Sagaponack Community Notes, December 12

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We’re in the shortest days; mid-morning feels like mid-afternoon. If it is cloudy, or rainy, then we hardly have a day, in the light, regular sense, at all.I’d kept the birds in because, finally, we are getting a little rain. It lets up in the afternoon, and I elect to let them out, because snow is forecast for tomorrow. As I make my way from coop to coop, I watch a hawk in the near rye field. The air is very still, not a breeze to push against, and the hawk floats at a standstill. The fog is so dense that my neighbors disappear. They’ve stopped driving pilings to the immediate west side of the pond. I pray they have finished.

Since the beginning of our time in the New World, there has been the perpetual sense of us and them, originals and newcomers. For much of last week, it did not matter which way the wind blew—that low water view jobsite dominated the soundscape, for the rhythmic slamming of telephone poles deep into the earth rang out as an assault. There were places around the farm, just so, between buildings, where the echo gave you double time, and the racket was intolerable, enough noise to make animals flee a forest. Situations like this make me wonder why philosophy of land use is not a hotter topic.

Every now and then, someone suggests a law permitting the use of leaf blowers, but only when the homeowner is at home and, by definition, experiencing the minor insanity that the blowers incite. It is too bad such rules don’t apply for home construction, as I am sure if it did, houses, especially in marginal lands, would become more sensitive. With such laws a sheepherder’s simple yurt might one day replace the staple of commanding views and desirable zip codes.

At night, where the sky is normally darkest, to the east over the sea, is the glow of the sand movers—a fuzzy arc of silver where we are used to starry nothingness. From here, an onshore breeze brings the sound of a rock in the pipe—ping, ping, da-da-ping, ping, ping—at 2 a.m.

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