Above: Tyler Borchet, center, searches the driftwood pile at the Jan. 23 driftwood giveaway in Olivebridge. Photo by Julia Reischel.
Driftwood is the Catskills version of the iPhone -- people line up around the block to get it.
Hundreds waited in below-freezing weather in the Ulster County hamlet of Olivebridge on Friday, Jan. 23 for a chance to pick through a pile of free driftwood being given away by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.
The NYC watershed agency removes driftwood from the shores of its Catskills reservoirs every year. To get rid of the driftwood, the agency used to burn it. But this year, it tried something new: giving it away to the public.
Above: The line for driftwood. Photo by Julia Reischel. Read more
Above: "Driftwood Cove" in the Ashokan Reservoir. Photo via the NYC DEP.
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is hosting an odd event this Friday, Jan. 23: A driftwood giveaway.
The DEP has a driftwood glut on its Ashokan Reservoir, one of the city's upstate lakes that supplies NYC's drinking water. A portion of the reservoir's west basin is dubbed "Driftwood Cove" because of the large amount of wood that piles up along its shores after washing down the Esopus Creek through the Catskills, according to a DEP press release.
For years, the DEP has given its driftwood away to artists, who use it in sculptures and crafts. But in that past, the DEP has also burned some driftwood, which has disappointed some artists who wanted as much of the wood as they could get. Read more
Ulster County is preparing to file more litigation in an attempt to evict the Catskill Mountain Railroad from county-owned train tracks, according to Ernie Hunt, the spokesman for the railroad, and Ulster County Legislator David Donaldson.
Hunt said that the railroad’s lawyers received notice on Tuesday, Jan. 13 that Ulster County would soon appeal a September decision by Ulster County Supreme Court Judge Richard Mott that prevents the county from evicting the railroad. Read more
Above: A bear snacks on birdseed after smashing a bird feeder at a home in Andes in 2006. Photo by Peter Possenti (using a telephoto lens.) Used with permission.
The spot Tim Meservey found at the base of a tree early one Saturday morning in September was a hunter’s dream. On a rise, it faced a gully that is a country lane for wildlife. A few hundred yards away is a farm where bears strip sweet, young corn from the stalk when no one is looking.
Usually, bears are not on Meservey’s big game list. Not as plentiful as deer, they are also elusive, and it was rare to see one in the woods by the time regular hunting season arrived in November in Greene County, where the 39-year-old hunter and middle school art teacher lives.
“They tend to head back up in the mountains in fall,” Meservey said.
But when the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) initiated an early bear season that started on Sept. 6 – the regular season opened Nov. 15 – Meservey said he finally saw an opportunity. Read more
"Not your Bubbie and Zadie’s getaway," the NYT writes, ranking the Catskills #39 on its list. The paper names a series of Catskills establishments that have been enjoying fantastic press recently, including The Graham & Co. and the Phoenicia Diner in Phoenicia and Cucina and Woodstock Way in Woodstock--all of which were also recently lauded in a feature in Vogue.
There's also the inevitable comparison to Brooklyn: Read more
As Republican Congressman Chris Gibson was sworn into his third term in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Jan. 6, he announced that it would be his last.
In a statement, Gibson said that he will step down from the U.S. House of Representatives at the end of his current two-year term:
"As I stated shortly after retiring from the US Army and first pursuing a seat in Congress in 2010, I planned to self-impose term limits. Accordingly, after much reflection and consultation with my family, this will be my third and final time taking the oath of office as a Representative in the US House. I thank the voters of Upstate NY for this privilege to serve and pledge to continue to work tirelessly on their behalf in this final term." Read more
Hello 2015! We're back after a holiday break, just in time for winter to really sink its teeth into the Catskills.
The National Weather Service is warning that high winds will batter Greene, Schoharie and Ulster counties throughout the day on Monday, Jan. 5, that downed power lines and outages are possible, and that "loose objects may be propelled:" Read more