DISCLAIMER: Open-water swimming is inherently dangerous. Open-water swimmers risk drowning, hypothermia, hyperthermia, heart attacks, panic attacks, cramping, jelly fish stings, fish bites, boat or jet-ski collisions, collisions with floating or submerged objects (including other swimmers), and other calamities that can be injurious, disabling or fatal! The "West Neck Pod" is an informal association of open-water swimmers who swim "outside the lines" with no lifeguard protection, it has no formal membership, organizational structure or legal identity, and its participants, including the author of this blog, make no representations and assume no liability with respect to its group open-water swims. All swimmers who participate in West Neck Pod group open-water swims do so at their own risk. Be careful out there!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Soon Shall the Winter’s Foil Be Here"

Soon shall the winter’s foil be here;
Soon shall these icy ligatures unbind and melt—A little while,
And air, soil, wave, suffused shall be in softness, bloom and growth—a
thousand forms shall rise
From these dead clods and chills as from low burial graves.
Thine eyes, ears, all thy best attributes—all that takes cognizance of natural
Shall wake and fill. Thou shalt perceive the simple shows, the delicate
miracles of earth,
Dandelions, clover, the emerald grass, the early scents and flowers,
The arbutus under foot, the willow’s yellow-green, the blossoming plum and
With these the robin, lark and thrush, singing their songs—the flitting
For such the scenes the annual play brings on.  --Walt Whitman



Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day: Signs of Spring??

As yet another major winter storm bore down on the already snow-schnockered Northeast, Long Islanders anxiously awaited the February 2nd emergence of the local celebrity marmots from their winter burrows....Would "Malverne Mel" and "Holtsville Hal" see their shadows, meaning we must endure another six weeks of winter, or would their shadowless silhouettes mean we will have a mercifully early Spring?? (and -- for us open-water swimmers, a quicker return to open water swimming?)  Alas, Malverne Mel's appearance was cancelled due to the weather, but Holtsville Hal reportedly saw his shadow this morning, signalling six more weeks of winter  (and contradicting the predictions of "Staten Island Chuck" and their more famous relative, "Punxsutawney Phil" of Pennsylvania, for an early spring)...Of course, this ancient tradition of using groundhogs' shadows to predict the weather is deeply rooted in superstitition, and there are those who prefer to rely on more objective, scientific evidence that Spring is on its way....

Happy Groundhog Day!