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April 20, 2014
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When you go to a Simple Gifts concert, you can expect to hear a variety of musical genres played on a variety of instruments. Karen Hirshon and Linda Littleton, two of the women in Simple Gifts, say audiences will learn and they will also laugh.

As if the Cornell Lab of Ornithology isn’t already fantastic enough, this leading authority on birds recently released a new in-depth website that explores many facets of feathers from scientific...

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A “fetid herb” is botanist Homer D. House’s perfect description in his 1934 book “Wild Flowers,” of our first wild plant to flower in spring.

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World events, no matter where, are no longer “remote,” and haven’t been for some time. Moment by moment, we can follow the search for a vanished jetliner over the Indian Ocean, or watch one...

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That was my thought process last week as I headed out the door to check in at the 2014 Green Tourism conference in Callicoon, NY (...

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The variables in fly fishing are considerable and perplexing to the beginner and experienced fisher alike. Deciding what to do in a given situation can be answered easily with about 10 years of...

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A week ago Thursday, the morning was chilly, but the forecast called for mild temperatures and sunny skies. I wanted to check out the Tusten trail and it promised to be a good day for a hike. Most...

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The snow globe

Winter snow storms, like the one right after this past New Year, can turn the train ride into a snow globe. They were still cleaning the station platform when I pulled up for a late “snow day” train. Rather than take the day off, I wait for the plows to do my road and go in late. We prepare to leave the station when Conductor Eddy yells out his signature, “All aboard!” I get goosebumps of excitement as the doors close and we take off. The 6:55 is perfect on days like this and mainly for the ride alone; the sun won’t come up until around 7:30, so it’s still dawn’s early light.  Read more

Drug-free fish

While the medications we consume are meant to help us, when it comes to their potential impact on other species, the news is not good. In the past, we have been instructed to flush unwanted medications down the toilet. That strategy is no longer advised in Pennsylvania, where a better alternative is being put into place. According to Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) Executive Director John Arway, even low doses of pharmaceutical and over-the-counter drugs can ultimately harm fish.  Read more

Green Door Magazine seeking musicians

LIBERTY, NY — Green Door magazine, a quarterly arts and culture publication in the Catskills and Hudson Valley, will produce a Sullivan County Music Compilation Album with Josh Druckman, a local music producer. Green Door is seeking Sullivan County-based musicians to record an original song for the album.

The compilation album hopes to capture the eclectic music scene happening in the Sullivan County Catskills today. The album will be distributed in an upcoming issue of Green Door magazine and other venues.  Read more

‘Natural Selection[s]’ at Alliance Gallery

NARROWSBURG, NY — “Natural Selection[s],” a curated group exhibition featuring art works inspired by the natural world, will open at the Delaware Arts Center’s Alliance Gallery on Saturday, January 25, with a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. The exhibit will be on view through February 15.

From a photograph of reflections in water by Beth Baylin, to an oil painting of candy-colored “Fantastic Flowers” by Charles Farless, to a winged sculpture made of animal bones by Denis Yanashot, this exhibition includes a wide variety of artworks all influenced by nature.  Read more

The Magic of Science at The Cooperage

HONESDALE, PA — Dr. Bob Friedhoffer, professional magician and educator (a.k.a. the “Madman of Science”) will be at The Cooperage on Saturday, January 25 at 3 p.m. performing magic tricks to teach children (and adults) about science.  Read more

A songwriter for Lucinda Williams fans

HAWLEY, PA — Lucinda Williams, Patty Griffin and Gillian Welch fans will delight in the dark Americana and Western influenced songwriting of Caitlin Canty, who will perform at the Hawley Silk Mill on Saturday, January 18 at 7:30 p.m., hosted by Harmony Presents.

Having gained widespread attention from folk-lovers and story-tellers everywhere, this vocalist and songwriter will share songs from her new album “Golden Hour” as well as unreleased tunes and covers from her duo Down Like Silver. She will be accompanied by guitarist Anthony da Costa from New Country Rehab.  Read more

RiverFolk Concerts hosts Brother Sun

HONESDALE, PA — RiverFolk Concerts will present Brother Sun at The Cooperage on Sunday, January 26 at 5 p.m. Fusing folk, Americana, blues, pop, jazz, rock, and a cappella singing, Brother Sun features three rich voices blending on a foundation of guitar, slide guitar, piano, ukulele and bouzouki.  Read more

Alliance Gallery exhibitions call for submissions, 2015

NARROWSBURG, NY — Alliance Gallery is calling for submissions for solo, group, or curated shows in 2015. The Alliance Gallery program priority is to exhibit high quality work by professional and emerging artists who live part-time or full-time in the Mid-Hudson, Catskill, or Upper Delaware River regions. All media and styles are considered, as are installations and proposals by curators. There is no submission fee.

The deadline for submissions is Saturday, January 25. For submission guidelines, see  Read more

A Mexican shakedown

As the lights flashed red and blue, the uniformed policìa on a motorcycle motioned to the right for us to pull over, and I had that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was, luckily, not driving, and so I had a perfectly framed view of the portly mustached man riding smoothly next to us.

If it hadn’t been so dark, I imagine I would have seen a grin spread across his face. He had hooked us; a group of American tourists with pockets full of cash, out late enough to shake us down. It’s our last night in Mexico, our first and only in Cancun.  Read more

I believe the children are our future

Time flies. While shaking my head in disbelief that another year has flown by, I was simultaneously thrilled that kids from every corner of the state were once again arriving for the annual New York State Theatre Education Association (NYSTEA) conference being held in Callicoon, NY ( last weekend. I attended some of the event in 2013 and was so blown away by what I had observed, that I was determined to return and make sure that my previous experience wasn’t a fluke.  Read more

New exhibition ‘Reflective Surfaces’ opens at CAS

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The Catskill Art Society (CAS) will present “Reflective Surfaces,” a two-person exhibition featuring the photography of Julia Forrest and Flora Hogman at the CAS Arts Center, 48 Main St. CAS will host an artist’s talk on Saturday, January 18 at 2 p.m., followed by a free opening reception from 3 to 5 p.m. All are welcome and light refreshments will be served. The show runs until Sunday, February 23.  Read more

Winter survival

Record-low temperatures hit our region recently, keeping many folks indoors. For some, however, getting outdoors is a way of life, and regardless of the weather they heed the call to go hunting, fishing, hiking, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, or skiing. For others, just getting to work and back is the extent of their outdoor experience. Still, a news report recently told how one man on his way home experienced vehicle problems and began to walk the final mile to get home. He was found dead from the cold less than a hundred yards from his home. Fact: cold kills.  Read more

Game changers

For me, 2013 didn’t go out with a bang; it went out with a cough and a wheeze and a snore. After a year-end barrage of long workdays, a persistent chest bug sent me to bed around 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, and I didn’t stir till late the next morning. It was just as well; I was perfectly happy to be done with a year that had brought more than its share of challenges.  Read more

A real M*A*S*H unit

After the evening news, my kids have been watching re-runs of the old TV show M*A*S*H on channel 38 from Scranton, one of the few channels that comes in via antenna on our 12-inch set (a set bought back before the end of the Cold War).  Read more

Critter alarm systems

A walk out in the woods during winter usually doesn’t yield a lot of sounds or bird calls; certainly not as much noise as springtime when birds and frogs are in the midst of courtship and breeding. Nuthatches, pine siskins, or the occasional tapping of a woodpecker foraging on a dead tree is the norm. The other day, however, there was the raucous cacophony of a flock of at least two dozen crows calling, while perched in some nearby trees. I checked the trees and others nearby for any interlopers.  Read more

Comedy nights and complimentary workshops begin at Harmony Presents

HAWLEY, PA — Harmony Presents and the Hawley Silk Mill kick off the first complimentary Saturday workshops in January, and Harmony Presents showcases their first comedy night.  Read more

Upper Delaware GLBT Center presents a winter classic film series

MILFORD, PA — The Upper Delaware GLBT Center (UDGLBT) will present a classic film series to be held at the UDGLBT Center located at 201 W. Harford St., beginning on Wednesday, January 15 at 7:30 p.m. and then every other Wednesday, finishing on March 12. This series, hosted by John DiLeo, will feature the “Great Leading Ladies of Hollywood’s Golden Age,” including Judy Garland, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Claudette Colbert and Katharine Hepburn. All are welcome and the series is presented free of charge.  Read more

MiZ solos at the Dancing Cat

BETHEL, NY — MiZ performs solo at the Dancing Cat Saloon on Saturday, January 11 at 8:30 p.m. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Mike Mizwinski, who gives his name to the band MiZ as well as his solo work, is a soulful rock-Americana artist from Northeast Pennsylvania. Known as an acoustic and electric guitar virtuoso, his songs evoke the rustic tones and imagery you would expect from the Pennsylvania coal-mining region and its cultural heritage.  Read more

Folk band Miles to Dayton in Hawley

HAWLEY, PA — Featured in Oprah Magazine and selected as emerging artists of the year by Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Harmony Presents brings folk-rock band Miles to Dayton to the Hawley Silk Mill on Saturday, January 11 at 7:30 p.m.  Read more

Book reading and signing

PORT JERVIS, NY — The Port Jervis Library will host a reading by two local authors on Thursday, January 9 at 6:30 p.m. Joe DeMono, of Port Jervis, will read from his novel,“Ciro.” "Ciro" is loosely biographical in depicting the struggles the author had to fit in, his bullying by high school classmates and his confusion about his own sexuality.  Read more