11/09/17 6:01am

A tom with a long snood. (Credit: Chris Paparo)

In just a couple of weeks, many of us will be gathering with family and friends around the dining room table to indulge in the feast that is Thanksgiving. For many, the centerpiece of the celebration is a large, plump, juicy turkey. Unfortunately, other than a good recipe, few people know many details about the majestic bird that Benjamin Franklin had praised as being a more respectable bird than a bald eagle.

There are two species of turkey that can be found throughout the United States, Mexico and southern Canada. The first, simply named the wild turkey, is divided into five subspecies (Eastern, Merriam’s, Rio Grande, Osceola, and Gould’s), each varying slightly by plumage and separated by region. The second species, the Ocellated turkey, is found to live in a small range of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. (more…)

11/01/17 6:00am

Custer Observatory in Southold (File photo)

Reach for the stars at the Custer Institute and Observatory’s 39th annual Astronomy Jamboree weekend, set for Friday, Nov. 3, through Sunday, Nov. 5.

The three-day event, hosted by the Southold astronomical observatory, includes lectures, celestial observations and the chance to get to know other astronomy enthusiasts. The event is open to those new to astronomy and seasoned stargazers. (more…)

10/16/17 6:02am
Katie Peters

Katie Peters inside her new Southold fitness studio Underground Training. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

The North Fork may be lacking in large, multi-amenity sports membership clubs, but boutique fitness operations abound.

The newest is located in the Feather Hill complex in Southold, where Katie Peters has launched Underground Fitness, a 1,200-square-foot space which opened on Oct. 1.

Peters, who has worked as a trainer for the past four years, decided to undertake the venture after a brief stint working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She also holds a master’s degree in education and is a certified secondary school science teacher, but noted the difficulty in finding a full-time position on the East End.

So like many of her local peers, the Orient native found that entrepreneurship was a more viable path for making a living on the North Fork.

“I decided I was going to do what I love instead of a job that pays the bills,” said Peters, who is 31 and lives in Southold. (more…)

10/10/17 6:02am

A juvenile red-tailed hawk. (Credit: Chris Paparo)

As if someone turned off a switch, October brings an end to the summer ambiance we have enjoyed for the last several months. Days become shorter, nights become cooler, the leaves begin to fall, and many local species begin a long journey south in search of a warmer climate to spend the winter months.

As I wrote about in last month’s column, monarch butterflies are currently making an extraordinary migration to Mexico. Each night, they will stop to roost, with some roosts numbering in the tens of thousands of butterflies. Seeing one of these roosts can be a magical experience. (more…)

10/03/17 6:01am
Colleen McCaffery

Colleen McCaffery inside Aura, her new Mattituck yoga studio. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Colleen McCaffery of Mattituck has been practicing yoga for more than a decade. But she only began pursuing the tradition more seriously after a multiple sclerosis diagnosis in March 2015.

She found the ancient practice and its focus on balance to be a welcome antidote for the debilitating disease, which affected her equilibrium. That, coupled with medication and a modified diet incorporating fermented foods, has helped her manage her symptoms.

“It’s the best medicine,” she said. “Because I do yoga, I am in touch with my body. My balance is a little better. I am not tired as much.” (more…)