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Retrospectives: Summer '09 (Mostly) Belonged to the Animals

The Times has delved into the mysteriously high number of animal-related incidents in the Hamptons this summer, wondering why those stories have outlived their human counterparts. True, it has been a fairly quiet season, something that the paper notes is welcome, but rare: 'The last time a whole summer went by without a major tabloid moment, Jackson Pollock was still slinging paint around'. What we've lacked in juicy news, we've made up for with the animal kingdom, and its increasingly humanistic ways.

The Times begins its discussion with the beaver that recently graced us with its presence. Why? Because this 'was the first beaver seen on Long Island in more than 100 years'. The young male most likely had to float across the Long Island Sound on a piece of driftwood to make it to Napeague, where it was discovered, mightily confused by our beaverless shores. Perseverance, in a nutshell. Next up, the whales, oh the whales! Humpback, fin and minke whales have been seen in large groups off Montauk for the first time in a decade. Whale-watching trips, popular in the '80s and '90s, are back! Finally, the poor leatherback turtles, who have had a rough go of it this year. Let us not forget the 800 pound giants that were both rescued and found dead on our shores last month. Elsewhere in the kingdom, bluefish attacked surfers in Sagaponack, 'armadas of dolphins' surrounded the island, and the State announced that there are so many wild turkeys (3,000+) in these parts that 'Suffolk County will hold its first sanctioned turkey hunting season in November'.

What does this all mean? Clearly, that the real estate market will rebound. The Times connects point A with point B by reminding us that 'biological persistence' will get us out of this downmarket alive. Houses will sell again, just as the beaver sailed across the sound to freedom. Or something like that. Either way, the most creative assessment of Summer 2009 in the Hamptons goes to you, Peter Applebome. Now let's go shoot some turkeys.
· Island News, For Once, Isn't Human [NYT]