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December 20, 2014
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Building a new house is always an adventure, and for Paul Plumadore and Jim Tindell of Milanville, PA building their home on River Road has been the adventure of a lifetime.

Grandpa’s Dirt

Grandpa knew dirt. The son of feudal farmers, he was born into it and was one with it. He knew its language and listened to what it asked for. He didn’t have words like carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, but he could tell if the soil was healthy from its scent or how it felt in his hands. As a little girl I watched Grandpa in his garden gently turning the dirt so that it would loosen and breathe and graciously accept the seeds he left in its care. Grandpa knew when it was thirsty and the best time to let it drink, always before the sun or after the sun.  Read more

Planting Season

The edge of winter is fading as
Patches of white melt to brown.
Throw open doors and windows to
Breathe in the changing air.
In grey mornings of early spring
Trudge the mud to work the fields.
Speed the plow till the earth
Is once more covered in vibrant green.

Soil

I fold the wealth of compost against the grain
of impoverished earth that is my flower bed
of spoiled seeds.  Read more

How to Keep a Secret

Turn up the music.
Turn down the lights.
Pick up a poppy seed with tweezers.
Pink or red — how can you tell?  Read more

The Dirt

Although I’m in recovery now, I was glad I was still drinking the Thanksgiving Day after my parent’s divorce. My brother and I decided to invite them to a celebration at his house. We only did this because they swore to us that they would remain friends. Then our father walked in with a date. We know him well enough to see that this was meant as an intentional act to hurt our mother.  Read more

The Buzz

Weeding wet gardens,
sweat pours from pores, drips from tips,
and calls mosquitoes.

My Fingers

My fingers dig deep.
The moist earth yields.
Once separate, now united.
We are one.

My First Garden

It would be nice to say that I began gardening as a little girl, pushing sunflower seeds into the dirt under the tutelage of a sun-weathered grandmother who’d been practicing the garden arts passed down from her mother, and her mother. But, this is not the case. I was raised in suburban New Jersey, just across Sandy Hook Bay from New York City, where it was against code to hang clothing on an outdoor line, much less roto-till your lawn for food.  Read more

The gentleman farmer; Nice outfit!

I woke up thinking about mowing. Again. This happens a lot between May through October. In my dreams, I find myself having spent what feels like several hours of mowing only to find that I have etched into the field in front of my house what looks like a UFO crop circle. Other times I have an out-of-body experience, and like a Bugs Bunny cartoon I do a “snap focus” high above my property to realize that I have spelled out “Eat at Joe’s” in the meadow in some crazy Etch-a-Sketch pattern.  Read more

Camping in the backyard

When I was little, I would pack up a backpack, grab a flashlight, pillow and blanket and go camping—in my front yard. I had a tiny tent. Each panel was one of the primary colors: yellow, red and blue. I would sleep in my purple sleeping bag, which was pink and fuzzy on the inside. I always brought a book and read it by flashlight way past my bedtime. These are the things I remember.  Read more

Man caves, Backwoods style

[Author’s Note: The men who agreed to be interviewed for this article insisted on anonymity and a promise not to disclose the locations of their blinds. My appreciation and thanks to The Old Man, The Soldier and The Cowboy for allowing a sneak peek into the male mystique.]  Read more

Dressing up

As tender greens begin to come up at farms and in gardens, it’s smart to prepare yourself with a repertoire of dressings that do them justice. Though the smallest, juiciest lettuces call for little more than a light coating of olive oil and lemon juice, we’ll soon be inundated with firmer heads, curly endives, spicy arugula and succulent leaves of spinach. These substantial greens are fully capable of standing up to more robust textures and flavors and your palate will also welcome the exciting variety.  Read more

Tips from a professional: Plan, plant, persist & be pleased with yourself

Landscaper Ed Gavalla of Jesse G’s Nursery in Glen Spey, NY is in the business of helping people create special outdoor spaces. His eyes twinkle and his passion for his line of work shows when he talks about the pleasure of creating a backyard dream oasis—a peaceful zone where a person can sit quietly and appreciate the birds, the bees, the flowers and the endless palette of nature’s colors, no matter what the season. In Gavalla’s world, spring should pop with color, summer should be lush and green, and autumn should be awesome.  Read more

At home in a country inn: Restoring past glories

Travel down any number of country roads throughout the Catskills and one can discover architecture that exemplifies what life was like during the heyday, when the region was known as a playground for those seeking respite from the workaday world of city life. Boarding houses, hotels, bungalows and inns were scattered across Sullivan County, and among them, The Old North Branch Inn stood proud.  Read more

Horses in our river valley

Horses! They transport us, through our eyes, imaginations, bodies and souls. They abound in our river valley, with varied opportunities to know them.  Read more

Shad fishing with Len Caputi

An interview with Andy Boyar

If you want to learn a great deal about shad, you could read John McPhee’s splendid book “The Founding Fish.” If you simply want to know how to catch a shad in the Upper Delaware River, just ask Len Caputi. How does he know when the shad run is on? Len replies with a twinkle in his eye, “I smell ‘em!”  Read more

‘Don’t worry, be happy’

Have fun relaxing and floating in your life jacket as you enjoy the river this summer. It’s a safe way to float around and have fun. We hope you and your family have a great time while visiting the beautiful Upper Delaware River!  Read more

A BioBlitz comes to Ten Mile River Scout Camp

[Editor’s note: Jack Barnett and Mary Anne Carletta, summertime residents of Hawley, PA, were among dozens of scientists and volunteers who participated in the 2013 Upper Delaware BioBlitz (UDBB) last June, a species census conducted on a riverfront property along the Delaware near Starlight, PA. This year, they will again join the UDBB to be held June 28 and 29 at the Ten Mile River Scout Camp in the Town of Tusten, NY. The River Reporter asked Jack and Mary Anne to explain a bioblitz by recalling their experiences of last year’s science and environmental event.]  Read more

Fifty shades of green

CALLICOON, NY —The 2014 first annual Green Tourism Conference, held earlier this spring at Villa Roma Resort, showcased green technologies, materials, products and practices that are breathing new life into an old industry.  Read more

Why we fish

The most captivating way I know to embrace nature and immerse yourself in another reality is to slip into a river or to jump in a boat and go fishin’. Just going fishing is its own reward.  Read more