Blogs & Columns


TRR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox

Cornell Co-Operative Extension’s 2017 TOAST award winner Melinda Meddaugh, left, pictured here with Roberta Byron-Lockwood, carries on the SCVA tradition initiated by Agnes Van Put 20 years ago.

Welcome to the Catskills!

Mother Nature is at it again. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan—but every once in a while, her plans get in the way of mine. Such was the case over the last few days, and my schedule changed accordingly when the first real snowfall of the season prevented me from getting to some of my appointed rounds.


TRR photos by Sandy Long

This dead tree serves as a smorgasbord for bird species such as woodpeckers, which have been feasting on insects that have also gained sustenance from it. 

Taking down the tree

For many of us at this time of year, the phrase “taking down the tree” refers to an activity we’ll find ourselves engaged in when the holiday season winds down.

(Not) In the spirit

I’m having a hard time getting in the spirit this season. November knocked me out, first with a killer flu complete with fever, bad dreams and a deep cough, then a residual vertigo and persistent ennui. My daughter cooked our Thanksgiving dinner, which we limited to immediate family to prevent transmission of the virus.


Photo by Jeff Knapp

Sean Cullen, left, as Marley and Julia Register as Bogleare appear in a scene from “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol.” 

'Tis the season!

Boy, is it ever! Even before the Thanksgiving leftovers are gone, Christmas & Co. is in full swing throughout the Upper Delaware River region—and beyond. Although Hanukkah is early this year, (12/13) I’m rarely overwhelmed by latkes, dreidels and chocolate coins, but Christmas? Uh huh.


TRR photo by Jane Bollinger

This is Sydney, the tame ruffed grouse that has been frequenting Jane Bollinger’s driveway and yard. When Jane took this picture, the grouse was about two feet away. One idea is that these “tame” grouse are hyper-territorial. Some of these grouse will peck your hand if you get it too close.

Sydney the grouse

The memories of ruffed grouse are usually of one or two birds at a time flushing suddenly from their hide and disappearing rapidly between the trees of the forest in a flourish of noisy wing beats. Hunters and other people who frequent the ruffed grouse’s habitat will say that the grouse is one of the most secretive birds in the woods.


TRR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox

“No Apples Needed!” the recipe exclaims, and true to its word- tastes just like apple pie. IMHO.

You are what you eat

Uh oh. If that’s the case, then I am in big trouble. I’ve had food issues my entire life, stemming from the fact that I never really cared. Honestly, if I had my druthers, I’d take a pill three times a day to satisfy my dietary requirements. Since that’s not possible, I eat when I have to, but not necessarily because I want to.


Contributed photo

Stephen Kushner, center
 

The trunk

The trunk from Russia currently sits in my bedroom here in French Woods, NY. In the off season I store our winter coats and snow clothes in it. Sometimes I stash Christmas presents in the old, heavy trunk. It rests, inconspicuously, in the corner under the east window.


TRR photos by Jonathan Fox

Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce President Cathy Paty and treasurer Heinrich Strauch presented Bethel Woods CEO Darlene Fedun, far right,  with the “Business Person of the Year” Pride Award last Thursday.

Ain't no mountain high enough

I’m not big on awards shows. Don’t get me wrong—it’s kind of cool when folks are acknowledged for one thing or another, especially when it’s by their peers. And it’s not sour grapes, either, since I’ve received one or three over the years.

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