Bridgehampton Community Notes, January 9

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The holidays are over, and I’ve been tinkering with my new Dobsonian telescope. Its ten-inch aperture is touted to be capable of viewing deep-sky objects such as nebulas, galaxies, star clusters, and offering close-up views of more nearby targets like the moon and planets. Unfortunately, it’s been cloudy every night since the telescope arrived. Re-reading the instruction manual is getting old.Meanwhile, Dick Hendrickson has been, as always, keeping a sharp eye on local weather conditions. He’s confirmed a mild December, observing that there was no ice skating, sledding, snowballs or snowmen. We had some days throughout the entire month that reached the fifties, and it was fifty degrees or higher on thirteen days. The warmest day was on December 2 when it reached sixty-nine degrees, and the coldest days, with a temperature of fourteen degrees, were recorded on the nights of December 11th and 23rd.

Measurable precipitation fell on eight days for a total of 3.78 inches for the entire month, and snow fell on two days for a total of 2.5 inches. On eleven days the wind came from the northwest, and there were eighteen cloudy days.

Dick predicts that “From now on there should be the snow for the children and some ice skating. Our wind should be from the Northwest; 40 mph and higher is not unusual for January. Maybe Mecox could freeze for a few days for ice boating.”

I can hardly wait for Dick’s weather report next month. As of this writing, we’ve already had a major snow event followed by 50 degree weather two days later.

The members of the Horticultural Alliance of the Hamptons must be used to all kinds of weather. They’re gardeners, after all. In January 2014 HAH has scheduled several events open to the public. Details on all events can be had by phoning the alliance office at (631) 537-2223, or by visiting www.hahgarden.com.

On Sunday, January 12, at 2 p.m, HAH will be hosting an illustrated lecture titled, “The Accidental Landscape: Celebrating the Collision of Culture and Ecology,” by Rick Darke, a designer, author and photographer. The lecture will be in the Bridgehampton Community House, main auditorium. Admission is $10 for non-members of the Horticultural Alliance; free for members. Refreshments will be served.

On Saturday, January 18, at 10 a.m. there will be an informal study and discussion on berry producing plants during fall and winter. Pamela Harwood will moderate the group in the Horticultural Library, ground floor of the Bridgehampton Community House. Admission is free.

The Hampton Library has begun hosting a Memoir and Personal Essay workshop by Eileen Obser. The series, which started on January 8, will run for five consecutive weeks, ending on February 4, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., and the cost is $65. The phone number is (631) 537-0015.

The Southampton Trails Preservation Society has released their January 2014 Event Schedule

On Saturday, January 11, there will be a “Wolf Swamp Ramble” from 10 a.m. till noon. Meet at the Elliston Park entrance on Millstone Brook Road in Southampton for a moderately-paced 3 mile hike with views of Big Fresh Pond. Leader: Howard Reisman, (631) 283-5376.

Then on Sunday, January 12, there will be a Long Pond Greenbelt/HOT Ride. Bring your own horse and helmet. You must be a member of STPS/HOT to participate due to insurance requirements. It’s easy to join the day of ride! Call for reservations and details on the meeting place and time. The ride leader is Leslie Lowery, and you can call her at (631) 603-8551.

The big news in Bridgehampton and Sagaponack is the newly revealed plans for the historic bridge over Sagg Pond. The bridge and its predecessors have a long history in our community. Town records indicate that Ezekiel Sandford was commissioned by the town to build a bridge over Sagg Pond in 1686, but “Bridge Lane” was opened as early as 1669. It has been speculated that a bridge of some sort was there before Sandford’s bridge, even if only a narrow causeway, allowing the people of Sagg to get to their church on the other side of Sagg Pond.

Sandford’s bridge connected Sagaponack and Mecox and it gave our hamlet its name—Bridgehampton. Records indicate that the original Sandford bridge probably stood for the better part of a hundred years. Records do not indicate just how long, but we do know that there was no bridge after the Revolution until a man named Tuthill built one in 1875. This bridge, however, soon fell apart. In 1900 another wooden bridge was erected at the site of the Sandford bridge and did service until 1923, when the present modern one was built.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens to our bridge. In the meantime, Happy New Year to all!

“Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier’…” —Alfred Tennyson

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