Waterfall Safety Share

I just wanted to share with you all something Penny And I saw while we were visiting Kaaterskill Falls via the viewing platform which we found distrubing .

We pulled into the parking lot which was half full and noticed 5 people get out of the car and change into their boots. The vehicle had New Jersy plates, which makes no difference, knowing the shady areas would be Icy we doned our Micro- Spikes and headed out. The 5 people were ahead of us and noticed they were having trouble on the icy trail. Now the trail is handicapped accessible so it is easy but the ice patches made it rough for these people wearing sneakers and fuzzy leather boot. As we got to the fence at the top of the falls they decided to go beyond the fence and ignore the danger signs saying do not go beyond this point. These 5 were in there 60s and I’m sure they could read but not wearing the correct footware and went down any way. I wanted to say  something but decided to lay low and say nothing. Penny and myself then headed to the viewing platform

Now the view fron the platform is just amazing. You get a great view of the upper falls as that is the highest drop. The death toll at Kaaterskill falls run into the hundreds with 2 fatalities just last year. Its a dangerous place if you get to close to the falls.

Then we noticed one of the 5 taking pictures right on the edge as the photos below shows. More people have fallin from the spot she was positioned than any other and being her mind was on taking photos and not having her mind on task it was a dangerous  and very possibly deadly move. Take a look.

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Now if that Rock had shifted by her weight or by the change of temperature which is what happened last year at Roaring Brook Falls in Keene which killed a 9 year old boy when a 690 lb. rock became dislodged and also a police officer from New Jersey while taking photos fell from the top of the falls in Keene, it would have been a call to SAR and a senseless death. What would happen if her boots lost their grip? I know there are many what ifs but why would someone ignore warning signs and put themselves in danger just for a photo. It’s sad.

I’ve shared this in hopes that people will read the signs and take heed of them. NYDEC put them signs there for a damn good reason. It’s not worth losing your life and putting the lives of the the rescue workers that have to come and take your lifeless body out. Please be safe in the outdoors. It reminds me of something someone said once, mother nature doesn’t care if you live or die.

Happy safe hiking to you all.

Here is an article about some of the deaths at Kaaterskill

Newburgh hiker falls to death at Kaaterskill Falls in Greene County

Kaaterskill Falls is a two-drop, 260-foot cascade in Haines Falls, part of the Greene County town of Hunter.
Kaaterskill Falls is a two-drop, 260-foot cascade in Haines Falls, part of the Greene County town of Hunter.Tania Barricklo — Daily Freeman file

HAINES FALLS >> A 30-year-old Newburgh man fell to his death at the Kaaterskill Falls on Saturday afternoon, according to state police at Catskill.

Anthony Miele was hiking with a friend near the upper portion of the 260-foot, two-drop falls when he slipped on ice and fell about 120 feet, trooper Christian Quinn said.

Quinn said Miele had gone off the normal trail and was trying to walk across a treacherous area covered with ice and moss at the time of the accident. Miele was pronounced dead at the scene.

Quinn said he was unsure if Miele had gone around safety fencing the state Department of Environmental Conservation installed at the top of the falls in 2014 and 2015.

Quinn said most of the time there’s an accident, people enter this area to try to take a picture either down the falls or up towards the mountain and lose their footing. But Quinn said he did not know for sure if Miele was attempting to take a photograph.

Saturday’s death was the second reported at the falls this year.

Late in July, 17-year-old Ezra Kennedy of Westfield, N.J., fell to his death while hiking with friends and relatives.

Two women from Dutchess County fell to their deaths at the falls in the summer of 2014, leading to the installation of protective fences at the top of the upper falls.

Public access to Kaaterskill Falls was restricted in the summer of 2015 while the DEC made $450,000 in improvements to enhance safety and upgrade trails. State police Senior Investigator Peter Kusminsky said in July the safety improvements were made to the upper falls, but not to the area where Kennedy fell.

The changes to the upper falls included a new trail with a 200-step stone staircase.

Kaaterskill Falls is one of America’s oldest tourist attractions and is immortalized in Hudson River School paintings and Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle.”

• • •

Catskill Winter Waterfall Tour

 

This weeks trip took us to the Catskills to view some waterfalls. The named falls we visited were Minekill and Kaaterskill falls. The other photos were taken as we saw them just driving down the road. We hope to bring you many more shots of waterfalls soon and as always stay away from the edges and be safe.
A big Thanks to a fellow hiker we met on the falls platform named Kent, for all the local info he provided us about the Catskills. Hike on my friend.

 

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & Compost

We all use tons of “stuff” in our lifetimes-like the 25 billion Styrofoam cups Americans drink from once and dispose of each year. These items are filling our landfills and littering our landscapes. Some-such as plastic six-pack rings-are even responsible for killing wildlife. Instead of continuing to buy things and throw them away when we no longer need or want them, try the three “Rs” and a “C”-reduce, reuse, recycle and compost.

At Home

  • Get your money back-return empty beverage cans and bottles
    Don’t lose the nickel deposit you paid when buying a soda, beer, mineral water, or wine cooler with a New York refund label. If you don’t redeem it, the money is kept by beverage distributors.
  • Compost food scraps and yard waste
    It’s all about recycling the nutrients and returning them to the soil to be used again. Learn more about composting.
  • Feed your compost pile
    Grow nutrient-rich crops like alfalfa, red clover and yellow sweet clover in a separate bed, and harvest them during the spring and summer for your compost pile. These crops add nitrogen and organic matter and encourage beneficial soil microbes.
  • Hang a blackboard
    Use it for phone messages and reminders, instead of leaving paper notes.
  • Stop junk mail
    Contact solicitors and advertisers to get off mailing lists.
  • Don’t toss it, wash it
    Use cloth napkins, washable plates, cups and silverware. Serve condiments from recyclable or reusable containers.
  • Forgo coffee pods
    Popular single-serve coffee pods aren’t recyclable or biodegradable. If you don’t want to give up the convenience of using coffee pods, buy a reuseable pod to fill with your own coffee, and you’ll save money too. Save the grounds for composting and rinse out the pod so it’s ready for next time.
  • Recycle your old cell phone, or donate it
    More than 425 thousand cell phones are retired in the US every day! NYS law requires all wireless service providers that offer phones for sale to accept old cell phones for reuse or recycling. Phones can also be donated to domestic violence support programs such as Hopeline Cell Phone Collection or to the military.
  • Compost fall leaves
    Put leaves in biodegradable bags if your town collects them that way and you don’t want to compost them. Avoid burning leaves or raking them into the street or a storm drain, where they can block storm runoff and cause flooded streets and basements.
  • Compost with worms (vermicompost) year-round
    Continue composting during the cold, winter months. Red wiggler worms will eat leftover fruits and vegetables and make lots of worm castings, an excellent soil amendment.
  • Eat local year-round
    To find farmers’ markets, coops, CSAs and restaurants that serve local and/or organic foods near you, enter your zip code on the EatwellGuide or Local Harvest sites (see offsite links) for information. Basements, attics, sheds, porches, and unheated spare rooms and closets can be adapted as cold storage space if they are evenly cool at 32-60°F. See the link to Cornell’s Storage Guidelines for Fruits & Vegetables in the right-hand column for more information.
  • Reduce food spoilage
    The location of food in your refrigerator can affect how long it remains fresh. Store meat on the bottom shelf, and avoid keeping milk in the door, where it’s warmer. Put apples in a crisper but separate them from other produce. Apples emit ethylene gas, which ripens fruit.
  • Try local turkey
    Wild turkey is delicious, but if you don’t hunt, try a locally raised turkey instead. Use the link in the right-hand column to visit the Local Harvest website and find turkey farmers close to you.
  • Drink green beer…and wine
    We’re not talking about just on St. Patrick’s day. Choosing local microbrews and wines from a nearby vineyard is another way to be a “locavore.” See the link to NYS wines on the right side of this page.
  • Have a green Halloween!
    Let your creative juices flow to create environmentally themed costumes from thrift store finds. Try a polar bear carrying a chunk of styrofoam ” polar ice,” or a New York State symbol or an invasive insect like the emerald ash borer. See instructions for making masks (PDF) (192 KB).
  • Make holiday ornaments from your old incandescent bulbs
    Turn your old incandescent bulbs into colorful holiday ornaments. Paint bulbs with latex craft paint, and glue on glitter, ribbon, sequins and other decorations. Use pipe cleaners or wire to make hangers.
  • Try tree-free holiday cards
    An e-card uses no paper. If you want something tangible, try cards made from kenapf, hemp or recycled carpet. If you prefer a paper card, look for one with a high percentage of post-consumer waste. Recycle holiday cards into gift tags and ornaments.
  • Use alternatives to gift paper
    Conceal gifts in reusable gift bags or baskets, fabric scraps, scarves, unwanted maps, the Sunday comics or decorated paper bags. Save bows, ribbons and boxes for the next year. Remember that metallic gift wrap cannot be recycled.
  • Decorate for the holidays the old-fashioned way
    Use pinecones, evergreen boughs and garlands of popcorn and cranberries (put garlands outdoors later for birds to enjoy). Hang cookie cutters and snowflakes cut from used paper. LED lights are a greener choice than traditional lights. Avoid using tinsel; trees with tinsel can’t be composted.
  • Use your holiday tree outside
    After removing lights and reusable decorations, put your tree in the yard. Birds and squirrels will eat the garlands made of food, and birds can perch in the tree while waiting for a turn at the bird feeder. Then put the tree curbside if your community offers mulching services.
  • Winterize your car with propylene glycol anti-freeze
    Propylene glycol anti-freeze is less toxic for pets, children and wildlife. Anti-freezes based on ethylene glycol are highly poisonous, even in tiny amounts, and spills attract animals because they smell and taste sweet. See the link in the right-hand column for precautions in cleaning up ethylene glycol spills.
  • Try a zero-waste picnic
    Pack your basket with real flatware, cloth napkins, and reusable cups and plates. Wrap food in tin foil (which is recyclable) or wax paper (which is compostable), or put it in reusable containers. Compost your food scraps.
  • Go green when building or remodeling
    If you’re building a new home, think small. The smaller the structure, the fewer materials you’ll need and the lower your heating and cooling expenses. Consider using renewable flooring such as cork or bamboo, real linoleum instead of vinyl, and carpeting that eventually can be returned to the manufacturer for recycling. In addition, choose metal roofing, which lasts longer than asphalt and is recycleable. To get good items for free, or to donate usable items, join FreeCycle (see the offsite links on this page). If you can’t do construction or remodeling work yourself, hire builders certified by the National Green Building Program. Use the link on the right side of this page to find a certified green builder near you.
  • Handle storm debris properly
    After a severe storm, check these storm debris management guidelines for suggestions on what to do with everything from appliances to hazardous substances.
  • Rent college textbooks
    College students can save money and resources by renting some of their textbooks instead of buying them. Google “rent textbooks” to find vendors.
  • Declutter your e-clutter
    Manufacturers must provide free and convenient recycling for electronic waste. Remember to “wipe” all personal information from your electronic devices before recycling them, and be sure to remove their batteries, which may need to be recycled separately.

In the Store

  • Shop at local produce stands, farmer’s markets and co-ops
    They sell fresh produce and other products with much less packaging than in stores. Don’t forget to bring your own shopping bags.
  • Select products with little or no packaging
    Not only are you paying extra for the packaging itself, you’re paying to transport it and later to dispose of it! For example, buy concentrated cleaners and detergents; their containers are smaller. Check with your waste hauler which recycling numbers they collect.
  • Close the loop
    Read labels and purchase products with a high post-consumer recycled content. This is easy to find in stationery and office paper but you can also find clothes and shopping bags made from plastic soda bottles, garden hoses made from tires, purses from inner tubes and much more.
  • BYOB
    Bring Your Own (shopping) Bags. Cloth or mesh are best! Skip the small plastic bags offered in the produce section, or reuse those you already have.
  • Make use of libraries
    Libraries are the masters of reuse. In addition to borrowing books, you can access the Internet, do research, borrow CDs, DVDs, and read newspapers and magazines-all for free! Donate your own used books to libraries, hospitals and schools.
  • Shop garage sales, penny-saver circulars and thrift stores
    Find homes for your unwanted items the same way. You’ll save money and the environment at the same time.
  • Reuse paper
    Scrap paper and backs of envelopes are perfect for shopping lists and phone messages.
    Skip the bottled water
    Single-use bottled water is the fastest growing beverage in the United States, yet only 10% of these bottles are recycled (see “Too Many Bottles” at right). Get a durable, safe, re-usable water container.

In the Office

  • Make friends with your computer
    Send e-mails and electronic copies instead of paper. Keep electronic files on computers instead of keeping papers in file cabinets. Review documents onscreen rather than printing them out.
  • Reuse office supplies
    Mailing tubes and envelopes can be used more than once. Use scrap paper for phone messages. Reuse boxes and use shredded waste paper as packing material.
  • Print and copy thoughtfully
    Make double-sided printouts and copies. Circulate, rather than copy, notices and memos. Buy printer paper with a high percentage of post-consumer content.
  • Ditch the disposables
    Bring lunch to school or work in reusable containers. Keep reusable plates, cups, utensils, and napkins at your desk.
  • Learn about sustainable practices
    Be inspired by reading about projects that have received a DEC Environmental Excellence Award.

In the Car

  • Get a travel mug
    Refill your mug instead of buying coffee in Styrofoam or paper cups.
  • Return old tires for recycling
    Don’t pay to throw them out. Return them to where you purchased them or take them to a tire recycler.
  • Keep tires balanced and rotated regularly
    Have it done every 6,000-8,000 miles (or as recommended by your tire manufacturer) to save hundreds of miles in wear.
  • Recycle old battery
    It’s illegal to throw it in the trash. At the time you purchase a new one, take your dead battery to a retail store, distributor, or battery recycling facility. By law, retailers must accept used batteries from customers

Five Rivers Environmental Education Center

Five Rivers Environmental Education Center is a living museum comprising over 450 acres of fields, forests, and wetlands. Five Rivers offers people of all ages a rich variety of guided and self-guided tours. The interpretive programs and guided school lessons promote awareness, knowledge and appreciation of New York State’s environment year ’round. With over 10 miles of trails for exploration, Five Rivers fosters discovery, spiritual refreshment and physical fitness through wholesome outdoor recreation.

Grounds are open every day, year-round, from sunrise to sunset. You can picnic, walk (ski) the trails, and observe wildlife.

A charming Visitor Center is open Monday through Saturday, 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM; closed Sundays and state holidays.

Don’t miss the exhibit room and bird-watching window.

Wildlife to Watch for:

  • Great place for birdwatching: 225 species, no waiting!
  • Excellent chance for watching deer and squirrels, even in winter!
  • Spring and fall migrations are definitely worth a gander!
  • In summer, expect to encounter turtles, geese, frogs and grassland bird species
  • “Best Park for Nature” – Metroland, 2008
blue jay at feeder
Blue Jays at the bird-watching window

Your Invitation

Come, leave the parking lot behind and enter a different world. Listen for the plaintive notes of theeastern bluebird, sneak a glimpse of deer browsing in the fields and let the gentle rustle of the wind inform you. Share in the spirit of the “long green line” of conservationists at Five Rivers who still carefully study the natural world and devote their lives to its stewardship to this day.

Accessible Features

Universal symbol of accessible site

Facilities:
All amenities of the Visitor Center, picnic area, Woodlot Trail and Nature’s Backyard Trail are wheelchair accessible, as are several hard-surfaced interior routes.

Programs:
Sign interpreters available upon request.

Services:
Braille, large print and audio format interpretive guides, wheelchairs and walkers available upon request.

A full list of DEC’s accessible recreation destinations is available on the DEC website.

Directions

Five Rivers Environmental Education Center is located in Delmar, NY at 56 Game Farm Road. See Google Maps and enter your address for step by step directions to Five Rivers.

Senator Ritchie Calls for Tourism & Recreation Adirondack Land Classification

From State Senator Patty Ritchie:

State Senator Patty Ritchie is calling on the New York State Adirondack Park Agency (APA) to recommend that over 20,000 acres of recently acquired land be classified in a way that would allow it to be used for recreational  activities, which in turn would boost tourism, create jobs and attract more people to Northern New York.

Earlier this year, the state completed its largest Adirondack land acquisition in over a century when it purchased the Boreas Ponds Tract from the Finch, Pruyn & Company paper company. The APA is currently in the process of weighing how to recommend the lands be classified.

In a letter sent today to the APA, Senator Ritchie called on the agency to pursue a classification that would strike a balance between promoting economic activity through outdoor recreation and protecting New York’s natural beauty.

“From snowmobiling and boating to hiking and snowshoeing, opportunities for outdoor recreation in New York State—and especially in places like Adirondack Park—are second to none. It’s these activities that allow people of all ages, many of whom reside in my district, to experience the beauty of nature, take in the fresh air and get active,” said Senator Ritchie in her letter.

“Equally as important is the fact that New York’s natural resources and the opportunities they support for outdoor recreation are major drivers of our economy, generating billions of dollars annually, attracting tourists and creating jobs in communities throughout our state. With the Boreas Ponds Tract, New York State has a great opportunity to tap into the potential this land has for further increasing economic activity and attracting tourists, while at the same time preserving the beauty of this special region of the Empire State.”

Senator Ritchie’s letter also pointed to the fact that the lands already have existing infrastructure that could be used for a variety of recreational activities.

“As you are aware, the property was used in previous years for commercial purposes, and as such, the land already has infrastructure—including over 50 miles of roads and bridges—that today could be used for snowmobiling, hiking, cycling and other outdoor activities by people of all ages and abilities,” she added.

“Should the state pursue other alternatives—namely classifying the property largely as Wilderness—many would be prevented from accessing the lands, namely families with children, the elderly, disabled individuals and others who are not able to walk long distances.”

The APA will accept comments on the classification of the Boreas Ponds Tract until December 30th and then will make recommendations to the Governor.

A copy of Senator Ritchie’s letter can be found on her website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov.

Cobble Hill Farm Apothecary

So heres a little something different from us but we have found a local soap maker, and we always support local, that we just had to share.

As hikers we all know skin care is of most importance anytime of the year. After Penny received a great gift of soap from the farm on Christmas, she shared it with me. From the Aroma and moisturizing feel, it made a shower coming off the trail very invigorating. John and Staci make their hand crafted soaps and skin care products from all natural ingredients and make it right on their farm. Support Local.

We found John and Staci Ducharme  at the Saratoga Farmers Market, where they can be found every Sunday from 10 to 2pm otherwise you can order online from them at,  http://www.lifeatcobblehillfarm.com/

Heres a little more about them from there website. Please do yourself a favor and try them. You will love their products.

 

It all began with a dream…..

A dream of living in an old farmhouse, growing & raising much of what we ate, and making things from scratch. Learning to can and preserve our homegrown harvest and chasing around after a flock of chickens with attitudes was what we longed for. Homemade bread, warm winter fires, a garden full of goodies, goats, chickens, bees…..all in the dream. {You can read about our simple life on our farm blog, Life At Cobble Hill Farm.}

What we hadn’t realized, was that some of the made-from-scratch products would become a passion for us. In 2013 we realized our passion for making natural, high-quality soap & skincare, and Cobble Hill Farm Apothecary was founded. We made the decision to open our Apothecary after having shared our products for years with family & friends and getting great feedback. What started as a small, online store, quickly became a thriving full-time business.  As our community has slowly grown, it’s amazing to look back over the past 3 years and remember that we used to pack and ship 10 boxes per week.  Now we’re in the hundreds!

We are a small-batch, farm-fresh soap & skincare company handcrafting our artisanal products at the foothills of the Adirondacks in Upstate NY. Our products are 100% handmade from start to finish. They are never {Ever!} tested on animals and are made up of many natural ingredients including locally sourced honey, beeswax and raw goat milk in addition to herbs and botanicals grown right here on our small farm. We know that when you use our products your skin will feel healthy and more moisturized. Our goal is to provide our customers with a safe and affordable alternative to the harmful chemicals used in most skincare and body products. We have strived to develop products that are of high-quality and safe for the whole family to use.

That is our commitment to you.

What We Believe:
Truth in labeling. We believe in being 100% transparent about our ingredients. Our labels show every single thing that goes in to each product.
Carefully sourcing high-quality ingredients. We are always researching our ingredients and the companies we choose to partner with. We try to source locally when possible.
Care to not compromise the nutrient value of our ingredients. We select ingredients that are beneficial to our health and well-being, and we are careful when working with them. For example, we do not overheat oils so as to reduce the nutrient value.
Creating our own products. All of our products are researched and formulated by us and use little to no preservatives.
Never {EVER} testing any products or ingredients on animals.
Making the best quality products on the market.
That laughing every single day is a necessity.

We are a Veteran -Owned company whose products are proudly made in the U.S.

We hope you’ll give them a try!

John & Staci