Featured Story
02/02/18 4:30pm
CHARITY ROBEY PHOTO Animal Control Officer Beau Payne on the hunt recently, getting into position an hour before sundown, a time when deer are most active.

CHARITY ROBEY PHOTO Animal Control Officer Beau Payne on the hunt recently, getting into position an hour before sundown, a time when deer are most active.

On a frigid afternoon in January, harnessed to a tree stand 14 feet above a thick nest of bittersweet, and well into my second hour of deer-hunting, the parts of me in contact with the steel seat were very cold.

I was armed with nothing more lethal than a camera, but the hunter in the tree stand a few feet away had arrows, and he knew how to use them. (more…)

01/25/18 4:30pm
CHARITY ROBEY PHOTO When a wall of ice made Mabel’s usual route to the ferry impassible, she had to bushwhack.

CHARITY ROBEY PHOTO When a wall of ice made Mabel’s usual route to the ferry impassible, she had to bushwhack.

When I step out of the house with my three-year old hound for her afternoon constitutional, she makes a beeline for the North Ferry, a half-mile distant. What makes Mabel run?

Mabel’s impulse is the same as the one that creates a traffic jam at the arriving ferries in summer — to greet the other members of her pack. (more…)

Featured Story
01/19/18 4:30pm
CHARITY ROBEY PHOTO Seth Nathan at Isola in the Heights.

CHARITY ROBEY PHOTO Seth Nathan at Isola in the Heights.

Seth Nathan is the executive chef at Isola, a restaurant in the Heights. Halfway through his first winter on Shelter Island, he’s still — remarkably — smiling. For a guy born in Ojai, California, and raised in Malibu, staying warm and cheerful in a Northeastern winter is no minor accomplishment. (more…)

Featured Story
01/09/18 4:30pm
CHARITY ROBEY PHOTO Tom Damiani, Mashomack’s visitor center coordinator on December 30, when he counted birds as the sun set, and several inches of snow came down.

CHARITY ROBEY PHOTO Tom Damiani, Mashomack’s visitor center coordinator, on December 30, when he counted birds as the sun set, and several inches of snow came down.

In 1904, Roy Latham, a farmer and amateur naturalist, counted the birds he could see on his property in Orient from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on a 16-degree day with heavy snow in a strong Northeast wind.

It was the first Orient Christmas Bird Count. On December 30, in weather only slightly less daunting than what Latham endured, the Orient bird count took place again, as it has every year, an annual holiday tradition older than Santa Claus but requiring a similar outfit. (more…)

01/05/18 12:00pm
 CHARITY ROBEY PHOTO | A bubbling stew of tofu flavored with ground pork and miso, this version of the classic Szechuan dish mapo tofu has Japanese elements.


CHARITY ROBEY PHOTO | A bubbling stew of tofu flavored with ground pork and miso, this version of the classic Szechuan dish mapo tofu has Japanese elements.

I made some questionable food decisions in the final weeks of 2017, starting with the self-imposed clean-up of leftover Reese’s minis after Halloween and ending with the thick cup of bourbon-enhanced, homemade egg nog on Boxing Day. I’ve had a pretty good run, but for the first few weeks of 2018, I’m going to eat more tofu. (more…)