Tag Archives: Summer

Catskills Sandwich: Goatie White’s

© J.N. Urbanski

© J.N. Urbanski

Fleischmanns’ Goatie White’s pork sandwich, on a light roll, made more moist and delicious by the addition of a generous helping of fried onions stuffed between the thinly-sliced pork and a thin layer of cheese. Not too heavy or greasy, it’s excellent pre-hike sustenance. A sandwich to love.

More Wildflowers

© J.N. Urbanski 7/2/15

© J.N. Urbanski 7/2/15

Some of the wild flowers I’ve seen fade so quickly that catching them in their prime requires daily survey. I don’t know what these flowers are, but they are blooming and wilting in abundance. Update: this is crown vetch which was introducted to the United States in the 1950s, primarily for soil erosion control, from the Meditteranean region. According to the USDA: “crown vetch is a useful but overused erosion control plant. Its spreading growth habit, and strong root system provide soil holding ability and ground cover. The dark green foliage and profuse flower have aesthetic value. It is a good plant for road bank stabilization in areas where rocky conditions predominate, but… in general, however, crownvetch dominates other plants and tends toward a monoculture”.

© J.N. Urbanski 7/2/15

© J.N. Urbanski 7/2/15

 

Catskills Art Event: Doodle with Ohiso

doodle_email

This Saturday Ohiso is curating a public art event called Doodle. It’s no secret that the arts are employed as therapy and the specific benefits of doodling have also been examined in media outlets like PBS, Wall Street Journal and Huffington Post . Doodling is therapeutic. I once worked with the executive assistant of a prominent British CEO who continually worked on an intricate doodle on a large piece of cardboard whenever she had to be on the phone and her masterpiece grew to enormous proportions. It was her lifeline in a very stressful environment and it was something I’ll never forget.

I asked Ellie Ohiso what inspired her to found a doodle event. She says “we took to the doodling notion because sometimes as you do more art-focused events, you realize that some who are not in the traditional art world see it to the exclusion of themselves. Art becomes this kind of intimidating notion. Doodling is for everyone. It’s universal, non-judgmental, free. You don’t need to know anything about art, or art history, or even to be good at it for it to be classified as a doodle”.

Evening Catskills: 07/04/15 Bees Bedding Down

The rain stopped at 2.30pm and the sun burned through the hazy cloud. As the golden raspberries have blossomed and begun to fruit, the bumble bees have moved in. As dusk quiets the Catskills, the bees bed down underneath the leaves and in the fruit, buzzing the bushes to sleep. We have about thirty or forty bumble bees now asleep in on the farm.

© J.N. Urbanski 7.20pm

© J.N. Urbanski 7.20pm

© J.N. Urbanski 7.15pm

© J.N. Urbanski 7.15pm

© J.N. Urbanski 7.30pm

© J.N. Urbanski 7.30pm

Farm Report 06/13/15

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.

© J.N. Urbanski 6/13/15 2pm

© J.N. Urbanski 6/13/15 2pm

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Girls’ Night: Drinks at Phoenicia Diner

© J.N. Urbanski

© J.N. Urbanski

If the most excellent Phoenicia Diner gets any hotter it will start sizzling such is the expanse of its popularity, having been featured everywhere recently in publications like Conde Nast Traveler, Vogue, Elle and my country’s Daily Mail and Telegraph. I told Mike Cioffi, the Diner’s owner, that he could put ten diners up and down Route 28 and they would still be full to bursting every weekend. I’m sad to say that I’m severely behind in my New Year’s Resolution of eating my way through the outstanding menu and am usually banging my head against the desk on Mondays when I look at my watch and realize it has closed until Thursday.

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Catskills Conversations: Jeff Vincent

Photo Courtesy of Jeff Vincent

Photo Courtesy of Jeff Vincent

Jeff Vincent is proprietor of the new mountain guide business Catskill Mountain Wild, in Catskill, New York.

JN: How long have you lived in the Catskills?

JV: I was born in the town of Catskill 28 years ago.

So you’re a born and bred mountain man. You never wanted to leave? Usually young people leave here by the thousand every year.

I have left a few times and I came back. I lived in Denver for a year or so. I was in San Diego for a little while, but I really, really love this area, now that I’ve grown up and got all of that out of my system. I through-hiked the Appalachian Trail last year, so that got me away for six months.

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Daily Catskills: The Edits

© J.N. Urbanski 5/18/15 12.30pm

© J.N. Urbanski 5/18/15 12.30pm

I’m eight months into my Daily Catskills project, in which I take one image a day and publish it on the day. There’s such an incredible abundance of life to record here though, that sometimes I spend all day deciding on one image. I take anywhere from one to 100 images a day on the days that I haven’t hired another photographer to do the job. A couple of weeks ago, I took 95 images of the same cherry tree stand at different angles and I didn’t like a single one of those images I took. I reluctantly published the image that I thought was the best, but changed my mind – and it – several times and eventually gave up and moved on. The whole process took four hours. Needless to say, I have thousands of unpublished images and there are plenty of vantage points in these mountains from which I’ve taken a picture many times, capturing snow, rain, mist and sun from the same location.

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En Plein Air

© J.N. Urbanski Noon 5/07/15

© J.N. Urbanski Noon 5/07/15

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.

© J.N. Urbanski Noon 5/19/15

© J.N. Urbanski Noon 5/19/15

Asparagus Update

On May 1st, we planted a long bed of twenty new asparagus and in less than ten days we already had a six-inch tall shoot from one of the mounds (bottom middle of the picture). All the other roots planted have shoots of about an inch. The image of the “tall poppy” below was taken yesterday morning.

© J.N. Urbanski 5/11/15

© J.N. Urbanski 5/11/15