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Autumn comes to the Catskills

Autumn comes to the Catskills

It’s a flirtation of wild asters and jewelweed and bawdy goldenrod. The sky is as blue as the Madonna’s robe and the sun is hot, but wake up early the next morning, and dew has dampened that tablecloth you left on the patio table. The cicadas still thrum in late afternoon, but you notice the songbirds are silent. Silent and gone.

How to keep your outdoor spaces warm and cozy as temperatures fall

How to keep your outdoor spaces warm and cozy as temperatures fall

Spring became summer and as case numbers bobbed along, vacation plans withered. But gardens sprung up, as more homeowners took to fixing their landscapes and outdoor spaces. The mindset became, “If we can’t fly away on vacation, how can we bring that getaway feeling to our home?” Front porches received a fresh coat of paint and a hanging basket or two, while backyard living rooms became an alfresco extension of the home, featuring hardscaped patios with comfortable seating made for socially distant conversation, plus cozy firepits, sleek wetbars, and more. Water features, like garden ponds, waterfalls, or even large-scale babbling brooks further established the summer oasis setting.

Mohonk Preserve to reopen most trails

Mohonk Preserve to reopen most trails

Reopening on Wednesday, May 20 are: West Trapps, East Trapps Connector, Spring Farm, and Upper Duck Pond trailheads, as well as the Visitor Center. The Coxing Trailhead remains closed. Mountain climbing and bouldering won’t be permitted at this phase and horse trailer parking won’t be allowed due to limited parking (around 50 percent capacity, depending on the lot). Some parts of the preserve, such as Split Rock, won’t be open, but most trails will be, according to Mohonk Preserve Communication Director Gretchen Reed.

Farewell, my lovely

Farewell, my lovely

It’s almost over. Venus has been dazzling and delighting us for months now, the best apparition of the evening star since 2004. It’s still amazingly bright in the northwest during the first couple of hours after sunset. It’s hard to believe that this will now change so rapidly.