August Light

August Light

 Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio LISTEN   There’s something about August light that makes it superior to the light at any other time of year. I realize that’s a large claim to make. Why should one month be any different or better than another? Every month, every day, each hour potentially has its moments. Wouldn’t the quality of light have at least as much to do with the weather – if it’s overcast or clear, sunny or rainy. You can…

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Going Overboard for Lobsters

Going Overboard for Lobsters

 Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio LISTEN     What is it about lobster rolls? A trip to Maine would seem incomplete without one of these tasty treats. About the only thing that can compete on a consistent basis in the counter food category is a charcoal-grilled cheeseburger and fries. And when I say a trip to Maine would be incomplete without a lobster roll – my wife and I spent a few days there last week — I don’t mean…

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Growing Local Hors d’Oeuvres

Growing Local Hors d’Oeuvres

 Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio LISTEN   The first homegrown cherry tomato of the season with Hawaiian black lava salt and refreshments Last holiday season I received an advent calendar from the Burpee company. Instead of chocolate, or whatever treat is typically secreted behind the twenty-five doors of an advent calendar, this one contained seeds: beets, basil, tomatoes, poppies, cauliflower, radishes, watermelon. Last holiday season I received an advent calendar from the Burpee company. Instead of chocolate, or whatever…

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Dodging Raindrops at Tanglewood

Dodging Raindrops at Tanglewood

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio LISTEN   I love Tanglewood. The problem is Tanglewood doesn’t love me back. My wife and I attended opening night last week and got rained on – and due to my low tolerance for excessive moisture – rained out for the second year in a row. It probably doesn’t say much for my status as a classical music lover that it took me approximately thirty years of visiting the Hudson Valley to make it over…

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Partying for a Good Cause with Joan Davidson

Partying for a Good Cause with Joan Davidson

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio LISTEN   Joan K. Davidson, President Emeritus of the J.M. Kaplan Fund CREDIT J.M. KAPLAN FUND The first goal of being a philanthropist should be to do good. But there’s a second, perhaps undervalued side of giving away your cash – having fun while doing so. I don’t make this observation based on personal experience. Since the bulk of my philanthropy goes to causes such as caulking my roof. But rather by benefiting from the…

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City vs. Country

City vs. Country

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio LISTEN   Dancers at Sunset Park in Brooklyn The question comes up often these days: Where would I rather live? The city or the country? And the answer is… both. One makes you appreciate the other more. If someone put a proverbial gun to my head, I suppose the country would win out because it’s, well, more civilized. I suppose that’s an ironic thing to say since cities are synonymous with civilization. But the country…

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One Less Carp

One Less Carp

 Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio LISTEN   NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Officer Jeffrey Cox About a month ago I penned a commentary about the single fish in my pond – a grass carp. I suggested that I probably ought to give him a name because, after a number of years swimming around in solitude and growing to the approximate size of an ocean-going tuna, he’d assumed the status of a family pet. Come spring, all would not be right…

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Hunting For Hawthorne

Hunting For Hawthorne

 Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio LISTEN  An acquisition at the Kinderhook, NY Memorial Library book sale A local library book sale isn’t the place you’d expect to go to learn you’re a has-been. But that’s what happened to me last weekend at the Kinderhook Memorial Library book sale in Kinderhook, New York. If you’ll indulge me while I offer a little background regarding my history of book hunting. I probably need to go as far back as the 1960’s…

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Planet Earth to Trump

Planet Earth to Trump

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio LISTEN  Photo of the Earth taken on 12/7/72, by the crew of the Apollo 17 CREDIT PUBLIC DOMAIN / NASA Donald Trump has done a lot to amaze and disturb since becoming President of the United States. But abandoning the Paris Climate Accord struck a particularly depressing note. As he made his defiant announcement in the Rose Garden, enabled by questionable statistics, a military band, and applauding minions, you could almost hear the flowers…

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Communing With Camels

Communing With Camels

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio LISTEN    Miyako Kinoshita, Green Chimneys Education Program Manager, with Phoenix, a Bactrian camel My family has this game we play. It’s not really a game; it’s more of a ritual. We call it “What’s Your Favorite Part of the Weekend?” It started in the car returning to the city on Sunday nights. We’d go from family member to family member, in no particular order, and try to pinpoint our favorite part, aspect, moment,…

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