06/21/17 6:01am
wine tour

Biking from vineyard to vineyard is one of the best ways to enjoy Long Island Wine Country. (Credit: Madison Fender)

Being surrounded by water, some activities are just a given come the summer months. Fresh, salty air and sunshine are often all you need for a day well spent. Whether by land or by sea, we have the perfect roundup of must-dos for your best summer yet. (more…)

06/07/17 6:01am

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds from Fish Guy Photos on Vimeo.

The sound of a buzzing, winged creature will send most people running for the sanctuary of the indoors. After being bit or stung from critters such as mosquitos, yellow jackets, and hornets, this reaction can be justified. However, this rushed decision to retreat inside might cause you to miss one of the North Fork’s speediest little birds — the hummingbird. (more…)

05/09/17 6:00am
Chris Paparo gives a juvenile snapping turtle a hand in crossing the road. (Credit: Chris Paparo)

Chris Paparo gives a juvenile snapping turtle a hand in crossing the road. (Credit: Chris Paparo)

Just as our favorite North Fork past times change with the seasons, so do the activities of its local wildlife.

March marks the homecoming of osprey from their wintering areas in South America. Our freshwater rivers and streams come alive in April with the schools of alewife that have returned from a treacherous journey from the sea to spawn. As we enter May, another group of animals becomes active and often needs a little helping hand from us from time to time.

Emerging from their underground burrows, our local turtles are waking from their long winter hibernation and will quickly seek out the warmth of the sun for a “recharge.” (more…)

04/08/17 6:00am
A screech owl in the author's backyard. (Credit: Chris Paparo)

A screech owl in the author’s backyard. (Credit: Chris Paparo)

Of all the birds that inhabit the North Fork, none draw more excitement than owls.

During winter months, birders flock to open grasslands such as those found at the EPCAL facility in Calverton. They hope to catch a glimpse of a short-eared owl as it swiftly soars above the fields looking for mice, voles and other “tasty” rodents. Area beaches are another popular owl haunt. Here, birders hope to spot a snowy owl, like Hedwig that was made famous by the Harry Potter books and movies.

Unfortunately, by April both species have left our area to return to their nesting sites in Canada and the Arctic tundra. There they will stay until cold winter temperatures once again drive them south to our open grasslands and beaches.

Even though these awe-inspiring owls have left the North Fork, there are still many opportunities for an owl lover to view these majestic birds. In fact, two species are true Northforkers, as they reside here year-round and often go completely unnoticed. (more…)

03/30/17 6:00am
Mashomack Preserve on a spring day. (Credit: James Colligan, courtesy)

Mashomack Preserve on a spring day. (Credit: James Colligan, courtesy)

There was a time when the phrase “get lost” was an insult. These days, it’s therapy.

When the world becomes too much for you, Shelter Island — the pearl in the prongs of the North and South forks — has thousands of acres of wooded trails, quiet country roads, and deserted beaches where you can treat your short fuse with a long walk. (more…)