Hollywood vet Bill Pullman chairs the Catskill Mountains Film Festival

Top:  Bill Pullman with Jessica Vecchione, the founder of the Catskill Mountains Film Festival. Photo by Riikka Olson, via the CMFF Facebook pageAbove: Bill Pullman explains his relationship to the Catskills. Video shot by festival founder Jessica Veccchione. 

Bill Pullman, a Hollywood vet whose best-known role is a stalwart president facing down aliens in the 1997 blockbuster Independence Day, is the honorary chairman of the new Catskill Mountains Film Festival, which is launching this May. 

The festival, which was founded by local videographer and filmmaker Jessica Vecchione, is accepting submissions until March 21. (Pullman has an adorable call for submissions on the festival's website.)   Read more

Saugerties' stolen Gumby makes the Colbert Report

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Above: "Colbert's Very Wanted: Who Took Gumby?" From the Colbert Report, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014.

An unsolved local mystery made national television on Wednesday, when the Colbert Report aired a segment about a 7-foot-tall Gumby statue stolen last fall from a Saugerties backyard  Read more

Perfect landing

Above: A chickadee touches down at a backyard feeder, while an American goldfinch looks on.

Local photographer James McCracken took this shot in a neighbor's yard in South Kortright last week, with the aid of a GoPro Hero 3 camera and a color-enhancing Instagram filter. For more of McCracken's stunning mid-flight shots of backyard birds -- and more photos from around the Catskills -- check out the Watershed Post's Flickr group pool

Pine Hill Books to close

Above: Chelsea Goodwin (left) and Rusty Mae Moore in Pine Hill Books, which is closing this month. Photo courtesy of Goodwin and Moore.

Pine Hill Books, a used bookstore that opened on Main Street in Pine Hill in 2010, is closing its doors at the end of February, according to owners Rusty Mae Moore and Chelsea Elisabeth Goodwin.

"Business has been declining since the floods of 2011, and it has become impossible to continue to subsidize the store," Moore and Goodwin wrote in a letter to the Watershed Post last week.

The bookstore was unique in the Catskills because of its niche specialties: science fiction, steampunk, fantasy, and horror. In keeping with that theme, Goodwin and Moore founded the Pine Hill Steampunk Festival, which had its second season in 2013. It is unclear if the festival will continue.  Read more

Letter to the Editor: Closing the Pine Hill Bookstore

To the editor:

The Pine Hill Bookstore which has been located at 300 Main Street in Pine Hill since December 2010 is closing at the end of February. Business has been declining since the floods of 2011, and it has become impossible to continue to subsidize the store. We appreciate the forbearance that our landlord, Florence Hamling of the Pine Hill Roost Inc., has extended to us as we have been unable to meet the rent payments since November 2013. We have assured her that she will be paid in full once we get the store closed and we get back on our feet.

Many thanks to our customers over the years. We have enjoyed the opportunity to meet with people from all over the Catskills as well as tourists and skiers passing through Pine Hill. We have developed a loyal (but small) group of customers who have visited us often, and who often have contributed books to the inventory of the store.  Read more

Sunrise at the Landis

Flickr user A Man Called ACME was up at dawn on Presidents' Day to capture this view of a sunrise at the Landis Arboretum in Esperance.

Photo taken on February 17, 2014 and shared in the Watershed Post Flickr pool. Share your cold-weather photos with us via Facebook, our Flickr group, or by old-fashioned email.

Five ways to spend Valentine's Day in the Catskills


1. We heart art. 
On Valentine's Day, meet and mingle with the artists in permanent residence at the Woodstock Commons, a new affordable-housing center for artists, seniors and working families. "Share The Love," a gallery show featuring the artists' work along with artwork by children who live in the building, will open on Friday, Feb. 14, with an opening reception from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Work by Avigayil Landsman, Sasha Sun, Laura Katz and Mercedes Cecilia will be on display, and the evening will feature a special performance by resident musician Barry Garneau.


Above: Catskill Rose's handmade lobster marscapone ravioli. Delish.  Read more

This weekend: Winter Hoot at the Ashokan Center

This Friday through Sunday, the Ashokan Center in Olivebridge comes alive with the twang of banjos, the stomp of feet, and the sweet sound of voices lifted in harmony. (And even a little "electrified Americana," in the form of a set by Saugerties' Conner Kennedy.)

The Ashokan Center's Hoot, now in its second year, is a biannual folkfest fundraiser for the center's environmental education activities. Hosted by local folk duo Mike + Ruthy, the son-in-law and daughter of Ashokan Center co-founder Jay Ungar, the fest is quickly earning a devoted following among folkies. The late Pete Seeger made an appearance at the first Summer Hoot last August -- and later sent a postcard to its hosts saying it was "one of the best song gatherings I've seen in all my 94 years."   Read more

The snowbound Catskills

Snow falling on cedars...and hemlocks, oaks, and maples. (Not to mention sidewalks, driveways and interstates.)

Below are few of the stunning photos taken by Watershed Post readers around the Catskills in the last few days. Got one to share? Add it to our Flickr group pool, or send it to us at, and we'll include it in this post.

Taken before the storm: A gorgeous mountain view from the Ashokan Dreams Bed & Breakfast in West Shokan. Photo by Chester Karwatowski. 


Catskills hoop dreams: Not a footprint on this snowed-in basketball court in rural Meredith. Photo by Fred Harris. 

   Read more

Waiting for summer

Above: Rowboats wait for the return of sunnier weather in the Sullivan County hamlet of Kiamesha Lake. Photo taken Monday, Feb. 3 by John of Catskills Photography; shared in the Watershed Post's Flickr group pool. For a larger view, click on this link to the photo's Flickr page.

Local photographers: Want to see your Catskills photos on the Watershed Post? Share them with us on Flickr.

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