Arts & Entertainment

The First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs has turned into a memorial after the mass shooting on Nov. 5.

By Fr. Francis Pizzarelli

Father Frank Pizzarelli

As a nation we have been plagued with one human tragedy after another over the last few months from Charlottesville and Las Vegas, to the terrorist attack in New York City and now the massacre in the Baptist Church in Texas. Even with that as the landscape, we are still not willing to have a conversation about gun control and human safety as a means to protect the lives of all Americans.

As a nation, our human carnage is out of control. No other industrialized country has suffered so much human tragedy and loss of life in such a short period of time. Since the Texas massacre, a disturbing statistic has been released saying that we lead the world with people who have been diagnosed with serious mental health issues. Whether or not that statistic is correct, every human tragedy other than terrorism has been committed by people who have been clinically diagnosed as seriously mentally ill.

It is time to put aside the political rhetoric and begin to have a conversation that is centered around protecting human life for all Americans. We need federal regulations that protect human life from rageful out-of-control Americans who are using violence and weapons to vent their rage. Too many innocent people are losing their lives. Too many innocent families are being destroyed before they’ve had an opportunity to truly live.

We must create a protocol that is the same in every state; that screens every person who seeks a gun permit. The screening must be as rigorous as the screening for the military and the uniform services. Washington should create a central registry for all those who have committed serious crimes and/or have been imprisoned.

We must become consistently more vigilant in our enforcement of all the laws already on the books. People who own guns and lose them should be held accountable. If you sell a gun that you own that should be reported to a central registry.

Those who lead us in government are shameful in their consistent unwillingness to address this very complicated but important life issue. How many more human tragedies have to happen before Washington, starting with the president, addresses this very serious crisis in American life?

The Texas tragedy is a painful reminder of our irresponsibility when it comes to keeping America safe. How can we sit back after whole families have been massacred and a 18-month-old baby senselessly killed and not be moved to action to do more?

It is very troubling to note the dramatic change in our political landscape and public discourse since the election of November 2016. Hate crimes are up, massive protest demonstrations around the country having increased exponentially and Americans are unsettled in every socioeconomic circumstance across the country.

Our moral compass is broken. Basic human respect for people has been lost. Our leadership is accepting a narrative that is crude, disrespectful and at times vulgar. Instead of challenging that narrative, our elected officials make excuses or minimize it and, worst of all, are painfully silent!

What kind of example are we setting for the younger generation? How will their moral compasses be calibrated? Who do we encourage them to look up to? Is there anyone on the horizon?

Fr. Pizzarelli, SMM, LCSW-R, ACSW, DCSW, is the director of Hope House Ministries in Port Jefferson.

Above, Simon shows the audience a photo of the crew right after being rescued. Photo by Heidi Sutton
Danger on the high seas: Reliving ‘the perfect storm’
A painting by George Schoenberg depicts the rescue on Oct. 29.

By Heidi Sutton

The Whaling Museum in Cold Spring Harbor hosted a presentation of “The Accidental Sailor” with guest speaker and storyteller Nelson Simon last Thursday evening. In front of a captivated audience, Simon recounted how he and his crew members were caught in “the perfect storm” off the coast of North Carolina and how they all miraculously survived. With a slide show and readings from his journal, Simon gave a dramatic day-by-day account up until that fateful hour when the ship starting taking on water and had to be abandoned.

Simon opened the lecture by reading the names of his crewmates: Joey Gelband, Laingdon Schmitt, Jen Irving, Peter Abelman, Damian Sailors, Marty Hanks, Barbara Treyz and John Nuciforo.

“A ship in a storm is like a tiny quadrant of order in a huge universe of chaos and it only works if everyone does their job, and these people did,” said Simon solemnly.

The Anne Kristine

In late Oct. 1991, the Brooklyn resident found himself aboard the Anne Kristine, a 150-year-old Norwegian schooner bound for Bermuda from Mills Basin, Brooklyn. The 95-foot ship, which had been lovingly rebuilt by explorer Norman Baker in 1986, was to be transported to Bermuda and then continue on to Puerto Rico to take part in a scientific expedition to study whale behavior.

Simon had second thoughts from the very beginning, a sort of sixth sense about the whole thing, but signed up nevertheless as the last, and least experienced, ninth crew member. Why did he do it? “Maybe being an immigrant, we are taught to fit in, go along, to accommodate people. I didn’t want to be a bother,” explained Simon, who was born in La Paz, Bolivia. Though he had recently sailed on the Clearwater Sloop for a week down the Hudson River holding educational tours, he couldn’t help but wonder what he had gotten himself into.

What was supposed to be a pleasure cruise, turned out to be a near death and life-changing experience for Simon as the ship found itself caught between a nor’easter and Hurricane Grace, battered relentlessly by enormous waves for days until the captain sent out a Mayday.

Unlike the fishing boat Andrea Gail and its six-member crew who were lost in the storm never to be seen again, the crew of the Anne Kristine were all rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard on Oct. 29. Simon described how each crew member had to jump into the raging sea one at a time with a life jacket and flashlight and wait to be plucked out by a helicopter rescue crew.

Last seen turning sideways in the waves, the ship was lost at sea.

From left, friends Paul Maggio and Jonny Rosenblatt, storyteller Nelson Simon and Joan Lowenthal, Elizabeth Fusco and Amanda Vengroff of The Whaling Museum. Photo by Heidi Sutton

“Anne Kristine did everything that we asked of her,” stressed Simon. “She held up under the most challenging circumstances. She was completely seaworthy. There was some talk afterward that she had let us down but nothing could be further from the truth.” Instead, Simon blamed human error, citing several key mistakes including “heading east instead of west” and not priming the pumps properly.

For the crew, telling Norman Baker that his beloved ship had sunk was hard. “Anne Kristine wasn’t just a ship, she was a community,” said Simon. Baker held a memorial for the ship shortly after at his home in Massachusetts — 150 people showed up, including the nine-member crew that sailed on her last.

Even after 26 years, Simon still gets emotional speaking about the event. “In preparing this [lecture] I remembered how afraid I was,” said Simon. He described the scene right before he was rescued — “a young man standing on the ship’s deck, looking up at the [midnight sun], wondering how he got here and waiting for his chance to get away.”

Jack Law with his wife Kim and his two children, Max and Seth
With a simple swab of your cheek, you can be added to bone marrow registry.

HELP SAVE A LIFE!  St. Louis de Montfort Church, 75 New York Ave., Sound Beach will host a “swab drive” to find a bone marrow donor for Sound Beach resident Jack Law, and the many others on the National Registry with life-threatening blood cancers, on Thursday, November 30 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

A newly retired Air Force officer, Law was recently diagnosed with AML Leukemia. His doctors agree that a bone marrow transplant/stem cell transplant is his best option. Call the church at 631-744-8566 for further details.

For more information on the Myths & Facts of donating bone marrow please visit
https://bethematch.org/support-the-cause/donate-bone-marrow/donation-faqs/

Thank you for your support! Please consider liking and sharing posts from this page to help spread awareness of this event.

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A photo of Corporal Christopher Scherer of East Northport and some of his personal items on display in the Monuments Men exhibit.
Exhibit honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice

By Kevin Redding

For years, they were neglected. Passersby barely shot a second glance at the nearly 100 names of brave men and women from Northport and East Northport engraved on stone monuments on Main Street and in John Walsh Park — locals who lost their lives in service to their country in every conflict from the Civil War to the Iraq War.

But that all changed in recent months thanks to the efforts of Terry Reid and exhibit committee members of the Northport Historical Society.

Donated uniforms from the museum’s permanent collection, from left, World War II Army Air Force; Alan Salzman, Signal Corps, Vietnam War; and Peggy Zumbach, Navy Waves, World War II are in the exhibit.

“We don’t want people to just walk by these monuments anymore,” said Reid, curator of the historical society’s new and expansive Monuments Men exhibit, which opened Sept. 3. The exhibit showcases the stories behind these heroes with regiment and battle information, personal memorabilia, photographs, letters and mannequins draped in authentic uniforms and jackets — which Reid said is like “having our own troops standing guard.” World War II memorabilia includes a German hand grenade and a gas mask.

Items were pulled from military databases and museum records, while others were donated directly by family members of the fallen. “We wanted to put a face to every single name listed on each of those monuments so their memory would live on,” she said. “A lot of what we received must be priceless to these families but I think they knew the importance of this. Really, the whole gist of this exhibit for the veterans is: We won’t forget you.”

Reid, who was part of an exhibit put on by the historical society in 2015 marking the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, sought out any and all objects pertaining to the conflict at the time and began researching the names on the monuments. She was struck by photographs she found of soldiers and touched by their heartbreaking stories. It was then that she crafted the idea of shedding a light on all the local soldiers.

Once she got the green light from the historical society to helm the project, Reid reached out in search of anybody who had connections to the names, from members of the community on Facebook to the American Legion to Atria nursing home in East Northport. At the nursing home, she found and conducted a video interview with a Korean War veteran who detailed what he and his fellow troops went through during what’s been deemed “The Forgotten War,” which visitors can watch at a kiosk in front of the Korean War cabinet in the exhibit.

Multiple pieces of personal items belonging to Corporal Christopher Scherer, from East Northport who died in Iraq in 2007, is also highlighted, including the veteran’s lacrosse gloves from when he attended Northport High School, his Boy Scout lanyards, dog tags and even a photograph of his old bedroom — all provided by his family.

In mapping out a more personal exhibit, Reid also contacted Kevin O’Neill, a longtime friend of the museum and the co-owner of the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport. The popular venue was named in honor of O’Neill’s brother-in-law, an Iraq War veteran and East Northport native who died in 2006 at 45. Engeman’s medals and awards, as well as other pieces of memorabilia, were donated by his widow.

A photo of Stephen Scudder who fought in the Civil War on display in the exhibit

“It stirs up a lot of emotions when you walk through something like this,” O’Neill said of the exhibit. “It was 11 years ago that John was killed but it feels like yesterday. I think the historical society and Terry did a first-class, wonderful job with this exhibit. It’s very impressive, powerful and beautiful display. I encourage people to go and learn about these men and women.”

Steven King, the chairman of the Exhibits and Collection Committee at the historical society, said the public so far has responded extremely well to Monuments Men.

“We’ve been getting a lot of compliments because of the nature of the exhibit,” King said. “It’s kind of a difficult subject to take on, as it represents a lot of pain for families that have lost soldiers in recent years, but they’ve all come forward and helped us with the exhibit to make sure the War on Terror period is well-represented. Including the most recent heroes has special poignancy for many of the visitors who have spoken to us about their appreciation for this.”

The entire exhibit takes up half the museum and is made up of 10 fully stocked cabinets of items. While no women from the area have lost their lives according to the monuments, the exhibit highlights the history of their roles within the military throughout the years, including the Women’s Army Corps and Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, Reid said.

In conjunction with the exhibit, the society will host a special Veterans Weekend Trolley Tour on Nov. 12 (see below). In addition, a lecture by Ret. Col. Al Vitters, who served in Vietnam and was a powerful figure at the United States Military Academy Preparatory School in West Point, will be held on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. at the society’s headquarters. Vitters will reflect on his military career, which will cover when women were first admitted to the school in 1976. Admission is $5 per person, free for members.

“I just want people to stop and take a pause and really reflect and feel some gratitude for what these people do for us,” Reid said. “It’s important to the families that they are not forgotten and that their sacrifices stay in our hearts and minds. We all should be a little more thankful for our freedoms, as they come at a price, and we’re hoping this exhibit illustrates just how lucky we are.”

The Northport Historical Society, located at 215 Main Street in Northport, will present Monuments Men through May, 2018. Admission is free. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 1 to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call 631-757-9859 or visit www.northporthistorical.org.

Photos above by Heidi Sutton

Veterans Day Weekend Trolley Tour

All aboard! Have you ever noticed the trolley tracks that run through Northport? They’re all that is left of the trolley that ran from Woodbine Avenue to the Northport Railroad Station from 1902 until 1924.

On Sunday, Nov. 12, thanks to its sponsor Nolan & Taylor-Howe, the Northport Historical Society will run a trolley tour giving Long Islanders a chance to relive this important part of Northport’s past. Guided tours of the monuments in town honoring the Northport area fallen will be offered aboard a replica trolley generously provided by Mark of Elegance Limousine Service.

The tour, led by Northport Historical Society curator, Terry Reid, is a great family-friendly way to celebrate Veterans Day and learn about local history. Reid will share the stories of many of the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and who are currently also honored in the society’s new Monuments Men exhibit. Tours, which are approximately 45 minutes long, will depart from the Northport Historical Society at 215 Main Street at 1, 2 and 3 p.m.

Tickets are $20 for members, $25 for nonmembers, and $10 for veterans and children under 15. Refreshments will be served. To purchase tickets please visit www.northporthporthistorical.org/events or call 631-757-9859. Proceeds from the tour support the society’s mission to preserve and promote the history of Northport and its surrounding communities.

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Front row, Gerson and Judith Leiber; back row, Art League of LI Executive Director Charlee Miller and Art League Board Chair Debbie Wells. Photo by Joseph Peragallo

Long Island’s iconic Judith and Gerson Leiber were honored for their contribution as art and fashion pioneers, spanning a career of more than 70 years, at a special reception at the Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills on Oct. 15. The event, which featured a talk by Ann Fristoe Stewart, collections manager of the Leiber Museum, coincided with the Art League’s September/October exhibit, Passion for Fashion: Of Purses & Paintings — The Gerson and Judith Leiber Collection.

Judith Leiber is known throughout the world for her innovative handbags and minaudières. Mamie Eisenhower was the first in a long line of First Ladies to carry a Judith Leiber purse, among many other celebrities and non-celebrities who are fans of her designs. Gerson Leiber, when not running the business end of the eponymous company with his wife, created modernist-style paintings, sketches and lithographs that have been shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian, among other high-profile museums and galleries. The Leibers have housed a collection of their work in their own museum built on their property in East Hampton.

At the reception, Stewart gave a thoroughly engaging talk on the story behind the couple, going back to Judith Leiber’s origins as a Jewish girl in Budapest surviving the Holocaust, meeting the young American soldier who would become her husband, leaving Europe and setting down roots in New York, recounting the hard work and dedication that led to their success in the world of art and fashion.

The Art League of Long Island thanks Bridgehampton National Bank, Harlan & Olivia Fisher and Artful Circle for sponsorship. Special thanks to the Long Island Museum for sharing their research, graphic materials, and generous assistance which formed the basis of this exhibition. Champagne for the reception generously donated by Wine Doc of Elwood.

The Art League of Long Island is located at 107 East Deer Park Road in Dix Hills. The gallery is open to the public, free of charge, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.artleagueli.org or call 631-462-5400.

From left, BNL Staff Scientist Lihua Zhang, former postdoctoral researcher Vitor Manfrinato and BNL Senior Scientist Aaron Stein. Photo courtesy of BNL

By Daniel Dunaief

It took a village to build this particular village or, more precisely, a pattern so small it could fit thousands of times over on the head of a pin.

Working at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials, a team of researchers wanted to exceed the boundaries of creating small patterns with finely honed features. The group included Aaron Stein, a senior scientist at CFN, Charles Black, the head of CFN, Vitor Manfrinato, a former postdoctoral researcher at BNL and several other key members of the BNL team. The team added a pattern generator that allowed them to control a microscope to create a pattern that set a record for drawing at the 1-nanometer scale.

Just for reference, the width of a human hair is about 80,000 to 100,000 nanometers. The size of the pattern is a breakthrough as standard tools and processes generally produce patterns on a scale of 10 nanometers. “We were able to push that by a factor of five or 10 below,” Stein said. “When you get to those small size scales, that’s pretty significant.”

In this case, the novelty that enabled this resolution originated with the idea of employing the scanning transmission electron microscope, which isn’t typically used for patterning to create these images. The scanning transmission electron microscope has an extraordinarily high resolution, while the pattern generator allowed them to control the patterns they drew and other aspects of the exposure.

Researchers at CFN are focusing on this spectacularly small world to manipulate properties such as chemical reactivity, electrical conductivity and light interactions. “This new development is exciting because it will allow other researchers to create nanomaterials at previously impossible size scales,” Kevin Yager, a group leader at CFN explained in an email. “There are numerous predictions about how materials should behave differently at a size scale at 1 to 3 nanometers. With this patterning capability, we can finally test some of those hypotheses,” he said.

Stein and the research team were able to create this pattern on a simple polymer, polymethyl methacrylate, or PMMA for short. “It’s surprising to us that you don’t need fancy materials to create these kinds of features,” said Stein. “PMMA is a common polymer. It’s Plexiglas. It’s kind of exciting to do something that is beyond what people have done” up until now.

One of the many possible next steps, now that the researchers have developed this proof of principle, is to apply this technique to a substance that might have commercial use. Taking the same approach with silicon, for example, could lead to innovations in electronics. “We can make them with a high clarity of patterns and sharp corners, which we can’t do with other techniques,” Stein said.

The BNL research team would “like to apply this to real world research,” which could include electronics and transistors, as well as photonics and plasmonics, he added. This project arose out of a doctoral thesis that Manfrinato was conducting. He is one of the many scientists who came to BNL, which isa Department of Energy funded user facility that provides tools to conduct research for scientists from around the world.

Manfrinato was a doctoral student in Professor Karl Berggren’s group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In an email, Manfrinato explained that he was interested in pushing the resolution limits of e-beam lithography. “BNL has state of the art facilities and expert staff, so our collaboration was a great fit, starting in 2011,” he explained.

Other scientists thought it was worthwhile to continue to pursue this effort, encouraging him to “come here and work on this. It’s a home grown project,” Stein said. Manfrinato worked on his doctorate from 2011 to 2015, at which point he became a postdoctoral researcher at BNL. His efforts involved several groups, all within the Center for Functional Nanomaterials at BNL. Stein, Manfrinato and Black worked on the lithography part of the project, while Lihua Zhang and Eric Stach developed the microscopy. Yager helped the team to understand the processes by which they could pattern PMMA at such small scale lengths.

“No one or two of us could have made this happen,” Stein said. “That’s really the joy of working in a place like this: There are [so many] permutations for collaborating.” Indeed, the other scientists involved in this study were Yager; Zhang, a staff scientist in electron microscopy; Stach, the electron microscopy group leader at CFN; and Chang-Yong Nam, who assisted with the pattern transfer.

Manfrinato, who is now a research and development engineer at a startup company in the San Francisco Bay area, explained that this lithographic technique has numerous possible applications. Other researchers could create prototypes of their devices at a level below the 10-nanometer scale at CFN. Manfrinato interacts with the BNL team a few times a month and he has “exciting results to be further analyzed, explored and published,” he wrote in an email.

Stein said BNL would like to offer this patterning device for other users who come to BNL. Ultimately, researchers use materials at this scale to find properties that may vary when the materials are larger. Sometimes, the properties such as color, chemical reactivity, electrical conductivity and light interactions change enough to create opportunities for new products, innovations or more efficient designs.

A resident of Huntington, Stein and his wife Sasha Abraham, who works in the planning department for the Town of Huntington, have a 15-year-old daughter Lily and a 13-year-old son Henry.

As for his work, Stein said he’s interested in continuing to push the limits of understanding various properties of nanomaterials. “My career has been using the e-beam lithography to make all sorts of structures,” he said. “We’re in a regime where people have not been there before. Finding the bottom is very interesting. Figuring out the limits of this technique is, in and of itself” an incredible opportunity.

The winners of Ward Melville Heritage Organization’s annual Scarecrow Competition were announced at its 27th annual Halloween Festival on Oct. 31. Over 30 scarecrows were displayed throughout the Stony Brook Village Center during the month of October as visitors voted for their favorites.

Congratulations to the following winners:

Category A – Previous 1st Prize Winners & Professionals

1st place – “Mirror Mirror” by Barbara DeStefano GS Troop 405

2nd place – “The Courageous Lady in Pink” by Linda Hubner

Category B – Adults/Families

1st place – “Cheshire Cat” by Natasha Bartley

2nd place – “Au Pair Annie & Kids” by Cindy Garruba

3rd place – “Old Mother Goose” by Emma S. Clark Memorial Library

Category C – Children (under 12)

1st place – “Poppy Troll” by Beth Siar of Brownie Troop 873

2nd place – “Pinkalicious” by Lauren McGowan of St. Patrick’s Daisy Troop 2165

3rd place – “Captain Underpants” by Beth Siar of GS Junior Troop 3083

Sponsors Suffolk Center for Speech and Myofunctional Therapy; Samuel R. Taube R.C.S.W.; Sharon Doyle, MS, RN, CS, NPP; J. Robert Quilty, PhD, P.C.; and the Roseland School of Dance helped to make the event possible.

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Above, CTeen Jr. teens from The Chai Center Noskin Hebrew School in Dix Hills show the emoji pillows they created
Above, children from the orphanage play with the pillows made for them.

On a recent Sunday evening, seventh-graders from CTeen Jr. (West Suffolk County Chapter) spent some time creating special emoji pillows. One week later they were in the hands of beautiful young children at the Mishpacha Orphanage in Odessa, Ukraine, which provides care to 80 boys and girls from birth to 18 years old. CTeen Jr. is part of The Chai Center Noskin Hebrew School in Dix Hills. The CTeen Jr. program helps young teens understand their Jewish identity and the role they play in their community and beyond, with a focus on humanitarian and social activities.

For more information, contact The Chai Center at 631-351-8672 or visit www.DixHillsHebrewSchool.com.

Photos courtesy of The Chai Center

Our backyard gardens hold many secrets ready to be uncovered.

By JoAnn Canino

I’m looking out into my garden and find it hard to believe it is November. My yard is still green and the oak trees haven’t yet turned. It is a mystery I can solve. Making observations will naturally lead to asking questions. And by asking questions we can discover the mysteries in the garden. “Come forth into the light of things, Let nature be your teacher,” advised William Wordsworth (“The Tables Turned”).

This month we change the clocks, fall back one hour, and become more aware of the shifting light. Long before this, Nature has been “clocking” the subtly shifting light. The daisy was originally named “day’s eye” as its flower opens its petals in the morning and closes them at dusk. The sunflower turns to follow the sun. Plants detect the direction of the sun’s rays throughout the day to get maximum light for growth.

Why do the leaves of some trees, shrubs and vines turn colorful in the fall? What triggers this event? And why do the leaves fall off? We want to be dazzled by the beauty of the countryside and plan day trips north to catch the fall colors. So why is my garden still very green? I go to my bookshelf to find some answers. Two of my favorite books, “The Practical Botanist” by Rick Imes (Simon & Schuster, 1990) and “The Random House Book of How Nature Works” by Steve Parker (1992) provide some of the answers.

The process that we look forward to every fall is nature’s response to environmental changes. “Bright sunshine stimulates the leaves to continue producing sugars rapidly, and the cool nights (40°F) trap the sugar in the leaves. Dry weather diminishes the intensity of fall colors because parched leaves produce less sugar.” [“The Practical Botanist”]

Environmental changes such as length of day, light intensity, temperature and rainfall trigger an instinctive response — deciduous trees, shrubs and vines form an extra cell layer as a protection against the coming cold of winter. The sugar trapped in the leaf is converted into red and orange carotene. Blue and purple pigments combine with the yellow xanthophylls and green chlorophyll producing the colorful display of fall leaves: crimson and vivid yellow of maples, gold of hickories and bronze, russet and cinnamon of oaks.

But why do the leaves fall off? The specialized cells are easily broken by plant enzymes. Wind and rain sever the connection and the leaf falls.

Keeping a garden journal is a way of interacting with your surroundings. Making observations, asking questions and taking detailed notes give you data to compare in each season. Start by recording the weather conditions, wind direction, daily temperature, season of the year, expected rainfall, time of day and the date you made these observations.

Make lists, for example, of the birds and animals that visit the garden. Many birds migrate, come to our island, stay a while and then leave. Which birds stay? Which are only here for a season? How do they find their way over land and oceans? Before we draw any conclusions, we should make some observations, ask some questions, formulate hypotheses.

Record your observations and musings as you walk through the garden. Include sketches, note details and questions. Later, transfer these notes to a logbook or binder. Arranged by month, you can compare your observations with those you made last year. Expand your notes with research from field guides, magazine articles and internet research. For example, in your index card file, note the common name of a plant, its scientific name and a description.

Don’t limit your explorations to the backyard. Take your notebook out into the field as you walk. Note different habitats, the location and time of day. Take photographs to enhance your observations.

Remember, your garden and the habitat you are exploring are part of a larger system. Look for patterns and make comparisons. Visit the same location at different time of the day. What changes? What phase of the moon is in play? Native Americans and early settlers used moon phases and cycles to keep track of the seasons. Unique names were given to each full moon. “The most well-known names of the full moon came from the Algonquin tribes who lived in New England and westward to Lake Superior” (www.MoonConnection.com).

September’s Harvest Moon allowed farmers to work late into the night to harvest their crops. Not always in September, the Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the autumn equinox, which sometimes falls in October. The Hunter’s Moon (October) heralds the hunting season when the deer are fat and ready for eating and fox and other animals are easily spotted in the fields that have been cleared at harvest time. November’s full moon, the Beaver Moon, is so named because it was time to set beaver traps.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac continues to be a wealth of information (www.farmersalmanac.com). Data on frosts and growing seasons, schedules for planting by the moon’s phase, along with weather facts and forecasts for the current year are readily available. Check to see how accurate its forecast was for last year.

How do we fit into this ecosystem? Plants and animals coordinate their biorhythms and behavior patterns with changes in the environment. How do we humans respond to these environmental changes? Don’t forget to note your own feelings and responses to the changing seasons as you keep your garden journal up to date. This month we celebrate the abundance and blessings of the season as we gather together to enjoy a very happy Thanksgiving.

Garden chores for November

• Clean up the debris and leaves, and put the beds to sleep for the winter.

• Top dress each bed with at least one inch of compost and mulch to prolong the life of perennials, roses and berry bushes.

• Clean garden equipment and store for the winter. Brush shovels and spades free of caked on dirt. Dry metal tools and wrap in a cloth or old towel before storing.

JoAnn Canino is an avid journal writer and gardener and a member of the Three Village Garden Club.

CURIOUS ORIOLE Stony Brook resident Jay Gao captured this image of a Baltimore oriole in his backyard garden over the summer using a Nikon D5500. This songbird has most likely already migrated to its wintering grounds, which include Florida, the Caribbean, Central America and the northern tip of South America.

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