All posts by Frances Marion Platt

Controversial playwright Neil LaBute comes to New Paltz’s Denizen Theatre

Controversial playwright Neil LaBute comes to New Paltz’s Denizen Theatre

Announcing the event as one that “further reinforces Denizen Theatre’s commitment to bold new works,” New Paltz’s new black-box performance space in the Water Street Market will play host for one night only on Tuesday, June 18 to a lightning rod among contemporary playwrights: Neil LaBute, who will give a reading of his latest stagework, Comfort, with discussion to follow.

Gardiner-made Doc Schwarz Wine Jelly puts sophisticated twist on homey product

Gardiner-made Doc Schwarz Wine Jelly puts sophisticated twist on homey product

Jelly is kid stuff, right? Something you outgrew a long time ago, except for maybe a rare PB&J when the cold cuts are all gone and you’re waiting on your next paycheck to go grocery-shopping? Maybe it’s time to rethink that prejudice. Some Gardiner-based entrepreneurs, doing business under the name of Doc Schwarz Wine Jelly, are brewing up new jelly flavors that will have you looking for innovative culinary uses for what used to be a humble sandwich spread.

Snappers on the move

Snappers on the move

There’s a survival reason for their testy tempers: The plastron or underside shell of a snapping turtle doesn’t cover all of its abdomen, leaving plenty of room around the legs for swimming movements. There are thus soft parts exposed that make the animal vulnerable to any large predator that managed to grab onto it.

Everything you need to know about the timber rattlesnake

Everything you need to know about the timber rattlesnake

Timber Rattlers can be found in the mountainous areas of the Hudson Valley, including the Catskills and Shawangunks. There have been no recent recorded cases in New York State of human fatalities from a bite from a timber rattler, but symptoms may be severe, including nausea, vomiting, paralysis and tissue damage, and an allergic reaction can certainly be life-threatening. A dog twice bitten in Minnewaska State Park in 2014 succumbed to the venom.

Spotted lanternfly: New York’s newest insect invasion

Spotted lanternfly: New York’s newest insect invasion

While spotted lanternflies like tree of heaven best, they also like to eat almost everything else. They are known to feed on the sap of more than 70 plant species. Fruit trees and grapevines are being especially hard-hit in Pennsylvania. Hops are also a favored host, as are nut trees. So this creature’s imminent arrival in the Hudson Valley, with its agricultural economy, is cause for serious concern.