Have you heard that “Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders are Bigger and More Fertile” than their country cousins? That was the headline in my copy of a recent newsletter from the Amateur Observers Society, an astronomy group. Apparently there are giant spiders growing in urban areas as a result of hot microclimates sustained by a paved-over city that make for an ideal environment for spiders, and by massive amounts of artificial light, or light pollution, that attract an abnormal amount of insects to the area. In other words, the spiders are never without a plentiful food source.This may seem like bad news for city dwellers, but spiders are actually good to have around. They eat insects like flies and mosquitoes, and they’re an important food source for other creatures, including frogs and toads. Still, do we really need giant spiders?
The subject of light pollution comes to mind because in late September the Peconic Land Trust and the Town of Southampton Dark Skies Advisory Committee will be hosting “Stars Over Bridge Gardens” for an astronomy presentation that may open your eyes to the starry wonders above. Noted Long Island naturalist and educator John Turner will discuss how light pollution affects animals and humans, and when sky glow is reduced how easy it is to locate markers in the sky to navigate the constellations. The program is free, but donations are always welcome. Space is limited, so reservations are required by September 24. Refreshments will be provided. An overcast sky or rain date will be October 25. Bridge Gardens is located at 36 Mitchell Lane, Bridgehampton, NY. For info call (631) 283-3195.
By the way, Southampton Town’s Dark Skies Committee has a handy brochure that offers an overview of the issues surrounding light pollution, such as glare, light trespass onto a neighbor’s property, interference with wildlife’s foraging, feeding and mating, and the town’s rules for residential properties. You can download it at www.southamptontownny.gov/444/Dark-Skies-Committee.
While you’re waiting for late September to roll around, on August 29, “Watercolor Painting Workshops” with Lois Bender, will continue from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Bridge Gardens. The cost is $45 per class, and space is limited. Classes will continue on September 6, at 10 a.m. and prepaid registration is required at www.GardenSpiritsNY.com.
Also on August 29 you can head over to the Hampton Library’s last “Fridays At Five” program. Gail Sheehy will discuss her inspiring memoir, “Daring: My Passages,” a chronicle of her trials and triumphs as a groundbreaking “girl” journalist in the 1960s, from iconic guide for women and men seeking to have it all, to one of the premier political profilers of modern times. She is the world-renowned author of fifteen books including “Passages,” which remained on The New York Times bestseller list for more than three years and has been reprinted in twenty-eight languages. As a literary journalist, Ms. Sheehy was one of the original contributors to New York magazine. A contributing editor to Vanity Fair since 1984, she won the Washington Journalism Review Award for Best Magazine Writer in America for her in-depth character portraits of national and world leaders, including Presidents Bush and Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Margaret Thatcher, Saddam Hussein, and Mikhail Gorbachev. She is a seven-time recipient of the New York Newswomen’s Club Front Page Award for distinguished journalism. The Hampton Library is located at 2478 Main Street, Bridgehampton, and the gates open at 4:30. Beverages and hors d’oeuvres will be available, and admission is $15.
On Saturday, September 6, at 2 p.m., The Hampton Library in Bridgehampton welcomes best-selling Young Adult author Patricia McCormick, who will speak about her recently released collaboration with Malala Yousafzai: a young readers’ edition of The New York Times best-selling book, “I Am Malala.” Copies of the book will be available for purchase the day of the event. Ms. McCormick, two-time National Book Award finalist, is the author of five critically acclaimed novels—“Never Fall Down,” “Purple Heart,” “Sold,” “My Brother’s Keeper,” and “Cut.” She was named a New York Foundation for the Arts fellow in 2004 and a MacDowell fellow in 2009. She is also the winner of the 2009 German Peace Prize for Youth Literature. The movie adaptation of her novel “Sold” was released in 2014 and has shown at both national and international film festivals. For more information, contact Kimberly Zettwoch, Young Adult Librarian, email@example.com or (631) 537-0015.
It is time to reserve your seats for the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center’s live concert on Saturday, September 6, featuring the Howard Gospel Choir of Howard University. The concert will be presented at the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church and starts at 4:30 p.m. The doors open at 4 p.m. Donation is $25 in advance and $30 at the door, and advance reserved seats are $50 each. For ticket reservations and information call (631) 537-0616, extension 16 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, the Child Care Center is holding its benefit golf tournament on Monday, September 22, at an exclusive local golf club. The folks at the center say they’re not allowed to mention the name of the club, but it is considered one of the Hamptons’ premier golf courses. They invite you to join them afterward for a celebration dinner in the beautiful clubhouse. The day starts at 10 a.m. with brunch, practice, 18 holes of golf, the 19th hole cocktail hour and then a celebratory buffet dinner with awards plus a few surprises. There is also a silent auction for prizes including golf rounds at other legendary Hamptons golf courses. This is a major fundraiser for all of their programs. You can go online to BHCCRC.com and sign up for the September 22 event on this spectacular links-type course. Come as a single, with a friend or two, or make up your own foursome. If you cannot attend on September 22, you can bid online for the auction items at the website BHCCRC.com.