Category Archives: Nature
Can you imagine snuggling into your bed at night after a long day at the office, being lulled to sleep by the sound of a waterfall in your backyard? I had to get five aquariums AND download a waterfall sounds app for my iPod just to get that effect in my apartment. Having a swimming hole in your back yard in which to languish on sultry summer days would be pretty great also.
Oh, and we like the house, too. It’s pretty, but the first thing I would do if I bought this home would be to pull up the carpets. I always assume that under every hideous carpet lies a beautiful hardwood floor. I have no basis for this assumption, except that one time, I lived in a house that had nice hardwood floors hidden by barf-green shag carpeting. Long story short: It doesn’t hurt to pull up the corner of the carpet, just to see what’s under there.
The house is set back from Boice Mill Road, secluded, and surrounded by farm land all around. And if this was our yard, we’re not sure we’d ever be able to leave the property ever again. Looks like the perfect place to go for a bit of an afternoon ramble, don’t you think?
Ugh. Some of my friends who went to Bard told me recently that they’ll never move back to the area because of Lyme disease. Seemed a little extreme to me at the time, but then again I did almost lose my mind last summer when someone asked me if I had fully checked my kid for ticks (she’d been having some country naked time in the grass) before she went to bed. I actually went up inspected her in her sleep.
Even for the less paranoid, this news that there will be a surge in the deer tick population next year ain’t good. As far as we know, Dutchess County already has one of the highest populations of deer ticks, so more can’t be welcome. The reason for the prediction: not enough acorns, meaning not enough mouse food, meaning more dead mice, meaning more roving ticks.
I suggest local brokers offer knee high socks with every home purchase!
This is really just an excuse to write funicular in a sentence! No, but really, turns out Beacon has more to offer than just good, cheap housing stock, public transport and culture; it has nature, too, in the form of Mount Beacon, a peak offering panoramic views of the Hudson Valley.
Once upon a time (that is, until 1978), a funicular hustled folks to the top of the mountain, and the NY Times reported last month that a group is raising funds to restore the ride. In the meantime, until the end of this month, the Mount Beacon Incline Railway Restoration Society is leading hikes up the mountain along the former (and future) funicular path. I’m trying to find some homes for sale close to Mount Beacon, which seems like where I’d wanna live.
This headline caught my eye, even though I’ve never stepped foot in a kayak. If you’re a hardier soul than I, check out Ethan Schowalter-Hay’s quick guide to fall kayaking in our favorite local mountain range in today’s USA Today. What a great way to see the foliage, which is particularly fantastic this year, thanks to all that rain.
The NY Times is running a piece today on fall foliage travel specials, since tourism is still sagging in the post-Irene economy.
Some highlights: “Hunter Mountain is hosting local bands and family activities this weekend (Oct. 8 and 9) for Oktoberfest, where admission is free. And the Thomas Cole National Historic Site is offering a guided hike Oct. 15 to Sunset Rock and Catskill Mountain House to see the landscape that inspired artists of the Hudson River School.”
And: “Because of a major washout east of Phoenicia, for example, the Catskill Mountain Railroad’s Esopus Scenic Train now travels along a modified five-mile round trip between Mt. Tremper and Boiceville. It used to be a 12-mile trip from Mt. Temper to Phoenicia. Fares have been reduced to $12 for adults and $7 for children ages 4 to 11.”
Just wanted y’all to know. Can’t wait to get up there!
We’re lifting this from the wonderful Watershed Post blog. After all, we seek to present the most important information so you can make a clear decision about where to buy, rent, live and visit in upstate New York. So we thought you should know about the pigs. Sounds funny, actually serious.
The controversial Belleayre Resort, a $400 million project that will add another Mohonk-like getaway to the cache of upstate New York vacation spots — plus skiing — leapt over another hurdle last recently. “New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the approval of a contract for the purchase of 1,200 environmentally sensitive acres in the Catskills Forest Preserve adjacent to the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center, now owned by the resort project’s developer, to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC),” reported Catskill Mountain News. Good news for pro-Belleayre folks, but bad news for the opposition, which feels it’s too big, too much, too located within protected lands and inside the watershed.
I think it’s rather extraordinary that developers are still pressing ahead with the project in this economy. I mean, a new golf course, a bunch of LEED silver buildings, a new spa…not exactly a stimulus package that appeals to the average New Yorker. But upstate New York has a surprising dearth of such getaways, and I actually think there might be a market for it. What do you guys think? Is it just too much, or will the jobs and revenue created by it — assuming, if they build it, folks will come — be worth the environmental impact?
At last some good news! After Hurricane Irene, hiking and camping sites across the Catskills were shut down due to dangerous conditions. Just in time for fall foliage, most have reopened (though some trail heads remain closed). The DEP has set up a special page on its website to check on the status of individual trails. Click here for deets.
We came across this post yesterday in a blog we’ve just discovered by an upstate New York real estate agent, Kellie Place (lots of good stuff on here, although a surprising pro-fracking bent to it). Kellie writes that the DEC has decided to close trails on DEC-managed land in Ulster and Greene counties, and state campgrounds will be closed, too. Better safe than sorry, as she says, although it’ll add to the continued problem of economic recovery, cutting into leaf-peeping season and the fall exodus to the hills. More info here on the DEC website.
The NY Times asked an important question this weekend: should we rethink rebuilding in the very spots that Irene ravaged? After all, at least a little built of the destruction came from a human miscalculation about, or perhaps willful ignorance of, building on the flood plain. “Are there communities that simply can’t be protected adequately and should be relocated?” asked Assemblyman Kevin A. Cahill.
Cahill goes on to say that the communities with the strictest building codes tended to be the least damaged–a vote for big government, I guess, and that dirty word regulation. The decision has to be made based on what folks in the article term the “new normal”–the more severe weather patterns expected to continue due to climate change.
The town they focus on is Phoenicia, a favorite of ours for its sweet little inns, the great tubing, the beauty of the Esopus Creek…which is also it’s most potentially menacing aspect as well. And they mention poor Margaretville as well, where business owners are now second-guessing their choices.
“…the destruction left by the tropical storm has already begun to alter the mind-set of some business owners and homeowners. Last year, PSK Supermarkets, which operates a chain of Foodtown and Freshtown stores in New York State, spent millions of dollars to open a store in the Village of Margaretville, in Delaware County, about 20 miles west of Phoenicia.
Noah Katz, a co-president of the company, said he knew he was building on a flood plain and was aware of the damage that major storms had already inflicted on the village. But since a couple of 100-year floods had already occurred in the past 15 years, the likelihood of another such storm anytime soon seemed slim.
‘We thought we had a hundred years,’ he said.”