02/26/15 8:00am
02/26/2015 8:00 AM
The Baiting Hollow shoreline was covered in ice this past week. The icing represents the worst freeze of Long Island Sound in decades, according to experts and historical accounts. (Credit: Jerry McGrath)

The Baiting Hollow shoreline was covered in ice this past week. The icing represents the worst freeze of Long Island Sound in decades, according to experts and historical accounts. (Credit: Jerry McGrath)

You could be forgiven for thinking this February has been colder than usual. It has. But just how much colder — a staggering 10.8 degrees below normal — has surprised even meteorologists, who say the month is on track to become Long Island’s coldest February on record.

The consistent cold snap has caused a rare phenomenon, one not seen for nearly 40 years: Long Island Sound is freezing over, so to speak.

“I’ve never seen it freeze over like this,” said Dominick Mavellia of Southold, whose home overlooks the frozen waters. “It looks like Antarctica … it’s quite beautiful.”  (more…)

02/20/15 8:00am
02/20/2015 8:00 AM
Brad Bocksel and his father, Robert, preparing artifacts for accession to Fraunces Tavern Museum. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Brad Bocksel and his father, Robert, preparing artifacts for accession to Fraunces Tavern Museum. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Brad Bocksel is a treasure hunter, but he’s not in it for the cash. He started digging up lost artifacts — ranging from silver coins to bullets used in the Civil War — when he was in middle school, and more than two decades later he’s never sold a single one.

He’s no hoarder of history either.

To prove it — though it’s not as if anyone dared him — Mr. Bocksel turned over some of his most prized possessions last Wednesday to the Fraunces Tavern Museum, a building that dates to Colonial times at 54 Pearl Street in lower Manhattan and is owned and operated by the Sons of the Revolution preservation group.

All 20 donated items originated from the Colonial and Revolutionary War periods.

Mr. Bocksel found them on his family’s Main Road farm in Aquebogue and other places on the North Fork.

(more…)

02/01/15 10:22am
02/01/2015 10:22 AM
Chris Paparo with his red-tailed hawk, Emmy, on a farm in Baiting Hollow. Mr. Paparo, a licensed falconer, has trained the bird to catch prey and come to him on demand, an activity that dates back thousands of years. Emmy has caught more than two dozen animals so far this falconing season. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Chris Paparo with his red-tailed hawk, Emmy, on a farm in Baiting Hollow. Mr. Paparo, a licensed falconer, has trained the bird to catch prey and come to him on demand, an activity that dates back thousands of years. Emmy has caught more than two dozen animals so far this falconing season. (Credit: Paul Squire)

High over the wooded hills just north of Lewin Farm in Baiting Hollow, Emmy the red-tailed hawk sits in her tree, watching me intently. Somehow, I sense her disapproval as the thick underbrush snags on my jeans and jacket. I fumble my way out of the thorns.  (more…)

09/22/14 4:00pm
09/22/2014 4:00 PM
Nick Raynor of Riverhead at last year's snapper tournament. (Credit: Rachel Young, file)

Nick Raynor of Riverhead at last year’s snapper tournament. (Credit: Rachel Young, file)

The 17th annual Spanner Tournament along the Peconic River in downtown Riverhead is set for Sept. 27. Hosted by the Riverhead Town Recreation Department, the tournament’s goal is to get get more people into fishing while also raising money for the Riverhead Recreation Department Scholarship Fund.

The tournament is split into two divisions: adults (16&over) and youth (under-16). A rod and reel will be awarded to the first-place winner in each division. And trophies are handed out to the top three finishers in each division.

The first 100 people to register receive a free T-shirt. To pre-register, call 727-5744, ext. 0, visit the website at www.riverheadrecreation.com or go in person to the department at 55 Columbus Ave. in Riverhead.

The tournament begins at 11 a.m. On-site registration starts one hour earlier. The tournament runs until 3 p.m.

Anglers must supply their own rod & reel and bait.

There will also be a Chinese auction for prizes donated by local businesses, which starts at 3:15 p.m.