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…

Read More Read More

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…

Read More Read More

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…

Read More Read More

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…

Read More Read More

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…

Read More Read More

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…

Read More Read More

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,…

Read More Read More

A Long Overdue Visit to Mohonk Mountain House

A Long Overdue Visit to Mohonk Mountain House

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio LISTEN Mohonk Mountain House I filled a rather significant hole in my Hudson Valley education last weekend. I finally spent a couple of nights at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY. I say significant and finally not just because the spectacular 259-room castle hotel, which has been around since 1869 and sits on the Shawangunk Ridge in Ulster County, is listed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. But also because friends and…

Read More Read More

Feed Your Hummingbirds

Feed Your Hummingbirds

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio LISTEN Homemade hummingbird nectar  After you’ve watched hummingbirds feed at your hummingbird feeder for a while – what, you don’t own a hummingbird feeder? – you’ll realize that the box the feeder came in, the one with the picture of a hummingbird placidly sitting at each port sipping nectar; it’s a scam! The picture had been photoshopped. A hummingbird won’t let another hummingbird anywhere near a feeder if it has anything to say about…

Read More Read More

A Fish With No Name

A Fish With No Name

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio LISTEN GRASS CARP  — Credit U.S. Geological Survey/Public Domain — Wikimedia Commons I own exactly one fish. Lately I’ve been thinking I ought to give him a name. He’s not a pet fish that lives in a bowl, though he feels more pet-like with each passing season. He’s a grass carp, a species rumored to control aquatic weeds. He’s also the last of five I bought a few years back from a fish farm…

Read More Read More