This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Catskills’ St. Patrick’s Day parade, brush fires & burn ban

Hard Hat Reporter, Small Town Catskills

Sunday, March 13th proved to be not only a gorgeous day for a small town parade, but also dangerously dry in the Catskills. (Scroll to end for parade slideshow)

Five days after the Hubbell Homestead Fire  in Delaware County, brush fires continue to pop up.

Roxbury Fire Department Fire Chief Ken Davie went on to explain the lack of snow load this year has left the ground unsaturated, and allowed for grasses to stand tall and dry out, instead of flattening down.

Sunday’s St. Paddy’s Day festivities were still underway when a 12:48 pm tone rang out at the Roxbury Fire Department.  With the majority of the firefighters and trucks at the parade in Halcottsville, it was a scramble to reach the Denver brush fire.

Roxbury Fire Dept Hville parade 2016

Roxbury Volunteer Fire Department in Halcottsville St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Den1ver brush fire

Smoke in the valley

Denver brush fire 3

Brush fire at 23 Slauson Hollow Rd. of Salley’s Alley, Denver NY

Denver brush fire 2

Extinguishing the flames

denver brush fire 4

According to  Chief Davie, fire took less then 20 minutes to put out completely

Chief Davie reported the resident of the house below the caught field had been burning a bit of brush in a barrel, and a spark flew.

“People need to be aware and pay attention…there is a brush fire in Davenport [Delaware County] right now…there could possibly be 1/2 a dozen fires by the end of today,” said Davie.

The NYDEC has issued a burn ban beginning March 16, 2016 and ending May 14, 2016.

According to the March 13 press release “all residential brush burning is prohibited in smaller communities during the state’s historically high fire-risk period from March 16 through May 14,” said  state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens.

“This time of year has the most risk of fires and the risk is even greater this year due to the extremely mild winter we’ve seen across the state,” Commissioner Martens said.

hville st p day parade mr saftey 2016

Ignoring the ban is a serious offense:

Violators of the open burning state regulation are subject to both criminal and civil enforcement actions, with a minimum fine of $500 for a first offense. To report environmental law violations call 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332), or report online on DEC’s website.

“It’s a danger zone right now,” said  Fire Chief Ken Davie.

Parade photos by Mark Andre  |  Fire photos by Rebecca Andre

 

moonlighting reporter in 2015

Hard Hat Reporter

Following the dream to become a published, paid writer this year has led to some incredible learning experiences.  Whether reporting a news event here in the Catskills, promoting a non-for-profit event, writing editorials and essays, or, my favorite, photo journalism, I am constantly fulfilled with my work.

Home Office

Home Office

Finally, I am doing what I love.  Reaping the benefits of involved pitches, copious interviews, and being in the right place at the perfect time.

Working together with editors that are professional and experienced provide me with that much needed extra set of eyes.

Folks that ask me what I do often scoff at my answer:

“I’m a writer, a photographer.”

“What else do you do? You know, to actually make money?” they ask.

THIS is what I do.  I write what I see.  I ask questions.  I take my camera with me everywhere.

And I get paid.

Any questions?

THANK YOU FOR READING:

Along with a photo-essay in the upcoming Catskill Outdoor Guide (print) and some work done for Delaware County Times (print) here are some published articles available online:

Watershed Post Contributions

Catskill Made : Survival: A guide to making your home in the Catskills

Catskill Made: Poem: House of Secrets

Catskill Made: The Moon as a muse – her phases and their meanings

 

DYING FOR THE LOVE OF PICTURES & WORDS

Hard Hat Reporter

VW with camera on mountain large_6886

The world is a mess. The 13th anniversary of the scariest day of my generation is looming. We live in a time of multiple wars, a time when journalists die for, not religion, or patriotism, or family. They die for, and as a result of: their passion.

Their passion became their job, and they literally lose their head for it.

They are compelled to document, with their pen and camera, what is happening in a war-torn country worlds away from their own country, their own comfort zone. They are compelled to go to the most dangerous place a journalist can work, a place where their predecessors have already been kidnapped and killed, so they can witness and record the crisis of humanity that is happening in Syria.

Why?  Why the risk of losing everything?  Is it worth it, to capture the fleeting moments none of us would ever see if it wasn’t for their cameras?  To capture the beauty and the horror of the world they have traveled to?  Is it worth it to capture the truth of what is happening, separate from mainstream media (many of these journalists are free-lancers) and attempt to share it with the world?

To them, yes.  And I get it.  Though I am not a journalist.  Yet I do share the same desire to scoop up a moment in time with my lens, hold onto it for eternity, and share it with anyone that will look.  Behind the camera, nothing can touch me.  My mind empties of all the stress of life, as I grasp at the images I see, and try and make it so you can see what I see.

I also share the journalist’s same drive to write, with the belief that writing is cleansing, and influential, and meaningful.  It is effective, moving, motivating. Writing helps make sense of the non-sensical. Writing is a purification process, filtering facts and fantasy.

And I am free.  Free to write.  Free behind my camera.  No fear of capture, beheading, or death at the hands of a terrorist.

Yet so many times, I find I censor myself for fear of what others think!  Let’s put this on an imaginary scale. The fear of death, as compared to the fear of what others think.  Which do you think should be heavier?

WV-windmills-sunset-with-text

So for all the men and women who have died too early, before they had written all they had to write, persecuted for the truth of their words and photographs, I say this:

Thank you. You amaze and inspire me to write as long as I am alive. To appreciate every moment behind the lens. Your death reminds me to not take for granted our days, to not waste an hour, to never silence ourselves. To not let anyone else silence us. To be courageous when faced with something as horrific as a terrorist, or as seemingly small as a naysayer. 

So go forth, pursue your passion like it’s your last day on earth.

boy and ax_1347
Boy and Ax.
A Sincere Thank You to our First Responders Everywhere.