Community Columns

Oysterponds News: Orient filmmaker wins award

Can you believe spring started? Here we go with the flying year again.

Spring in Oysterponds signals the return of the birds and cherry blossoms, with forsythia, azaleas and lilacs not far behind. 

Resident ‘bird lady’ Laura Westlake has reported seeing a first-year red-winged blackbird at her suet feeder for the last three weeks. Priscilla Bull reported six robins in Diana Whitsit’s yard and audio observations of red-wings. Berna Fitzpatrick called to say she saw a robin in Southold and heard a whippoorwill the same day.

Karen Land Rich (bride of former forever Orienteer Bill Rich) reported an osprey on their backyard nest this week. Karen gave Bill the platform a few years ago but this is the first time anyone set up housekeeping there. Apparently they scoped it out last September with a few twigs and decided this looked like home. Does this mean spring has officially sprung.

Orient filmmaker Jim Steech had good news to share from his time at the Richmond International Film Festival. “The Orchard,” filmed in Orient with a cast of locals, won the audience choice for best short film. Congratulations, Jim and company.

Don’t forget Tedd Webb’s brief oral history project on Ben Franklin mile markers tonight, March 19, at 7 p.m. at Oysterponds School. It is free and open to all.

I’ll remind you next column, but the annual Easter egg hunt sponsored by OCA will be Saturday, April 4, at Poquatuck Park at 9 a.m. sharp, rain or shine. It’s for children in fourth grade and younger. For more details, call Holly at 323-2311.

Congratulations to Oysterponds teacher Lin Bogden, who was selected by Scope Educational Services of L.I. to receive the Teacher Services Award. She is being recognized for her outstanding service to the school district in providing exceptional instrumental string and vocal programs to the pre-K through 6th grade students of Orient and East Marion. WTG, Lin!

The Narrow River Singers’ 17th annual concert will be performed this Saturday at 3 p.m. at Peconic Landing and next Saturday, March 28, at 4 p.m. at Poquatuck Hall. The suggested donation is $15. This is always a highly anticipated event.

Wow! Can you believe Renee Carey turned 80 on March 12? You sure wouldn’t think so. (Don’t tell her I told you.)

Southold’s annual Relay for Life takes place May 30. To check on the progress or to participate, visit

The annual meeting of the Oysterponds Historical Society is set for 2 p.m. next Saturday, March 28, at the Swanson Gallery. All members are invited to attend.

Ruth Ann Bramson will present one of the two remaining OHS lectures, “Beacons, Birds and Battlements: Great Gull and Little Gull Islands,” on the 28th at 4 p.m. at Brecknock Hall.

In case you missed it, the OA meeting to discuss the Enhanced Ferry Project (the NYMTC’s proposal to divert more that 3,000 extra trucks to the North Fork) resulted in unanimous opposition. The Orient Association is preparing a letter in response to these results. Stay tuned.

The Greenport Ecumenical Ministries Seder will be at noon on Wednesday, April 1, at Congregation Tifereth Israel. All are welcome.

‘There but for the grace of God … ’ applies to churches also. The North Fork is so steeped in history and a big part of that is our houses of worship. Please join me in praying (especially to St. Joseph, patron saint of builders and rebuilders) for the congregants of Southold Universalist Church, whose sanctuary was consumed by fire over the weekend. They have been there for everyone else; now is the time for us to rally around them.

My next column is April 2; get your news to me by the 29th. See you then.

Contact Oysterponds columnist Carol Gillooly at [email protected] or 323-3899.