Lightning strikes with bear encounter

I’ve slept in the backwoods hundreds of times; not because I always necessarily wanted to, but because it used to be my job. In the summers of 2004 and 2005 I worked as an Assistant Forest Ranger (AFR) for the New York State DEC. More...

Posted 8/7/2018 08:27 PM

John Burroughs favored the Catskills over the Rockies

When I was at school in Colorado back in 2000, I ironically discovered” something from back home, from the Catskill Mountains of all places. More...

Posted 7/24/2018 09:25 PM

American Plum – A fruitful opportunity

I’ve always had a “sweet-tooth.” I literally know where just about every gumball machine is in the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains. Some grocery stores have them when you walk in, and some don’t. More...

Posted 6/26/2018 08:47 PM

Who’s Using Who?

Last week I was grafting an apple tree at a Catskill Forest Association’s member’s property near Fleischmanns. More...

Posted 5/29/2018 10:32 PM

Hub-Caps & Apple Trees

I have my faults. Maybe I admit them. Maybe I don’t. Or maybe I choose to admit them but avoid elaborating on them. More...

Posted 4/10/2018 09:52 PM

Nipping it in the Bud

You heard the saying before, “Nip it in the bud.” To nip something in the bud is to correct something before it becomes a larger problem. Although the phrase pertains to plants, it is often used in relation to us humans. More...

Posted 3/6/2018 11:50 PM

Getting Even

My friend who introduced me to hunting many years ago would say something following hunting season that stuck with me, “Time to get even Trapani.” After a season of killing deer, he would turn to killing coyotes in order to “get eve More...

Posted 2/6/2018 09:47 PM

Luxury Firewood

I had a 6th grade math teacher make a comment I’ll never forget. “When someone tells you that you’re short, ask them compared to whom?” His comment played into his lesson plan on ratios and such, but it did stick with me. More...

Posted 1/9/2018 09:06 PM

The Creed

All Marines must memorize the “Rifleman’s Creed,” which was created in 1942 by Marine Brigadier General William H. More...

Posted 12/20/2017 12:26 AM

Killing Time

The older I get; the faster time seems to go. It makes sense to me as my father – being a math teacher – once explained it. “It’s a simple ratio. When you’re 6 years old, 1 year is 17% of your life. More...

Posted 11/21/2017 09:03 PM

Hidden Views

From the Mountain   More...

Posted 10/17/2017 08:10 PM

Don’t Judge

Yesterday found me stranded for a short while near Kerhonkson. I was waiting for some new brakes and decided to go for a walk. Besides, I was kind of hungry anyway. More...

Posted 9/12/2017 09:58 PM

Going Unnoticed

I remember it was 11 or 12 years ago when after a day fishing for brook trout, I stopped at a local indoor “watering hole” and heard where more trout might be. More...

Posted 8/8/2017 09:11 PM

A Local Forest Threat or a Free Car?

All too often we hear about the possibility of environmental impacts from various proposed projects in the Catskill Mountains, Hudson Valley or even on the national scale. More...

Posted 7/4/2017 06:53 PM

Thornapples a prickly species

I’ve never really paid much attention to bumps, scratches, scrapes, or small puncture wounds. As a kid, weighing the cost of walking through head-high raspberry thickets with the benefits of finding “the best fruit in the middle of it all” was easy. More...

Posted 5/30/2017 08:47 PM

“Spinach” in the Forest

When I was just a kid, I hated spinach; it wasn’t texturally appealing to me and didn’t seem to taste very good either. I’d wolf down the hamburger or macaroni and leave behind the green mound of spinach. More...

Posted 4/18/2017 08:47 PM

Winter Wildlife - they’re coming for your arborvitaes

“Wildlife.” It’s a term that’s used in reference to animals we see at roadsides, behind houses, or in the woods. More...

Posted 3/22/2017 12:10 AM

Historical Living Isn’t Really Living

I grew up near New Paltz in Ulster County. My family worshiped at the Dutch Reformed Church on Huguenot Street. Every Sunday found our family attending service for the first 20 years of my life until I went to college. More...

Posted 1/31/2017 08:39 PM

Smaller Acreage, Larger Forests

What’s a forest anyway? I remember many years ago, the first time I hiked up Giant Ledge in the heart of the Catskill Forest Preserve. Giant Ledge is what it describes – a giant ledge. More...

Posted 12/13/2016 09:37 PM

Remaining Viable

In New York City’s watershed, many of us are aware of the various campaigns out there to conserve both farmland and forestland. More...

Posted 10/25/2016 07:21 PM

What’s That Noise?

In the early evening my wife and I often go for a walk with our two daughters in the stroller. Metta Mae is three years old and Maple is one. It’s funny to see their reactions to new things. More...

Posted 9/13/2016 09:54 PM

From the Forest

Golden Chanterelles – A Mushroom Worth Picking

Many of you have probably noticed how little rain we have received in the past few weeks or so. Stream levels seem fairly low and the fishing isn’t as good (for me) under these conditions. More...

Posted 8/9/2016 09:41 PM

Remembering the ash…

Some of us have heard stories from our grandparents – or even great grandparents – about the American chestnut tree. Chestnut trees were used in flooring, fine furniture, building construction, and even fence-posts. More...

Posted 7/5/2016 09:32 PM

From the Forest

Fruitful Forests, One Fruitful Tree

This spring I’ve spent some time pruning old apple trees. They were neglected old trees that either the previous landowner planted or the current one forgot about, or simply a seedling that began its life through a deer’s rumen. More...

Posted 4/26/2016 07:20 PM

Wasps, Yellow Jackets and Hornets

I write some semblance of this column every year, because it is important, but usually I wait until September. This season I have had quite a few inquiries already regarding hornets and how to deal with them. More...

Posted 8/7/2018 08:27 PM

The Forested Flutist

Today – as I write this – is the first official day of summer according to the calendar. However, a couple of weeks ago something else told me summer’s arrival. On a walk one evening I heard the “forest flute” playing. More...

Posted 7/2/2018 09:18 PM

Nature Abhors a Vacuum

Maybe you’ve heard the saying; “Nature abhors a vacuum.” In other words, the existence of “nothing” doesn’t really exist in nature. The abhorrence for a vacuum can be exemplified accurately in the forest. More...

Posted 6/12/2018 09:58 PM

Plant Xenophobia

When I was a kid, there was a tree down the road I liked to visit once in a while. It was located directly behind a children’s private school. It was a mulberry tree. Now, if you’ve never had a mulberry, then you’re missing out. More...

Posted 5/8/2018 09:20 PM

Interior Options

Lately, I’ve been stuck somewhere in these Catskill Mountains pruning apple trees. More times than not, I seem to resemble less a pruner and more an insect trapped in the tree’s intricate web of branches, sprouts, limbs, and deadwood. More...

Posted 4/3/2018 08:21 PM

Towering White Pine

This might seem strange for someone who climbs trees both recreationally and for work, but I do share a fear of heights to some degree. I guess it has somewhat to do with which tree species I’m climbing.  More...

Posted 2/27/2018 11:54 PM

Well, I Suppose…

When I woke up this morning, it was cold. I could feel the tug-of-war match between cold air outside battling with last night’s cooling woodstove. Walking down the hallway, I could feel that cold air creeping in. More...

Posted 1/16/2018 08:37 PM

A short wish list

The holiday countdown is on. Again. Just like other years. More...

Posted 12/20/2017 12:26 AM

From The Forest

Catskill Forester Ryan Trapani Describes: Growing Deer Debate at Town of Lloyd Historical Preservation Society) Program

Most local residents are only too familiar with the problem: the movement of deer from our forests into our backyards, vegetable gardens, and flower beds. More...

Posted 12/5/2017 09:22 PM

Equality with Ag

Let’s assume there is a guy name Agriculture; let’s call him “Ag” for short. And there’s another whose full name is Forestry. More...

Posted 11/7/2017 06:56 PM

The Spiral of Decline

People are concerned about their trees. On most days, the phone rings at the Catskill Forest Association’s office and on the other end of the line is a concerned member about an ailing tree. More...

Posted 10/3/2017 08:28 PM

Black Cherries & Black Bears

It was about seven or eight years ago when it happened. I was “bushwacking” on a trail-less mountain in Ulster County that I’d been to before. My destination was near the top where I knew a spectacular view existed. More...

Posted 8/29/2017 09:30 PM

Take Care of What You Got

“After this, I’m just giving up,” said a member to me last week near Jeffersonville. I was visiting the member’s property on a forest consultation to inspect her second round of fruit tree plantings. More...

Posted 7/26/2017 10:31 AM

FROM THE FOREST

Mountain Paper Birch – Hidden in the Mountains

It’s not every day that one “discovers” a new tree; at least one I never knew existed. Each year I take a short camping trip into the higher elevations of these Catskill Mountains. More...

Posted 6/13/2017 11:05 PM

Vigor Versus Fruit

Every season is special in some way, but spring seems somehow more hopeful. More...

Posted 5/9/2017 10:59 PM

The Old Sugarbush

As a forester I get to visit some interesting properties with interesting histories. Once in a while I visit a forest owner’s property that clearly has two age classes. More...

Posted 4/4/2017 09:26 PM

Measuring Daylight & Maple Sugar

I remember talking about chickens to a friend of mine many years ago. He wasn’t a commercial chicken farmer, but had kept egg-layers for decades. More...

Posted 2/28/2017 09:50 PM

Watered Down Firewood

Half as much for the same price   More...

Posted 1/10/2017 09:53 PM

From the Forest

Cows in the wilderness. That’s what I saw recently; at least I imagined it anyway. It was a beautiful sunny, warm day for taking the gun for a walk up the mountain. Despite the warmer weather, I still managed to see two bears and one doe. More...

Posted 12/28/2016 12:47 AM

Forestry Demands Patience

The problem with forestry – in comparison to growing vegetables – is that it takes so long. When a field is tilled and corn is planted, most are aware that their reward will be reaped at the end of summer.  More...

Posted 11/8/2016 09:00 PM

From the Forest

By Ryan Trapani, Interim Executive Director, CFA   More...

Posted 9/27/2016 08:54 PM

The Columbian Exchange Continues

Education Forester, CFA Here’s a question. What do a serpentine belt, car tires, penne alla vodka, honey, Irish potatoes, apple pie, Kentucky blue grass, tobacco, horses, and Emerald Ash Borer all have in common? More...

Posted 8/23/2016 10:48 PM

From the Forest

Forestry – Glorified Forest Gardening

Forestry – A less familiar rural use   More...

Posted 7/12/2016 07:49 PM

From the Forest

What Happened Here?

A week or so ago I went hiking with my friend, Dr. Michael Kudish to Little Pond state campground. Dr. More...

Posted 5/10/2016 08:31 PM

From the Forest

Catskill Mountain News Publisher Dick Sanford has announced that Ryan Trapani has joined the paper’s staff as a columnist. More...

Posted 3/15/2016 06:31 PM