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November 30, 2015
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TRR photo by Laura Silverman

Long before the Plymouth brethren sat down with the Wampanoag Tribe at the 1621 feast generally considered to be the first Thanksgiving, the Lenni Lenape occupied the Upper Delaware area, enjoying the bounty yielded by the land and the water, and holding ceremonies to thank the gods and spirits for it and to participate in its renewal. Unfortunately, the surviving information about many of these ceremonies is sparse. But we do know something about “Gamwing,” or the Big House Ceremony, a post-harvest festival that has some features similar to our own Thanksgiving.

According to Benjamin Franklin, both “stink after three days” (, and he very well may have been right. I tested...

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The natural world is endlessly interesting and many of us who are not scientists nevertheless devote careful attention to what we observe around us. That devotion is not wasted, and in fact, is...

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There are quite a few couples who commute regularly on the train. They have their routines like anyone else, and when they act as a team it is noticeable. Artie and Pat are one such couple. On any...

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With the big day looming, no doubt you’re giving some thought to what will grace your Thanksgiving table. Who am I kidding? You’re probably going to make the exact same menu as last year (and the...

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But, as Harper (“To Kill A Mockingbird”) Lee once famously said, “You can’t choose your family.” As Thanksgiving approaches, this ever-so-slightly paraphrased sentiment rings true for many of us,...

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On Friday, November 13, the sky at Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest, NJ dawned red with broken clouds and a southwest wind of 10 to 15 mph. The wind wasn’t entirely favorable for migrating...

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From Russia with love (at least for a honey bee)

During the last day of August, I walked past a Russian sage plant in Shohola and took a close look for any interesting insect life. Russian sage blooms well into the fall and will attract a wealth of pollinators and other insects. Almost right away, I noticed a honey bee. This was noteworthy, because it’s rare that I see honey bees in the wild anymore, and I hadn’t noticed any honey bees in the past in this particular area. As I continued to watch, I saw more honey bees and soon saw that they outnumbered the more common bumblebees and any other pollinators present that day.  Read more

Happy holidays!

No, it’s not a misprint. For many of us here in the Upper Delaware River region, the holiday season has commenced. Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) began at sundown this past Monday while Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) still lies ahead. Hallmark opportunities notwithstanding, the Jewish holidays are always celebrated on the same day of the Hebrew calendar and each “day” begins and ends with sunset, rather than at midnight.  Read more

Comedy, music, photography (and Dharma) at the Tavern

FORESTBURGH, NY — This weekend the Forestburgh Tavern will feature two nights of entertainment, starting on Friday, September 18 with a concert by Patti Sunshine Grecco and an opening for an exhibit of photographs by TRR’s Jonathan Fox titled “Fall Foliage Fantasy.” Proceeds from the concert go to Catskill Animal Rescue (and yes, Dharma the Wonder Dog will be there).  Read more

‘To Stop the Mind from Wandering’

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — “To Stop the Mind from Wandering,” an art exhibit curated by Miriam Hernández, opens on Saturday, September 19 in the Catskill Park Room at Morgan Outdoors. There will be an opening reception from 4 to 6 p.m. with many of the artists present.

Participating artists include Alex Siroc, Candy Spilner, Gail Tuchman, Kristin Gronbeck, Magaly Perez, Marjorie Morrow and Miriam Hernández. The exhibition will run through Sunday, October 25. All the artwork is for sale.  Read more

‘Grandma’ at Callicoon

CALLICOON, NY — Delaware Valley Arts Alliance and the Callicoon Theater will present “Grandma,” starring Lily Tomlin and directed by Paul Weitz, from Friday, September 18 through Tuesday, September 29. The film will be screened nightly at 7:30 p.m., with matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The theatre is closed Wednesdays and Thursdays.  Read more

‘Feathers Massive, Feathers Micro’

WOODBOURNE, NY — The Old Stone House of Hasbrouck will present an exhibit by science educator and photographer Gene Weinstein titled “Feathers Massive, Feathers Micro” starting with an opening reception on Sunday, September 20 from 2 to 5 p.m., after which doors will be open from 12 noon to 4 p.m. on weekends through October 18.  Read more

Roots music from Ukraine

MILFORD, PA — The Korinya Ukrainian Folk Band and dancers from the KAZKA Ukrainian Folk Ensemble will perform on September 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Milford Theatre. The event is sponsored by Kindred Spirits.  Read more


LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The Catskill Art Society will present “Hand-Me-Downs,” an exhibition of artwork by Kathryn Kosto, Frank Mullaney and Jake Seo at the CAS Arts Center at 48 Main St. from September 19 through October 18. There will be an artists’ talk on September 19 at 3 p.m., followed by a free opening reception from 4 to 6 p.m.  Read more

Big Eddy Film Festival

NARROWSBURG, NY — The Big Eddy Film Festival opens on Friday, September 18 with the screening of “Tumbledown” at the Tusten Theatre at 7:30 p.m. And a 60th anniversary retrospective screening of the classic American thriller “The Night of the Hunter” will be featured on Saturday, September 19 at 9 p.m. Graced by images of eerie beauty and a sneaky sense of humor, this ethereal, expressionistic American classic features Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish and the talents of the great writer James Agee.  Read more

Von Steuben Day festival

YULAN, NY — This year’s Von Steuben Day festival will be held at Yulan’s firemen’s field from 12 noon to 6 p.m. Sponsored by the Yulan Fire Department, it celebrates all things German, with food, beer, vendors, kids’ games, folk dancing and more. See this week’s Upper Delaware Magazine insert for a spotlight on Yulan’s firefighting families.

New sci-fi book signing at the Columns

MILFORD, PA — The Columns Museum, located at 608 Broad St., will host a book signing and reception for local author Lillian Longendorfer on Saturday, September 19 at 4 p.m. There will be refreshments and a meet-and-greet with Longendorfer.  Read more

What of the monarchs?

For most of the summer, I have been checking milkweed plants in the local area for signs of monarch butterfly activity, and have not seen a sign of eggs, larvae, or adults. The milkweed plant is essential for the survival of monarchs, which lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves, and the only plant eaten by monarch caterpillars is milkweed. This year, the cause of eaten milkweed leaves has turned out to be milkweed tussock caterpillars, hairy, orange and black caterpillars that appear on milkweed during this time of year.  Read more

The escape artist

My daughter, Lily, was at camp when her cat went missing.

It was a “What if…” situation we had all been dreading. But it was inevitable, wasn’t it? The way that cat (an all-black, two-year-old named Raven but forever, endearingly called “the kitten”) sprinted to the porch door whenever it was opened. The way she sat in the window, mesmerized by the birds at the feeder. And, when she did manage to escape, the way she ran straight under the porch or up toward Route 97, at the back of our house.  Read more

Delayed reaction

It doesn’t matter how careful you are. You can take all the precautions you like, but injuries will still happen.

We childproofed our house to a fare-thee-well—all outlets covered, drawers latched, sharp table corners covered with those little rubber bumpers. But all that was to no avail when our infant daughter crawled under the coffee table and then tried to stand. For a few seconds, her wails might have made you think the world was on fire. But she soon got over it, and set off on her next adventure.  Read more

Interesting encounters

The Upper Delaware River region is rich with a variety of wildlife. Some species are quite commonly encountered, while others are fairly elusive. I saw two of the latter recently—one in my backyard and the other along a nearby dirt road.  Read more

Making hay while the sun shines

In truth, I know nothing about making hay, but am thankful that I live in a region where other folks do. My version of “making hay” is proverbial, rather than practical, since my skills lean more toward typing and talking than doing something useful behind the wheel of a tractor. As for the popular proverb itself, it’s fairly self-explanatory: “To take advantage of favorable circumstances. i.e. If you have an opportunity to do something, do so before the time expires” (  Read more

Native American collection donated to museum

GRAHAMSVILLE, NY — The Time and the Valleys Museum recently received an important collection of local Native American artifacts found in the areas of Ellenville, Kerhonkson, Warwarsing, Grahamsville, Napanoch, Walden and Mongaup.
The collection was donated by long-time collector Robert L. Evans, who grew up in Walden, NY. He said, “I have been collecting these items since I was young. I am now almost 77 years old, and want them to be seen and appreciated by visitors, and used as an educational tool to teach them about the local Native Americans and how they lived.”  Read more

Ducks, pies and tractors at the Jeff Jamboree

JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — The JEMS (Jeffersonville Enhances More of Sullivan) group invites all to a day of family fun at the Jeff Jamboree being held on Main Street in Jeffersonville on Saturday, September 12.

The day begins with a pancake breakfast served at the First Presbyterian Church on Main Street, near the firehouse, from 7 a.m. to 12 noon. There will be a tractor parade at 12:30 p.m., and the annual duck race at 2 p.m. Street vendors will be lined along Main Street selling locally handmade crafts, products and artwork, and even a tarot card and psychic reader.  Read more

Mid-September Comedy Night

HAWLEY, PA — Harmony Presents showcases Miguel Dalmau in a comedy night at Cocoon Coffee House on Friday, September 11 at 8:30 p.m. “Dalmau... may look familiar to you through his many appearances via various media outlets. He first broke into television appearing on TruTV doing what any self respecting Latino man would do: reenacting crime footage. In 2014, he was featured on AXS TV’s Gotham Comedy Live amid a roster of world-famous comedians.  Read more

Spilner’s painted constructions at Jeff library

JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — Candy Spilner of Cochecton is exhibiting painted paper constructions at the Jeffersonville Public Library, 19 Center St. during September.  Read more

Thu., Nov. 13 Popular Google Apps
Thu., Nov. 13 Fall Foliage Mixer
Sat., Nov. 15 Fall square dance
Sat., Mar. 14 St. Patrick's Day Parade