From Fourth Neck

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After what was an extremely long and dreary winter, I’m happy to write that spring has finally “sprung” on downtown Main Street. Many thanks go out to our East Quogue Chamber of Commerce and Jim Cumisky and his “merry band of planters.”

Enjoy a wonderful stroll amid the beautiful, brightly colored pansies that add such charm to our hamlet, and stop in at our wonderful shops. You’ll delight in the lush greenery at Roses and Rice and you’ll always find something unique for spring at The Graceful Swan. Pick up delicious gourmet delicacies and Italian specialties from the Village Prime Meat Shoppe and, to go with your delectable dinner, bring home a delightful bottle of local wine from East Quogue Wines and Liquors.

For that special greeting card or gift, stop by Village Card and Gifts. And while the “girls” are shopping, the “guys” can get a great haircut at Orlando’s Barber Shop followed by a quick, fun trip across the street to Haskell’s Bait and Tackle.

The New Moon Café has fish dinner entrees to die for, fantastic jerk chicken wings and incredible Sunday afternoon fish sandwiches. Dine in and enjoy the ambiance or get some take-out. Either way, you’ll find terrific food at great prices. Check out the menu at www.nmcafe.com, or call 653-4042 for a daily listing of their delicious and always-fresh specials.

And while you are on Main Street, visit Scott and Kirsten Montgomery, the owners of the brand new Sandy Toes Children’s Boutique on Main Street (next to Once Upon A Time). Featuring upscale children’s clothes and gifts, it’s the perfect place to pick up something for that special new arrival.

The owners of our marvelous Main Street shops depend on and really appreciate your business. They have unique, quality foods and gifts, the service is friendly and helpful, the prices are great, there are no lines, gift wrapping is a courtesy and, best of all, Main Street is just a short walk, bike or car ride away. Just think of all the gas you’ll save!

Don’t forget to save the date: A second public hearing on the final draft of the Generic Environmental Impact Study for East Quogue will take place on Tuesday, April 22, at 6 p.m., at Southampton Town Hall. It is extremely important for all of us to attend this meeting and show our support of the recommendations made in the study.

Celebrate spring with a fun and educational walk on the northern part of the Quogue Wildlife Refuge where you will be able to see globally rare dwarf pines. Learn about them, as well as the typical flora and fauna of the pine barrens and the importance of preserving this important habitat. The two-hour hike will take place this Saturday, April 12, at 10 a.m. Reservations are required for this free program for adults. For more information, call 653-4771.

I know that you will enjoy watching our talented students perform in “Titanic, the Musical,” this year’s exciting musical that will be presented by members of the Westhampton Beach High School Music Department, under the direction of Linda Howard.

Bravo to East Quogue “stars”: Lane Davenport, Aidan Marsicovitere, Christian Thienel, Julian Dankner, Jack McKillop, Robert Tureski, Lauren Saetchel and Jennifer Saetchel, all East Quogue Elementary School alumni, and Molly Sue Magee, who is in the third grade at our elementary school.

Performances will be held at the Westhampton Beach High School auditorium, located on Lilac Avenue, this Friday and Saturday, April 11 and 12, at 7:30 p.m. each evening, and on Sunday, April 13, at 2 p.m. For more information, call Linda Howard at 288-3800, ext. 290.

Has anyone seen the turkey vultures that have come to East Quogue? Well, I’ve received reports of sightings from Eric Salzman and Joan Hughes. You can’t miss these very large, nearly eagle-sized birds that are almost 3 feet tall, with a wingspan of between 5 to 6 feet. Their feathers are blackish, their beaks ivory and hooked, and their heads unfeathered and red.

Turkey vultures are scavengers, rarely killing their prey, as do the black vultures. They typically fly with wings set in a shallow uptilted dihedral and can be seen “wheeling” sedately over farmlands and forests, searching for carrion concealed beneath the forest canopy.

Mr. Salzman, a noted author, birder and naturalist, writes, “[I] had the pleasure of seeing four turkey vultures over the farm fields just north of the village. The colonization of eastern Long Island by this species, which occurred in 2007 (it may have started earlier but was overwhelmingly evident last year), seems to be carrying over to 2008. What is extraordinary is how quickly the transition occurred from no [turkey vultures] (or only an occasional one or two in migration) to their being all over the place in a wide arc from Calverton through the Central Pine Barrens to East Quogue …”

“Bullets over Broadway” will be the featured film at the Quogue Library Film Feast set for Saturday, April 19. The feast begins at 6:30 p.m. and the film at 7:15 p.m. Price of admission is a beverage and a dish that serves at least six people. For reservations, please call the library at 653-4224.

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