Blogs & Columns


TRR photos by Sandy Long
Natural wonders come in many forms, such as this strand of eggs deposited by an American toad. Tuning in to their presence is a multi-sensory skill that goes beyond simple observation. Learn how to develop this skill and improve your photography during my “Wonder Watch” walk on June 30 at 10 a.m. Bring your digital camera or smartphone to capture the natural wonders of the Gales Property at the 2018 Upper Delaware BioBlitz in Starlight, PA. A limited number of macro and wide angle lenses will be available for use with smartphone cameras. The lens kits are provided by the event’s fiscal sponsor, the Delaware Highlands Conservancy.

Upper Delaware BioBlitz is back

Don’t miss this! On June 29 and 30, the fourth Upper Delaware BioBlitz will return to the site where it was launched in 2013—the 63.5 acre Gales Property in Starlight, PA.


TRR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox

Do I need a thousand words to describe what’s happening here? I think not, unless you are unfamiliar with the Sullivan Renaissance mascot. Oh, have I said too much? 

A picture is worth a thousand words

Or so they say. I suppose it depends on who is taking the picture and what the subject matter is, but with my arm in a sling (and a song in my heart), I ventured out into the world last week to see what I could see, the idea being that if I could capture photos illustrating where I was, then fewer words (you’re welcome) would be called for.


Artist Justin Rowles rendition of the Narrowsburg fire.

Fire and rain

In May, the lilacs bloom, trees are in leaf, and the lawn wants its first mowing. Eagles are busy hunting, feeding their hungry hatchlings almost constantly. A parade of brightly colored migrant birds stops at the feeders. Ducklings follow their mothers around the eddy, learning to evade the eagles.


TRR photos by Scott Rando

Wood frogs have finished their breeding activity in the vernal ponds that they favor. During the summer, they are not near water, but you can find them on forest floors, usually well camouflaged.

'Tis the season of the frog

If you pay attention to what you see and hear when outside and equate it to the time of year, you have just practiced the science of phenology: the study of when events happen with given species of plants or animals.

'Bug Week' 2018

For fly fishermen who chase trout in the Upper Delaware River system, the first week of June has always been referred to as “Bug Week.” In most years, this week will offer the season’s most diverse selection of different active insect species.

Fawns of spring

Their noses leave a ghost impression as they press against the window of the train. Others scurry across the aisle to catch a glimpse, if only for a fleeting moment. The “oohs and ahha” bring a grin to this jaded face of mine, but I enjoy the scene before me none the less.


TRR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox

Bethel, NY artist Michael Randels has been restoring the Woodstock Festival monument every spring since 2002. “Winters are tough on it,” he says. “The frost takes its toll, and visitors jump all over it when they come to visit, which is cool with me. I’m glad they enjoy having their pictures taken with it.”

June is bustin’ out all over!

It should come as no surprise (IMHO) that my birthday is a national holiday, and now that it has passed, I can get down to business. If for some reason your cards and gifts got lost in the mail, feel free to forward them on to me c/o The River Reporter.


TRR photos by Sandy Long

The Pike County Training Center features several stormwater best management practices (BMPs). The vegetated diversion berm at right in this photo conveys runoff around the site rather than through it, minimizing erosion of soils and the amount of stormwater that needs to be managed on site. Other features include a wetland forebay and wet pond, which receive runoff from impervious surfaces, as well as infiltration berms, which trap pockets of water, allowing it to soak into the ground. The various elements are all part of the site’s “treatment train” of stormwater BMPs. 

BMPs are VIPs

When it comes to protecting water quality in the Upper Delaware River region, best management practices (BMPs) are very important practices.


TRR photo by Tony Bonavist

The Peekamoose Blue Hole

The 'Blue Hole' under siege

There is a magical place, high in the eastern Catskills, where crystalline waters flow to form the “Blue Hole.” It is part of the upper Rondout watershed in the Town of Denning and is fed by Rondout Creek, which flows along Peekamoose Road.


TRR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox

Artists Adrienne Butvinik, left, Ramona Jan and Joan Nicole were a colorful trio during a recent “pop-up” show at the Catskill Distilling Co. in Bethel, NY.

In the blink of an eye

I’m not sure if I’m clinically depressed, self obsessed, or simply mad as a hatter, but my mind never stops whirring, and it’s difficult getting to sleep these days. When attempting to explain how I feel to my shrink—or what friends I have left—I stutter and stammer, seeking the right words. “It’s an existential crisis,” I said to a confidant.

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