Shooting Clay Pigeons

Shooting Clay Pigeons

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio LISTEN Lucy Gardner shooting sporting clays at Orvis Sandanona in Millbrook, NY The last time I went hunting it didn’t go well. I was aiming at a bird high in a tree with my BB gun. And I never expected to hit the thing. But hit it I did and it crashed through the foliage and struck the ground with a sickening thud. I must have been twelve or thirteen at the time. And…

Read More Read More

Maintaining a Well Groomed Road

Maintaining a Well Groomed Road

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio  LISTEN I celebrated Earth Day last weekend the way I do every year. By collecting the trash that accumulated on our road over the previous twelve months. I wouldn’t call it a fun time. In fact, what fuels me is righteous indignation. But on a more positive note, when I’ve completed my mission – it takes about an hour – I’m filled with a sense of temporary well-being. As well as a few deer…

Read More Read More

Birding with an Expert

Birding with an Expert

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio  LISTEN Birder Elisabeth Grace examining a warbler nest at Ooms Conservation Area in Chatham, NY When I started spending weekends upstate in the late 1970’s I didn’t know a blue jay from a bluebird. Having grown up a city kid, I owed my early birding education to two sources: my wife, who was raised in the suburbs; and a weekly birding column in the Chatham Courier, a Columbia County newspaper, written by Kate Dunham…

Read More Read More

A Visit to Lover’s Leap Farm

A Visit to Lover’s Leap Farm

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio LISTEN Farmer Curt Gobrecht in the farrowing barn at Lover’s Leap Farm in Kinderhook, NY   Spring marks kidding season for goats. Sheep, at least their owners, call it lambing season. Any idea what this rite of spring is when it refers to pigs? I didn’t until last weekend when I visited Lover’s Leap, a heritage pig farm in Kinderhook, NY. In fact, I realized my knowledge of pigs was largely limited to the…

Read More Read More

Curating My Utility Drawer

Curating My Utility Drawer

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio LISTEN Ralph’s utility drawer  There isn’t much you can control in this world. But when you run across something you can, no matter how inconsequential, you need to jump at the opportunity. That’s why I spent a good hour Saturday morning cleaning up the utility drawer in our kitchen. I’m not sure everybody knows what I’m talking about, or maybe you have a different name for it, so I’ll try to explain. Obviously, there’s…

Read More Read More

Making Maple Syrup

Making Maple Syrup

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio  LISTEN Ben Madey at his maple sugar house in Ghent, NY  This wasn’t a good winter for maple syrup production. At least at our house. We have one tap. My wife bought it at our local hardware store. It’s still sitting in the plastic bag. We have lots of woods. But the first challenge is determining which of our trees are sugar maples and which aren’t. We went to Tractor Supply in Hudson, New…

Read More Read More

A Hudson Wine Tasting

A Hudson Wine Tasting

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio LISTEN  (5:07) Phil Sareil leading a wine tasting at Hudson Wine Merchants One of the more pleasant experiences I’ve had lately was a Saturday evening wine tasting at Hudson Wine Merchants. They’re on Warren Street in Hudson, NY. Here’s how much fun it was: I don’t drink wine and I still had a good time. I know. I know. Not drinking wine is a character flaw. My family, all devoted wine drinkers, remind me all…

Read More Read More

A Visit From a Bear

A Visit From a Bear

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio LISTEN  (4.27)  I was planning to devote this commentary to snow. As I write we’re anticipating a foot or more in the Hudson Valley and a blizzard in New York City. Though given our wacky weather by the time we air it might be eighty and sunny. But on my way to celebrating the magic of snow – it’s something I never take for granted and don’t understand those who complain as if were…

Read More Read More

A Taste of Poland

A Taste of Poland

Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio   LISTEN   A nation’s museums and monuments, parks and restaurants aren’t the only things that interest me on vacations abroad. I also love visiting their supermarkets. You can tell a lot about a place by how they stock their shelves and also by their shoppers’ etiquette. For example, a Swiss supermarket is a study in politeness, no matter how busy. However, one in Italy tends to be an exercise in chaos – not necessarily…

Read More Read More

Catching Mice

Catching Mice

 Commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio Listen here   One of the secrets to success as a newspaper columnist, or probably a radio commentator for that matter – and no, it’s not having something to say – is self-deprecation. Because the question will eventually arise, “What gives you the right to mouth off?” The short answer is “Nothing.” So I’m going out on a limb here by boasting about a recent accomplishment. And I can’t point to many. It was…

Read More Read More