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Thanks for all the photos!

Above: "Fiddleheads", May 8, 2012, at Frost Valley YMCA, by Robin White. Just one of the 60-odd photos submitted to our photo contest. 

Wow, you Catskills folks take a lot of photos.

Submissions from across the Catskills poured in last night to our 2013 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest. At midnight, when the contest ended, we had a total of sixty-something entries. (I'm not sure of the exact number because of duplicates.)

You can see all of the final entries on our Facebook page, on the Central Catskills Great Outdoor Experience Festival's Facebook page, and on our Flickr page. If you see a missing or duplicate photo, let me know!   Read more

Last day to submit your photos to the 2013 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest!

Above: Just some of the entries in this year's Catskills Outdoor Guide photo contest, as pictured on our contest Flickr group

The contest is now closed. Winners will be announced on May 28, 2013. Thanks!   Read more

Swarmageddon: Northeast braces for 17-year cicadas

Photo by Dan Century of cicadamania.com. Published under Creative Commons license.

Brood II: It sounds like a low-budget horror movie. But it's real, and it's poised to engulf the East Coast from Georgia to Connecticut, an onslaught of giant bugs that have lain dormant underground for the last 17 years.

The periodical cicada is the Methuselah of insects, spending long years underground in larval form before emerging en masse in tremendous numbers. Groups of 13-year or 17-year periodical cicadas that emerge together are known as 'broods,' and New York State is home to several of them, along with several species of annual cicadas that emerge every year. The last mass cicada emergence in New York, of the 17-year Brood XIV, happened in 2008.   Read more

Thunderstorms across Catskills

The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for Sullivan County, along with much of Pennsylvania, for Friday afternoon and evening. (Update, 9:30pm: The area is no longer under tornado watch.)

Sullivan County, along with the rest of the Catskills region, can expect thunderstorms, heavy rain, and gusting winds of up to 40 or 50 miles per hour as a cold front moves through the area from west to east. 

As of around 4pm, Hudson Valley Weather reported, the line of storms was moving through Western Pennsylvania. 

Update, 8:30pm: Delaware and Sullivan Counties are both under severe thunderstorm warnings until 9pm:  Read more

Tougher tests worry local schools -- and parents

Photo by Flickr user Chris Costes; published under Creative Commons license.

Sharpen your No. 2 pencils, kids. This week, public-school students in third through eighth grade across New York State buckled down at their desks for the first round of tough new standardized tests in English Language Arts. Next week, students face another round of testing in math. The new tests are designed for the Common Core curriculum, a new educational initiative that has been adopted by 45 states so far.  Read more

This Weekend: Earth Day around the Catskills

Seeds of change, sprouting at last. Photo taken in a Catskills garden on April 17 by Julia Reischel.

The official Earth Day, April 22, falls on a Monday this year. Celebrations and events around the region are taking place this weekend, next weekend, and in between. (Properly so: Isn't every day supposed to be Earth Day?)

Here's the Watershed Post's guide to the goings-on.

DELAWARE COUNTY

The little town of Andes is celebrating Earth Day in true no-nonsense Catskills style -- by getting to work. On Saturday, April 20, citizens will convene at 9am at Hogan's for the annual Andes litter pickup. Bring gloves, boots and any trash-grabbing "reacher" tools you may have at hand, and feel free to email [email protected] for more information.  Read more

Catskills runners among those at Boston Marathon

Eighteen runners from the Catskills region -- Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster Counties -- were among those registered for the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, where explosions killed at least three people and injured over 140.

The Watershed Post obtained the names of the local runners with a zipcode-based search of the Boston Marathon organizers' runner database. Among them were two runners from Delaware County, two from Schoharie County, one from Sullivan County and thirteen from Ulster County. No runners from Greene County were found in the database.

Embedded below is a spreadsheet of the runners, with their home towns. We have cross-referenced their names with Google's Boston Marathon Person Finder to find out if local runners have been reported as safe. The links in the "Link" column lead to more information about specific runners.  Read more

Announcing the 2013 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest

Top: A photo by Amanda Lee Popp, which won an honorable mention in last year's Great Outdoor Experience Photo Contest.

The contest is now closed. Winners will be announced on May 28, 2013. Thanks!   Read more

Trout season kicks off in the Catskills

Above: Photo of a brown trout fresh from the Pepacton Reservoir on April 1, 2013, the first day of trout season, posted on Facebook by the Vineyard Wine Bar in Downsville.

From April 1 through October 15, it's open season on trout in New York State -- the time of year when that migratory species, Anglerus waderii, flocks to our clear, cold Catskills trout streams from far and wide.

This year, with snow and ice still clinging to the banks of many streams, the season kicked off chilly and damp. In a press release about the 2013 fishing season, the state Department of Environmental Conservation tells anglers that the fish will perk up when the weather gets more spring-like:  Read more

Catskills skiing on Easter weekend -- and beyond

Above: A shot of "The Cliff" on Hunter Mountain, taken on March 27 -- in most years, a date when Catskills skiers are already putting their gear back in the attic.

Skiing on Easter Sunday? Yes indeed: All four Catskills mountains are open for business this weekend.

After last year's dismal winter, you've got to forgive local ski centers for being a little giddy about the prospect of skiing until April. Plattekill, a small family-owned ski center in Roxbury, was especially liberal with the exclamation points when they announced they'd be open March 29 through 31:

Isn't March for Spring Skiing??? It's confusing when April is next week, it's snowing like it's December and the conditions are comparable to mid-January. Now don't you just love mother nature, WE DO!!! YAY FOR SPRING!!!   Read more