Oysterponds: Ospreys, robins, peepers and some spring chickens

03/22/2011 3:58 PM |

Who’d have ‘thunk’ that the first person to report an osprey sighting would once again be Gertie Rich? I’d been asking around and no one had seen one. Then I got a call from Gertie Sunday morning about a fish hawk flying by her window on Saturday evening at “cocktail” hour. She said it hovered in front of her window to announce its arrival. She was sure, given her diminished eyesight, that she wouldn’t be the first. Gertie has been keeping a journal on the ospreys’ return for most of her 90-plus years, so it’s fitting that she reported it first, fading vision and all.

Speaking of 90-year-old Orienteers, Gert Reeves hits 98 next Wednesday, March 30. I think she needs 98 birthday cards, don’t you? Her address is c/o San Simeon, 61700 Route 48, Greenport, NY 11944.

Now back to birds. Chris Franke wrote this week “the heck” with osprey, they desert us in the winter, but she wanted to report that she heard the peepers (who stay here and hibernate) last week, which was an encouraging sign of spring.

Then a friend from Setauket called to tell me he’d seen a robin since he knew we all had interest in returning birds. I asked him if it had suitcase and a suntan, since we all know that some robins never leave. I think I threw him with that. Just in case you haven’t spotted one yet, my grandmother always told me to make a wish on the first robin you see each spring. Keep that in mind. I cheat by wishing on the first five robins I see!

I was at a party Saturday night here in Jensen Beach and a mind-boggling small world took place. Most of these folks hadn’t met before. One couple hailed from Montauk, now of Palm City, mentioned that they worked on the water. I asked if they knew Dr. Mark Funt, who delivered Sarah. That one question triggered a 10-baby litany of others he’d delivered for those in the room. This was followed by who they knew who went to Wesleyan University with Dr. Funt’s kids, as Sarah did, which wasn’t previously known. The small world was so tangled I am mentally exhausted from trying to unravel it. (BTW, this same Setauket doc delivered a gaggle of other Orient kids.)

Then Jody Levin emailed to share her own version of small world. She dropped her 102-year-old dad, Jack Levin, off at the Boynton Beach home of his brother Arthur (the 96-year-old spring chicken) and took a side trip to Wakodahatchee, a well-known marsh boardwalk for bird watching (there are those birds again). As Jody said, the rest of the world has six degrees of separation but the North Fork has two at the most. She was wearing a Southold, N.Y., T-shirt and her short expedition was stopped by two separate groups within minutes of each other. She knew the connections of one party by not the other. She decided that her purpose that afternoon was not to see birds but to affirm how we are all so closely connected.

Don’t forget Clyde Mellinger’s lecture, “A Schooner in the Offing,” this Saturday, March 26, at 4 p.m. at the Peconic Landing Auditorium. It is free and open to all.

The next Ecumenical Lenten service will be Wednesday, March 30, at 11 a.m.  at Greenport United Methodist Church. Everyone is welcome. A light lunch will follow.