Tag Archives: Horseshoe crabs

Roundup: Compo Beach Lots, Korean War Vets, Horseshoe Crabs …

For years, Compo Beach guests have been greeted by a gorgeous display of flowers and shrubs, at the main entrance directly opposite the Soundview lot.

Sometimes they’re greeted too by small signs saying “Lot Full.” They’re hard to read, and traffic backs up as drivers try to figure out what to do next.

This year, there should be less confusion. A large electronic sign at the entrance will announce how much space is available in the Soundview, main and daily ($$$) lots.

I’m sure people will still stop and ask the gate attendants all kinds of questions, and try to talk their way in despite seeing “0” availability.

At least they’ll have plenty of warning.

(Photo/Matt Murray)


Across America yesterday, the red-white-and-blue flew in honor of Flag Day.

At the Senior Center, meanwhile, flags — and an honor guard, and dignitaries — honored Westport’s Korean War veterans.

Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, state Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Thomas Saadi and 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker presided at the luncheon and ceremony.

Pete D’Amico described his experiences in that 1950s conflict. Alexander Boboc recalled a fallen comrade. Other veterans like Bill Vornkahl, Bob McCarthy and — in uniform — Tom Lowrie shared stories too.

The ranks of Korean War veterans are diminishing quickly. Yesterday’s recognition was truly important. (Hat tip: David Lowrie)

(From left):VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 3999 quartermaster Phil Delgado, Navy Lt. JG (ret.) Tom Lowrie. and fellow Westport resident Bob Tirrerno — local commissioner to the State Veterans Affairs office — look at a photo of Lowrie’s radar aviation squad.


Summer arrives Tuesday. But you can get a jump on it Saturday.

That’s the first of 2 “Summer Outdoor Shopping Days.” Main Street from the Post Road to Elm Street will be closed, for better strolling (and strollers). Brooks Corner will be closed too, for vendors. Church Lane is already closed, for the summer.

Merchants on upper Main Street and Elm Street will also participate.

Some stores will offer discounts. Others will highlight special merchandise.


Horseshoe crabs are very weird creatures. (I know: So are humans.)

Living on Long Island Sound, we’re used to them. But most of us don’t have much horseshoe crab knowledge (beyond “don’t step on them”).

This Sunday (June 19, 3 p.m., Sherwood Island State Park Nature Center), Friends of SP hosts a talk by Dr. Jennifer Mattei. The Sacred Heart University biology professor and director of Project Limulus (named for a horseshoe crab genus) will discuss why they’re important for the health of the Sound — and for your own good health.

The family-friendly session includes a walk on the beach, to look — very carefully — for spawning horseshoe crabs.

Dr. Jennifer Mattei and friends.


It’s college scholarship time.

And the Westport Woman’s Club is doing its part.

As it has for many decades, the organization recently gave grants to graduating Staples High School seniors.

This year’s total was $36,000. Recipients include Chloe Manna (Emily Duvoisin Scholarship), Tatiana Dragun (Lea Ruegg Scholarship), Juliette Savarino (Emily Fuller Scholarship), Sam Betit (Most Active Member Scholarship, in honor this year of Suzan Murphy), and Olivia Pace, George Kocadag and Malachi Evans (WWC Scholarships).

Funding for the grants comes in part from the Yankee Doodle Fair. The annual event runs tomorrow (Thursday) through Sunday, at the WWC Imperial Avenue grounds.

Attending the ceremony were Congressman Jim Himes, State Senator Will Haskell, State Representative Stephanie Thomas, 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, and Staples High School administrators and counselors.

Westport Woman’s Club scholarship winners, with government and school officials.


You never know what you’ll find on Cablevision Channel 78.

The educational access channel is the home for town meetings, board schedules — and videos produced in the Westport public schools.

Two of those earned honors in the Area 9 Cable Council contest, for their public service announcements. The prize: an “Eddy” (Ed Access Trophy).

Kings Highway placed first in the Elementary School category, for “Think Before You Print” (discouraging printing unnecessary copies of anything).

Kings Highway winners (from left): Kylie Dorfman, Presley Levin Samantha Frank, Adrienne Bihl, Alexander Sheefel, Grey Shugrue.

Staples took second place in the High School division, for “After.”

Staples winners (from left):Jane Weil, Ava Waldman, Jacob Baker. Not pictured: Cooper Tirola


To plan ahead: Here’s the Levitt Pavilion schedule for June:

  • June 19: Michael Franti & Spearhead (limited tickets remaining)
  • June 21: Comedy Night #1
  • June 22: Children’s Series launch (Josh Lovelace/Young Folk)
  • June 23: Isle of Klezbos
  • June 24: Isabella Mendes Bossa Nova Project
  • June 25: James Langton’s New York All-Star Big Band
  • June 26: Danny Jonokuchi & the Revisionists
  • June 28: Queer + Quiet: An Evening with  Treya Lam
  • June 29: Children’s Series (Falu)

Free tickets are available on the Levitt Pavilion website, and at the box office window 2 hours before show time.

A small portion of the Pops Concert crowd last Friday. (Photo/Dan Woog)


Live theater is back at the Westport Country Playhouse.

And so is their London Theater Tour.

In April, audiences returned to the historic local institution. In October, the WCP hosts a week-long, theater-filled trip.

Managing Director Michael Barker and Artistic Director Mark Lamos led similar trips in the past, with great success. This time, Lamos will pick 5 of the most exciting shows, plus non-theater activities. Past trips have included tea with a cast member, a discussion with a London theater critic, and backstage tours.

For more information (and to book a spot), click here.

The West End Theatre


UPDATE: The mistake below is on me. Molly Alger sent 3 photos; I misunderstood her. She knows the difference between raspberry and milkweed. I don’t. My apologies.

Molly Alger sends this photo and report, from the Baron’s South walking path:

“The raspberries are ready to bloom. They must be checked daily if you want to save any from the birds and deer.”

(Photo/Molly Alger)


And finally … as raspberries (above) and strawberries start to ripen:

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Happy Horseshoe Crab Day!

Today is Fathers Day. If you’re a father: enjoy! If you’re honoring a father: try to do it the other 364 days of the year too.

But fathers are not today’s only honorees. Today is also Happy International Horseshoe Crab Day!

So — whether you got your favorite horseshoe crab a gift or not — read on. Alert “06880” reader/Friends of Animals communications director Scott Smith writes:

I know today is International Horseshoe Crab Day because Friends of Animals’ latest campaign is a call for Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to ban the harvesting of horseshoe crabs in the state. (Click here for details.)

We heard quickly from State Representative Joe Gresko of Stratford, who 2 years ago got Connecticut to ban harvesting on his local beaches. He said he’d heard that DEEP is considering restrictions this season. They may be around the next high tide — June 24 — when horseshoe crabs are most active in spawning.

Horseshoe crabs at Compo Beach.

Friends of Animals will proceed with legislation to ban harvesting next season. I’m sure we’ll work with State Senator Will Haskell on that.

Connecticut Audubon is part of this effort, as migratory shorebirds rely on horseshoe crabs to fuel their journeys further north. We’ll also work with Jennifer Mattei, a Sacred Heart University professor who runs Project Limulus, which does an annual community-based counting and tagging project.

Perhaps there’s interest among “06880” readers in forming a Westport group to count horseshoe crabs. It seems like a fun way for families to engage. If so, click “Comments” below.

Personally, I try to swim at Compo Beach nearly every evening in summer. On Thursday I went to the rocky beach at the entrance to the marina. Few people swim there, which might explain why several sets of horseshoe crabs were doing their thing.

Other stretches were pockmarked with shallow holes made earlier by females. I saw several smaller males park themselves in the depressions for a minute, so it seems a lot of egg-laying is going on.

Otherwise, my sightings of horseshoe crabs this year elsewhere at Compo have been few and far between.

A closeup (Photos/Scott Smith)