently in production is scheduled to air on May 1 and will be freely available thereafter. Details on how to view it will be listed here as they become available. More information about the Cooley family can be found in “Voices of Quogue” by Meredith Murray, available from the Quogue Historical Society. Quoguehistory.org
“Write America” Maintains Star-Studded Schedule
Currently Crowdcasting from Byrd’s Books in Bethel, Connecticut (with registration also available on the Quogue Library website, quoguelibrary.org) “Write America” continues to offer programs aimed at bridging some of the widening divisions currently eroding the foundations of our republic.
Coming up in the next few weeks, all at 7 p.m., will be Meg Wolitzer and Delia Ephron on Monday, April 18; Jim and Deb Fallows on Monday, April 25; Rose Styron, Philip Schultz, and Marilyn Nelson on May 2; and Susan Minot, Kirstin Valdez Quade, and David Remnick on May 9.
A special event is scheduled on Wednesday, May 11, when series creator Roger Rosenblatt will be in conversation with Derek and Sissela Bok.
Past episodes can be found by scrolling down on the Byrd’s Books website, www.byrdsbooks.com/write-america.
Check the Byrd’s Books website for details on April and May programs. All programs begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. For more information or to register, visit the Byrd’s Books website at byrdsbooks.com/write-america-reading-our-country, or click on the Write America fliers on the Quogue Library home page.
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. News Items and Photos
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.