Winter's last hurrah (we hope)

People across the Catskills awoke this morning to find April's first green shoots covered in snow. Above: A row of icicles that sprouted overnight from a Margaretville roof gleams under a dazzling blue sky. Photo by Lissa Harris.

According to snow reports from the National Weather Service in Albany and Binghamton, some areas in the Catskills -- like Claryville in Ulster County, Livingston Manor in Sullivan County, and the Greene County mountaintop region -- got over three inches of snow Tuesday night. 

Tuesday's bout of winter weather came just a little too late to extend the ski season, which lasted well into April this year. Over the past week or two, the four major ski centers of the Catskills -- Belleayre, Hunter, Plattekill and Windham -- all put an end to this year's blockbuster season.

Above: No BBQs on this Margaretville porch til the snow melts. Photo by Lissa Harris.  Read more

Just arrived - Fruity, Floral and Fresh new Spring scents in candles... and they're on sale!

Fruity, Floral and Fresh Scents - Sake Lemon, Amaryth Jasmine, Strawberry Grapefruit Rose and Linden Leaf Moss double wicks (50 hour burn time) now $14. Shea Butter hand cream now $12 and more !

Store wil be open everyday this week through Saturday.

Cold front sweeps through area, bringing rain, sleet and snow

Above: Temperatures around upstate New York around 8 a.m. this morning, showing a cold front moving east across the region. The National Weather Service in Albany writes: "Current 8 a.m. temperature in Albany is 63 degrees while behind the cold front in Buffalo, NY, it is 33 degrees with a rain/snow mix."

Watch out for April showers -- and a few bouts of sleet and snow. After a few days of sunshine and temperatures in the 70s, the Catskills region is now bracing for the return of wintry weather as a cold front moves in from the west.   Read more

Senior-ize or Sell - Informative Seminar

For most people their home is one of their most valuable assets. Therefore, it is a good idea to carefully consider options regarding this asset when reaching retirement age and beyond.  Many people prefer to "age in place", while others are ready to downsize and each scenario raises many questions.

Gerry Murphy of M Gerard Country Home and Margaret "Peggy" Bellar, licensed real estate salesperson, of Keller Williams Upstate New York Properties will explore "senior-izing" your home and tips on preparing for selling your home in an informative seminar to be held at M Gerard Country Home store on Saturday, April 26th from 11AM until Noon. Also joining them will be professionals to answer legal and tax questions.
 
 




 

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Delaware County bank set to expand into Sullivan County

It's a familiar story in small-town America: Little community bank strikes a deal with a giant national corporation, and suddenly there's a new logo on your local bank branch.

Only this time it's the other way around. NBDC Bank -- also known as the National Bank of Delaware County, a small chain of community banks based in Walton -- announced recently that the company is acquiring six Bank of America branches in Sullivan County. 

The deal, which has yet to receive regulatory approval, is expected to go through by fall, according to a press release issued by NBDC Bank. Under the terms of the deal, NBDC will operate former Bank of America branches in Callicoon, Liberty, Monticello, Narrowsburg, Roscoe and Wurtsboro. 

The acquisition of the six Sullivan County branches will double the number of offices run by NBDC Bank, which currently runs branches in Walton, Andes, Franklin, Hamden, Stamford and Roxbury.   Read more

The Fish are Biting in the Great Western Catskills

North American fly fishing began right here in the Catskill Mountains. To fish the brook trout of the Neversink River, Beaverkill River and Willowemoc Creek, the father of the American school of dry fly fishing, Theodore Gordan, modified and created flies to mimic the area’s native insects. From this humble beginning, the sport has spread and flourished across the country.

Fishing Season began April 1 in New York State and the Great Western Catskills, with close to 900 miles of trout streams and the Cannonsville and Pepacton Reservoirs, is one of the premier destinations to enjoy the sport. So whether you are looking for brook, brown or rainbow trout, get your license, grab your gear and come enjoy the waters of Delaware County.  Read more

Spring Affair at Binnekill Square and Main Street Shops! Sat. May 10 10am-4pm

   

Vendors, Flowers, Baked Goods, Tastings, Demonstrations & More! 

      Read more

Huge Sale! Gifts for the Spring Holidays and Mother's Day!

Store closing May 3rd so take advantage of the storewide sale and save up to 50%!  Soaps, Candles, Lotions, Quilts,Bedding and more!

Delaware Phoenix: Walton's one-woman absinthe factory

Above: Delaware Phoenix began with absinthe and has recently expanded into whiskey. Photo by Jacob Pucci. 

Delaware Phoenix Distillery grew out of a personal hobby and an 8-gallon still.

Proprietor Cheryl Lins, a pioneer among upstate New York spirits makers, began experimenting with making absinthe back in 2006, a couple of years after moving to Delaware County from New Mexico.

“I like to say I crash-landed here,” she said. “I needed a change of climate.”

She traded desert heat for long, snowy winters, and then decided to heed her friends, who, after tasting her spirits, urged her to trade in her careers as a computer programmer and an artist as well.

Today, Lins is still a one-woman show, but her absinthes, and more recently, whiskeys, have earned accolades far beyond her Catskills and New York City markets—and helped launch a mini-boom of upstate New York distilleries.

Left: Absinthe in the making. Photo by Lucille Huffman.

When Lins opened Delaware Phoenix in 2009 with two versions of absinthe, Meadow of Love and Walton Waters, she was the first in the Empire State to produce the formerly outlawed concoction, two years after the federal government relaxed its rules on sales of the “green fairy.” Lins’ products almost immediately made waves through the burgeoning absinthe community, both here and abroad.

In 2010, the New York International Spirits Competition awarded gold medals to her Walton Waters absinthe and her Rye Dog whiskey. Reviewers at the Wormwood Society, a consumer education and advocacy group named after one of the primary ingredients in absinthe, rate Meadow of Love as the second-best traditional absinthe worldwide. Both Walton Waters and Blues Cat, a limited-time product produced in 2011, rank in the group’s top 15.

The process to make Delaware Phoenix a reality began in earnest in 2007, soon after Lins’ new hometown of Walton was hit by a devastating flood. That event prompted the name for her distillery: “Delaware” for the county and the river that runs through it, and “Phoenix” from the mythical bird that rises from the ashes of its predecessors.

Lins applied for state and federal licenses, a process that took roughly 18 months and a sizable upfront financial commitment. Under current law, prospective distillers must obtain a workable commercial location that fits within certain guidelines and purchase and set up all the distilling equipment—all without the promise that the equipment can even be used. In addition, Lins had to get special permission to distill within the village of walton, as zoning did not permit it.  Read more

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