Kids’ Almanac (September 20-27)

Joclyn Wallace, steward of Poughkeepsie’s Morgan Lake.

And every year there is
a brief, startling moment
When we pause in the middle
of a long walk home and
Suddenly feel something invisible
and weightless
Touching our shoulders,
sweeping down from the air:
It is the autumn wind pressing
against our bodies;
It is the changing light of fall
falling on us.
– Edward Hirsch, Fall

Pssssst! Are you wishing you could see The Avengers again, or did you miss it the first time and are impatiently awaiting its DVD release on September 25? How about catching Thor’s line, “You speak of control, yet you court chaos” four days early? What do you think about hearing Pepper Potts’ “I was having 12 percent of a moment” for free?

On Friday, September 21 at 8 p.m., Dutchess County Community College is showing The Avengers as part of its free weekend film series. Dutchess County Community College is located at 53 Pendell Road in Poughkeepsie, and the movies are shown in the James and Betty Hall Theater. For more information, call (845) 431-8000 or visit


Learn about lake-dwellers at Morgan Lake in Poughkeepsie

Thoreau said that “A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth’s eye, looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” Thanks to the efforts of Poughkeepsie resident Joclyn Wallace, Morgan Lake is becoming an even more beautiful and expressive landscape feature. I love the way in which she is helping to raise awareness about this special spot, from the monthly scavenger hunts for litter to the themed children’s story times that she has created.

This Saturday, September 22, find out which critters consider Morgan Lake the center of their worlds at “The Lake Is My Home” story time. This event takes place outdoors and includes a children’s story, a song and an activity. Story time is free and open to the public; just bring a blanket to sit on.

Morgan Lake is located at 17 Creek Road in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 418-0016 or visit


SUNY-New Paltz hosts International Observe the Moon Night

In a classic case of It’s Not You, It’s Me, the Moon moves away from Earth at a rate of four centimeters per year: about the size of a small paperclip. The good news is that the Moon will stop moving away and settle into its orbit in about 50 billion years. The bad news is that the Sun is apparently going to consume the Earth in 5 billion years. Bottom line? You might want to participate in International Observe the Moon Night at SUNY-New Paltz before it’s too late.

This event takes place on Saturday, September 22 at the Smolen Observatory on the SUNY campus from 7 to 10 p.m., and is free and open to the public of all ages. Telescopes will be set up for public viewing, and participants will receive detailed maps of the Moon.

In addition, a free Astronomy Night will be held on Thursday, September 20 at 7:30 p.m. Astronomy Night series takes place on the first and third Thursdays of the month. Space is limited and you are encouraged to arrive early.

SUNY-New Paltz is located at 1 Hawk Drive in New Paltz. For more information, call (845) 257-4636 or visit


County Fairgrounds host Hudson Valley Harvest Festival

I agree with Alm@nac’s Gardener’s Notebook columnist Lee Reich when he writes, “One of the things that I like least about gardening is its deferred gratification.” But as you know, harvest time in the Hudson Valley makes it all worth it.

Now, imagine celebrating the harvest while supporting two local organizations who make a big difference in our communities: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County and Family of Woodstock, Inc. It’s the first annual Hudson Valley Harvest Festival! The sweet corn shuck-off, heirloom tomato-tasting, apple pie bake sale, scarecrow face-painting, live music and more all take place on Saturday, September 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday, September 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ulster County Fairgrounds. Adult admission costs $5, kids aged 5 to 13 get in for $3 and ages 4 and under get in free.

The Fairgrounds are located at 249 Libertyville Road in New Paltz. For more information, call (845) 340-3990 or (845) 331-7080, or visit


“Scarecrows in Frog Alley” this Saturday

I love when history intersects with everyday life, so I am delighting in this new-to-me nugget of information: According to the book Hudson Valley Ruins, those building remnants next to the Wiltwyck Fire Station in Kingston may be the “oldest substantiated ruin in the Hudson Valley.” What? I had no idea!

Let’s go back for a closer look during this Saturday, September 22’s “Scarecrows in Frog Alley” event. The Friends of Historic Kingston, who own and maintain the historic Louw-Bogardus ruin and Frog Alley Park, are hosting the event with the Junior League of Kingston. The festivities run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., when the Park area around the ruin will have a variety of scarecrows designed by local organizations, businesses and individuals. There will be scarecrow-making demonstrations, pumpkin-carving and a gallery scarecrow contest, and refreshments will be served.

Frog Alley is located between Schwenk Drive and North Front Street in Kingston. After you take in the Scarecrow event, stop into Deising’s Bakery at 111 North Front Street for its delicious treats, and check this out! Starting this week, Deising’s now carries Bearsville Bakers’ gluten-free baked goods! Bearsville Bakers was created by two Moms: Janet Villani-Garratta, a trained chef; and Lauren Arcomano, a health educator. Arcomano says, “We are dedicated to creating wholesome and delicious gluten-free products that taste good! Everyone raves that they can’t believe that they are gluten-free!”

Looking for a random act of kindness to do with your kids? Buy an extra dozen of whatever you get at Deising’s and drop them off at the Wiltwyck Fire Station across the street as a thank-you for the amazing work that the firefighters do. While you’re in the neighborhood, stop by Half Moon Books up the road at 35 North Front Street. I enjoy the wonderful selection of used titles, including children’s books, but I also appreciate the alternative magazines that are stocked there, and I picked up a fabulous journal recently.

For more information about the Scarecrow event, call Friends of Historic Kingston at (845) 339-0720 or visit Bearsville Bakers can be reached at (845) 679-3096 and on Facebook. Half Moon Books can be contacted at (845) 331-5439 and on Facebook.


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