COMMUNITY BRIEFS: Grange, Elks, Memorial Day, Food Bank, farmers’ markets, no Bash Bish, Humane Society, Clermont garden, Boy Scouts

Make Swedish meatballs like these. Photo contributed

That’s some Swedish meatball

COPAKE—Copake Grange #935 presents, “Cooking with Stuart” in a Zoom online event, Thursday, May 21 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

During this online event, Stuart Peterson will show how to cook Swedish meatballs and a yummy potato dish on the side. Mr. Peterson is the dining room manager at the Roe Jan Brewery and has extensive cooking experience. Get the Zoom link below, and bring your appetite. This online event is free on Zoom. Register to get the link at www.thetwoofusproductions.org or email . Donations are gratefully accepted.

Drive-through to drop off food, school supplies

KINDERHOOK—Kinderhook Elks and Our Community Cares, Inc. conducts a drive-through school supply and food drive for community children at the Kinderhook Elks Lodge, 2750 State Route 9H.

Donors can just drive-through, open their trunks and someone will unload it, May 23, 9 a.m. to noon. Read more…

THROUGH THE WOODS: Snapping turtle

NEAR OLD POND IN CHATHAM, right in the middle of a dirt road, was a magnificent common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina serpentina. At first it appeared injured and just lay there sort of sprawled out. Apparently it was just sunning itself and did not want to move. Out came the camera and the curious turtle was very cooperative and posed in several positions. Eventually a car came along and the turtle decided this was not a good place to be. It rose up on its claw covered toes and with surprising speed moved off the road and disappeared into the grassy ditch.

Snapping turtle. Photo by Nancy Jane kern

This brought back memories of my first encounter with a “snapper” during an afternoon of bullhead fishing with maternal grandfather, “Gramp.” He often took me fishing and spent many hours teaching all of us kids the proper ways of doing it. This day was going well and we had lots of fish for supper. All of a sudden the worm-baited hook and the fishing line bobber slowly went down and line was pulled deep and away. The hook was set with a flip of the rod, and the fight was on. This was some strong and huge fish. Normally we were lucky if we got a fish larger than a pound in weight.

Eventually it was pulled up on shore and to our surprise there was a big turtle, not a fish. Previous experience had been with smaller, harmless painted turtles so this one caused no alarm. Walking up to it was a big mistake, as a foot-long neck shot out of the shell and a piece was bitten out of my little black boot. A jump backward saved a worse fate. Read more…

GREEN THOUGHTS: Mother Nature’s blushing beauty

DON’T GO BY WHAT PEOPLE TELL YOU, judge by what you see in the landscape. I learned this from the redbud. Some folks claim it isn’t hardy hereabouts, but take a look in Chatham, in Niverville, and along Schodack’s Brookview Road, and you’ll see them now, in full spring color mode. Normally blooming after the shadbush but before flowering dogwood, this crazy year they’re all overlapping, with the redbud the queen of the show.

While neither the buds nor the flowers are red on Cercis canadensis, it doesn’t matter, since their hot pink-purple-magenta hues hint that Mother Nature might have spent time as a showgirl. Initially shaped like miniature Christmas bulbs and covering each twig, branch and the smaller trunks, the buds open into small pea-like flowers. Since all this color happens well before the obscuring leaves emerge, redbuds can be identified a quarter-mile away. This makes a good pastime for us Yankees when we can travel south in April, since they’re common understory and woodland-edge trees from Pennsylvania all the way to Texas.

Redbud’s flash fades as spring rolls on, but it still retains charm. The overall habit ranges from vase-shaped to rounded, with the youngest branches exhibiting a distinct zig-zag growth pattern. The matte green leaves are heart-shaped, up to four inches across, and usually turn a handsome yellow-orange in autumn. The pea-like flowers yield pea-like pods that don’t prove to be as obnoxiously prolific as a maple’s. Growing to only perhaps 25 feet, it can fit into a small garden, in either a sunny or shady spot, in average soil. Read more…

COMMUNITY BRIEFS: May 7 through 14

Drive-by to donate food today

HUDSON—The Salvation Army Food Pantry conducts a Contactless Food Drive Saturday, May 9, 9 a.m. to noon at 40 South Third Street.

Tables will be set up in front of the building. Donors can just drive by and drop off non-perishable food items. Call 518-822-1602 with any questions.

Rescued kittens wait for adoption at AnimalKind in Hudson.

AnimalKind needs auction donations

HUDSON—AnimalKind, 721 Warren Street, seeks items for its upcoming virtual auction, “Raise a Paw.” The event date has not yet been set.

AnimalKind plans an online auction to raise money for its rescue mission. They hope people will donate: services, art, vacation rentals, gift certificates, jewelry, antiques or any item that AnimalKind can sell at its auction. Contact: for donations and questions.

Email AnimalKind at: visit www.animalkindny.org or write to: AnimalKind, P.O. Box 902, Hudson 12534. Read more…

LIBRARIES: Roe Jan, North Chatham, Hudson, Chatham

Roe Jan plans book group, in person or online

COPAKE—This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which made it illegal to deny suffrage on the basis of sex. To celebrate this anniversary, and to consider what the vote has and does mean in U.S. democracy, the Roeliff Jansen Community Library hosts a reading and discussion series on women’s suffrage, beginning June 9 at 6 p.m.

The group will read six books between June and August, and meet about every other week. Click here to see the reading list. The current plan is to meet in person at the library, 9091 Route 22, but if that is not possible, the meetings will move to Zoom. Read more…