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Arts, culture & entertainment

Page 20

April 17, 2015

This Buds For You!


With apologies to the Budweiser folks for the title, I admit that Ive been getting a buzz on by watching the buds
around me as they swell and as some even open. The
daffodils and jonquils have been
pointing their yellow buds straight
up in the air, until this week when
they tilted them down horizontally like beaks on a duck. Then, as
temperatures rose, some opened
up their frilly yellow petals like
trumpets blaring to the world,
Welcome spring!
April, however, can be fickle
with its warmth, and while some
buds are opening, others remain
Ann Guenther, tightly wrapped. I took a tour of
the fields, starting with Maggie,
Naturalist
our magnificent, aged magnolia.
Looking up through her bare
branches, I saw a gazillion large buds the size of a large
pecan. I gently rub my fingers both directions over their

Nature
Tales

Dream
from page 1
Many people in our country face immigration issues and many people in America
are thinking and talking about these
issues.
Many online comments addressed
the mandatory nature of the assembly
Schneller explained that the administration allowed ample time for teachers to
prepare classes for the material and gave
students the choice to opt out if they
chose not to view it. In the auditorium I

Trails
from page 1
continue to run.
In February of 2015, the railroad
unveiled a business plan that proposes
extending the rail service by 5 miles to the
Glenford Dike in Hurley, saying that theyd
offset the $1.5 million cost with grants, a
projected 20 to 50% increase in ridership
revenue, and by using surplus equipment

fuzzy gray-brown covers.


But quite a number are now splitting open, revealing a
delicate yellow-green leaf thats also a little furry. Its as if
these buds heavy winter coats are open, but theyve got
a sweater on underneath. The chill of spring could still
cause a freezing burn.
Back in the house and armed with my magnifier, Ive
laid one of the buds on a piece of white paper. Its fur coat
looks like the beautiful coat of hair on my gray cat. The
long hairs are all aligned towards the tip of the bud. I
stroke it, feeling its softness.
As I peel another layer, the deep magenta bud is revealed. Removing each of the eight petals, Voila! a small
pineapple-shaped cone appears in the center, surrounded by fifty or more magenta-tipped pistils. Ive reached
my goal - but with a litter of plant detritus before me, the
sad end of what would have become a magnificent flower.
I dissect a jonquil next, with a similar outcome. But
my final project is a flowering branch of a red maple tree.
With magnifier close to my eye, I peer into the center of a
tiny maple flower. Its made up of spheres of tiny reddish

petals encircling a profusion of long stamens that protrude above, each tipped with a tiny brown club.
After so much close up work, I head outside to the giant
old sugar maple that yielded us several buckets of delicious sap over the past few weeks. Shes being more cautious about opening her buds that are still small and tight.
Above in her branches, a red-bellied woodpecker is
scolding me, while a nuthatch picks up the call with his
Peter, Peter, Peter! as he flits from branch to branch.
Suddenly another nuthatch flies into the tree, hopping
from branch to branch, closing in on the singer. I think
Im witnessing spring courtship.
Finally I spy that tender yellowgreen of spring on
a barberry bush. Like flowerets, hundreds of tiny little
whorls of leaves have popped out along its branches, each
one encasing a thorn. I gingerly test its sharpness and am
unpleasantly surprised at the pain.
But the antidote suddenly arrives: the warbling sound
of a male cardinal enthusiastically sending out his message to the entire kingdom: Its spring and Im ready!

witnessed Rondout students watching the


documentary, really listening to the speakers, and asking relevant questions, she
said. In the halls I heard them respectfully debate some of the immigration and
education issues that were raised. I heard
authentic learning dialogue.
High school senior Cassidy Kristal-Cohen was the only student to speak and
the last to make a public comment on the
issue. She opened her statement by noting
that she is 18 and will be voting soon, an
issue many commenters mentioned. If
a high school is doing its job correctly we
should have enough critical thinking skills

to be able to learn about controversial topics and formulate our own opinionThat
said, at no point did I think that the assembly was forcing propaganda down our
throat. Rather I thought that the assembly
showed perspective, which is something
we greatly need at Rondout in my opinionI know this might seem redundant
but I think it has a different weight coming
from a student.
In a phone interview, documentary
filmmaker Ilene Cutler, who worked with
the students to create the film, said that
one of the guest speakers had encountered
racism before the start of the assembly

but had been afraid to tell anyone until


afterward. A student told him to go back
to where he came from. She said that she
told the speaker that at the end of the
day, it is scary to hear things like that. Its
what a lot of people are thinking, but they
dont necessarily say. But I must tell you
that it is my impression that at the end of
that assembly, something shifted for that
kid. You did something to bring awareness
to him that he didnt have before. That,
says Cutler, is the purpose of films such as
DREAMers Among Us. This is the main
thing that I want people to take away from
this.

from the state department of transportation. The expansion, the plan explains,
would allow the railroad to offer more
scenery and add dinner trains, charters
and wine-and-beer rides.
Without that, say railroad folks, they
doubt the viability of the popular 2-mile
urban kiddie rides as an ongoing attraction. And they note that without the full
support of both the city of Kingston and
the county of Ulster, their plan has not a
prayer.
I continue to be committed to sav-

ing tourist train operations in Kingston,


Hein said in his own press release. To
that end, we have designed a thoughtful
compromise to the decades old conflict
between rail only and trail only advocates
and it is my great hope the Ulster County
Legislature will re-align its policy with this
compromise plan.
The legislatures Ways and Means
committee will decide Tuesday whether
to send to the full legislature a resolution
calling for the creation of a U&D Corridor
Advisory Committee and authorizing the

spending of $30,000 from the countys


contingency fund to hire an independent
consultant to determine the best possible
use of the corridor.
The fuss touches on myriad ongoing
controversies: the role of the DEP in local
affairs, the balance of power between the
county executive, the legislature, and the
city of Kingston, the merits of rails and
rail trails, private investments and public
funds and how they should best be spent,
and what works in attracting tourism dollars.

spring
get some action.

a good time to get your business growing...

advertise in the Bluestone press. 687-4480.

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