Great things to do with the kids

Dressed up for the Pine Bush UFO Fair. (photo by Will Dendis)

Dressed up for the Pine Bush UFO Fair. (photo by Will Dendis)

“and the brown,

still brown,

has a greenish hum

that you can only hear

if you put your ear to the ground

and close your eyes”

– from And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano


My ongoing wish for our children is that they receive all of the gifts of our Hudson Valley: to think as clearly as the views from our mountaintop perches; to create as freely as the flowing waters of our rivers; and to love as deeply as the heritage of our valleys. To that end, here are some of our family’s favorite places, events and activities that we eagerly anticipate as part of Hudson Valley spring.

– Erica Chase-Salerno


“It is spring” book

What is spring, exactly? Not fast-forwarded to that end result where our minds skip right to images of verdant landscapes, but where it begins: that subtlest turning point. How do we first encounter the barely perceptible shift from winter brown to peeks of spring green?


In the woods where we live, everything feels quiet to me on the outside. So much of the busy-ness in the natural world remains invisible to me, until I tap a tree and suddenly observe the bountiful sap that collects in my bucket. The tree looks the same, unchanged. Yet here is this undeniably full container of sap that was empty yesterday. This in-between, where something happening looks like nothing happening, so we assume that nothing is happening: This nuance means everything.

I am deeply moved by the simple and beautiful children’s book, And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano, which captures this sacred seasonal in-between in a sweet, real, honest and peaceful way. I’m not alone in my fondness for her story: Olive resident Fogliano just won the 2013 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer and New Illustrator Book Award.