Sunday, August 9, 2015

Esopus Creek:  Big Bend pool is one of the last pools on the Esopus Creek before this legendary trout stream enters New York City’s mighty Ashokan Reservoir.  Big Bend has long been a favorite fishing spot of many anglers including the late Arnold Gingrich who, in the Well-Tempered Angler, wrote, “…favored stretches, such as the Esopus, from Five Arch Bridge down to the Chimney Hole….”

Big Bend is located on New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) property just downstream of Five Arch Bridge.  Access can also be gained via Gate W-10 diagonally across NY 28 from the Boiceville Inn.  Approaching this way one is treated to an iconic view overlooking the Esopus Creek valley, an image that has graced the cover of various publications including the “2013 Annual Report” of Open Space Institute and a March 2015 NYSERDA Report Number 15-08 titled “Effects of an Extreme Flood on Aquatic Biota in a Catskill Mountain River" pictured just below.

Perhaps someday soon, a proposed Rail Trail will traverse this high bank providing its users the views only a limited number of anglers now enjoy.

Big Bend Pool, 11x14:

John Burroughs:  John Burroughs (1837-1921) was a famous Catskill trout fisher and a renowned American naturalist; to this day his writings still inspired those of us fond of nature.  Burroughs was one of ten children, born in Roxbury, NY on the family’s farm.  And, eventually he was buried within a short walk of Woodchuck Lodge, the family summer home, in John Burroughs Memorial Field, now a NYS Historic Site.  His gravesite is next to his favorite boyhood rock overlooking the mountains he loved and which he once wrote, "Those hills comfort me as no other place in the world.  It is home there."

Gravesite view 8x10:

Monday, June 22, 2015

The brook trout:  A male brook trout in full spawning attire is perhaps the prettiest of all trout, though not a trout at all.  Salvelinus fontinalis, the Latin name for brook trout, is actually a member of the char family, a close relative of trout.  The historic indigenous distribution of brook trout includes the northeast portion of the United States and Canada, plus down along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains.  It was the only true native trout in the Catskills and New York State requiring the purest and coldest of waters.  In most of its remaining habitat a nine inch brook trout might be considered big, anything over a foot a monster.

The brook trout appearing in the painting below was caught, and released, back into its East Branch of the Neversink, one of the few remaining Catskill streams that still harbors a good population of wild brook trout, much like the days Theodore Gordon roamed these waters.

Salvelinus fontinalis 11x14 (SOLD):

Monday, April 20, 2015

Port St. Lucie:  Tradition Field and Port St. Lucie, Florida, spring-time home of the NY Mets.  And, here’s a bird that got up early at the Vitalia Community, hoping to watch Matt Harvey pitch, or maybe catch a fish.

Early bird, Port St. Lucie, FL, 11x14 (Sold):

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Lucy, along the Saint Lawrence:  Benjamin Franklin once noted, There are three faithful friends: an old wife, an old dog, and ready money.”  Well in today’s day and age one might get in trouble about the “old wife” remark, but old dogs still remain man’s best friend.  The landscape below depicts Lucy, a faithful loving Labrador retriever, along the Saint Lawrence River, the international border between Canada and New York State.

Lucy, along the Saint Lawrence, 11x14 (SOLD):

Friday, February 27, 2015

Fifteen arches, the Dividing Weir Bridge:  New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) announced the Dividing Weir Bridge, also known as Fifteen Arches, will be reduced to a single lane of traffic beginning February 25th, 2015 until the fall of this year.  The century-year-old bridge is due for repairs.  It separates both basins--- upper and lower--- of the Ashokan Reservoir and serves as the only causeway across NYC’s impoundment.  Sometime during the next decade it will be replaced entirely.

The landscape below was originally painted as a 5”x7”, but was commissioned to be redone as an 11”x14”.

Fifteen Arches, 11x14 (SOLD):

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Winter on Rondout Creek:  American naturalist John Burroughs wrote glowingly about the Rondout Creek.  In his essay “Speckled Trout” he called this headwater brook “one of the finest trout streams in the world."  And in “A Bed of Boughs” he wrote, “The scenery was wild and desolate in the extreme, the mountains on either hand looking as if they had been swept by a tornado of stone.”  Plus, “My eyes had never before beheld such beauty in a mountain stream.”  Yet one wonders if this well-traveled natural historian ever laid eyes on the upper Rondout Creek during the winter months, which seem to fill about a third of any calendar year in this mountaintop valley that lies in the shadows of Peekamoose.

Winter at Morrell's, 8x10:

Somehow the powers to be in state government lost all sense of history calling old Morrell's Field now Trailer Field.  How tacky and insensitive; but those who appreciate what once was, can still visual it in that which exists today.