45F at 11am with hazy sunshine. 46F at 3pm with a murky veil of hazy cloud casting an ethereal glow on the landscape.
Monthly Archives: October 2015
Daily Catskills: 10/30/15
Overnight rain had stopped by morning. 42F by 11am and overcast and blustery, rising to 45F and virtually clear skies by the afternoon.
Daily Catskills: 10/29/15
63F at 9am, humid and cloudy after continuous overnight rain that had started at 3pm yesterday. Gulleys running like waterfalls. More rain mid-morning, cloudy, windy and 58F by 1pm. Showers in the afternoon.
Catskills Conversations: Jack McShane
JN: What brought you to the Catskills?
JM: I guess a love of the forest and the outdoors. Nancy and I used to ski a lot up in Hunter and Windham, but we didn’t want to be in a ski-town, so we looked further afield. Plus, we figured that a lot of the open space here would be protected because it’s in the New York City watershed and won’t be highly developed which is what we were trying to avoid.
Where were you living before you lived in the Catskills?
We were down in Long Beach, Long Island.
I have friends there.
The reason I wound up in Long Beach first is because I was born in Brooklyn, but I was big into surfing and fishing and all that, so I found a little studio apartment in Long Beach overlooking the ocean. It was very expensive at $70 a month. [Laughs]
When was that?
A million years ago, but it was great. I was 21, or whatever, and all my buddies would be calling me and asking me if the surf was up. Plus, we would go fishing.
Daily Catskills: 10/28/15
43F at 8.30am with overnight rain continuing into morning and sodden trees waving in the gusty winds. 50F by 3pm, with misty cloud and strong winds blowing throughout the afternoon.
Catskills Culture: November Events
It’s been another spectacular fall with vivid, fiery reds and yellows transforming to their final phase: brilliantly rusted shades of amber, bronze, tan, copper and gold. Tourism is the Catskills’ most lucrative business and it’s a given that many friends and neighbors fall out of touch over the summer, engaged in the reception and entertainment of visitors from all over the world. For those not in that business, summer was a time to fix up the homestead: new boiler, woodstove, siding and perhaps a window or two. Summer is our busiest time, and quiet moments snatched in between interminable chores and work in the glorious warmth of the lush summer season, are few and far between.
But, winter is coming… Winter is coming and it’s a chance to gather with everyone and entertain each other. It might get so cold that it freezes the balls off a brass statue, but our entertainment is just warming up. Join us for some Catskills culture as we kick off November with a week of art, literary and eclectic musical events.
Some forthcoming cultural events in the Upstate Dispatch sphere next week are as follows:
The Spillian Scribblers:
It’s National Novel Writing Month in November and Upstate Dispatch is chronicling the life of the writer with guests on WIOX on alternate Mondays in November (2nd, 16th & 30th) at 9am. Furthermore, the Scribblers, a writers’ group that started last month after a myth-writing workshop run by Leigh Melander, will meet on Tuesday, November 3rd at Spillian in Fleischmanns. Convening In the majestic splendor of a historical Catskills landmark by a cozy fire, we read each other’s works aloud and offer comments over cake and booze. Spillian has a cash bar. If you are a writer and wish to join in, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daily Catskills: 10/26/15
35F at 9.30am, with a thin layer of frost and a chilly stillness. 53F by 2pm with hazy sunshine.
Daily Catskills: 10/26/15
36F at 8am with the rising sun bathing the landscape in an amber glow. Warm in the sun, rising to 50F by 2pm with cloudless skies.
Daily Catskills: 10/25/15
Yesterday’s late afternoon rain continued throughout the night and into the morning leaving the landscape sodden. 50F at 11.30am, cloudy and blustery.
Halloween in the Catskills
Halloween is a treasured time at the end of summer, a time where we all get together after having been out of touch for so long, after a hectic high season in the tourist industry that sustains the Catskills. Take a ride up Route 28 and join us for these events during the forthcoming week. The Upstate Dispatch Halloween weekend will include the following:
UPDATE: An earlier version of this post included Friday night drinks at the Phoenicia Diner Lounge, but the Lounge has closed for the season. This will make the long wait for Spring even more arduous. It’s a good thing that Mike Cioffi, owner of the Phoenica Diner is working on a new bar after buying property in Woodstock. Meanwhile, we are working on a list of great bars in the vicinity of the Lounge in a new post. Watch this space for a link to the list of places to drink on Friday night. Of course, there is also our beloved Peekamoose as detailed below. Friday night drinks at Peekamoose Tap Room are everyone’s favorite way to decompress after a hard week. The bar and restaurant is further up past Phoenicia by about ten minutes on Route 28 in the town of Big Indian.
Daily Catskills: 10/24/15
Still only 34F at 9am with serene, satine clouds over a burnished, golden landscape and blustery winds. 42F by 1pm, but pleasantly humid. Time to crank up the woodstove for the second time this month.
Daily Catskills: 10/23/15
A frosty 37F at 8.30am but mostly clear and warm in the rising sun. Update: 48F by 2pm and breezy, clear and sunny.
Daily Catskills: 10/22/15
56F at 8.30am, warm and cloudy with another enigmatic Catskill’s sunrise. Update: a balmy 67F by 2pm with a sprinkle of rain.
Daily Catskills: 10/21/15
52F at 8am, with breathtaking skies ribboned with marbled cloud. 65F at 1pm and humid. A sombre dulling of the northern Catskills’ peaks.
Daily Catskills: 10/20/15
45F at 8am and cloudy with the breeze swirling the leaves, rising to 64F by 2pm.
Daily Catskills: 10/19/15
20F at 7.30am with the landscape caked in frosty snow and chilly, rising to 43F by 1pm and sunny with clear skies. Warm in the sun.
Daily Catskills: 10/18/15
35F at noon with morning snow and blustery with fast-moving clouds and periods of sunshine. A bitterly chilly day. Update: 38F and snowing by 3pm.
Daily Catskills: 10/17/15
38F at 10.30am and a flurry of sleet. Windy with furious clouds and a dash of sun. Update: 50F by mid-afternoon and a bit nippy.
Daily Catskills: 10/16/15
50F by 10am, cloudy and overcast interspersed with both rain and sun showers. An enigmatic day. Update: the glorious sundown through the red carpeted forest had to be captured.
Daily Catskills: 10/15/15
43F by 8.30am and cloudy rising to 52F and mostly sunny by 1pm.
Catskills Conversations: Peg DiBenedetto
JN: How long have you lived in the Catskills?
PD: I was born in Margaretville, so I’m a lifelong resident except for five years that Michael and I – the year after I got married, I was very young – we moved to Texas. We lived there for five years so we could finish school for basically free. Then came back and started raising our family here in the Catskills. So we moved back to my Dad’s farm and he gave a piece of it to each sibling.
So my children grew up climbing on the same stone walls that I grew up climbing on and also my grandchildren are [doing that] as well. My brother and I used to bring the cows from the barn down the road up here to this field and then take them back again at the end of the day to be milked.
Daily Catskills: 10/14/15
48F by 8.30am and cloudy rising to 52F.
Daily Catskills: 10/13/15
68F at 9am with a thin streaks of cloud stretched taught across the sky, rising to 72F by noon. Cloud moved in mid-afternoon with some rain.
Catskills Conversations: Burr Hubbell
JN: How long have you lived in the Catskills?
BH: I was actually born here and then I moved away for college. I lived in New York City for a while and Boston for a while. I came back here and practiced law for a bit and then moved to the Finger Lakes area when our first child was born. I lived in Dutchess County for a while and came back about four years ago, right after Hurricane Irene.
So you like to travel?
No, I actually don’t like to travel, but my first wife was a navy brat and she did like to travel, so we did.
I was having a conversation with somebody else about that, about how young people are moving away and how we can keep young people in the region.
And that’s been an issue ever since I went to school here. I can remember the Rotary Club had about eight of us come down from my class in 1976 and asking us what would it take for [us] to come back here, but in being 18 years old, we didn’t really have an answer at the time.
Daily Catskills: 10/12/15
60F by 8.30am, with clear skies rising to 74F by 2pm. A gorgeous fall day for apple picking and pressing.
Daily Catskills: 10/11/15
Another gorgeous, breezy fall day: 62F, cloudless skies and very warm in the sun by noon.
Daily Catskills: 10/10/15
50F by mid-morning and sunny with wispy clouds, only rising to 54F by 2pm but warm in the sun. A glorious day.
Chasing Honey Farm: Preparing for Winter
Upstate Dispatch now has a YouTube Channel for all our video content. Please take a look around. We are in the midst of uploading video taken at the tops of all the Catskills mountains, doing farm tours and reporting on food and the arts in our region. Above is our 20-minute short of the day we spent with Chase Kruppo while he inspected his beehives and prepared them for winter. Chasing Honey Farm is a pesticide free apiary in Fleischmanns in its first year of business. He installed his bees in May of this year and after the summer, he harvested 147.625lbs pounds of raw honey comb plus 10lbs of liquid honey for his CSA members.
Daily Catskills: 10/09/15
58F at 9.30am, gloomy and overcast, with overnight rain having made the landscape soggy and wet and showers continuing into the morning. A day only enlivened by the multi-colored confetti been strewn around in the breeze.
The Catskill 35: Blackhead, Black Dome & Thomas Cole
Climbing Blackhead Mountain is like driving to New York City via the Tappanzee Bridge for the first time. By the time you’re more than halfway there it has become ridiculously difficult and you’re suddenly slightly afraid. You’ve got vertigo and you want to turn back, but you’re on a mission and survival is obligatory. The worst part about climbing Blackhead is the realization that, once you get to the top, if you want to be part of the Catskill 3500 Club, you have to return and repeat the experience in the winter. Four peaks are required hiking between December 21st and March 21st for entry into the club – Blackhead, Slide, Panther and Balsam – and Blackhead will require crampons, snowshoes and an ice pick – or all three. I already have a superb set of crampons from Hillsound, which I will be testing out on all four peaks.
Daily Catskills: 10/08/15
46F at 8.30am and humid with thick fog. Update: 72F by mid-afternoon and a brilliantly sunny and warm day. Fall just seems to be getting better.
Daily Catskills: 10/07/15
50F at 8am, gorgeous sunrise among the clouds, rising to 68F by mid-afternoon with hazy sunshines in parts, but otherwise clear skies. Another stunning fall day in the Catskills.
Daily Catskills: 10/06/15
52F and sunny at 8.30am rising to 66F by mid-afternoon. Graceful, wispy clouds floating through otherwise clear skies, as the breeze shakes the leaves out of the trees.
Daily Catskills: 10/05/15
A crisp 38F at 7.30am with thin strips of gossamer cloud, rising to 52F by 11.30am and 60F by mid-afternoon.
Daily Catskills: 10/04/15
55F by noon and cloudy, with periods of sunshine and gusty winds thrusting multi-coloured confetti out of the trees. Clear and sunny by the afternoon with occasional, passing clouds.
Daily Catskills: 10/03/15
40F by 11.30am, cold, blustery and raining only rising to the mid-forties by the afternoon.
Daily Catskills: 10/02/15
42F, chilly and overcast at 7.30am, rising to 47F by noon with gusty winds and brilliant fall foliage.
Daily Catskills: 10/01/15
42F at 8.10pm and gloomy with the air chilly and still. A cold snap for the beginning of the month, only rising to 52F by 1.30pm with an afternoon breeze gently dispersing vividly colorful leaves under a monochromatic sky.