Kids’ Almanac (Feb. 20-27)

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

“A grandchild can remind one of that part of your heart that first opened, that you didn’t even know was there, when your children were first born.”
– Peter Blum, hypnotist & sound healer


A close call!

I received a shocking e-mail this week from my friends Julie and Jim Hyland in New Paltz, and they gave me permission to share it with you, in hopes that it may help others. Thank you, Hylands!

“Around ten o’clock last night, after watching some Olympics and anticipating a snow day, one of our carbon monoxide detectors started beeping. ‘ No real alarm, probably a bad battery,’ I thought – until I quickly realized the one in the basement was going off, too. We started opening windows and got the family quickly onto the porch and called 911. Remember: You can’t smell carbon monoxide – our only warning was the eight-year-old detectors we had in the house. Firetrucks came quickly (thank you, New Paltz Fire Department!). This was not a false alarm; the levels were high in the house, and very high in the basement. Kimlin, our propane supplier, came to the house at 11:30 (during the storm!). They found the problem: A bird nest had fallen into the chimney and blocked the vent for the hot water system. The propane was turned off and the house cleared and checked by the NPFD until the levels were at zero. We asked the fire chief what the potential danger may have been: ‘You might not have woken up tomorrow morning.’ We will be getting new detectors today, and we are asking all our friends and family to do the same!”


For more tips about carbon monoxide, visit


Raptor show at Red Hook Library

On Friday, February 21 at 6:30 p.m., the Red Hook Library hosts Bill Robinson’s presentation about “Birds of Prey and Reptiles.” The show is free and open to the public and takes place at the Red Hook Firehouse, located at 42 Firehouse Lane in Red Haook. For more information, call (845) 758-3241 or visit To learn more about the presenters, visit


Snowshoe outing at Mohonk Preserve

Is this a great season for snowshoeing or what? This weekend offers some nice opportunities to get outside and enjoy some of the benefits of all of this white stuff. On Saturday, February 22 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., individuals 12 years and older are invited to snowshoe through the woods and learn to identify trees by their shapes, bark patterns and buds. Space is limited for this three-mile snowshoe (or hike if not enough snow), and reservations are required. Remember to bring snowshoes, a snack and water.

This program is free and open to the public, but you will need to pay a Mohonk Preserve day fee unless you are a current member. For reservations or more information, call (845) 255-0919 or visit


Snowshoeing for novices at Minnewaska State Park

If you are new to snowshoeing, here’s the event for you! Minnewaska State Park Preserve’s “New Snowshoes and Frozen Falls” is an introductory snowshoe outing on Saturday, February 22 from 1-2:30 p.m. where you’ll learn to put snowshoes on and take a short trek to Awosting Falls. Snowshoes are available for rent for $5 at the Preserve office. This program is free and open to the public, but preregistration is required, and the parking fee per car is $8 if you do not own a current Empire State Passport. Meet up at the Awosting Parking Lot, and remember to bring a snack and water.

Minnewaska State Park Preserve is located at 5281 Route 44/55 in Kerhonkson. To register or for more information, call (845) 255-0752 or visit


Scenic Hudson volunteer Open House in Beacon

Families, individuals and educators will be interested to know about Scenic Hudson’s Learn & Serve Open House taking place this Saturday, February 22 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Attendees will enjoy a light brunch while learning about volunteer opportunities with Scenic Hudson, as well as its excellent field trips for all grade levels as well as adult groups and organizations.

The Open House takes place at the River Center at Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park, located on Long Dock Road in Beacon. For more information or to RSVP, call (845) 473-4440, extension 273, or visit


Guided winter nature walks in High Falls & Saugerties

The John Burroughs Natural History Society offers two field trips this weekend. On Saturday, February 22 at 9 a.m., meet at the Rosendale Shopping Center on Route 32 for “Early Migrants on the Rondout” with Carol Weber, as the group travels upstream to the High Falls area looking for early harbingers of spring. Reservations are recommended in case of changes. Contact Weber at or (914) 388-1569.

On Sunday, February 23 at 9 a.m., join the Esopus Creek Conservancy and the John Burroughs Natural History Society for a Winter Tree Walk at the Esopus Bend Nature Preserve, where ecologist Spider Barbour will talk about identifying trees by bark and twigs. Meet in the Saugerties Village Beach parking lot on Route 9W, just north of the Esopus Creek bridge, at the foot of Partition Street in the Village of Saugerties. Bring binoculars and tree guides if you have them, and be prepared for cold winter conditions and/or wet, muddy trails.

Contact Steve Chorvas ( for additional information or directions. This walk is free and open to the public. Preregistration is not required, but recommended in case of changes. For more information, visit or


African American history in song at the Poughkeepsie Library

This weekend’s music scene includes two excellent shows. On Saturday, February 22 from 10 to 11 a.m., musical artists Kim and Reggie Harris tell the stories of Harriet Tubman, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other African Americans through song and spoken word at the Poughkeepsie Library District’s Auditorium. This performance is free and open to all ages.

Then on Sunday, February 23 at 2:30 p.m., the Library District hosts a concert by the Dutchess Antislavery Singers at the Auditorium: “This musical ensemble, a part of the non-profit organization the Mid-Hudson Antislavery History Project, actively researches and performs Abolitionist music. Their repertoire includes hymns, patriotic and popular tunes that were sung at Abolitionist conventions and rallies around the North in the mid-1800s. The Singers perform in period clothing, circa 1860. Their program traces the rise of the interracial antislavery movement from its religious origins, to its political clout in the 1850s.” This performance is free and open to the public.

The Auditorium is located at 105 Market Street in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 485-3445, extension 3702, or visit


Pete Seeger memorial concert at the Falcon in Marlboro

On Saturday, February 22 from 5:30 to 10 p.m., join the crowd in celebrating Pete Seeger at the Falcon with a potluck supper and singing with Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Happy Traum, Bethany Yarrow and Rufus, Timothy Hill David and Jacob Bernz and many others!

The Falcon is located at 1348 Route 9W in Marlboro. For more information, call (845) 236-7970. To learn more about the venue, visit


Youth Buddy-Ball in Marlboro

I am so excited about Bambino Buddy-Ball. Registration is open now, and it’s a dream come true for some of my favorite area families, either as player participants with special needs or as “buddies.” What a program!

“Babe Ruth League believes that every child should have the opportunity to participate in baseball or softball. The Bambino Buddy-Ball League helps to make that dream a reality for physically and/or mentally challenged ballplayers. With the help of a special ‘buddy’ to swing a bat, round the bases or catch a ball, ballplayers are able to experience the thrills of the game. The Bambino Buddy-Ball League is designed to foster confidence and self-esteem, make memories and have fun. An emotionally rewarding experience for all, ‘buddies’ achieve satisfaction from their involvement while the athletes benefit from the opportunity to participate in organized sports, physical fitness and social events and outings.”