Tag Archives: I love NY
Daily Catskills: 01/24/18
Briefly back to the earth tones and flax colored landscape. Bitterly cold with an icy wind chasing grainy snow that swirls around on the ground and fills the air, glittering in the sun. An afternoon high of 28F.
Exploring Kaaterskill Falls: Winter Edition
The gloriously gorgeous Kaaterskill Falls, being one of the true wonders of the Catskills, is one of our most popular hiking spots for tourists: lush in the summer and, in winter, haunting the eye with its striking beauty. Because of its popularity, it’s noticeably the most well maintained area, with manmade steps, bridges, a viewing platform, rope handles and much more signage. Most of the signage this season is warning signage because Kaaterskill Falls is also the most dangerous place in the Catskills, statistically speaking. Deaths and injuries occur here every year, mostly because people hike to the top of the waterfall and slip over the edge. To prevent more accidents, a sturdy old-school, farm style fence has been installed at the top of the falls, in addition to plenty of warning signs saying: “danger!” Continue reading
Catskills Events: January
There are some first class events happening in the last few weeks of January, namely a Full Moon Ski/Snow Shoe, a fly fishing meeting at The Pines, an open house at the Catskills Interpretive Center and a farmer’s market. See you there.
Thursday January 25th – 6pm to 10pm – Anglers’ Night at The Pines
From 6pm to 10pm, join a “casual gathering of anglers and friends” at The Pines in Mount Tremper. 5327 Route 212, Mount Tremper, NY 12457.
Saturday January 27th – 11am to 3pm – Winter Open House at the Catskill Interpretive Center
Come out to the Catskill Interpretive Center to learn more about the great opportunities to get outside in the Catskills this winter. Meet outdoor adventure experts and browse information tables from local recreation organizations, enjoy indoor & outdoor activities for all ages from animal tracking to snow sculpture, and much more! Admission to this event is free. RSVPs are appreciated. Call 845-688-3369 or click here. 5096 Route 28, Mount Tremper, NY 12457.
Tuesday, January 30th 6pm to 8pm – Blue Moon Snow Frolic at the CIC
On the grounds of the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center in Mt. Tremper, Jonathan Mogelever will lead a moonlit cross country ski excursion on the 1.5 miles of trails. Jeff Senterman will snowshoe with those that prefer a wider base. A bonfire will burn for digit-warming, there will be telescopes available for moon-gazing and the supermoon will light the trails. The Catskill Interpretive Center will be open for hot chocolate and snacks. Cross country skiers from beginners to advanced are welcome to this 45 minute ski and/or snowshoe. Bring your own equipment and please dress warmly.
Daily Catskills: 01/12/18
Overnight, gusty, house-creaking, tree-waving winds continue into morning, with rain melting the last of the snow, and bright despite being overcast. A lush landscape of brunette tones is revealed, and the landscape welcomes a drenching before the ice storm. A balmy 61F. T-shirt weather. Flood warning. The carbon sink (compost piles) gets a thorough soaking.
Daily Catskills: 01/11/18
A high of 52F, gloomy all day with the occasional whip of wind and a chorus of tinkling as the snow drips from high places. An anonymous critter’s regular commute back and forth from a large cave into the hemlock stand melts slowly to reveal a trail of crushed ash leaves.
Daily Catskills: 12/14/17
20F by midday and still with cloud cover moving on by the afternoon exposing a vivid blue sky.
Daily Catskills: 12/12/17
A high of 35F, and overcast with shimmering cloud and continuous snowfall. A quick Urdhva mukha svanasana. Yoga on the go.
Daily Catskills: 12/11/17
A high of 31F and overcast with brief flashes of sun through the rippling clouds.
Daily Catskills: 12/4/17
A 45F high with a thick layer of morning frost and foggy for most of the day.
Daily Catskills: 11/30/17
A balmy 43F by mid-afternoon, bright and humid after frosty morning. The dried husks of summer’s blooms, crowned with snow, wave in the breeze on tall stalks like stakes marking the spot where spring once was.
Daily Catskills: 11/29/17
A high of 42F, with vivid blue ribbons of sky shining through thick streaks of cloud. A persistent breeze scatters the milkweed. Not much snow this month compared to previous years.
Daily Catskills: 11/22/17
A high of 39F, overcast and dull. Warmer temperatures to be found in pre-Thanksgiving drinks by a roaring fire in tasting room of local distillery.
Daily Catskills: 11/21/17
A high of 54F, windy with wispy cloud in otherwise clear skies and powdery snow in the shadows. Once succulent grass transforms into hay.
Daily Catskills: 11/20/17
A high of 33F and misty with light snow flurries all day.
Daily Catskills: 11/16/17
A high of 46F, windy with a mix of sun and clouds. Late night snow swirls on the peaks, sprinkling the thatched landscape with a temporary dusting of icing sugar.
Daily Catskills: 11/14/17
A high of 36F with a mix of sun and cloud. Chilly.
The Anatomy of a Bird Box
A base layer of dirt, then grass, then a thick wedge of insulation and finally, twigs topped off with a small, vacated wasp’s nest and a large insect exoskeleton, probably a caterpillar/butterfly. A once crowded bird box now getting repaired and cleaned out for new tenants.
Monday’s Radio Show: Local Government & Conservation
After this week’s election victories, Monday’s radio show will feature two prominent guests: Jeff Senterman and Julia Reischel. From 9am to 9.30am, we will hear from Jeff who is Executive Director of the Catskill Center. Many people ask me what the Catskill Center does and now here is your chance to find out if you didn’t know. From 9.30am to 10am, we’ll hear from Julia Reischel, a former local journalist and co-founder of the now-retired Watershed Post, who is now going into politics.
You can stream the show online on WIOX on Monday November 13that 9am. Let’s hope it’s warmer than today’s 22F.
Daily Catskills: 11/09/17
A frosty morning in the 20s and clear skies, rising to 43F by mid-afternoon, overcast and moody.
Daily Catskills: 11/07/17
38F by mid-afternoon and bitter with enough snow dropped at 4pm to transform the landscape to a winter wonderland.
Links: Food & Drink
Despite wearing a watch, and having several electronic gadgets that will automatically tell me the time, I have been doing things an hour earlier since the clocks went back at the weekend. How long has it been? Only 48 hours you say? Feels like forever. Having been a city dweller for most of my life, it feels like city living forces the time on you where as country life coerces you into succumbing to nature’s rhythms (and the weather). I’ve hardly left the house in the past few weeks, but that’s about to change. Meanwhile, here are some links to past Upstate Dispatch posts to some recipes and food reviews to keep you occupied until I get back out into the Catskills.
Beberts Chicken Tagine
Jeanette Bronée’s Roasted Carrots & Prunes
The Bull & Garland Pub in Hobart.
Supper Club at Heather Ridge Farm in Schoharie County.
Fish & Chips in the Catskills.
The best burger in the Catskills (at the time of writing).
Oh, and by the way:
We already knew that temperatures were ten degrees warmer than last year, making fall a little disappointing, but here’s Bloomberg’s official report.
Daily Catskills: 11/06/17
A high of 52F, humid with intermittent rain showers.
Daily Catskills: 11/03/17
A 55F high, humid and overcast with scattered showers. The landscape turns to thatch. Only the green of the fading grass remains.
Daily Catskills: 11/01/17
A high of 46F, windy and overcast with a shimmering sky and scattered showers. The grass begins to yellow.
Daily Catskills: 10/30/17
Last night’s rain storm turns dangerous with blustery winds downing trees, causing power failures and fast-moving rivers, ending abruptly by afternoon. A high of 50F and late afternoon sunshine. Update: snow reported on the peaks.
Daily Catskills: 10/28/17
A 65F high and sunny with scudding cloud and gusty. The last of the diehard shades hold fast amidst the brush: russets, ambers, umbers and burnt orange shades lingering like the ghost of summer.
Daily Catskills: 10/27/17
60F with a mix of sun and cloud and a cooling breeze.
Daily Catskills: 10/26/17
Cold suddenly, like this autumn-summer thing has finally expired. Goosebumps for the first time walking the dog, as we’re showered with burnt orange leaves and a sturdy breeze. Chilly at 52F.
John Burroughs Needs Our Help!
His woodshed is falling down…
The cost to rebuild Mr. Burroughs’ woodshed is $2000. John Burroughs’ Woodchuck Lodge thanks the O’Connor Foundation for a $1000 grant. Please help us match it.
Find the Woodchuck Lodge donation page here or contribute by mail to Woodchuck Lodge, Box 492, Roxbury, NY 12474
Help Mr. Burroughs rebuild. It’s the neighborly thing to do.
Daily Catskills: 10/25/17
65F by mid-afternoon. Humid with rippling cloud. Moody.
Daily Catskills: 10/24/17
An overnight rain storm blows into a humid, misty morning at 65F. Tree waving, leaf blowing and the last of the burnt orange brush covered in thick fog. 72F by mid-afternoon and calm with serene clouds. Autumn tells us it’s time to put the hammock away.
Daily Catskills: 10/23/17
Warm, windy and humid with a moody, overcast dusk and a dip in temperatures. The last of fall is brassy, with dull copper tones, dashes of burnt orange and sienna in the half-empty brush. Apples hang in abundance on bare trees like winter ornaments: a forgotten, wild harvest.
Innovation continues unabated here in the Catskills with the introduction of freeze-dried ice-cream. We’ve already recently heard about the new 100% electric vehicle designed and built here and now we have astronautical edibles. Continue reading
Daily Catskills: 10/20/17
A high of 67F and balmy with clear skies.
Daily Catskills: 10/12/17
A chilly morning, with the day’s high at 60F, breezy with hazy cloud.
Daily Catskills: 10/11/17
A high of 70F, humid and overcast with hazy, foggy cloud that brought late afternoon rain.
A Halloween Journey with Cara Cruickshank
“Security is mostly a superstition…Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” -Helen Keller
I first heard a little bit about the artistic director Cara Cruickshank recently through a fellow board member at Woodchuck Lodge. Every year she creates a magical, dusk wonderland in Big Indian called The Halloween Journey that seems quite hard to resist: “a community event for young, old and everyone in between”, now in its eighth season. This year’s event will take place on October 27th and 28th beginning at 5pm in Big Indian, NY.
Sounding rather like a cultural treasure hunt designed “to promote wonder instead of fear on Halloween”, the journey features legendary characters of Catskill history and folklore. Rip van Winkle, Sojourner Truth, Catskill poet John Burroughs, “fairies, animal spirits and other fanciful creatures come to life, sharing their respect for nature, inspiring wonderment and appreciation for the treasured Catskill region”.
As night falls, the patron is welcomed with a bonfire, live folk music, hot apple cider, homemade chili and seasonal treats before the adventure begins.
Tickets range in price from an Early Bird Special that’s $15, to a VIP package for $150 that includes a “private tour, after-party pass, secret treasures and treats”, to a Deluxe VIP Package that includes hotel packages and much more. You can buy a ‘Wizard Pass” for $15 or example, that will allow you to skip the queue to the event.
Halloween Journey this year is non-profit, in partnership with the Pine Hill Community Center, The Catskill Center, and 100 Thousand Poets for Change. We are sponsored by Woodstock Healing Arts, Catskill Native Nursery and Manhattan Youth.
Daily Catskills: 10/10/17
75F, humid, sunny with hazy cloud, lazy breeze, blazing fall colors.
The New Hiking Trail at Woodchuck Lodge
“A fawn is spotted, too, and ‘fawn-lily’ would be better than adder’s-tongue. Still better is the name ‘trout-lily,’ which has recently been proposed for this plant. It blooms along the trout streams, and its leaf is as mottled as a trout’s back’. – John Burroughs
I’m proud to serve on the Board of Trustees of John Burroughs’ Woodchuck Lodge in Roxbury, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the historic lodge, which was writer and naturalist John Burroughs’ last home. Burroughs was primarily an essayist, who wrote for the still-published Atlantic Monthly, born in 1837.
Country board meetings of our fabulously eclectic group are always a complete riot accompanied by homemade produce like goat’s milk cheese, cornbread and cake. We are an eccentric and creative bunch. It takes countless, volunteer man hours to maintain historic sites like this across the region and the Lodge is free to visit during the summer. Donations are welcome!
Please join us for what might be our final event of the season on October 29th: the unveiling of the first part of Woodchuck Lodge’s new Trout-Lily trail. This new trail is actually part of a partially restored footpath that was originally developed by Dr. John Lutz, great-grand nephew of John Burroughs and founder of Woodchuck Lodge, Inc.
The event entitled, A Celebration of Gratitude, will begin at 1pm at 1633 Burroughs Memorial Road, Roxbury, NY 12474. Children are welcome.
All are invited to take a stroll on the trail, say thanks to its builders, and enjoy local cider, doughnuts, and other refreshments.
Daily Catskills: 10/08/17
80F, very humid and overcast with forbidding cloud that dulls the vibrant, new oranges that accompany the reds. Sultry.
Daily Catskills: 10/07/17
77F by mid-afternoon, humid with rippled clouds and hazy sunshine. Oranges bloom amongst the reds.
Daily Catskills: 10/06/17
A cloudy, moody start, with a mix of sun and cloud throughout the afternoon. A high of 72F. Vivid reds bloom in the landscape.
Daily Catskills: 10/04/17
Clear skies and a 75F high. Warm in the sun, but cool in the shade. Humid and slightly steamy. Fall is slightly late out of the gate.
Daily Catskills: 10/03/17
A clear, frosty morning, rising to a high of 67F. Initial muted dashes of red amidst the yellowing. Fall has yet to show its true colors.
Daily Catskills: 10/02/17
After an overnight frost dissolving into a misty morning, 70F by mid-afternoon and sunny.
Daily Catskills: 10/01/17
After a foggy start, 60F by mid-afternoon and warm in the sun.
Saving Seeds: Sunflowers
Sunflowers are astonishingly beautiful and uplifting, towering over the farm like sentry guards radiating happiness, accumulating and distributing sunshine. They’re also packed with thousands of highly nutritious, edible seeds. Once they start to droop towards the ground, you may have to compete with the birds, chipmunks, and squirrels, who climb up them in search of the seeds and break the stems. When the blooms are resting on the ground, like they’re on some floral time-out, they seeds are fair game. You can either wrap the live heads in paper to stop animals from eating them, or you can cut the heads off completely even before they’re ready to harvest.
The seed is the white pellet underneath the yellow face of the bloom (pictured above). They develop a black strip as the flower dies, eventually turning a dusky, dark grey/black (pictured below). They are even delicious like this without any cooking, and packed full of raw nutrients like iron, calcium, vitamin B-6 and high in potassium and magnesium. Continue reading
Daily Catskills: 09/30/17
Dark, gloomy with hovering fog. A plunge into the chilly mid-fifties. Got wood?
Daily Catskills: 09/28/17
58F by 6.30am, balmy with clear skies and sunrise ushering in dappled cloud. 65F by mid-afternoon.
Daily Catskills: 09/26/17
A high of 85F with morning fog disappearing into the mountains. Sunny with scant cloud. The sunflowers express how we feel about summer ending.
Daily Catskills: 09/25/17
A high of 90F, blazing hot and humid.
Daily Catskills: 09/24/17
A high of 84F with clear skies of hazy blue. Sunday scorcher.
Heritage Apple Cake
If you need something to do with all the heritage apples that are falling all over the Catskills now, here’s a recipe passed on to me by Tamara Ehlin of the Forsyth BnB in Kingston. This recipe is gorgeous because a sugary, chewy crust forms on the top of the cake and gradually softens all the way down to its fruity bottom.This cake is as wild as our apples.
However you add the fruit, it still ends up at the base of the cake. I didn’t put enough apples in the little loaf pictured above because whenever you do this recipe it will feel like you’re putting too much fruit in. The batter barely covers the apples and you have to press the mixture down before you put it in the oven. I made a larger cake by doubling the ingredients and it came out perfectly with all the fruit sunk to the bottom.
This recipe is good for soft and stone fruit too.
1 cup AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp almond extract
2 cups sliced fruit (a mix of tart and sweet works best, like sour cherries, plums, peaches, blueberries, or peeled apple)
Soften the butter and whip it together with the sugar, vanilla, almond extract. Add the two eggs and beat them in. Mix the whole mixture well. Sift the flour and baking powder and add it into the butter/sugar mix gradually. Mix until you have a batter. The batter will be very stiff. Once you have a smooth batter, stir in the apples and mix well. Add to a greased loaf tin and bake on 350 for about 40 minutes. (Note that cooking time could be longer or shorter depending on the depth or shape of the pan. If the pan is a flatter cake pan, cooking time will be less.)
Daily Catskills: 09/21/17
An 80F high, humid and bright despite hazy clouds, with a faint breeze.