East Quogue Community Notes, February 27

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I knew last Sunday was going to be special when very early in the morning, for the first time this year, I heard my resident songbirds singing their hearts out.The day only got better. As the sunshine warmed my soul, all I wanted to do was walk my garden paths, looking for those precious signs of spring.

And, find them I did. A tall witch-hazel put on a show with its yellow blooms—the only color in the late winter landscape—while below yellow flag iris tips valiantly tried to make their way out from under the remaining mounds of snow. Even more thrilling were the almost-bursting buds of my prize magnolias: “Jane,” “Susan” and “Yellow Bird.”

And, when I checked East Quogue George’s entrance to his lavish home underneath my blue spruce, there was an opening. Could that dashing fellow be out and about without my knowing?

I checked online and, according to Dr. Stam Zervanos, emeritus professor of biology at Penn State University: “Groundhogs do not simply crawl into their dens and hibernate, but rather they experience a series of torpor (sleep) and arousal bouts throughout winter. During arousal, they stay in their burrows; but in the spring, they emerge and move around above ground. They then return to the den for some more deep sleeping episodes before the final arousal for the hibernation season. Typically, groundhogs do not exit hibernation for good until early March, which is when they mate.”

So, lady groundhogs beware, East Quogue George is on the prowl!

Daylight-saving time begins on Sunday, March 9, another sure sign that spring is on its way. And, according to my spring countdown, there are only 21 days left until the big day officially arrives.

And, last but certainly not least, congratulations go to Christian Thienel who was named to the dean’s list at Tufts University in Massachusetts. Way to go!

On The Calendar

Saturday, March 1: Artist reception at the Quogue Library for Gina Gilmour, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Her paintings and sculptures will be on exhibit in the Art Gallery throughout March.

Monday, March 3: East Quogue Fire Department’s Junior Firefighters’ Spaghetti Dinner, 5 to 8 p.m., at the firehouse on Montauk Highway. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children age 3 to 12. Kids age 3 and younger eat for free.

Monday, March 3: The Eastern Long Island Audubon Society meets at 7:15 p.m. at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. Guest speakers Matt and Cathy McCluskey will present a digital slide show of their exciting trip to Ecuador, the South American birding hot-spot.

Saturday, March 8: “Zima!” returns to the Quogue Wildlife Refuge at 3:30 p.m. for its third year. A creation of the Neo-Political Cowgirls, an acclaimed professional acting and dance troupe from the East End, the show is a series of magical vignettes of humans, sculptures and displays situated in the refuge’s forest. (Rain date is Sunday, March 9.) Call (631) 653-4771.

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