Oysterponds: Birds, snow-shovels and a 100-day project

OK friends, if you don’t like birds I have a feeling this will not be the column to read for the next few weeks. Nat Licata’s “egrets” are familiar to most. They are actually great blue herons and for a long time have made their year-round home on the Narrow River Road path. Chris Franke was the first to confirm, followed by Carol Taylor. Carol also threw in her sighting of, as she put it, a few “red wingers” at her feeder along with her favorites, white-crowned sparrows. Diana Whitsit reported that the goldfinches are back and Chris Franke said she saw robins, which we all know are those non-migrating ones. She thought the same thing about the robins, but the first sign of spring is encouraging anyway.

My next report is going to cause a flare, as it has in the past. Rick and Linda Kedenburg of Peconic were leading a group of 12 on an Audubon Society field trip Saturday and saw an osprey on a platform just east of the mouth of Downs Creek. It was confirmed with multiple looks through a spotting scope and these folks are the pros. They named him Abe in honor of our 16th president, whose birthday the nation was celebrating that day. Mother Nature sure has been confused these last 12 months so why not ospreys? Anyone want to chime in here?
Nat Licata opened another kettle of fish. Anyone want to throw in fox sightings? He reported one.

Oysterponds second-grader Taylor Schombe has taken on an ambitious “100th day” project. (I learned something, as I didn’t know the “100th day” concept. It’s too laborious to explain, so ask someone. Hint: It all revolves around 100 “somethings.”) Taylor’s goal is to get 100 people to write Valentines or letters to a serviceperson overseas. It took a little manipulation but she scored a commitment from 94 schoolmates and six faculty members, all pledging to deliver the correspondence by yesterday, the 100th day, so her mom, Alison Lyne, can forward them to a Marine unit in Iraq. Taylor was inspired to do this after her uncle returned from Iraq and said he hadn’t received any mail except from family. Stay tuned. It sounds like this project may gain a life of its own.

Peek in the windows of Poquatuck Hall this week and behold the fruits of a lot of planning as the transition of the floor takes place. The hall should be ready for occupancy in a few weeks. Of course, donations to the floor fund are always welcome.

Speaking of Poquatuck Hall, Sharon called to share her own visualize-this with me and that was what she called “random acts of kindness” all over town. Her visual was a gaggle of folks with shovels voluntarily shoveling all the sidewalks around Poquatuck Hall and Pat Caffery and his mighty snow remover creating paths where snowdrifts once resided. Thanks to all who were part of that.

Speaking of Sharon, buy Steak Night tickets from her. It’s a week away.