Tags Posts tagged with "Fall"


Take part in the annual Costumed Dog Parade on East Main Street on Oct. 21. File photo by Bob Savage

By Heidi Sutton

Looking for something fun to do with the family this weekend? Then head down to the Village of Port Jefferson as it transforms into the annual Oktober Harvest Fest on Oct. 21 and 22 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This year the event will be sponsored by the Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and the Port Jefferson Business Improvement District in cooperation with the Incorporated Village of Port Jefferson. The two-day festival will feature a pumpkin decorating contest, a cherry pie eating contest, a pumpkin harvest maze and patch (fee), a self-guided art walk, cornhole games, a scarecrow meet and greet, strolling musicians, a pirate scavenger hunt (fee), horse and wagon rides (fee), ten-foot Tall Walkers, a scarecrow walk, a harvest photo op and much more.

Barbara Ransome, Director of Operations at the Port Jefferson Chamber, is looking forward to seeing the fun unfold. 

“There will be events throughout the whole village so its very walkable, very accessible and very family friendly. You can park your car and choose from a large selection of activities,” she said.

Highlights this year include the annual Halloween costumed dog parade sponsored by Fetch Doggy Boutique along East Main Street on Saturday at 12:30 p.m., and a village-wide Chowder Crawl on Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. According to Ransome, in the case of torrential rain, the parade and Chowder Crawl will be pushed to Sunday.

This year many of the businesses in the village will host activities in front of or in their shops. Fall Fun kids crafts will be offered at Kilwins, a B&B Paranormal Investigations Tour sign up sheet will be at the Port Jeff Brewing Company (fee), and Oktober Fest Tastings will be offered at Port Jeff Liquor, Whiskey Barrel, Spycoast and Pindar for adults, just to name a few. For a full schedule of events, visit www.portjeffchamber.com.

Up next in the Village is the Santa Parade on Nov. 26, the Festival of Trees at the Port Jefferson Village Center from Dec. 1 to Jan. 2 and the 27th annual Charles Dickens Festival on Dec. 2 and 3. For more information, call 631-473-1414.

Tales, Trails and Treats, Sweetbriar Nature Center's Halloween celebration provided families with a day outdoors with hands-on activities.

Sweetbriar Nature Center, located at 62 Eckernkamp Avenue in  Smithtown, is hosting a variety of events to bring people closer to nature and animals. On Oct. 26, young children were invited for a spooky trick or treat trail complete with animal encounters. Friday night , Nov. 1, families with children ages 7 and up are invited to hike in the darkness to meet nocturnal animals and call in maybe an owl or two. Bring a flashlight. The event costs $10 with discounts available for Scouts. For more information, call 631-979-6344.

Photos by Media Origin



The smell of zeppoles and sound of laughter could be heard for miles. The Mount Sinai Heritage Trust hosted its annual Fall Into Fun Carnival this past weekend at Heritage Park, featuring rides, food and good times.

So much for well made plans. It was to be a milestone high school reunion this past weekend, a classmate was coming from Denver to stay with me, and we would attend the reunion together. I have known her since seventh grade, and for whatever reasons apparent only to middle school kids, we had nicknamed each other then “Salmon” and “Clambroth.” We giggled about that over our cellphones, temporarily traveling back in time 60 years, as we arranged the logistics for the coming event.

She had been one of the shortest girls in the class and I was one of the taller, so our classmates inevitably referred to us as “Mutt & Jeff” as we walked the halls. Would anyone besides us remember that? More than 50 women out of the original 225 in our all-girls school were coming into New York City or already there, and it promised to be a grand gathering.

My friend was already flying east Thursday morning when I climbed out of the shower and fell on my back in the bathroom. The pain was sharp and immediate. In an instant the much-anticipated weekend evaporated before my eyes. Never mind the weekend. I was going to be lucky if the bones on the left side of my body — my shoulder, elbow, forearm, ribs and hip — weren’t broken. None of the surfaces in the bathroom are forgiving, and I had cracked against the wall of the tub. The vision of walking into reunion was replaced by my coming home from the hospital in a body cast.

I realized I was screaming as I lay on the ceramic floor and had been for a number of seconds to no avail. There was no one else home. I screamed some more, just because I could, then began the miles-long crawl to my bedroom. For some unaccountable reason, I thought I would feel much better if I could get into my bed. Silly me, I couldn’t even stand. Nor could I stop shaking. I was able to pull the phone off the table, however, and I called a dear friend who fortunately was home and had rescued me before. Together we drove to the hospital.

That was only a 10-minute trip, but I felt every pebble and bump in the road. The hospital personnel were wonderful. They wheeled me into the emergency room, and after some inevitable paperwork but not much of a wait, I was helped onto a bed between two curtains and my date of birth corroborated several times with the paper bracelets on my wrist. An empathetic physician’s assistant greeted me and asked what had happened. Then came the X-rays.

Of course they were going to X-ray the places that hurt, and I tried not to scream during the many rearrangements of my body. The process seemed to go on forever although I had no idea of time, and then it was over. I joined my angelic friend between the two curtains and squirmed in bed, searching for a pain-free
position as we waited for the results.

The PA came with good news and bad news. My shoulder, elbow, arm and hip were badly bruised but not broken. In fact they were already turning colors of the rainbow amid the swelling. But my back, the area of greatest pain, had what seemed like a new compression fracture. I had endured that trauma before, and the PA couldn’t be sure it was a new or old injury. And there wasn’t much the PA could do except recommend a painkiller, preferably Tylenol, and send me home.

Imagine the reaction of my Denver friend when she completed the 2,000 mile trip to my house, only to find me laid out in my living room and still shaking. She did go the different events of reunion weekend, and through her descriptions and the texts and emails from those gathered, I was able vicariously to enjoy hearing what they talked about. I think before the next milestone reunion, I won’t shower.

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Halloween has always seemed like an opportunity to explore the creatively terrifying parts of our imagination. We put up ghosts, goblins, skeletons and spiderwebs around our houses; we dress our children as Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster and zombies; and we jump out from behind bushes, yelling “Boo” or “Happy Halloween.”

Maybe, instead of indulging the frightening side of life that seems present almost daily, we should take this opportunity to develop wouldn’t-it-be-nice costumes.

For starters, we could dress our kids, or ourselves if we’re in jobs that allow us to come to work in costume, as giant, dirty hands. When asked to explain ourselves, we could suggest that we’re helping hands, willing to get our hands dirty to help those in need anywhere. This includes Puerto Rico, where people are still without power and are seeking to meet basic needs such as food and water. It also could include a co-worker dealing with an illness or death in the family, or an injured neighbor who can’t get his recycling to the curb.

While we’re at it, we could dress as a door with a giant lever people could pull to knock. What are we? We could be opportunity. Every day presents an opportunity to become what we wish, whether that’s someone who can and will lose weight, or someone who sets an incredible example for our children and for other people’s children, or someone who no longer stays silent when he or she sees any type of injustice, whether that’s discrimination, harassment or bullying.

Maybe, we could send our kids out as giant ears. They could become the great listeners. We have so many aspiring great speakers who share every thought in their head, whether that’s online, in a tweet or on a TV show, scoffing, pontificating and second-guessing everyone and everything. What does a great listener do, besides absorbing the deluge of thoughts coming his or her way? That person imagines the ideas and motivation behind those words, considers the hurt or vulnerability that those ideas might convey, and thinks of ways to change negative thoughts and behavioral patterns into something positive and inspiring.

Extending the auditory idea, we could also send our kids out in togas with a bucket of fake ears. Why the togas? They could be Romans. Why the ears? Just ask Shakespeare, whose Mark Antony exhorts a crowd in Act III, scene ii of “Julius Caesar” with the opening line, “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.”

We could encourage children to listen and read one of the greatest and most often cited speeches from Shakespeare, helping them learn about the power of rhetoric and the passion of ideas. The older children might even suggest that they are a walking example of praeteritio, the literary technique Antony uses when he suggests he’s not going to discuss that which he shares in great detail, namely, the recently deceased Caesar’s contributions to Rome and its citizens.

For those who need something with a shriek component, we could create a costume in which someone dresses up in everyday clothing. An individual could hold a small cage or a tight box containing whatever horrifying image that person imagines in connection with a disease. He or she could suggest that the disease is contained and that this illness, which is locked in a box, is being taken for a walk. As a result, a horrifying disease is minimized and contained.

Finally, we could cover our kids in the kind of headlines we’d like to see, including “Peace breaks out all over the world,” “Children cure cancer,” “Bullying takes a day off,” “Endangered species recover from the brink of extinction” and “Leaders agree to work together.” What would we call such a costume? Fake news.

Thousands flocked to the annual Long Island Fall Festival, hosted by the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce and Town of Huntington, in Heckscher Park from Oct. 6 to 9. The event was lively Saturday as unseasonably warm weather brought attendees out to enjoy a variety of live performances, street vendors, carnival rides and games. Rainy weather thinned the crowd later in the weekend, but did not stop the festivities.

Cerise mum, second year.

By Kyrnan Harvey

This year the deer have left our chrysanthemums alone. So far. This is our third year in the Three Villages, and the assumption originally was that aromatic plants are passed over by the white-tailed browsers. Wishful thinking.


Old-fashioned Korean mums naturalized

Last year, the mums were left alone all summer, until the buds formed on the flower stems, which apparently are a delicacy for discerning deer in the know. This year, we sprayed deer repellent once on the cerise mum near the driveway entrance but none on the ‘Dark Bronze Daisy’ or the unnamed Home Depot orange mum. And who knew? These latter two are a square yard untouched and flowering beautifully for a month already and the cerise one is just now popping.

This morning, while pulling up unwanted goldenrod volunteers, I became reacquainted with a gorgeous white one, very tall and promising in bud now, that I had plucked last year from the florist shelves at the market.

As a garden designer favoring naturalistic plantings, I generally eschew the seasonal mum installations. But I do love the colors; who doesn’t? There are many varieties grown, often two apparently identical colors are actually merely similar colors, subtly different varieties. Usually you will find a small label with a cultivar name on it, like ‘Plumberry Purple’ or ‘Flamingo Pineapple’. Every year one or two colors at Home Depot or Stop&Shop or my myriad wholesale sources catches my fancy. I am often asked “Are they perennial?” “How do you know which ones will come back next year?”

Chrysanthemum ‘Sheffield Pink’

In years past I would answer that the “old-fashioned” single ones, formerly called Korean mums and rarely seen in garden centers, are reliably hardy and perennial. There is a charming single pale apricot must-have called ‘Sheffield Pink’ that is absolutely perennial and that flowers very late. But I am now convinced that the brilliantly colored doubles will naturalize too and need not be regarded as throwaways. I buy just one piece (as the nurserymen say) and find a suitable location for that color.

I cannot account for the gustatory vagaries or the culinary whimsies of our graceful quadripeds, but here is how to get “dem” mums to survive the winter and to increase in girth. Don’t plant them too late and don’t let them dry out.

Don’t buy a pot in September for your front door, neglect to water it three straight sunny 75 degree days, and then not plant it outside until Thanksgiving.

Typically chrysanthemums are root-bound in those green plastic pots. Root-bound means they dry out quickly and watering can’t penetrate the density of roots. The good independent garden centers have staff that know how and how often to water them to keep them from drying out — not so at the box stores. There is a point of no return, if left unwatered for too long. Haven’t we all seen inventories of mums fried and roasting at the edge of the parking lot, wilted to a crisp? It’s okay to decorate the porch for a couple weeks, but put saucers under them and if they’re in the sun err on the side of too much water.

Chrysanthemum ‘Dark Bronze Daisy’ third year

Another common pitfall is to assume that once it is planted and you have thoroughly drenched it, you are done. Not necessarily the case, never more so than the past few weeks when it has been unseasonably warm and it hasn’t rained. We did a large mum installation at a client’s temple for the holidays. No automatic irrigation, and we watered by hose two times a week for a couple weeks. Checked in after a long weekend and sure enough a few of the 70 were wilting. Even where there is automatic irrigation, hand water if there are no good soakings from mother nature.

When planting out your mums, they will want, like most daisies, a sunny spot if your intention is for them to perennialize. Also needed is good, loose soil that’s been dug free of tree roots and soil compaction. Water in well at planting and as necessary for a few weeks, so that they will root in to their new soil. This is the key; this is what determines whether they survive through to next year: Are they established in the garden well before the hard frosts of January? I usually leave the unsightly spent flowers uncut until March. My sense is that these provide insulation from winds to the basal foliage, visible even in a flowering plant, upon which the plants’ future depends.

Of course, you can still plant mums with no expectation that they will provide perennial pleasures. You still have to keep them watered, but you can cram them into crummy builders’ fill under oak trees — as we did at the temple — and do it again next year. But it is really delightful and gratifying to see drifts of sprays of that superb color year in, year out. They actually are carefree and drought tolerant once established. And if the deer one year take a fancy to that color? You’ll live, and next year you will enjoy the show more.

Kyrnan Harvey is a horticulturist and garden designer residing in East Setauket. For more information, visit www.boskygarden.com.

All photos by Kyrnan Harvey

The Huntington Historical Society hosted it’s annual Apple Festival at the Kissam House on Park Avenue in Huntington this past Sunday, Oct. 16. Residents enjoyed hayrides, scarecrow making, bobbing for apples, militia demonstrations and more.

Councilwoman Susan Berland first tried to limit leaf blowers two years ago. File photo

There was a strong desire for change blowing into town hall during a Huntington Town Board meeting on Jan. 12.

More than a dozen residents spoke out asking the board to reconsider a limit on gas-powered leaf blowers, citing the health problems the blowers can cause. But board members are divided about taking action.

“Lots of people have asthma in Huntington and gas leaf blowers make it worse,” Donald Payne, a Centerport resident said at the meeting. “The particles they release stay in the air for hours.”

Payne also brought up the fact that the town could be losing money by continuing to invest in gas-powered leaf blowers.

“When you pay someone to rake or sweep, most of that money stays on Long Island,” he said. “If you buy gasoline, most of that money leaves Long Island.”

Peter Calcandy, a Halesite resident, said he was concerned with the noise disturbance these blowers continue to have on the community.

“The daily noise from gas-powered leaf blowers that occur nine months out of the year seven days a week and up to 12 hours a day has eroded this wonderful lifestyle,” he said at the meeting.

Bonnie Sager, a Huntington resident, said that residents are not asking for a ban, but merely a restriction during June, July and August.

“There are no leaves in the summer and all gas leaf blowers do is create more emissions and unreasonable levels of noise,” she said at the meeting.

Sager said the town should make the switch to lithium battery blowers, which do not use gasoline, have batteries that can last several years, are recyclable and are much quieter.

She is part of Citizens Appeal for Leafblower Moderation, an organization that wants Heckscher State Park to be used as a model for a green zone, which is an area maintained with zero emission lawn-care equipment. CALM’s goal is to limit the use of commercial gas leaf blowers during the summertime and educate the public about the health hazards gas blowers have.

More than 700 residents have signed a petition asking the town’s board to limit the use of these blowers during the summer months, but this is not the first time this issue has come to the board.

In May 2014, Councilwoman Susan Berland (D) drafted legislation to limit the use of leaf blowers. However, there was not enough support from the board to pass the bill.

Supervisor Frank Petrone (D) said at the meeting last Tuesday that this idea was left open-ended in 2014 because he felt the board needed more information and added that the issue needed to be tackled gradually.

“One of the issues at the time was the fact that it must be, one, phased in or, two, there has to be an educational promotional program that will bring people to an understanding and, number three, there has to be an explanation of the various forms of technology,” he said. “Until then, it’s a project that’s very difficult to examine and implement without doing a full-fledged program.”

He said the town had success when they used an educational program for limiting grass clippings a few years back. The program included teaching residents about mowing fewer times a week and using a specific type of blade to reduce the impact of clippings. Petrone said it was highly successful.

“This is the direction we have to go with,” Petrone said. “We said we would be willing to examine a program and that offer still sits there from my point of view.”

He also said the program would have to focus on educating landscapers and giving them proper direction.

Berland said at the meeting that she is still “absolutely in favor of this,” and that her challenge is convincing the rest of the board to agree.

In a phone interview, she said she would be open to starting with just banning the blowers on Saturdays and Sundays and then working their way up to the entire summer.

Berland said she thinks enforcing this would not be too difficult, because if any resident sees a gas-powered leaf blower in use when it shouldn’t be, they need only take down the name of the landscaping truck or residence and report it to code enforcement.

Some of her fellow councilmembers disagree.

“I think it would be very difficult to enforce,” Councilman Mark Cuthbertson (D) said in a phone interview. “It could be a significant hardship on business. We would need to see if it’s even feasible for our workforce.”

Councilman Gene Cook (I) said he thinks banning the leaf blowers for the summer months would be too much of an abrupt change, but he is open to learning more about the alternatives and seeing if there is a possible way to enforce change.

“I think we would need a slower method to get people used to the idea,” he said in a phone interview.

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It was a howling good time at the Port Jefferson Harvest Festival on Sunday, Oct. 25. Dogs came out in their best costumes to celebrate Halloween a little early and there were woodcarving demonstrations and activities for kids.