More secrets of the country dweller

Everything you need to know, now in two places!

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REGION — Welcome, new residents. Welcome, visitors! 

Here are some more suggestions on how to get along, how to settle in and what to watch out for. There’s a lot of wisdom out here. Enjoy! 

We love animals...

Your dog(s) can’t run loose. Be respectful of your neighbors and keep your dog on a leash or a run. Clean up after your pet, and don’t let them “go” on other people’s property. Each town has dog regulations; check their websites.

Watch for turtles crossing the road. If you are inclined to help them, encourage them to move to the side of the road in the direction they are going. 

We have snapping turtles here too. Be careful! 

Bears are attracted to birdfeeders and will go to no end to get them (standing on railings, climbing over houseplants on the porch). I’ve even had a near miss when a galvanized trash can filled with birdseed and reinforced with a cover and a tight bungee was laid on its side with the bear lying next to it, attempting with a back paw to break the bungee cord. 

Slow down!

We welcome you to this beautiful area. It’s gorgeous here and we want you to enjoy the amazing vistas and the ever-changing views as you drive. 

In order to do that, please slow down and be sure to not tailgate. That’s the whole point of living here. Welcome the beauty by keeping distance between you and the car in front of you. After a little time, you will slow down in general and appreciate the beauty here. There is no need to rush. 

Please observe local driving speed limits. Part of the beauty of visiting and living in the Upper Delaware Valley is narrow country roads with blind curves. Many folks are walking these roads to enjoy seasonal beauty, or walking with their pets. Slow your pace and participate in the treasures of sight and sound. Creeks and streams offer a sweet sound, and spotting bald eagles is always a thrill.

Be watchful. In some places, you pull out of the parking lot right into the road. (The municipal parking area in Callicoon is one of those spots). If you aren’t careful, you can get hit—or hit someone passing by. 

Here, we have one-and-a-half lane roads, like River Road in PA and also in the hamlet of Narrowsburg. The speed limit is 25 mph on River Road and 30 mph in Narrowsburg. Now that the weather is warmer, folks are walking and jogging. Every pedestrian has a right to safety. So sometimes, we need to go slower than that speed limit. 

Also, the deer are everywhere. You don’t want them to be waiting for your bumper.

Pay attention for speed traps. Speed limits can go from 55 miles per hour to 30 miles per hour in a blink of an eye. When you see everyone slowing down, don’t get angry. They know what they are doing. They live here and have gotten tickets themselves.

Always stop to let pedestrians cross the street. They’ll wave to you and you can wave back.

Follow the speed limit on turns. Many cars end up in ditches because the drivers haven’t paid attention or think they can handle it.

At home

Meet your neighbors before building a fence.

Remove birdfeeders at the end of winter season and then put them back out again when well-seasoned local folks tell you it’s OK.

Light pollution is a problem, please don’t contribute to it! Those who insist on lighting up their homes and properties to mimic daylight conditions 24/7 don’t really care, or worse, about the impact it has on their neighbors, the animals and insect life that live around the area. 

Don’t trust the cellular coverage maps put out by mobile services; poll neighbors instead. 

Many people may be planting their first gardens and not realize how late we can get a frost; a general rule of thumb is not to put tomato plants in the ground before Memorial Day. 

Plant plants in your yard that help pollinators.

Refrain from complaining about the lack of street lights and dirt roads. In Wayne County, PA especially, we like no street lights and dirt roads. That’s why your taxes are so low and you can see the stars on clear nights.

Picking up

Please dispose of your trash properly; soda cans, water bottles and cigarette butts are an eyesore.

Most towns do a free “get rid of stuff” day at the town offices where you can bring old garden equipment and other non-toxic trash.

Do not leave your trash by the side of the road. Do not stick it in random trash cans. We have to pay for garbage removal here. Take it to the dump. It’s not expensive and will keep our roads clean.

Community-minded

Please shop locally and support organizations that keep our area a special place to be.

Thank your township supervisor/local elected official; they work hard for not a lot of money.

Get involved and volunteer if you can. It’s the best way to get to know your neighbors.

Know that pancake breakfasts, penny socials and spaghetti dinners are the ways locals raise money for charitable organizations in non-pandemic times.

To find places to hike, bike and walk, check out www.Trailkeeper.org and sullivanoandw.com.

Sign onto the weekly emails from the Sullivan County Visitors Association to see what’s going on and follow local businesses on their social media accounts.

Deer, deer

Deer jump out in front of you all the time. In June, there will be fawns, and they cross, and stop, and then here comes another baby on its long spindly legs. We really have to slow down and be careful. 

When there is one deer crossing the road, there are usually more about to follow. Stop and then slow down and let them pass. 

Catmint and Russian sage are the only plants I’ve found to be truly deer-proof.

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