Friday, July 19: Walkway over the Hudson and the Mid-Hudson Astronomical Association present Walkway at Night, an opportunity to enjoy breathtaking twilight views and study the night sky with telescopes.
In our 21st century, more than half the world’s population lives in an urban environment, with natural nocturnal darkness a phenomenon many only read about. But we who live in a rural setting still mostly enjoy the natural night and its splendors. Still, there’s dark and then there’s really dark.
Every summer a Hudson Valley town or two make one of these lists. Will it lead to more crowds? Or are there so many such lists of “cool small towns” being churned out by websites that it really doesn’t matter?
Among the most significant changes is a proposal to introduce “Medication Assisted Treatment” to the Ulster County Jail. MAT programs, which include the use of opioid substitutes like methadone and Suboxone have been proven effective in reducing deaths from opioid overdose and reducing addicts’ dependence on street drugs. But, until recently, corrections officials have almost universally resisted their introduction into jails and prisons.
“The beauty of ballooning here is the topography,” says Chris Healy, a balloonist with 33 years experience. “It’s just a beautiful place to fly. I’ve flown most places in the country, and if you’re flying in California, or Arizona, out toward the desert, you’ve really got to like brown. And if you’re going to fly down South, you’ve got to like flat. But here we’ve got the Shawangunk Ridge to the north, we’ve got the valley carved out by a glacier and the Hudson River. Rolling green hills, farmland, lakes and streams: This really is one of the best areas in the whole country to fly in.”
In the spirit of its founder, the great Hudson River School painter Frederic Church, Olana’s 2019 season of events is rich in adventurous, thoughtful and in some cases downright experimental programs – not necessarily the staid curatorial approach that one has maybe been conditioned to expect of historical sites.
If you’ve seen the Great Pyramids, Machu Picchu, the Grand Canyon, the Taj Mahal, the Atacama Desert, the Himalayas and maybe even rented a houseboat on Lake Powell, is there any sight that can top all these? Yes. A total solar eclipse. Not a lunar eclipse. And certainly not a partial solar eclipse.
Saturday/Sunday, June 22/23: Many of these sites are accessible to the general public only one day each year.
The back-to-the-land movement of the 1970s spurred a revival of interest not only in organic farming, but also in foraging for wild foods and medicinal herbs. Now, with epochal climate change driving the desire to get off the grid and live as sustainably as possible, a whole new generation too young to remember Euell Gibbons is turning its attention to these same pursuits. This weekend brings several local events on these themes.
Do clams have consciousness? Did our clams experience fear? Did they have any awareness of what had befallen them? Did they actually decide what to do? We really don’t know. We suspect that they may well have been equipped with some sort of automatic response system that allowed them to deal with what should have been a scary situation. We guess that we will never know for sure.