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October 25, 2014
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THE CATSKILLS — Martin (Marty) Podskoch is afraid of heights, but that didn’t stop him from writing “Fire Towers of the Catskills: Their History and Lore.” Fascinated with these relics of our past, he visited all of the fire towers in the Catskills region and talked to the fire tower observers and their families. So how does he get to the top of a fire tower? “I just close my eyes and hold on to someone’s shoulders and follow them up,” Podskoch said.

A few weeks back, a neighbor told me he was finding what looked like berries on the ground, even though he said no berry trees were anywhere in the area. I asked him about the size and color, and...

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Fall brings the changing of the foliage to the Upper Delaware Valley. Along with the falling leaves come the “slippery rail” excuse for train delays. It seems, according to New Jersey Transit (NJT...

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Apparently there is no evidence whatsoever that Marie Antoinette actually uttered such a callous statement in response to her subjects’ bemoaning their lack of bread. But it has stuck to her shoe...

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I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Wikipedia defines it as “an old adage, typically stated as: ‘Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.’” Ain’t that the truth. At the risk of sounding like a total nut...

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The great battle of our time will be over water—pure, fresh water in particular. All earthly life depends upon water for survival. The human population worldwide, now 7.3 billion, is projected to...

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The fast-flying days of flaming fall foliage have held us in thrall lately as the Upper Delaware Region advances toward the cold and inward months of winter. Watching the leaves turn through...

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Stinkhorn: a fly’s delight

The stinkhorn mushroom, aptly named for its offensive fragrance and stalklike form, is a member of a family of fungi known as Phallaceae. Stinkhorns are characterized by very unpleasant-smelling sticky spore masses that occur on the end of a stalk called the receptaculum.

Likened to the odor of carrion or dung, the spore mass attracts flies and other insects. While feeding on the slime, the insects’ feet become coated with the spore-laden substance that they then transport to other locations, allowing the stinkhorns to grow elsewhere.  Read more

A Bamboo ferrule?

The annual gathering of the world’s bamboo rod makers has come and gone. In my last column, I wrote that I had no intention of buying yet another bamboo fly rod. Despite having the opportunity to cast several fine rods from various rod builders, I did not weaken. There is no new slender silver tube residing in the rod rack built for me by Tom Brown.  Read more

A Bamboo ferrule?

The annual gathering of the world’s bamboo rod makers has come and gone. In my last column, I wrote that I had no intention of buying yet another bamboo fly rod. Despite having the opportunity to cast several fine rods from various rod builders, I did not weaken. There is no new slender silver tube residing in the rod rack built for me by Tom Brown.  Read more

The social network

As some of you may know, the past few weeks (maybe even months) have been a journey... traveling down the long and winding road of life-altering changes, paying attention to the passage of time, sometimes glancing back from whence I came, while considering what lays ahead, all the while attempting to be in the moment. Sighing, more than breathing, has been the norm as of late, but like a good ice cream cone, sighing comes in all flavors and I’ve sampled several over the last week.  Read more

Embracing community

Today’s world is fast-paced, highly competitive and, some would say, “ethica`lly challenged.” Current mores put profit above principle and often place greater emphasis upon what we do for ourselves than what we do for each other. The political climate is troubling, as well. Our government has been brought to a near standstill by the unyielding adherence by politicians on both sides of the ideological spectrum to extreme and intractable positions. Rigid party allegiance and intransigence have eclipsed a sense of common purpose and have all but eliminated the possibility of civil discourse.  Read more

Farmers’ market potluck and locavore challenge

CALLICOON, NY — Farmers’ market and locavore supporters will gather on Sunday, September 30, 3 p.m. at the Callicoon Creek Park to share food and conversation.

Attendees are asked to bring a dish to share that incorporates at least one ingredient sold by any of the vendors. Attendees should also bring a plate, utensils, napkin, cup, beverage of choice and a blanket or lawn chair.

There is no cost to participate and all are welcome to attend. For updates, follow the Sullivan County Farmers’ Markets on Facebook at www.facebook.com/scfma or call 845/292-6180, ext. 115.  Read more

Statewide potluck celebrates local foods

YOUNGSVILLE, NY —A local business, Domesticities and The Cutting Garden, will host a local potluck this Sunday, joining countless others statewide for a “Potluck Across New York.” This event is part of NOFA-NY’s Locavore Challenge and will be held September 30 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at 4055 State Route 52. A locavore is a person who eats foods grown locally, and so potluck participants are asked to bring a favorite dish made with local ingredients. They are also asked to bring their own eating utensils and a beverage.  Read more

Learn where your food comes from at Family Farm Day

HAWLEY, PA — Get an up-close view of some of the farm animals that help to produce fresh, local food during Mill Market’s Family Farm Day on September 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hawley Silk Mill. The event is free and open to the public.

Mill Market is a one-stop source for local food and goods made within 200 miles of the Lake Wallenpaupack region. The market fosters sustainability and a thriving local economy through its support of keeping locally spent dollars “local.”  Read more

Food matters

Consumers and farmers share common ground  Read more

Victoria and the boa

The woman was strange looking, almost cartoonish. She stood a few feet in front of me with an oversized shopping cart, her daughter in a matching purple sweat suit by her side. The line to the register had been overwhelming at the Astor Place K-mart electronics department. It stretched 20 people long, the end reaching into the men’s underwear aisle.

In my hands was my single purchase, a 10-pack of DVD covers to package and send off my editing reel. The woman’s shopping cart was full.  Read more

Reading with author Nina Burleigh at the CAS Arts Center

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — Nina Burleigh, a journalist and the author of five books including the bestseller “The Fatal Gift of Beauty,” will be at the CAS Arts Center on Saturday, October 6 from 4 to 6 p.m. She will read from her upcoming e-book, tentatively titled, “Under the Black Blanket,” and will answer questions about her writing.

Burleigh also will talk about the six weeks she spent in the Middle East this year, working a short book about the status of women in the wake of the Arab Spring, and share her observations on women, religion and politics in this region.  Read more

Exhibit honors treasured local artist

MILFORD, PA — Now through October 8, the ARTery Gallery in Milford is featuring the works of its longtime member Harriet Cotterill and will hold a wine and cheese reception on Saturday, September 29 from 2 to 6 p.m.

Now age 94, Harriet Cotterill moved to Milford in the 1930s at age 15. Themes of community and strong family lie at the heart of many of her works. Over the years, she has worked in charcoal, pastels, oils, silk screening, etching, watercolors and block printing, returning in recent years to her love of charcoal and pastels.  Read more

Villa Roma haunted hotel

CALLICOON, NY — The Villa Roma Resort will be transformed into a haunted hotel Fridays and Saturdays starting September 28 and running until October 27. The haunted hotel is presented by Villa Roma and Imaginart Studios featuring work of the creators of Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion. Check in at the Lifeless Lobby, get a ghoulish welcome at the Deadly Front Desk, take a ride in the HELLavator, walk the haunted hallways, experience the guest crypts, enjoy a devilish cocktail at the World’s End Lounge or have a slimy snack in the Main Dying Room. Games, snacks and drinks will be available.  Read more

Tri-State Film Festival announces panels to “Illuminate & Inspire”

MATAMORAS, PA — The Tri-State Film Festival debuts at the Majestic Cinemas 7 on September 28 to 29. Friday and Saturday are packed with films, panels, special guests and events. The lineup of films and documentaries includes films new to the theaters as well as classic favorites. The festival provides an opportunity to learn more about a film, a movement, an issue or a way of life. Three panel discussions are scheduled to enhance the viewer’s experience of films and documentaries to be screened Saturday, September 29.  Read more

Plein air art show

LORDS VALLEY, PA — The 2012 Plein Air Art Show opens on Monday, October 1 at the Gallery at Chant Realtors in Lords Valley. Featured artists are those who participated in “Come Paint with Me,” a free program that encourages area artists of all levels of expertise to paint in the outdoors. This is the 15th year for the program. During this season’s 21 sessions, more than 50 artists participated, and this show is a celebration of the art they produced at many of the sites they visited this year.  Read more

4th annual poetry festival at the Liberty Museum

LIBERTY, NY — The 4th Annual Local Poetry Festival will be held Saturday, September 29, at 2 p.m., at the Liberty Museum and Arts Center. Hosted by Walter Keller, the poet laureate of the village of Liberty, the festival will feature a broad spectrum of local talent and poets from across the region. The poets will read their own poems and discuss their work with the public.

Poems of a variety of styles and genres will be presented, from the light and humorous to dark and melancholy as well as experimental verse sure to challenge the listener.  Read more

Black Bear Film Festival coming to Milford

MILFORD, PA — Artful sculptures by local artists designed in the shape of a bear will grace the 13th annual Black Bear Film Festival in Milford from October 12 to 14. Among those on display will be “Bare Metallic,” created by Michael R. Contreras, owner and operator of MJM Painting and Authentic Restoration Company.

One of the many enhanced services MJM offers is creating metallic effects with paint, which in this case served as inspiration for Contreras’ bear. The artist can be reached by email at mjmpaintingllc@yahoo.com or by calling 973/714-8566.  Read more

Get lost in a four-acre corn maze at Cunningham Family Farms

BETHEL, NY — Sullivan County’s largest corn maze premiers this fall at Bethel’s Cunningham Family Farms, which is holding its grand opening Saturday, September 29 beginning at 11 a.m. Activities include a ride on the hay wagon, shooting a corn cannon or pumpkin sling, or you can wind your way through the hay bale maze and play games in the barn yard. Ornamental corn and fall decorations will be offered for sale in the farm’s market.  Read more

Book club with Ms. Betty

HONESDALE, PA — A new, after-school book club for 9 to 12 year olds will begin on October 2 from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Wayne County Public Library in Honesdale. The first book selected is “The BFG” by Roald Dahl. Book club participants will read, chat, create some art, play some games and maybe make some “Frobscottle.” Only club members will learn what that secret word means.

For more information, call the library at 570/253-1220 or email children’s librarian Betty Lawson at blawson@waynelibraries.org.

Livingston Manor alive with birds of prey

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY —Livingston Manor’s first Birds of Prey Day will be held Saturday, September 29 at the Livingston Manor Central School (LMCS). The event is hosted by falconer Peter Chiavaro, a resident of Livingston Manor. Dozens of bird of prey will be on hand, including falcons, hawks and owls.

The public is invited to get close to the birds throughout the day. An outdoor tent will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Demonstrations will be held in the LMCS gymnasium at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. A flying event will be held at 1 p.m.  Read more