60F at 8am, overcast with streaky cloud cover. A crisp morning. Update: Rain just before noon and intermittently for the rest of the day.
Monthly Archives: June 2015
Daily Catskills: 06/29/15
55F at 8am, with waning drizzle and mist over the mountains.
Daily Catskills: 06/28/15
55F and raining at 11am.
Daily Catskills: 06/27/15
60F at 10am, overcast with chilly air. 56F, with rain beginning at 1pm.
Be a Yogi…
The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz found on the notice board in a local yoga studio. Words to live by…
Daily Catskills: 06/26/15
63F at 8.30am, hazy sunshine and breezy, rising to 70F by noon with afternoon cloud cover rolling in.
Daily Catskills: 06/25/15
56F at 8am, clear blue skies. A crisp morning. 74F and rolling grey cloud cover by afternoon. Heavy rains late afternoon/evening.
Daily Catskills: 06/24/15
60F at 8.30am, partly sunny, cloudy and breezy, rising to 74F by noon.
Daily Catskills: 06/23/15
70F by 8.30am rising to 81F and cloudy by mid-afternoon. Periodical, dark thunder storms and brief showers.
More Tea in the Catskills: Pu-Erh
A new favourite tea to add to the list of delicious tea available here in the Catskills: Coffee Lover’s Tea from Tay Tea in Andes. It took me a long time to realize that I was not suited to coffee after adopting it as a breakfast beverage when I first moved to New York City in my twenties. Back in England, I had been raised in a tea family and the familiar refrain: “put the kettle on” still rings in my ears because English people drink tea continually all day. The kettle is always on and whoever gets up first, from couch or desk, must boil the next batch of water. The nice thing about tea is that it doesn’t make you suffer like coffee does. I’ve never ever said the words: I’ve drunk too much tea. It just doesn’t happen, whereas I’ve had fraught conversations and business meetings wherein I’m pretty sure the most anxious people in the room have drunk far too much coffee. I may have the odd cup of coffee when I need a jolt of energy, but for the most part, I’ve returned to my first love, tea. Preparing a pot of tea is a peacefully meditative ritual, and sharing a pot of tea is like breaking bread. At Tay Tea this past weekend, I interviewed owner Nini Ordoubadi, tried a range of tea and some stellar tea-infused biscuits, but came away feeling invigorated and refreshed. And I now know much more about tea.
Daily Catskills: 06/22/15
64F at 8am, partly cloudy but warm in the sun. Last night’s rain drying in the sunshine.
Outdoors: Equipment Bags
I went hiking and found myself. So every chance I get I like to climb a mountain with my laptop and do some work. I’m also a painter, photographer, writer, editor and often hike with a ridiculous amount of gear: easels, cameras, sketch pads, laptops, iPads, etc. I’m always stupidly overburdened. In fact, I go almost everywhere with my laptop. I’ve also mentioned that I’m aiming to complete the Catskills 35 in the next year and I’m totally unprepared.
For example, I was previously using this for day hikes:
Daily Catskills: 06/21/15 Summer Solstice
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.
Pizza Night at Table on Ten
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.
Daily Catskills: 06/20/15
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.
Daily Catskills: 06/19/15
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.
Jazz in the Catskills
I don’t know much about jazz, but I know where to find it. Tonight, Thursday June 18th, at Arts Upstairs in Phoenicia at 7.30pm, The John Esposito Jazz Piano Trio will be playing. Cover is $6.
Arts Upstairs, 60 Main Street, Phoenicia, New York 12464.
Daily Catskills: 06/18/15
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.
Daily Catskills: 06/17/15
62F, cloudy with a chilly breeze at 9am, rising to 74F by 3pm and partly cloudy.
En Plein Air: Scene-Stealing Goats
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.
Daily Catskills: 06/16/15
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.
Daily Catskills: 06/15/15
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.
Daily Catskills: 06/14/15
80F by noon with wispy clouds. A good day for a bit of antique hunting. Update: heavy rains after dusk.
Date Night: Peekamoose
After we closed on our mountain homestead (“sign here, here and here, here, here and here and sign here, here and here… initial here, here and here…”) we wondered aloud where we should go to celebrate and without a moment’s hesitation, our realtor swung away from her conversation with our lawyer to respond: Peekamoose. That was eight years ago and there really wasn’t anything like it then and there really isn’t anything like it now. When we first went to Peekamoose I wanted to just hand the keys back to the bank and move in. The country farmhouse atmosphere is so cozy and relaxing and the food is phenomenal, end of story. The chef’s freshly made doughnuts feel like they could fly away if you don’t hold them down with a generous dollop of whipped cream. I could go on, and I will.
Weekend Links: 06/13/15
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.
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.
Daily Catskills: 06/13/15
75F at 10.30am, warm and sunny with hazy clouds on the horizon. Last night’s rainfall still lingering in the shadows.
Daily Catskills: 06/12/15
72F by 10am, cloudy, hazy and humid. A sultry morning. Update: a sultry afternoon at 82F by 3pm. Rainfall early evening.
Daily Catskills: 06/11/15
73F at 9am and a hazy morning. Rain forecast for the coming days.
Daily Catskills: 06/10/15
64F and mostly sunny by 10am. A beautiful day.
Daily Catskills: 06/09/15
64F at cloudy at 9am. No tornado, but an onslaught of snails.
Daily Catskills: 06/08/15
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.
Farm to Belly: Wild Strawberries
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.
Daily Catskills: 06/07/15
72F by noon, breezy and sunny. The red and white clover bloomed this week.
Hiker’s Tea: Trekker’s Reprieve
Regular readers already know about my love of tea and my obsession with Earl in Paris from Organic Traveler’s Tea, which makes a delicious cold brew that I take on the road. Yes, I travel with the Traveler’s, which is an organic tea that’s blended and sold locally. Now that the weather’s good for hiking, I’ve found tea that’s perfect to take up a mountain: Trekker’s Reprieve. You can cold brew it or take bags up a mountain and make sun tea with it while you eat your lunch. It’s gunpowder green with orange peel, spearmint, cinnamon and blue vervain. Blue vervain is a native plant from the mint family that grows all over the American prairies, meadows and plains and allegedly revered as a herb of great healing powers by the ancient Greeks. According to the USDA, it’s used internally to treat depression, fevers, coughs, cramps, jaundice, and headaches. So it’s healing for the hiker, tasty and refreshing. The citrus element serves to repel insects although nothing will stop the flies from dive-bombing your eyeballs.
Daily Catskills: 06/06/15
60F at 10.30am, overcast and breezy, rising to 70F and partly cloudy by noon.
Daily Catskills: 06/05/15
63F and cloudy at 9am rising to 75F by 1pm.
Daily Catskills: 06/04/15
68F at 10am with hazy sunshine and damp grass. Last night’s unbelievable full moon yielded to a glorious day.
Daily Catskills: 06/03/15
50F at 7.30am, damp and overcast with mist over the mountains, quickly rising to 68F by noon and hazy sunshine.
Outdoors: Summer Gear
I’m a born and bred Londoner, a city girl with city friends who have visited my house and come hiking in ballet flats and a boob tube. In their purse on hikes, you will find cash, lipstick and mini-bottles of vodka because they were only going for a walk, after all. A couple of months ago, after a particularly enormous meal at Arkville Bread Breakfast, home of the Catskills’ best fish and chips, I decided to hike to Giant Ledge with only two hours of daylight left. Wearing snowboarding boots unsuitable for the icy crust all the way up to the Ledge at 1500 feet, I passed embarrassingly efficient hikers on their descent with crampons and sticks. Miraculously, I made it back. I think I get this from my father whom I once took hiking in his wing-tipped, leather shoes. He was fine.
Daily Catskills: 06/02/15
A brisk 50F at 9am. Foliage dripping and ground drenched with last night’s much-welcome rain. Update: no rain, but soggy and 55F for the rest the day.
Daily Catskills: 06/01/15
50F at 8am, gloomy, damp and chilly.