A nice video from last summer in Baiting Hollow.
My last 3 posts were already composed from my sickbed at Calypso, where I came down with the flu and also a mysterious GI illness involving some abdominal pain, diarrhea and most notably a complete loss of appetite. On tuesday april 14 we flew back to NY (a month earlier than planned), and early wednesday morning went to the Stony Brook University hospital, where they diagnosed me (based on blood work, Chest X ray and abdominal CT scan) with 3 problems: low sodium, pneumonia and diverticulitis. The latter is a fairly common disorders where pockets form in the colon wall which then become infected. They put me on an IV saline drip with 2 broad-spectrum aniibiotics. Of course I've not yet been out to Baiting Hollow but Claire will go today or tomorrow to set up feeders and inspect the property - the so-called "sanctuary".
When I used to be on Long Island in the early spring, before starting to spend the entire winter/ early spring in the Bahamas, the consistent first date on which I would see a hummer (always an adult male) was may 1. That's when I would put up my feeders. But there's no doubt that generally, due to global warming, all over the eastern US, hummer arrival dates have shifted earlier, by at least 2 weeks. Indeed, I received a report that april 11 a male hummingbird was seen in Islip Terrace, investigating a piece of red fabric pinned outside an apartment door. So although Lanny Chambers migration map (at hummingbirds.net) shows a first report this year for Long Island dated april 14, they were already on the island on april 11. Indeed, in the not too distant future I suspect we will see them here by the end of march!
Speaking of the future, I've been pondering the future of the Sanctuary. Quite apart from the hassle of the ongoing lawsuit (see below), setting up the garden in Baiting Hollow each year, and organizing the smooth flow of visitors involves quite a lot of work and time commitment, and my overall health is not improving, I'm seriously thinking of shutting up shop and selling this gorgeous property, freeing up substantial financial resources so Claire and I can enhance our lifestyle with more travel, good dining etc. ......... on the other hand being privileged to sit every summer evening on the deck in Baiting Hollow bug-free and watching the hummers flit amongst the flowers as the sun sets against the vast expanse of Long Island Sound from Old Field Point to Orient Point is unique and .... priceless.
On the topic of the lawsuit, maybe the 2 neighbors have a point that even an orderly regulated flow of a relatively small number of visitors to my place during august, over the long and narrow (though now well-paved Terry Farm Road), places an intolerable burden on my 2 neighbors. I would not have thought so but reasonable people can disagree on this sort of question. But if I ever get advice from anyone I respect (other than my 2 neighbors and their fancy lawyer) I would listen intently and incorporate that advice into my thinking.