Sagaponack Community Notes, May 1


The peepers have re-emerged. I feared the cold had killed them, but they slowly, cautiously started up again, and by tonight it is a full-on chorus at last. There are some at Madoo, there are more in a man-made pond across the field. If I listen carefully, I can hear Sagg Swamp’s population. If I walk out to the street, I can hear all the way to Fairfield Pond.The asparagus has yet to emerge—yes, a few spears here and there, but not handfuls, armfuls. I left my soil thermometer sticking in the dirt somewhere, so I don’t know the soil temperature. In lieu of a metered analysis, I fret. I begin to wonder if it will come up at all. Maybe I killed it by cultivating too aggressively? Or perhaps the cold winter killed the crowns?

There are plenty of weather-related mysteries in farming. Sometimes the events are tied to a season. For example, every year, in late spring, it will apparently rain 8 inches in just one corner of a given field. As much as this is plowing season, this is pool-pumping time, and while those worlds seem wholly separate, they are not. A hose gets pushed through the privet, and as a couple of guys mill about the poolside, texting and talking and picking over things, they nitwittedly flood the adjacent field.

To an old farmer, it’s salt in the wound, and there are stories to tell. With such offenses, there is scorekeeping: repeat offenders (them, 10 points), plunder (us, two points), sabotage—like the time a farmer redirected the flow hose into the offending property’s basement (us, 10 points). Just last week, a farmer scored eight points when he caught the pool company personnel just as they were getting under way with their naive little natural disaster project.

The coyote has been photographed in Poxabogue. Now I can believe all the people who told me they saw it this winter. I muse on the inevitable, which will mean adding the coyote to the list of things that eat domestic fowl in Sagaponack. But my fear is self-centered. The coyote isn’t here first for my fowl but for things that are abundant and feral or wild. The reason he, or she, or maybe there is already a pair, is here is because the coyote is a quick and selective adapter, clever, persistent, and given to large litters.

They’ll do wonderfully in the Hamptons.

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