An overnight storm: house-rattling winds and freezing snow melting to slush in the morning. Rain mixed with hail begins mid-morning and becomes torrential with very high winds until mid-afternoon. A late afternoon high of 47F as fog hugs the mountains.
The last remnants of snow linger in the shadows on the lower peaks, but the honey bees are out and busy. Bright sunshine, a high of 70F with a cooling breeze. The warmest day of spring so far.
A high of 33F and mostly gloomy and overcast with brief bursts of sunshine. Fast moving clouds brush over the peaks to dump a few inches of snow then swiftly move on.
At least six inches of overnight snow, soft and powdery, not like Monday’s snow which disappeared pretty quickly. A high of 34F with clouds that ripple and shimmer in the sunlight. A beautiful day despite the shoveling.
A high of 42F with a gloomy overcast morning turn into a far brighter afternoon with sun and plump clouds
A high of 51F and brilliantly sunny with snow lingering on the peaks.
A nor-easter all week: another whiteout. A high of 31F and relentless snow since Monday 12th. Shovel, shovel, shovel. Snow banks getting higher and higher. Icicles get longer and longer.
A high of 32F with fluffy snow continuing to accumulate, chest high in some areas. Snowshoes sink a foot into the drifts. Feet of snow turn a hemlock forest into a magical glade.
There’s so much content in Upstate Dispatch, literally thousands of posts and hundreds of photographs over three years of writing. The temptation for writers is to keep chugging along at a pace, churning out better work, but sometimes it’s a good idea to pause and reflect on the past, take a break, regroup, do some reading. Here are some links to past work in the Catskills Conversations series that we have just resurrected with a podcast featuring Mike Cioffi of the Phoenicia Diner.
Other past, popular Catskills Conversations:
Jeanette Bronée, wellness coach and author of Path for Life and Eat to Feel Full has been on my radio show a couple of times talking about mindfulness and new year’s resolutions.
Laura Silverman of Glutton for Life just last year started The Outside Institute.
A really lovely interview with Jeff Vincent, of Catskill Mountain Wild, a licensed guide company based in the Catskills.
Talented chef, Rob Handel, former chef of Heather Ridge Farm and now based at Fin Restaurant talks about his life in food.
Bill Birns, local write and historian.
Farmers Kristi and Steve Burnett based in Bovina.
A high of 40F with continual flurries of snow and overcast with a shimmering cloud.
A balmy high of 54F, sunny and warm, with soggy ground and deep, rushing rivers.
Overnight rain continues into morning. Heavily overcast with rippling cloud and light snow caps on the tips of mountains. More rain, and a high of 37F.
A high of 34F with crunchy snow underfoot and an afternoon snow storm that dumped several inches of powder. Yesterday laundry day. Today not so much.
A high of 27F, morning snow flurries petering out by lunchtime. Still bright despite moody cloud cover.
A high of 26F with thick layer of overnight snow balanced perfectly on every branch, nook and cranny. Another flurry of snow mid-morning but clear for the rest of the day.
A high of 32F seems remarkably warm, with the peaks enveloped in thick clouds of swirling snow. High winds.
A high of 24F, with bright sunshine and mostly clear skies.
A high of 39F, humid and overcast. A gloomy start to the month.
32F at 9am and clear with hazy cloud on the horizon. A high of 42F by the afternoon.
A high of 52F, snow and ice lingering on the high peaks.
A bitter high of 20F, face-deadening cold, but bright, almost cloudless sunshine for most of the day.
A high of 44F with bright sunshine through hazy cloud. Ice slowly melts.
15F at 9am with a snow flurry glittering in the sun. 21F by mid-afternoon and partially cloudy with a bitter wind.
A high of 19F, bright and cloudless with new snow on the peaks.
Bright sun poking through hazy cloud with a high of 20F and a continual flurry of glittering snow. Large puddles of mud with frozen crusts crack underfoot and trees creaking in the cold.
Overnight, gusty, house-creaking, tree-waving winds continue into morning, with rain melting the last of the snow, and bright despite being overcast. A lush landscape of brunette tones is revealed, and the landscape welcomes a drenching before the ice storm. A balmy 61F. T-shirt weather. Flood warning. The carbon sink (compost piles) gets a thorough soaking.
Today, December 21st, is Winter Solstice, officially the first day of winter. The northern hemisphere of the earth is pointed the farthest away from the sun and, tonight begins its slow return towards it until the June Solstice of 2018. The ancient tradition of Yuletide, one of the oldest winter celebrations in Europe began this morning and will end on January 1st, 2018. Last year, 2016, Hanukah, a festival of lights, coincided almost exactly with Yuletide, from December 20th to January 1st. Yuletide was a fire festival celebrated by the Northern Europeans. Pre-Zoroastrian Persians and ancient Romans celebrated something similar before the common era. The most enduring British tradition from Yuletide is the Yule Log, a small firestarter from a larger bonfire that was shared with many households by landowners in England. Evergreen trees were fashioned into wreaths and other decorations for the interior of the house for their refreshing smell. The Brits still make cakes fashioned into Yule logs and, of course, we still bring in pine trees, decorate them with lights, but now we call it Christmas. Happy Solstice!
A 45F high with a thick layer of morning frost and foggy for most of the day.
A high of 54F, windy with wispy cloud in otherwise clear skies and powdery snow in the shadows. Once succulent grass transforms into hay.
A high of 46F, windy with a mix of sun and clouds. Late night snow swirls on the peaks, sprinkling the thatched landscape with a temporary dusting of icing sugar.
A frosty morning with fog rolling over the mountains and hazy sunshine. A high of 44F, bright and breezy.
A high of 36F with a mix of sun and cloud. Chilly.
A high of 46F, cloudless skies, snow melting in the blazing sunshine.
Despite wearing a watch, and having several electronic gadgets that will automatically tell me the time, I have been doing things an hour earlier since the clocks went back at the weekend. How long has it been? Only 48 hours you say? Feels like forever. Having been a city dweller for most of my life, it feels like city living forces the time on you where as country life coerces you into succumbing to nature’s rhythms (and the weather). I’ve hardly left the house in the past few weeks, but that’s about to change. Meanwhile, here are some links to past Upstate Dispatch posts to some recipes and food reviews to keep you occupied until I get back out into the Catskills.
Beberts Chicken Tagine
Jeanette Bronée’s Roasted Carrots & Prunes
The Bull & Garland Pub in Hobart.
Supper Club at Heather Ridge Farm in Schoharie County.
Fish & Chips in the Catskills.
The best burger in the Catskills (at the time of writing).
Oh, and by the way:
We already knew that temperatures were ten degrees warmer than last year, making fall a little disappointing, but here’s Bloomberg’s official report.
Another blazing autumn day with a high of 80F, hazy sunshine and steady breeze.
A high of 75F and humid with clear skies and the odd fluffy cloud. Fall is remarkably muted with none of the glorious, fiery colors of last year. This year’s temperatures are about ten degrees higher, which could be the reason for the dull color.
71F by mid-morning, humid, with patches of morning fog and occasional turbulent breeze scattering the leaves. Surly. Update: 77F high with a strong, leaf-churning wind and more rain.
After an overnight frost dissolving into a misty morning, 70F by mid-afternoon and sunny.
After a foggy start, 60F by mid-afternoon and warm in the sun.
58F by 6.30am, balmy with clear skies and sunrise ushering in dappled cloud. 65F by mid-afternoon.
A high of 90F, blazing hot and humid.
A high of 84F with clear skies of hazy blue. Sunday scorcher.
Another balmy morning at 65F with the blazing sun chasing fog into the valleys. A high of 82F, hot in the sun with a cool breeze, like summer wants another chance.
A foggy start to the day, rising to 83F and scorching in the sun until the storm clouds sailed through with a mini-storm. Sunburn one minute; a thorough soaking the next. This year’s fall is more like a fade… a draining of color from vivid green to yellow. The forest floor is carpet of brown and yellow.
Another chilly misty morning warming up to 82F and sunny with a hazy cloud transforming into ominous, grey armada that issued early evening rain.
A high of 74F, warm in the hazy sunshine, but chilly in the shade. Wild leeks, the infamous “ramps”, issue their unique seeds, like tiny, opaque spheres of shimmering onyx.
A morning of warming sun smothered by clouds late afternoon with a 70F high. A chilly harvest.
A chilly high of 67F, with the sun straining to break through multifarious clouds, gusty winds and a lunchtime shower. August almost goes out with a whimper to the sound of a thousand wood stoves firing up, but the sun comes out at the last minute and turns the clouds into a milky glaze.
A chilly morning, with a high of 59F and overcast with afternoon rain. Summer’s got the blues.
After another overnight low of 45F, a high of 74F and sunny with wispy cloud. Hot in the sun; cool in the shade.
A 70F high and sunny with a distinct chill in the air. A little taster of Autumn.
72F and mostly sunny with billowing clouds. A warm breeze in the hemlocks.
81F by mid-afternoon and humid, with cloud sailing over the hazy mountains through a sky of swimming pool blue.
Another gorgeous misty morning, humid with wisps of cloud. 81F by mid-afternoon, mostly sunny and breezy with rippled cloud obscuring the solar eclipse.
80F by mid-afternoon with distant, sailing clouds. Blackberries ripening in the sun.