Sagaponack Community Notes, March 21

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The seed sprang up, shot out of the dirt with the slow-motion version of a coil; the radicle breaks from its sleepy core. It happened faster then I expected, and inside of a week the arugula made a mossy island in a sea of plastic potting flats. The transformation in my heart is equally rapid: I watch and study all the trays, looking for the tell-tale signs of eruption, seeing some, feeling joy, wanting more. These are naïve, happy, even delusional moments, and a known part of spring.

March is cold this year. Planting in the outdoors is maybe even a few weeks off. The geese haven’t left. Or are they staying?

I step out from the greenhouse to see seven deer, creeping along the property fence. They bolt, as I had ruined their afternoon stroll.

I begin the afternoon chore of luring the birds back to their coops with food. I see a low shape, slinking but afar. The fox is mousing in the oats. I can see him pounce and listen, and pounce again. His fluffy tail follows the arc of his movements, which are, happily for me, heading away from the farm.

Just then, a hawk sails overhead; this is the fellow that has hunted starlings all winter and done a fair job of running them off, except that he’s run off a lot of other birds too. When I inspected the whereabouts of a favorite mockingbird, I discover the little hawk’s lair. Under a limb of the apple tree is a pile of feathers, those of doves and jays, cardinals, and indeed a part from a mockingbird’s tail.

Last week, I had the good fortune to have written about Sagg Beach; why I thought we’d dodged the mining bullet, I don’t know. So this week I had the bad luck of meeting three men on the beach who told me they had just been awarded a grant to study what was “going on here.” We’d met near the entrance to Sagg Main’s west end, where the massive sand redistribution equipment had come to rest after a long day’s work. “Oh, thank the Lord,” I thought, “finally, scientists.” One had the wind shell of an Ivy League school, one had leapt up on the dune to take a movie, and one didn’t have a hair out of place.

Later, I realized that the men I had met were actually those already hired to dredge. And I reflected on the fact that when I tried to enlist them in my outrage over the current state of the cut, I had introduced myself as someone whose father could tell them about digging this full pond with a bunch of friends and a few shovels, and that I had roamed and watched this place my entire life. I was embarrassed I had been so honest, since in reality they had been disingenuous. They had already studied this strip of land, and they had already decided they could handle it.

This is going to be interesting.

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