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July 22, 2014
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The volume of the debate surrounding the death of up to a third of all honey bees in the United States during the winter, in a phenomena known as colony collapse disorder (CCD), was increased a notch this year as the results of a new Harvard study were released in May.

One thing I do around this time of year is check for monarch butterflies, usually by just walking down some nearby roads; there are a few milkweed plants growing off the side of the roads that...

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Few things captured my childhood imagination more than rocks. I spent hours searching the roadsides for quartz pebbles. I collected ripple marks and treasured the small, imperfect fossils I found...

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The folks at Hobby Lobby (which apparently is an evangelical ministry disguised as a craft store) took out a full-page ad in the papers recently, touting the notion that the United States was from...

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While these words strung together might seem esoteric, they are ringing in my ears as I review where I’ve been over the last few days. The reference is to a song from “HAIR” (the tribal love-rock...

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As I drove through Eldred on my way to the Forestburgh Playhouse, I wondered if I would remember how to get there. It’s a drive I have done close to a hundred times, but not in many years. In high...

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While walking at Shohola Recreation Area in Pike County, PA recently, I came upon an Eastern painted turtle crossing a dirt road. I bent down for a closer look and noticed that she was sporting a...

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Award-winning filmmaker screens film at PCHS

MILFORD, PA — On Sunday January 29, at 3 p.m., the Pike County Historical Society (PCHS), 608 Broad St., will present a look into the world of Leland Faulkner. Recipient of Kennedy Center accolades for directing “Shadowplay,” and multiple awards for his original films, Leland also consulted on the popular film “The Polar Express.” Faulkner will perform some of his illusions and show his Big Apple Award-winning short film, “The King O’ Cats” in the society’s Foundation Room.  Read more

Woodsongs Coffeehouse

HURLEYVILLE, NY — Carol Smith and the Little Sparrow band will be at the Woodsongs Coffeehouse at the Sullivan County Museum on Saturday, January 7 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Refreshments will be for sale. The Woodsongs Coffeehouse will be repeated on the first Saturday in February and March. There is a suggested donation of $5. Visit www.sullivancoutyhistory.org.

Institute offers year-long group meditation

HONESDALE, PA —Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, the spiritual leader of the world-wide Himalayan Institute, has spent years studying and living with diverse spiritual masters from the East. He is fluent in both Vedic and classical Sanskit and has two doctorates, one in Sanskit from the University of Allahabad and another in Oriental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. The author of 14 books, he has practiced yoga and tantra for more than 30 years. We recently interviewed him about the year-long meditation planned by the Himalayan Institute for 2012.  Read more

Happy Winter?

Count me among the odd for (at least) two reasons. First, I like winter. I like the cold and the snow and the way the trees sparkle with ice like stars in the night sky. I like the briskness and the brilliance of it.

Second, I like reading books that would send shivers down other people’s spines. Not horror stories, but nonfiction that delineates with excruciating details all the ways in which our planet is doomed. Books so upsetting that I can sometimes read only a few pages of agonizing truths before I have to run for cover in more pleasant pursuits like poetry or a walk in the woods.  Read more

A stellar meteor display

REGION — The Quadrantid meteor shower, an annual event that is highly variable in quality, promises to be especially good this year. Peak activity is expected to occur at about 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

The meteor shower is less well known than some of the others because viewing is made difficult by the fact that its peak is very brief, and it is only visible in early morning.  Read more

Kindergarteners recreate Whoville

LIBERTY, NY —Whoville has sprung off the pages of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and taken form as a model village at Liberty Elementary School (LES).

Dr. Seuss’s holiday classic was recreated by LES Kindergarteners, with each student turned into a “Who.” Even the Grinch can be found hiding out in Mount Crumpit.  Read more

White Sulphur Springs School holds concert

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, NY —The White Sulphur Springs School at Sullivan BOCES held its annual winter concert on December 20. Solo performances at the event were given by Jonathan Male, Zachariah Jahn and Shelby Cooper. Participants even had the pleasure of a visit from Santa Claus when he flew in to sing “Winter Wonderland” with Dana Brown, a high school student at the Rubin Pollack Education Center. An elmentary school art show also accompanied the concert.

New Year’s service

BEACH LAKE, PA — The Upper Delaware Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will welcome in the new year with a service of shared readings and brunch on Sunday, January 1, 2012. The gathering will be held at the Berlin Township Community Center at 11 a.m. Bring your favorite reading about new beginnings and a dish to share to welcome in the new year and a new start to an intentional year of spiritual exploration and growth. Visit www.uduuf.org or call 845/252-6626.

Locally shot film to be screened for CineArt

CALLICOON, NY — The Delaware Valley Arts Alliance CineArt feature for January is “Martha Marcy May Marlene” (R), a movie about a cult that was filmed and edited in Sullivan County in the summer of 2010. Screenings will be held at the Callicoon Theater, 30 Upper Main Street, from Friday, January 6 through Tuesday, January 10. Screenings are at 7:30 daily with additional 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday.  Read more

Garden club announces holiday decorating contest winners

ROSCOE, NY — The Roscoe-Rockland Garden Club has announced the winners of its Holiday Decorating Contest, who hale from Shandelee, Deckertown, Morsston, Johnston Flat and downtown Livingston Manor.

The first prize in the commercial category went to Lanza’s Country Inn, with the second prize in that category going to the Wildlife Gift Shop.  Read more

Birds, stand up and be counted!

Along with the winter holiday season comes a time for birdwatchers to take to the field and survey the species and numbers of birds they see. Any bird gets counted; if it has feathers and not in a cage, it gets tallied. This is the time for the Christmas Bird Count (CBC).  Read more

Peace

Peace whimpers at wars
She uproars at bullies
Peace can’t bear the toxicants of pollution
She hears the sounds from tiring guns and sees the flashes
in horror.
Peace is knowledgeable and is as wise as an old owl
She is the symbol of all things great and peaceful
Peace shares bliss with all who love nature as much as her
Peace is everywhere and is in everyone
Give peace a chance and she will leave her mark on your
heart.

[Kayla Medina is a fifth-grader from the G. L. Cooke Elementary School in Monticello, NY.]

Future forward

Christmas is over. The welcome gifts are already in use—earrings, a museum membership, electric teakettle. A bag of paper awaits recycling. Books are piled high awaiting free time and curious minds. The tree lights still twinkle. There is no snow.  Read more

‘We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne’

The words for the most commonly sung song for English-speakers on New Year’s eve, “Auld Lang Syne,” come from an old Scottish ditty that was first published by the poet Robert Burns in 1796. Burns transcribed it (and made some refinements to the lyrics) after he heard it sung by an old man from the Ayrshire area of Scotland, Burns’s homeland. According to www.infoplease.com, “Auld Lang Syne,” which asks whether old friends and times will be remembered, is “one of the most popular songs that nobody knows the lyrics to."  Read more

Garden club announces holiday decorating contest winners

ROSCOE, NY — The Roscoe-Rockland Garden Club has announced the winners of its Holiday Decorating Contest, who hale from Shandelee, Deckertown, Morsston, Johnston Flat and downtown Livingston Manor.
The first prize in the commercial category went to Lanza’s Country Inn, with the second prize in that category going to the Wildlife Gift Shop.  Read more

Locally shot film to be screened for CineArt

CALLICOON, NY — The Delaware Valley Arts Alliance CineArt feature for January is “Martha Marcy May Marlene” (R), a movie about a cult that was filmed and edited in Sullivan County in the summer of 2010. Screenings will be held at the Callicoon Theater, 30 Upper Main Street, from Friday, January 6 through Tuesday, January 10. Screenings are at 7:30 daily with additional 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday.  Read more

May I quote you?

Scanning through the archives of columns I’ve penned in the last year, I failed to find inspiration in a single word I’ve written. Rather than be depressed, I decided to turn to others for pithy comments and have (blind, unfounded) faith that I may say something worth remembering as 2012 unfolds.  Read more

Historical society to hold dinner and a movie

MILFORD, PA — The Pike County Historical Society will present the next installment in the “Aunt Marge’s Movie Lounge” series on Friday, January 13, a screening of Alfred Hitchock’s “The Birds.” The casual evening in the Columns’ Foundation Room offers a home-cooked meal, the screening of a movie that was a favorite of the museum director’s much beloved and quirky Aunt Marge, and dessert and coffee. Guests can also view a case of what are known as “Audubon’s Birds,” varied taxidermied specimens done by the leading taxidermist of the time, John Bell.  Read more

Free Christmas dinner

HONESDALE, PA — Grace Episcopal Church will offer a free dinner at 12 noon on Christmas Day to all in the community, a festive holiday dinner with all the trimmings that is offered every year.  Read more