42F at 8am with heavy rain all morning, and rising to 52F by mid-afternoon.
42F at 9.30am, overcast, misty and raining for most of the day.
The Seager trail starts at the parking area at the end of Dry Brook Road, just past the covered bridge, in Arkville and it’s two miles of probably the most picturesque valley that I’ve ever hiked in the Catskills. New to both hiking and the countryside in general, I was introduced to the Seager Trail back in 2007. It was my maiden hike, if you like, and one of the most beautiful introductions I’ve ever experienced.
It’s an easy hike alongside a very wide brook with large stones of various shades of grey, with the faintest hints of pink and purple. A short distance from the parking area, the trail opens up into a wide open expanse that is a carpet of smooth rocks at a confluence of two waterways. Yesterday it was covered in a multitude of yellow coltsfoot and a magical sight to behold when emerging from the dark trail into the sunlight. A large downed tree has completely changed this part of the trail, having created a reasonably sized swimming hole that’s very attractive to furry, black Labradors. Further along, there’s a waterfall that fills a deep watering hole that’s about five to six feet deep, and bone-numbingly cold even in the summer, into which you can flop after a hot day’s worth of hiking.
Sculpture at the Maurice D. Hinchey Interpretive Center.
The Phoenicia Diner revamped its roast beef sandwich this year. They toasted the bread, added melted brie to the juicy grass-fed beef making this classic sandwich much more delicious. Moreover, it’s a reasonable size for a sandwich, not a gigantic doorstop that’s a whole day’s worth of calories and enough meat to clog your colon for weeks.
28F at 8.30am with crunchy layer of overnight snow and a mixture of enigmatic clouds. 43F by 1pm.
70F, cloudy and humid by noon. Heavy overnight rains, which ruined any chance of a Soltice bonfire, had considerably damped the ground. 80F by 3pm with rolling clouds.
Two pals couldn’t have picked a more idyllic evening to attend Table on Ten’s pizza night: an early evening drive through the balmy, bucolic mountains of Roxbury so astonishingly beautiful in the waning light that we had to stop a couple of times to get out of the car and drink in the atmosphere. (“What’s that? Sheep. Let’s stop. Hey Ewe!”) Hay, barns, lush undulating ridges, rail trails, stone walls and bridges over roaring creeks: a gasp of admiration at every turn. A quick jaunt past the restaurant into the hamlet of Bloomville, New York, revealed a picturesque rural scene of tractors, antiques and a white-sided two hundred year old church atop a meadow.
70F by noon, breezy and cloudy with hazy sunshine. Rain forecast for this afternoon.
When he finally dragged me out camping upstate for the first time, my husband tucked his socks into his trousers and his shirt into his Christmas tree pyjamas, because NOBODY wants Lyme disease. Consequently, I had never seen a tick on him before last week. It was a wood tick that I had not expected to be that large because local lore has it that they are everywhere and that the nymphs are about as visible as specks of dust.
75F by 10.30am and damp from overnight drizzle, with sunshine barely getting through the haze. Rolling gunmetal grey skies and humid by noon. Sunshine by mid-afternoon.
60F at 9.30am, overcast with cloud, mist over the mountains and drizzling. A gloomy morning. Update: not much of an improvement, rising to 65F by the afternoon.
62F, cloudy with a chilly breeze at 9am, rising to 74F by 3pm and partly cloudy.
When I lived in the city, I regret that I hardly ever took a lunch hour. I simply wanted blaze on through and get everything done. Now I realise that a two-hour break to focus on something completely different is as essential for the mind as water is for the body. Painting with watercolour is just difficult enough for me to get thoroughly absorbed in two hours and even if I don’t get it right, which is hardly ever, the accomplishment of having practiced is exhilarating in itself. I have one or maybe two watercolours that I’m exhibiting in our show this year. Plus, the weekly En Plein Air group takes me to various places and allows me to photograph some wildly gorgeous landscape. And goats. The anxious demands of work will always be there waiting for you until, in fact, you retire. Take a break.
70F by 9am, misty clouds moving quickly over the mountains and the wind gently shaking last night’s rain out of the trees. Humid, with gunmetal skies issuing threatening sprinkles by noon. Stormy weather forecast. Update: Rain late afternoon and into the evening.
65F at 7.30am. A gloomy start to the day with heavy overnight rain having continued into morning, but stopped at 8am. 75F and humid by 10.30am.
80F by noon with wispy clouds. A good day for a bit of antique hunting. Update: heavy rains after dusk.
Good news for Farm-to-Table in New York City. Lucky Dog in Hamden receives $40,000 in grant funding for its efforts. The link details some of the NYC restaurants that receive local produce. View the news release from the Delaware County Economic Development, a video by VeccVideography.
Farmers Almanac explains all those seed copters that are flying around this week.
Ever come to the country, been woken up by birdsong and wondered who was singing to you? Browse for birds by name and listen to their call from The Cornell Lab for Ornithology.
Travel the Milky Way on June 21st when Catskills Creameries open up their gates to the public.
The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown is due a visit.
Outdoor cinema in the Catskills looking for funding.
The old asparagus plant that was planted three years ago is now over six feet tall as is the rhubarb. Only a few spears were cut in its second year and this year we harvested over twenty spears. The point of letting the asparagus go wild in its third year is to allow the long stalks and buds to transfer nutrients to the roots which will improve yield for forthcoming years.
75F at 10.30am, warm and sunny with hazy clouds on the horizon. Last night’s rainfall still lingering in the shadows.
72F by 10am, cloudy, hazy and humid. A sultry morning. Update: a sultry afternoon at 82F by 3pm. Rainfall early evening.
73F at 9am and a hazy morning. Rain forecast for the coming days.
64F and mostly sunny by 10am. A beautiful day.
64F at cloudy at 9am. No tornado, but an onslaught of snails.
55F at 8am, raining, overcast and gloomy. Update: 77F by 4pm with low rumblings of thunder in the air. Rain late afternoon, with a tornado watch in effect for the Catskills.
In season now, are wild strawberries. That’s a teaspoon, so they’re tiny, but delicious. Look for the serrated-edged leaves and if the grass is low, just run your hands over it and you’ll reveal the berries lying against the ground. Notice that the tiny ones have just as many seeds. Don’t worry if you tread a patch into the ground. You should leave some behind to proliferate in the same place next year.
72F by noon, breezy and sunny. The red and white clover bloomed this week.
60F at 10.30am, overcast and breezy, rising to 70F and partly cloudy by noon.
63F and cloudy at 9am rising to 75F by 1pm.
68F at 10am with hazy sunshine and damp grass. Last night’s unbelievable full moon yielded to a glorious day.
50F at 7.30am, damp and overcast with mist over the mountains, quickly rising to 68F by noon and hazy sunshine.
50F at 8am, gloomy, damp and chilly.
75F by 11am, cloudy and humid, with the landscape soaked by last night’s much-needed rain. And more rain again at 12.45pm.
Already 80F at 2400ft by 10am, breezy and humid. Thick, rolling clouds interspersed with periods of sunshine. Scorcher. Update: at 7pm heavy, continual rains throughout the night.
70F and sunny cloudless skies at 10am rising to 80F by 2pm.
64F and damp at 7am with last night’s thick, post-rain mist lingering in the valleys.
70F at 8am, humid and cloudy: a steamy morning. 80F with thunder and showers by 2pm: a sultry afternoon with too much cloud and not enough rain. Update: with a crack of lightning, torrential rain began at 3.30pm.
A very damp morning with dawn showers and 70F at 9am. The morning sun burned through the hazy cloud. More morning showers and 80F by 1pm, brightening up by 2.30pm with cloudy skies and breeze in the trees.
72F by 11am and breezy with bright sunshine burning through very hazy cloud cover. 85F and mostly cloudy by 3pm.
74F and warm in the sunshine. Hazy, wispy, cloud. Gorgeous Sunday for Memorial Day Weekend.
60F by midday. Clear skies and very warm in the sun. Yard sales abound on Memorial Day weekend. Update: last night’s frost, which saw temperatures in the twenties, killed off the tomatoes, potatoes and some asparagus. The broccoli is also looking very poorly.
63F by 10am. Warm in the sunshine and breezy by 10am.
I am told by my pal, Laura Silverman, that spruce tips are ready to go. They are the brilliant green shoots that unfold from growths at the ends of the spruce spindles in May. They are much a much brighter green than the needles on the spindle and stand out in stark contrast to the tree itself. Snip the green shoots off and eat raw; they are packed with chlorophyll and Vitamin C. The aroma of only one of these little shoots is sensational. Literally spruce up a living room, pocket, bag or underwear drawer. They freeze well, so you can get your Vitamin C in the winter too. You can make tea, use in soups and salads. You can also crush them and make a pesto like you can with the garlic mustard. Recipes will be forthcoming over the weekend.
Straight out of the ground and into the belly: a powerful organic, raw, vegan lunch and you don’t even need a plate much less a table. The tomatoes may have been endangered by last night’s frost, but the sheep sorrel which grows in the asparagus bed is a hardy little plant. Sheep sorrel is an edible weed that has the texture of spinach with the tasty tang of lemon, which makes it perfect for soups. It wilts quickly once picked, so it’s best just to eat it raw with some juicy asparagus. Sheep sorrel has an arrowhead leaf and grows in a rosette formation.
A gloomy and dismally overcast morning with light winds, still on 44F at 9am. Gusty and raining by noon. Update: still overcast by 3pm with briefest glimpses of sunshine.
The summer comes alive for artists when the En Plein Air group reconvenes for the season. Gracious homeowners kindly let our group gather every week in some of the most picturesque spots across the mountains and it’s difficult not to be stunned by the extraordinary beauty of the countryside. This year, May 7th was the group’s earliest meeting on record because of the extraordinary high temperatures for the day, but the landscape was still bare and it seemed like we were able to watch the leaves pop before our eyes. The sun had become so strong by noon on May 7th, however, that whomever didn’t have an umbrella had to move to the shade. Taking part of the day out to paint really clears the mind. To focus closely and solely on the landscape for a few hours is much-needed therapy after the long, arduous winter. All worries dissipate into the air with the drying watercolour and if the homeowner is home, we make a new friend. Today, we had a gorgeous view of the mountains.
60F and rain at 8am. Gloomy, misty, wet and relieved that the landscape is getting a thorough, much-appreciated drenching. Update: 70F, dry and sunny despite the cotton wool clouds by 2pm.
64F at 8am with hazy sunshine, rising to 82F by noon with clouds moving in. Update: gradually receding warmth followed by late night showers.
75F at 10.30, overcast but still rather bright, light winds and damp from overnight showers. 80F, scudding cotton wool clouds and hot in the sunshine by 1pm.
Much needed overnight rain ushered in a damp, overcast morning. 68F at 11am and humid with mist over the mountains. Update: 76F, overcast and humid at 4.30pm. Steady rain at 6.30pm dwindled to light showers by 8pm.
Jenny: How long have you lived in the Catskills?
Heather: I moved to the Catskills in 2007, so I’ve been here going on eight years.
Where did were you living before?
I was living in Dutchess County in Dover Plains and I had been there 17 years. I grew up in Nyack. I’ve actually never lived anywhere more urban than Nyack. It’s been a slow and steady march northward.
What started that slow march?
When I was in High School. I had a buddy who – and this is a crazy story – we both turned sixteen, got our driver’s licenses. She quit high school and moved all by herself as a sixteen year old to Woodstock.
36F at 6.30am, rising to 61F at 1pm with sunny skies. Too early to say if this morning’s frost ruined the blossoms. Burn ban extended to May 21st.