Category Archives: Daily Catskills

Daily Catskills: 04/04/17

Torrential overnight rains continued into morning and throughout the day with a high of 50F. Mist hanging over a drenched, humid landscape: large puddles, rushing rivers, streams, gullies. New green shoots point upwards like the beaks of little hungry chicks.

© J.N. Urbanski 5pm

Upstate Dispatch in NYC

We’re proud to announce that a framed Daily Catskills print will be offered in a Silent Auction and Art Exhibition at The Emerson in Brooklyn this Saturday organized by Melissa Irwin. It’s a privilege to be able to use this medium to raise money for charity. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Planned Parenthood, a 100-year-old institution that provides reproductive health services and cancer screening for millions of people every year. It was “founded on the revolutionary idea that women should have the information and care they need to live strong, healthy lives and fulfill their dreams”.

Daily Catskills: 03/10/17

Gusty winds bringing isolated snow showers all night and into the morning, coating the landscape once again with fresh powder after a warm week. 25F by mid-afternoon with high winds and dappled grey sky. Dangerous wind chill warning for this evening.

© J.N. Urbanski 12.45pm

Daily Catskills: 02/03/17

A wide stretch of electric blue, after a week of low light and vibrant snow storms. Clouds sailing quickly along like they have warmer places to be. So many fresh tracks in the snow made it look like a Million Animal March. Perhaps there was an unofficial wildlife conference last night? 24F by mid-afternoon.

© J.N. Urbanski 9.40am

Daily Catskills: 01/24/17

34F by 2pm, overcast, gloomy, with mild overnight ice storm having left few inches of gravelly ice that were topped by six inches of afternoon snow on the peaks. Slushy, muddy valleys.

© J.N. Urbanski 2pm

The Ice Storm Cameth

© J.N. Urbanski

It’s not often that you step out the door and go sliding off your front deck like a drunken iceskater, knees bent, crouched like a snowboarder with no board, arms conducting an invisible orchestra. Last night was one of those times. The dog leapt through the open door ahead of me and comically slid around but quickly regained his grip. I went back inside, found some paper bags and laid them out in front of me one after the other as I shuffled along in the dark with my flashlight to the woodpile, then I remembered: my crampons. Hillsound send me some crampons to try a few years ago and I dug them out and put them over my rubber boots, because it was raining after all. I mean, icy rain, but still rain. Last night’s events were cancelled and every time the plough truck went by I watched carefully in case the truck careened off the mountain. Wind thrashed hail at the sides of the house and frosted the car.

Houses and sheds this morning were laced with long icy fingers that are now melting. They slide off the roof and clatter on the floor as the morning warms up. Cars are stuck fast in slick driveways. Every tiny blade of grass, every leaf, branch and needle was bathed in an icy mantle like the landscape is now a frozen museum under glass, curated by Mother Nature: a natural wonder, a gift to the photographer. This is Catskills life in winter. As Annie Proulx wrote in The Shipping News, “by January it had always been this cold”. You need your winter tools, like the miraculous crampons: bags of salt or sand; extra bottles of anti-freeze; rubber mats; huge shovels like ploughs; thick, sturdy gloves; a huge wood pile; lip balm.

The temperature’s not too bad this morning: a balmy 34F at 9am. No driving wind, no creaking forest, but a calm arctic landscape, mountains shrouded in fog like ghosts in the rising sun.

© J.N. Urbanski

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Daily Catskills: 01/06/17

18F at 10am with a dusting of crunchy overnight snow and a very brief, early morning theatrical sky that looked like a rippling New England stormy sea when I went to the local farmer for a gallon of milk, and cleared up by the time I got home.

© J.N. Urbanski 9am