The Cool House: Long Island Sound
Showing posts with label Long Island Sound. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Long Island Sound. Show all posts

Saturday, September 03, 2011

After Irene

Hurricane Irene blew through bringing floods

and high winds.

The beach disappeared under a high tide

that washed the kayaks into the playground.

The storm had other consequences, not least the debris and getting dressed in the dark.

But we ended the day as we usually do, watching the sunset over the bay.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Diamond Eyes

Racing to get to the beach before the sunset last night I snapped the birds on the dock before I noticed the flash was on. What should have been a photo for the discard pile turned out to be a not only a good representation of the variety of gulls on Long Island Sound but an atmospheric, almost arsty shot of blinged-out beady-eyed birds in the dying light. Click to embiggen for the full effect.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Long Island Sound

Sailing at sunset, into the thunderstorm.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Big Pink Sun

Setting sun over Lloyd Harbor with Huntington Lighthouse in the foreground

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Night at the Beach

Wednesday evening: race round the bay. From Lloyd Harbor

to the Long Island Sound

to Eaton's Neck

and back to Huntington harbor

Friday, July 08, 2011

On the bay

Finally, the rain stopped

The sun came out-and so did the bunny

the sun set

and set again

and again.
Sunsets on the bay. It never gets old.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Appropriately, on Armistice Day November 11 2010 after days of pounding surf that made Long Island Sound look like the North Sea, the wind dropped and the water became calm again. I escaped from the chaos that was the final day of painting and out at West Neck Beach I took this shot of the sun reflected on the bay. Light against dark; perfect peace.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Tide's In

We were denied our morning beach walk twice this week for no reason other than poor planning on my part meant we arrived at high tide both days. But what a difference twenty four hours can make. Yesterday the wind was whipping up the waves and the gulls were buffeted up and down the water's edge.
Today it was so calm I could see two swans bobbing on the water as I approached the end of the road. Twenty gulls and terns of various species and sizes were perched along the shoreline and a couple of ducks waddled out for a dip; the dogs and I stood and watched as a grey heron flew over the sound from Lloyd's Harbor, circled and landed on a strip of sand amongst the other seabirds.
Of course today was also the day I forgot to take along my camera...

Monday, October 25, 2010

The perfect place for a rock garden...

would be here or here but

who would have the audacious landscape design chops to build it right at the bottom of the beach access steps?

It adds a sense of danger to our daily walks - especially in inclement weather. But the kicker? That would be

this. I have nothing further to add.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Big Blue Bay

Fall on Long Island's North Shore: The water is crystal clear and the sky as blue as the fencing that's been bobbing around the Bay for the past few weeks...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

From vermilion to a dozen shades of grey

A touch of bright orangey-red to brighten your day

while outside the Sound pounds the beach and the rain clouds glower

Monday, November 02, 2009

Rothko Inspired Beachscape

Halloween was eerily warm and spookily windy; a strong breeze out of the south whipped the water and kept the clouds scurrying across the bay and the natural division of sand, water and sky reminded me of Rothko's Color Field paintings. Enjoy!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Shooting for the Moon

I missed the sunset tonight, but I'm considering myself compensated.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Scarlet Seat

Around the middle of last week I got a call from the Awesome Designer to say she was on her way over with a couple of things she thought might fit in The Cool House. Full of eager anticipation I danced around in the driveway until she pulled in but nothing prepared me for the treasure she had stashed on the backseat of her car. Luckily The Guy was home to help because these two 1970s Steelcase chrome and wood armchairs probably each weigh more than she does. They are unbelievably solid and so comfortable that I've been sitting in one pretty much non-stop while Jefke the cat has taken over the other.

I've seen them before in black leather but the scarlet fabric seats and backs really add something special to the design and they fit in so well with the overall color scheme in the den that either the design gods were waiting for this moment to bestow a smack of style on the room or it demonstrates once again that you should always befriend a designer who has impeccable taste and knows how to persuade you to add another jolt of color to a room.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lurking Above

Alien life form? Back view of a Great Owl? Chewbacca headpiece? Monstrous apparition?
Alerted by a thwick, thwick noise, the sound of something dropping from the 40' pine tree, I looked up expecting to see a squirrel stripping pine cones and casting the debris to the ground. Instead I spied this huge (12"-18") nest. At first I thought it was a tree burl or that it might be a wasp or hornets' nest, but on closer inspection, with the aid of a zoom lens, I think it has more to do with Aves than Vespa.

But what kind of bird would build such an elaborate nest? I've spent as much free time as possible with the long lens trained on that small hole and I can proudly say I have identified the residents as birds: a pair of small, fast, brown birds. That's the best I can do. A humungous nest and two tiny brown birds. Maybe Jennifer can help? She correctly identified the giant moth from yesterday's post.
Birds, giant moths, spiders, flowers, a kitty and a week full of beachy posts - this seems to have become a blog on the flora and fauna of Long Island. Are we ever going to get back to the uniquely modern, I hear you cry. The answer is yes. Starting tomorrow, posts about the wonderful mid-century modern pieces that have been coming my way this week. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Big Brown Butterfly

Caught on the big blue spruce and brought to me by The Grey Knight (formerly known as The Guy) who thought I'd appreciate it and maybe like to share it with the interwebs - does this man know me at all? I don't like dead Lepidoptera any more than I like them live, so I had him place it on the patio table where I could photograph it from a safe distance (I would have preferred he left it in the tree and called me to shoot it there but apparently that wasn't an option).
I have no idea what the species is, whether it's a moth or a butterfly but it's big, brown and bound to be one of these. It's about 6" from wingtip to wingtip, so if it had flown near me I would have screamed like a girl yet I'm sad that something that was so pretty is now lifeless. Anyone out there have a clue to its common or scientific name? (Click to embiggen).

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Disorderly Webs

I've gotten used to the thick, white cobwebs that form lacy patterns under the windows on the exterior of The Cool House. They appear sometime in late July or early August and are a pretty gingerbread decoration for the rest of the summer. Then winter comes, they are gone and I forget all about them. I've never seen the spider responsible; the ones I usually see spin straightforward Charlotte's Web-type gossamer circles.
This morning I was shocked to find this spider INSIDE the house; it had a plume of white billowing behind it, a horizontal will-o'-the-wisp that I could clearly see. It reminded me of the vapor trail of an aircraft against a cloudless blue sky - except the pristine sky had been replaced by a slightly grubby baseboard.
Now, normally I would just pick this baby up and put it outside where it belongs but a cursory googling of spiders in New York has led me to believe that this might be a Brown Recluse Spider. They are known for building shelters from "disorderly threads" and being a tad poisonous. Let me quote from Wikipedia:
A minority of brown recluse spider bites form a necrotizing ulcer that destroys soft tissue and may take months to heal, leaving deep scars. The damaged tissue will become gangrenous and eventually slough away. The initial bite frequently cannot be felt and there may be no pain, but over time the wound may grow to as large as 25 cm (10 inches) in extreme cases. Bites usually become painful and itchy within 2 to 8 hours; pain and other local effects worsen 12 to 36 hours after the bite with the necrosis developing over the next few days.
Sounds delightful, doesn't it? So I'm respectfully keeping my distance until someone can assure me the spider is safe to handle... or until a knight arrives in a full suit of shining armour and disposes of it for me. Either. Or.

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's not the heat, it's the humidity

After a morning spent shuttling Sadie the Dog to the vet for what feels like the fifteenth time in the last month and an afternoon at my desk working, I threw myself into the warm pool and sat in the early evening heat to dry off. It was probably the most pleasant hour I've spent in the yard (weather-wise) all summer. After yesterday's oppressive humidity it felt comfortable: hot in a Southern California outdoor living way rather than Florida's sweaty tropical summer that Long Island usually emulates in August.
I thought it would be a great evening to take the camera, go for a walk and see what interesting shots fell my way. And I got maybe 20' from the front door when I noticed that the air was becoming thicker and the lens of the camera had completely steamed up.

This is the shot I took BEFORE I wiped the lens - same angle, same exposure - just taken through a damp curtain of humidity. I swear there must be a 30% difference in humidity from the back of the house to the front. The south-west house elevation is protected by a 45' cedar and the pool area is enclosed by maples and beeches, oaks and conifers, while the front of the property is open to the mid-day sun. This accounts for the difference in temperature and moisture content in the air. We notice this in winter when it will often rain on one side of the house and not on the other (torrential downpours excepted).
Today it fooled me again into thinking that maybe we could do without air-conditioning and open the windows wide. But only for an instant.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Lean On Me

Just a few terns and gulls snoozing on the jetty -a pretty good way to spend a Friday afternoon in summer

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Grooming Time

Cormorants, or shags as they are also called, and a random gull grooming themselves on the pontoon at the beach. The big brown seabird hogging the limelight front and centre is an immature shag.

In the middle of the day it's quiet down at the beach so the diving platform is where they like to hang and dry off their wings. It's hard to believe, looking at the number here, that DDT decimated the cormorant population in the 1960s. The recovery over the last thirty years has been so great that "management actions" (that's culling to the less euphemistically-inclined) have been championed. You can read more about that here. They are extremely poopy birds but they're graceful when skimming the water and fun to watch diving and catching fish in the Sound.