18F at 11.30am with clear skies that dissolve to haze on the horizon. Bright and sunny. 22F at 1.30pm: the arctic torturer recedes north like a winter shadow at dawn.
Monthly Archives: February 2015
Daily Catskills: 02/27/15
14F at 9am, bright and sunny, rising to 18F by 2pm.
Daily Catskills: 02/26/15
12F at 8.30am and partly cloudy, rising to 16F by noon. The arctic deep freeze is granting a modicum of relief, like the torturer taking his coffee break.
Downstate Dispatch: Brooklyn Sunset
Downstate Dispatch: NYC
When cabin fever sets in, sometimes there’s nothing to do but jump in the car and drive to New York City. Book an evening or two with friends, feed sushi to your dog, drink with a million old friends in your favourite bar and exaggerate like a true New Yorker. Driving in the city sharpens the mind as much as a good 25-mile assault course and, once you’ve survived the hair-raising journey, you’ll only be in the city for a few hours when the opportunity for a robust debate will present itself. Quirky customs and foibles are brought vividly into focus when you don’t live here. Strangers receive smiles with downright fascination and will swerve graciously out of the way for your gorgeous dog, but not for you. In fact, NYC dog lovers will converse with your dog like an old, dear friend and completely ignore the human on the end of the leash. Stern police officers on the RFK Bridge will take your toll without returning your gaze and then, out of the blue, light up like a five-year-old and yell: “HEY PUPPY!” after spotting your dog in the back seat.
There’s such a lot to miss about city life: furniture on the street (covered in snow); street vendors selling old, pristine issues of Life Magazine for five dollars; Wholefoods; opening up a coffee shop 7am, for a large tea, croissant and dog biscuit; Strand Bookstore; exciting visits to Manhattan offices bringing back old memories; sushi; La Duree macarons; the sprawling Brooklyn Navy Yards; cyclists; roof farms; the dulcet, reassuring tones of NPR on the radio.
Daily Catskills: 2/25/15
12F with hazy sunshine at 8.30am.
Daily Catskills: 02/24/15
Horrible overnight lows of -17F, causing the rafters to issue the odd cracking sound or the occasional loud bang. -10F at 7am, quickly rising to 0F by 8am and 10F in the sun by 9.30am. Sunshine blazing through a white, gossamer haze and turning the haze to silky ribbons by noon.
Daily Catskills: 02/23/15
10F and gusty at 8am, with powder being blown all over the roads and a thick, white blanket of snow lain over the countryside. A mostly bright morning, with multifarious cloud cover rolling over in waves. Maple tapping should be in full swing. A bone-chilling, windy -2F by 6.30pm with temperatures predicted to plummet to -17F this evening.
Daily Catskills: 02/22/15
A balmy 30F at 10am with white light burning through the hazy cloud: a brief respite from the pipe cracking, tree splitting, shoulder hunching, crushing tyranny of the 2015 deep freeze. No wind. The arctic spectre seems to save its wind like a trump card for the coldest, darkest moments. Clear with brilliant sunshine and 34F by the afternoon.
Daily Catskills: 02/21/15
12F cloudy and snowing by midday. Heavy powdery snow and whiteout by mid-afternoon with freezing, blustery winds. Got wood?
Daily Catskills: 02/20/15
Overnight winds had fashioned the snow into intricate patterns. 2F at 9am and blustery. Sun breaking through the hazy cloud. Update: 10F at 1.30pm with periodic gusts of frigid wind.
Daily Catskills: 02/19/15
9F at 7am, lightly snowing and cloudy: knee deep snow. The snow had stopped by 10am, it became clearer over lunchtime until the sun broke through hazy cloud by 2pm. Trees creaked and cracked in the wind as it whipped up powdery tornados. Laundry day feels like its getting further and further away…
Daily Catskills: 02/18/15
The deep freeze continues: -6F at 8am with more snow predicted for the day. Brilliant sunshine rising to 23F by 3.30pm.
Daily Catskills: 02/17/15
0F at dawn, more bitterly freezing temperatures only rising to 16F at midday. Many exasperated New Englanders who are bearing the brunt of this week’s arctic chill, having been made prisoners by low hanging icicles.
Daily Catskills: 02/16/15
Overnight lows of -6F continued into morning “rising” to zero by 10am. Throughout the region, dawn lows were reported anywhere from -14F to -25F. Clear and sunny.
Daily Catskills: 02/15/15
6F by 9.30am with blustery winds and sunshine arriving by lunchtime. New England got the worst of the deep freeze allegedly. Update: rising to 7F by mid-afternoon, but feels like -23F. More cabin fever…
Daily Catskills: 02/14/15
7F at 9.30am, with yet more snow. Perfect snuggling weather.
Daily Catskills: 02/13/15
Cabin Fever! Overnight lows in the negative figures: -2F rising to 0F by morning. Some sunshine making up for the frigid temperatures. Only the brave, and dog owners, venture outside. Update to come.
How To Get Out Of A Rut
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, especially when one has enormous financial commitments. Moreover, if you have cabin fever, it will be compounding any feelings of stagnation as this fresh snowstorm moves in. Many of us are afraid to take a vacation or even lunch breaks. Some of us feel we can’t leave our jobs because of hefty student debt. It’s tempting to approach a certain age or milestone and resign with a sigh, thinking “this is it”.
It doesn’t have to be, however. Even the slightest actions or chance meetings can trigger profound alterations in your life.
Daily Catskills: 02/12/15
21F and cloudy with a chance of more snow. Another snowstorm on the way… as if that needed mentioning: more snow sweeps through the Catskills mid-morning. Update: light but steady snow fell into the afternoon.
Daily Catskills: 02/11/15
14F and bright with clouds rolling in mid- morning.
Daily Catskills: 02/10/15
A bright morning with more overnight snow and 30F at 10.30am.
First Person Dispatch: For The Love Of Dog
Years ago, a new country neighbor confided that whenever her husband went away on business she slept with a loaded shotgun by the bed, but I believe in accidents, sleepwalking and all the other disasters that Hollywood screenwriters can mustre. A shotgun only wakes you up after it has blown off your leg when you knocked it over reaching for a glass of water. A dog, however, wakes you up before something happens (or will ever happen).
Enter Alfie, my first dog, who barks when someone crosses the street a mile down the road, has a sense of smell so strong he can tell that the UPS guy will be here in an hour and follows me from room to room like a family member who’s afraid I’ll commit suicide. I only have to look out the window with a slight frown and he goes to the window and starts barking ferociously. Last night I gasped at a movie and he awoke with a start and issued a dead stare right in my eyes with one ear cocked until he was confident that all was well. He takes his position in the household as Head of Security as seriously as a Black Lab/Shepherd mix can. In Alfie is combined both the sheer comedy of a Black Labrador with the bossiness of a Shepherd. More important, as a first-time dog owner I don’t even see myself as the master of this dog; he’s not my dog, rather I’m his human. I can’t be alone in believing that the master should not be picking up faeces off the road and carrying it in a little bag. No, I am the servant for the next… ever.
Daily Catskills: 02/09/15
The overnight snowstorm continued into this morning: 20F at 9am. Update: the tortoise of snowstorms… it seemed inconsequential, light and slower than the hare, but steathily dumped a foot or two throughout the day, still sprinkling it like glitter at dusk.
Daily Catskills: 02/08/15
More overnight snow, a few inches of fresh powder, but a clement 32F at midday. Overcast and gloomy.
Daily Catskills: 02/07/15
Fresh overnight snow; 22F at 9am rising to 25F by the afternoon. More gloom.
Daily Catskills: 02/06/15
8F at 8.30am with an inch of fresh powder and still snowing into mid-morning. 18F by 3pm.
Catskill Park Awareness Day: February 10th
The Catskill Center, a non-profit organization formerly known as the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, has been an advocate for this area since its inception in 1969, instigated by Sherret Chase, Armand Erpf and Kingdon Gould Jr, to tackle preservation issues and “foster harmonious economic development” in the region.
In terms of conservation, this region has an advantage over neighbouring areas because it supplies New York City with its drinking water, which travels unfiltered to the city in huge underground tunnels. Should anything sully the NYC drinking water supply, a billion-dollar filtration system would have to be built, something that New York State is keen to avoid, so the waterways are protected by regulation. This regulation hampers development, a significant disadvantage to the local economy, so the proceeds from year-round tourism – 2.5 million tourists annually – are our biggest benefactor. The people of the Catskills sacrifice the growth of their economy so that New York City can drink pristine water.
Daily Catkills: 02/05/15
16F at 8.30am with a few inches of overnight snow. Granite sky with patches of blue made for a magical morning walk. Update: 12F, partially cloudy and much brighter in the afternoon with high winds.
Daily Catskills: 02/04/15
18F at 7.30am and lightly snowing with an inch or two of fresh powder. A clear but overcast afternoon.
Daily Catskills: 02/03/15
5F at 8am, with a flurry of fine, icy particles glistening in the rising sun like sinking glitter. Update: 20F and bright sunshine for the rest of the day.
Daily Catskills: 02/02/15
An overnight snowstorm dumped a foot of snow with two-feet drifts in some parts, burying cars, sheds and outdoor furniture. 18F at 9am with the snowstorm continuing unabated. Two feet of fluffy snow is catnip for the black lab.
Daily Catskills: 02/01/15
Overcast with early morning flurries and 20F at 8am. Mostly cloudy, brighter and clear by 1.30pm.