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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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The system functions as designed

The System functions as designed
Does just what it’s supposed to do
So you shouldn’t be surprised
From the point of view of those on top
Everything is working fine—
The System functions as designed
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My inevitable winter column

There comes a point in the winter when the winter is all it seems there is to talk about—or write about. It’s easy to say that more than half of winter is over except for this daily nitty-gritty contest with snow and ice. John, my husband, puts it bluntly, “When spring comes this year, people are going to go nuts.”  Read more

Ice advice

Ice is interesting and beautiful, as Scott Rando showed us in last week’s River Talk column. Ice can also be deadly, if not approached with respect.  Read more

Optical illusion demonstration at art society

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The Catskill Art Society (CAS) will present John B. Johnston for “Light and Reflection,” an optical illusion demonstration at the CAS Arts Center on Sunday, February 16 at 2 p.m.  Read more

Dinner theatre with sweets

MONTICELLO, NY — The United Methodist Church (UMC) of Monticello is cooking up something special for a Valentine’s fundraiser on Saturday, February 15 at 6 p.m.  Read more

Washington birthday celebration

ELDRED, NY — Come toast George Washington on his birthday with his favorite beverage: beer. The birthday bash runs from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 22 at Henning’s Local restaurant (formerly The Eldred Preserve).  Read more

‘Dairy Delights Contest’ to be held

HONESDALE, PA — The Wayne County Dairy Princess Court will hold a “Dairy Delights” snack and dessert contest on Monday, February 17 in conjunction with the Wayne-Sullivan Dairy Ag Day at Honesdale High School.  Read more

Randy Lee Hulcy

I walk by Randy Lee Hulcy every day, because he lives on Fifth Avenue and 60th Street, and it’s on my way to work. Randy is easy to spot by his big bushy gray beard, and he is often strangely (albeit fashionably) dressed with colorful scarves, dress pants and dirty high-top sneakers. I’d guess that he’s 65 years old, but it’s hard to tell.  Read more

Can’t buy me love

In an age of electronic fame and instant notoriety, the array of media darlings has become dizzying. Reality shows and online channels (www.youtube.com) have enabled anyone with a computer to market themselves and strut their stuff for all the world to see—good, bad or indifferent. Gone are the days of real-deal superstars, and in their place, we have pop-up pop stars, wannabes and an endless parade of (IMHO) people with no discernible talent, but access to a platform which may (or may not) propel them into the spotlight.  Read more

Horse-drawn carriage rides for Valentine’s Day

NARROWSBURG, NY — Valentine’s horse-drawn carriage rides will loop the town of Narrowsburg on Saturday, February 15 from 2 to 5 p.m. Rides cost $5 per person and start at the Old School Bus Garage, 226 Bridge St., in Narrowsburg.  Read more

Storytelling group presents memoir readings

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The Catskill Art Society (CAS) will present the storytelling group Yarnslingers for the debut of their partnership series “Yarnslingers: Memoirs” at the CAS Arts Center on Saturday, February 15 at 7 p.m.  Read more

The mousse that roared

What would Valentine’s Day be without chocolate? Although the origins of their association are rather muddled (aphrodisiac properties and Cadbury commercialism are the most commonly floated theories), since Victorian times never have the twain been parted. To this day, nothing says love like a Whitman Sampler. The cacao bean at the root of it all has a much deeper history, of course, having been an important part of Mesoamerican culture going back more than 4,000 years.  Read more

Hearts and minds needed

We humans seem to be attracted to either/or choices, what formal logic calls a dichotomy. This can lead to silly questions like “are you a cat person or a dog person?” Actually, that example is a false dichotomy, because the two things contrasted are not mutually exclusive: it is perfectly possible to love both cats and dogs.  Read more

Nature’s ice sculptures

The ongoing cold snap of the last month or so has been great for skiers and ice fishermen, but not so great for homeowners fighting high heating bills, or people who have had to travel in the many “nuisance storms” during the course of the winter. Municipalities along the river have been keeping a close eye out for ice jams and the resulting flooding that can occur during very cold weather. Not all the frozen water has been bad, though.  Read more

What’s in a name?

Every great once in a while William Shakespeare comes to mind, and the past week was no exception. Those famous words, “what’s in a name,” were originally spoken by the lovely Juliet, but have been heard around the world countless times since then. Often, a simple name can conjure up vivid emotions, which in turn, evoke sentiment recalling special times—past, present, or future.  Read more

Member art show at Starlight Lake

STARLIGHT, PA — During the month of February, The Big D Arts and Crafts League will have a member show in the gallery at the Inn at Starlight Lake. There will be oils, watercolors, photography, scratch boards as well as tiles. The Inn is located on Starlight Road. For more information, contact the Inn at 800/248-2519 or visit www.innatstarlightlake.com.

Wurtsboro Art Alliance presents Winterfest exhibit

WURTSBORO, NY — The Wurtsboro Art Alliance (WAA) kicks off its 2014 season with a group show that opens during Wurtsboro’s Winterfest celebration on Saturday, February 8, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Read more

Joe Crookston returns

HONESDALE, PA — RiverFolk Concerts will host the return of Joe Crookston to The Cooperage on Sunday, February 9 at 3 p.m. with his trio The Bluebird Jubilee. Crookston will perform of new tunes including from his new CD “Georgia, I’m Here,” which will be released at the beginning of March.  Read more

DVAA reprises Salon Series

NARROWSBURG, NY — Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) will reprise the popular Salon Series of concerts from February to April with the addition of an artist’s talk and a play reading for 2014. Salon Series events are meant to be informal and comfortable, with opportunities to chat with the artists and to shake off the winter doldrums. Events are held in the Delaware Arts Center’s Krause Recital Hall, 37 Main St., which is accessible by elevator.  Read more

Oscar-nominated ‘Philomena’ at Callicoon Theater

CALLICOON, NY — Delaware Valley Arts Alliance and the Callicoon Theater present the Oscar-nominated film “Philomena” starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan starting Friday, February 7.  Read more