Friday, September 30, 2011

October Boating

Leaving Greenport, originally uploaded by Chris S Thorpe.
October weekends can offer some wonderful and bittersweet boating as the season comes to a chilly end. The crisp morning air can be delicious and the early afternoon sunsets disheartening. Enjoy it while it lasts.....

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Horsepower, originally uploaded by Chris S Thorpe.
It's been over a century since the internal combustion engine trumped old fashioned horsepower. It is interesting however that horse idioms remain entrenched in the language. Consider the following: (And how about some empathy for those just learning our language!)...don't look a gift horse in the mouth/leading a horse to water../straight from the horse's mouth/ Charlie horse/beating a dead horse/eating like a horse/ I could eat a horse/get off your high horse/hold your horses/horse sense/ horsing around/ horse play/carts before horses/a dark horse/One horse town/horse feathers ......and these are just a few examples of how the English language was influenced by shutting the doors After the horse expressions left the barn.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Union Officer

Union Officer, originally uploaded by Chris S Thorpe.
I've been to more than a few of these Civil War re-enactment events and I'm always impressed by the dedication and knowledge of the participants. That being said, all these "camps" have an officer's tent complete with a desk, cot, chairs and tables and other comforts of home. The "Officer's Club" must have been the place to be for cocktail hour. Lowly infantrymen got to lay on the grass. Some things are timeless....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Frankly, Scarlett..."

Civil War Lady, originally uploaded by Chris S Thorpe.
1860's fashion...The Third Annual Civil War Weekend was held this weekend at the Islip Grange. I'm a real sucker for such events and I get drawn in by the authentic look of the participants. No mini skirts here but there is something very classy about a Civil War era dress.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall Flowers

Yellow Dahlia, originally uploaded by Chris S Thorpe.
In the cooler air and before the frost, dahlias, asters and mums strut their stuff!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Priscilla Dockside

Priscilla Dockside, originally uploaded by Chris S Thorpe.
Priscilla, Long Island's own floating National Landmark is berthed at the Suffolk Marine Museum in West Sayville. Priscilla served as a commercial oyster dredge from 1888 until 1963. At the end of her career, "Pris" was the last working oyster vessel (under sail) north of the Chesapeake. Volunteers at the Marine Museum began Pricilla's restoration in 2002 and Landmark status was awarded in 2006. Now "open" to the public, Priscilla can frequently be seen cruising on the Great South Bay where she can bring a smile to the face of even the grumpiest of sailors.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bug Eyed Bee

Bug Eyed Bee, originally uploaded by Chris S Thorpe.
Getting close with the macro lens, these guys are so busy that they do not seem to notice me or my camera in their comfort zone. Looking a bit like an alien in a sci-fi movie, the honey bees are collecting pollen like there's no tomorrow (or at least a cold snap on the horizon). "Busy as a bee"....hey, at least they all have jobs!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly, originally uploaded by Chris S Thorpe.
The annual Monarch Butterfly migration is well underway. During September Long Island sees an influx of these beauties as they head south for their Mexican overwintering sites. Amazingly, Monarchs migrate as far as 3,000 miles (not unlike some whales and birds). Just where do they spend much of the summer months? Recent research indicates that these guys are actually from the midwest and fly above the Appalachian mountains! So, it would appear as though they are just "passing through" when their numbers fill the beach above Fire Island. Enjoy the show while it lasts....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Grape Check

Grape Check, originally uploaded by Chris S Thorpe.
Final Check...the time has arrived and soon the harvesting machinery will be plucking the results of the years efforts. Many growers are concerned about the effects of the recent hurricane. Wind whipped and rain soaked salt air followed by sunny days can destroy crops. Lots of finger crossing going on in Long Island's wineries this week!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September Harbor

September Harbor, originally uploaded by Chris S Thorpe.
There is something invigorating and refreshing about a crisp September morning. Calm and clear, the harbor at the Suffolk Marine Museum made for the perfect spot to enjoy the morning salt air. Life is Good!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Keith Hernandez?

Kieth Hernandez?, originally uploaded by Chris S Thorpe.
Two weeks into the NFL's new season and we are reminded that the MLB playoffs are less than two weeks away. Appropriate to the season, I came across this wooden sculpture in a shop window on Sag Harbor's main street. Upon a closer look it sure seemed to me as though I was staring at a likeness of former MET Keith Hernandez in a Boston uniform. Say it isn't so!... Hometown hero for sure, but where is the METS cap?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New London Harbor Lighthouse

New London Lighthouse, originally uploaded by Chris S Thorpe.
The New London Harbor Lighthouse, AKA the "Pequot Ave. Light" is Connecticut's oldest and tallest lighthouse. Commissioned in 1760, the light was financed by the sale of lottery tickets considered to be a popular "non-tax" at the time. ( Although All lotteries are in fact a tax on the mathematically challenged.) Currently the keeper's house is privately owned and the facility is difficult to visit as the lighthouse is surrounded by private property with no public right of way. Perhaps the winning lottery prize was your own lighthouse??

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Briermere Farm

Briermere Farm, originally uploaded by Chris S Thorpe.

Long Island's agricultural North Fork is prepared for the onslaught of suburbanites in search of all those decorative corn stalks, apple cider and the "perfect pumpkin". The weekend day trippers clog the areas country roads AND put a large smile on the area's economy. Known to locals as the Pumpkin People, the invasion continues on weekends throughout the fall. This image is of Briermere Farms home of locally renown Briermere Pies. Most Long Island residents ( or friends and family of residents) have, at one time or another, tasted a Briermere fruit pie. Orders are being taken now (seriously!) for Thanksgiving.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Harvest Ready

September among the vines... and soon efforts will bear fruit. Long Island's wineries have become a destination in their own right. A visit during mid-week can be very relaxing, sunny weekend crowds during the fall can detract from the tranquility. Life is Good.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Days Of Yore

There is something very romantic about a tall ship under sail. I imagine that the real experience can be a lot more realistic however. Like many things from "the good old days" the absence of modern convenience and technology can get old fast. A cruise without vacuflush? A hammock to replace your cabin? Open seating (like in the open) for meals? For sure, a tall ship would make for a wonderful one or two day trip but I'll be looking for that private cabin with a tile bath ( not to mention SatNav and on board WiFi) for longer journeys.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Peace And Quiet

This might just be a really good Monday to smell the fresh breeze and appreciate the many gifts that life throws our way....

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remember and Rebuild

A decade in the making, the memorial plaza and reflecting pools will be ready to honor the victims of 9/11 on tomorrow's tenth anniversary. For some time now the buzz has been whether or not the construction will be ready in time for the remembrance. Indeed the portions that are in place will provide a very fitting and respectful venue. The museum will open in 2012, the tower that will be "One World Trade" is two years from completion and the entire site has been a perpetual construction project for ten years.... Maybe, just maybe its all about the building. The metaphor for healing, coming together and moving forward could just be in the  construction. After-all, much of our history and our pride is displayed in structural icons that demonstrate a purpose in building a nation.
Just a thought for this weekend of reflection.....

Friday, September 09, 2011

Back To School

It's official, schools are back in session. The local media is filled with those iconic "Back to School" images: backpack adorned tweens exiting a large yellow bus, parents waiting at suburban street corners,  and beaming attractive female teachers smiling in the front of a classroom (obviously prior to having cafeteria duty). So....I set out to find my own "back to school" image. I was struck by the peaceful scene of an empty beach on a rather perfect beach day in early September. Yes, indeed school is in session! Life is Good.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Lighthouse Tour

Want to cruise a course used by clipper ships, whalers and rum runners of a bygone era? The East End Seaport Museum & Marine Foundation  offers several opportunities to ply Long Island's east end waters and get close up views of the area's historic lighthouses. Bring a camera and a sense of adventure! Life is Good.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Port Jefferson Ferry

Long Island's "bridge" to Connecticut makes several trips each day. When planning a trip to New England most Long Islanders need to consider the 20 mile distance across Long Island Sound. So near, yet so far... the drive requires a long ride west through and around NYC to head north. Fortunately, ferry service provides an alternative (which can be a bit pricey) saving a few hours driving time. There's something to be said as well for the lack of aggravation as one cruises the Sound with the car snugly secured below deck. Weekends, especially during ski season can get very busy at the ferry terminal and reservations are a must.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Little Gull Island Lighthouse

More from the Long Island lighthouse gallery: Little Gull Island marks the meeting of Long Island Sound and Block island Sound. One of the earliest sites for a U.S. lighted navigational aid, Little Gull was lit in 1806 by a much smaller tower. During The War Of 1812 much naval action took place between the British and American vessels just off this site. The tiny island was actually occupied by British troops in 1813, when they extinguished the light. The current lighthouse was constructed in 1868, it's design elements were often used in the next generation of the nations beacons.
Today Little Gull is the home of many, many gulls both little and large. It would appear as though "marking one's territory" is a rather frequent gull activity. (image better in large view)

Monday, September 05, 2011

Summer Steps Down

Labor Day is an annual benchmark. For years, when the first Monday of September rolls around, I have pointed to the fact that September 21st marks summer's official end. Lately though I have become resigned to the fact that things do feel quite different the day after Labor Day. The beach is empty, the school buses are running (or rather stopping in front of you!), the mornings are cooler, the temperature drops much more quickly after an earlier sunset and it's more about football than baseball. For better or worse, change is in the air.
BTW: Happy Labor Day.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Race Rock Lighthouse

Race Rock in the Town Of Southold has a unique bit of local history and lore. Completed in 1878 the last masonry constructed lighthouse (at a water-bound location) took over seven years to complete. (The engineers who designed the structure, Francis Hopkins Smith and Cpt. Thomas Albertson Scott, also designed the foundation for the Statue Of Liberty.) Prior to it's completion hundreds of shipwrecks occurred on the site. The most famous of the wrecks was the steamer "Atlantic" in which 45 people perished in 1846.
Legend has it that Race Rock is haunted. For many years Coast Guard personnel have reported strange happenings at the site. In 2004 the United States Coast Guard and the Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) sent teams to investigate the lighthouse. In October 2004 the TV series "Ghost Hunters" aired a feature on Race Rock claiming that it did in fact appear to be haunted. Cameras even recorded chairs moving in an empty room. umm....
Sounds like a cool spot to spend Halloween!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Summer's End?

Can it really be September? Does my calendar show Labor Day Weekend? How fair is it that the blur of summer's warmth so quickly crashes into the cool of September.....?

Friday, September 02, 2011

Cormorant Curbside

Irene brought cormorants into our street where this guy actually was fishing for dinner! A few snappers were victims to his skill. Wildlife in the street....who knew? (better in large view)

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Bug Light

Long Beach Bar Light points the way to Greenport harbor. Looking more "house" than "light" the lighthouse was restored to it's original (1870) condition in 1990. Years of neglect and vandalism was reversed by its present owners The East End Seaport&Marine Foundation.
The original light was only supported by screw piles ( it had no cement foundation) which made the structure, when seen from afar, appear to be a long legged bug sitting atop of the water. The name stuck: Bug Light.
Interesting to note is the fact that the restoration process, once out of government hands, took only 60 days. Financial support and material came from local citizens.