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December 11, 2017
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With a song in my heart

As bikers made their way along the Scenic Byway, they tossed clay discs on the banks of the Delaware, which will melt into the ground and sprout milkweed for the endangered monarch butterflies.
TRR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox

October 19, 2016

Nostalgia reigned supreme last week as I wended my way throughout the Upper Delaware River region in search of spots to photograph the ever-changing array of color that has enveloped the Catskills over the last 10 days. Constantly pulling over to the side of the road, I stopped, marveled and clicked my way through Pennsylvania and New York, making my way to Barryville, Milford, Shohola, Livingston Manor, Youngsville, Monticello and beyond. Waxing rhapsodic, I heard Nat King Cole’s soothing voice in my head: “The falling leaves drift by my window, the autumn leaves, of red and gold…” Lost in thought and enjoying the scenery, I whispered those words to the dog, just before the flashing lights in my rear view mirror snapped me out of my reverie.

“Where are you off to, Jonathan?” the officer asked after pulling me over. “Aren’t you driving a little slow?” Handing him my license and registration, I informed New York’s finest that we were on our way to the Barryville Butterfly Bike Ride and Seed Toss and that I was enjoying the scenery en route. “Too slow?” I asked. “Really? That’s a first,” I said, pointing to my camera. “It’s just too beautiful for words. Am I getting a ticket for driving too slow?” My voice may have raised an octave or two while asking if I was actually going to be punished for taking a leisurely drive. He shook his head no, but suggested that I pick it up a bit, especially if there were others behind me. Properly admonished, I put pedal to metal and set up my tripod in anticipation of the bike riders that were scheduled to pass my way.

Recalling that the Byway had been voted to be “the best fall foliage ride in the Northeast” last year, I scanned the horizon and couldn’t help but agree. Bikes festooned with decorations snaked their way past me and seed discs were tossed, paving the way for future generations of pollinators, without whom, chocolate (according to the brochure) would not exist. “Can’t have that,” I thought, as Sammy Davis Jr. began singing “The Candy Man” in my addled brain, immediately followed by teen pop flash-in-the-pan Aaron Carter wailing “I Want Candy” in a most annoying way. “And we’re off!” I shouted above the noise in my head, driving the posted speed limit to Milford, PA and a Black Bear Film Festival screening of the short film “Fragile Beauty” directed by Alan Kaplan and narrated by Wendy Stuart Kaplan.