Category Archives: Daily Catskills

Daily Catskills: 10/04/23

Another scorcher: a high of 86F with a virtually cloudless sky, save for the odd scattering of cotton balls in the distance. Fall and Summer collide to make a gorgeous day.

© Jenny Neal 3pm – Usage prohibited without consent

Daily Catskills: 09/21/23

A chilly sunrise with overnight frost whitening the flora, and steaming mist rising into a crystal clear sky. A crisp day, with a high of 69F and the landscape looking like it’s slowly being sanded down. This is the penultimate day of summer.

© Jenny Neal 7.30am – Usage prohibited without consent

Daily Catskills: 09/19/23

An overcast and gloomy morning clearing up mid-afternoon to late evening and a clear blue sunset. Chilly with some sprinkles and a high of 64F. Lows in the fifties.

© Jenny Neal 11am – Usage prohibited without consent

Daily Catskills: 09/17/23

A chill in the air, and warm in the sun but mostly overcast with a flat swathes of menacing cloud. Late afternoon rain and a high of 67F.

© Jenny Neal 1pm- Usage prohibited without consent

Daily Catskills: 09/13/23

Gloomy and rainy, with intermittent showers leaving a trail of thick mist in their wake. A high of 71F and humid. The goldenrod is enjoying this late summer.

© Jenny Neal 3.30pm – Usage prohibited without consent

Daily Catskills: 09/10/23

Muggy, still and overcast with low cloud and a high of 77F. Late afternoon drizzle gave way to some patches of blue. A barely discernible reddening of the landscape. The greens aren’t giving up yet.

© Jenny Neal 5pm – Usage prohibited without consent

Daily Catskills: 09/07/23

A steamy day. Hot and humid, with plump, fluffy cloud and a high of 89F. Mid-afternoon thunder and rain that took a pause for sunset and then continued with epic house-rattling thunder and lightning after dark. Some epic weather.

© Jenny Neal 6pm – Usage prohibited without consent

Daily Catskills: 09/04/23

Early morning sprinkles, but otherwise sunny despite big, chunky clouds like a rumpled duvet, and humid with a high of 83F. The last of the downed hay needs to be dried out before its baled because of the overnight rain.

© Jenny Neal 3pm – Usage prohibited without consent

Daily Catskills: 09/02/23

Day 3 of haying in the Dry Brook Valley, mostly clear and sunny, a high of 72F, with late afternoon cotton wool cloud and some post-sunset sprinkles. Jewel weed is thriving down by the river.

© Jenny Neal 9.30am – Usage prohibited without consent

Travels Like Wildfire

© Bob Gray 5pm – Usage prohibited without consent

No sooner did I stop posting Daily Catskills on 5/31/23, than along came a swirling dark cloud of wildfire smoke that choked the Catskills, and much of the North East of the US, in a thick, dirty shroud unlike we’ve seen before in this area in living memory.

Historically, June has always been a bit boring for pictures, but not this year. Ordinarily, by the month of June, the Catskills has filled in with its multifarious greens, and daily shots during the summer all seem the same, so I suspend the Daily Catskills genre until autumn when the real colors start to pop. But this year in June, one hundred burning wildfires in Canada traveled on prevailing winds – looking much like a tornado from satellite images – blowing a layer of orange, sooty, ashy smoke for two days from Monday night (June 5th) until Thursday morning (June 8th). The sky became shades of orange, blue and grey – and blazing red around our bloodshot eyes. Everybody looked like they’d been up all night partying, coughing like they’d just smoked 20 cigarettes.

Moreover, it all got a little unnervingly chilly under that massive cloud of wildfire like we were in a Cormac McCarthy novel, I wondered, should we get the cart and starting walking??

But it all blew over.

The moral of the story is that we are all connected. It’s never been more obvious that the struggles of our neighbors are also our concern. Huge fires that burn thousands of miles away send smoke signals around the world, heralding the alert of climate change.

© Bob Gray 5pm – Usage prohibited without consent

To compound the issue, we have had an unseasonably dry spring here in the Catskills and still have the big beige patches of crunchy brown grass to prove it. Hay season will bring roughly 60% of the yields of previous years in the Dry Brook Valley. The Catskills used to be a veritable rain forest, but not this spring. Our rivers are running low and the infamous Kaatskills waters are evaporating. Locally, we’ve received reports that springs are drying up, and that the water levels are at 50%.

We’ve had some rain in June thus far, but it’s been a mediocre mist at best. The first half of June has thus far been a drought.