Saving Cooper Lake

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Cooper Lake in Ulster County is the water supply for the City of Kingston. It also happens to be an extraordinarily beautiful spot where locals and visitors enjoy walking. Because it is a water supply, it’s off limits to such activities as swimming, boating, and fishing. This somewhat “untouched” feature adds to its appeal.

But now Cooper Lake is under threat. A water bottling company in California wants to buy some 1.75 million gallons of water a day from this Catskills treasure. That means machinery, possibly a chain link fence — whatever, a complete ruination of the lake as we now know and love it. You can read the details at http://savecooperlake.org.

Locals are up in arms. Walk through Woodstock and you’ll see signs and posters in almost all the shop windows. Meetings are held, petitions are being organized.

My own argument for saving Cooper Lake — aside from loathing any project, anywhere, that prioritizes the almighty dollar over all other considerations — doesn’t need words. A picture, as they say, is worth 1,000 words. I’ve photographed Cooper Lake more times than I can count. These are from Thanksgiving weekend.

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Still in need of a Christmas gift? Looking for something that shows off our beautiful region of the globe? Check out our book Historic Hudson Valley: A Photographic Tour.

Holiday Happenings in Woodstock

Hello! Sorry for the long absence. It was a busy autumn with trips to northern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island to shoot foliage. Then came a business trip to San Diego. Then Thanksgiving with the snow, and next blog post I’ll share some of the photos I took there of an endangered place in the Catskills.

But for now let’s do a “show and tell” of Woodstock. I drove up there yesterday to have lunch, enjoy a play, and generally walk around enjoying the decorations. Here goes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFirst, I had a fabulous lunch at Joshua’s and can highly recommend this place — the food, service, and ambience. not to mention the prices! The menu has a strong international flavor, with a number of Middle Eastern dishes.

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Here’s the front portal of the historic Dutch Reformed Church, all decked out in Christmas finery.

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The Rare Bear gift shop looks warm and inviting to potential shoppers. Also, notice the historic marker to the left. Food for thought!

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Here the emphasis is on the historic marker itself rather than on the building. A call to support your local, homegrown businesses, please.

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It may be Christmas, but Woodstock will never let you forget this is Woodstock! Still, when you look at the decorations on display in this shop window, it’s kind of fitting that the birthday of the Prince of Peace is being celebrated.

Finally, about that play I mentioned. They preferred not to have pictures taken during the performance, and I respected that. But I do encourage you to go and see it for yourself, if you can make it to Woodstock this coming weekend. It’s The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge: A Holiday Comedy by Mark Brown and performed by the Bird-on-a-Cliff Theatre Company. It’s funny, it’s not without its commentary on some foibles of modern society, a delight for everyone familiar with Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and very well acted by a professional cast. More performances this weekend December 19-21, appropriately enough in the court room of the Woodstock Town Hall. See http://birdonacliff.org.

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If you’re still looking for holiday gifts, or would like to treat yourself to something, please have a look at my Etsy shop for some irresistible specials. My Ashokan Items gallery has some photo prints of obvious local interest at a special sale price plus free shipping (USA only), and my Special Sale Items gallery has a selection of some of my best photos, already matted and framed, at ridiculously reduced prices, mostly left over from summer and fall shows because I need to clear some space around here. These are special prices for you faithful readers of my blog.