Why is orange the color of Halloween?  A combination of red and yellow.  Red for blood and yellow for the Sun.  We need extra energy this time of year.  It is the season of goodbyes.  We channel jellies, jams, preserves, for the winter ahead.  We reestablish our nest for the hibernation.  This is true even for southern climates.  Along the equator where mankind gathered, in his progress to domination, the zodiac was the most alive n the sky.  The sign of Scorpio was and is about death/rebirth.

Please read your ascendant/rising sign if you know it.

And visit my website www.marymichele.org

Aries ruled by Mars

Oct 28: “The Making of an Argument,” an exhibition of photographs by Gordon Parks, the first African American to work for Life Magazine, can be seen at Vassar’s Lehman Loeb Art Center until December 13. The images were taken on assignment for Life during the month Parks spent in Harlem in 1948 with a teenaged gang and their leader Leonard “Red” Jackson. The resulting photo essay “Harlem Gang Leader,” halped to make Parks one of the premier documentary photographers of his time.

However, Parks viewed the final results with mixed feelings. By portraying the conditions in African-American communities that fostered delinquency and teen gangs he had hoped to inspire government and social services agencies to work to better the situation. Although he recognized the violence that was part of Jackson’s life, he felt the magazine’s editors put too much emphasis on that aspect of his life and thereby created a one dimensional story.

1237 "Untitled" by Gordon Parks

October 27:  The winter birds are returning, and the photo backgrounds are no longer green. I saw the bobcat here today, under the deck stashing a kill on the stone ledge.....preparing for cold weather. Sounds like a good idea.


Oct 26:  James Barron invariably presents imaginative exhibitions and “Plywood, etc.” is no exception. The paintings, furniture and sculpture of ten artists working in plywood as well as other no-frills materials is on view at his gallery in Kent until November 8. 

Plywood, fashioned from thin layers of wood glued together each layer rotated up to 90 degrees from the other, is a utilitarian material most often used for crates and construction. However, in the hands of artists and designers it can be transformed into works of art.

1233 "Culture Shock" by Moira Dryer

For example Moira Dryer and Jules de Balincourt paint on plywood rather than canvas. Many of Dryer’s abstract paintings call to mind exotic fabrics. Executed with casein on plywood,  “Culture Shock” is comprised of bands of parallel wavy lines in shades of mauve, pink and brown that undulate across the surface of the panel like the stitches found in Florentine bargello. The colors are delicate. Some run down to those beneath in faint delicate lines creating the effect of a living substance. 

1234 "Off the Beaten Path" by Jules de Balincourt

Be sure you go out and vote. County legislators and the Amenia candidates are covered at TMI in separate articles. 

 A rundown of the candidates:

County Executive:   Mark Molinaro Rep, incumbent 

               Diane Jablonski, Dem, former comptroller

Sheriff:                    Butch Anderson runs unopposed

Dist Attorney:          William V Grady runs unopposed

Supreme Court:       Montgomery Delaney, Rep. An ex-police officer, lawyer, guitar-playing singer; has a website and an active Facebook page; his 2nd try for a judgeship.

                               Gretchen Walsh, Dem. – Highly qualified*

October 18: Twelve years ago after a career in computers, Susan Roth took up painting full time.  However, she has always been interested in art.  She received her first training at an art program for selected high school students at the Carnegie Mellon Museum in Pittsburg where she grew up. Today she divides her time between her studios in New York City and Ancram.

1231 "Red Barn on Pat's Road" by Susan Roth

“My paintings usually originate from a landscape, still life or city scene that I mentally capture,” Roth writes in her artist’s statement. She works in a diversity of styles and says “I try to push myself in different directions.” 

If the directions she pursues differ, her use of strong bright colors can be seen in throughout her work. “I love color,” she says. “My emphasis is always strong composition and strong colors.”

1232 "Gordon Path" by Susan Roth

Octoer 18:  Photography by Susan Fowler-Gallagher and Dan Goldman is the subject of this month’s show at the Millbrook Library. Although both artists work in black and white, their subjects and the feeling of their images are very different.

Fowler-Gallagher, who lives at Black Sheep Farm in Staatsburg, is the most impressionistic of the two artists. Her work focuses mostly on the natural world. “Awakening,” a series of five photographs in square format, is concerned with what she calls” the cusp time of the seasons … late winter/early spring when plants are beginning to sprout and late summer/early fall when the flowers and vegetables are spent and returning to the soil for their winter rest.” 

1220 "Nature's Bounty" by Susan Fowler-Gallagher

October 15: The following letter describes the power lines situation as it is unfolding behind the scenes in Albany. The proponents of the power lines are companies with powerful lobbying muscle and hundreds of millions in construction money at stake.

Open letter to Governor Cuomo from Will Yandik, Deputy Supervisor, Town of Livingston

For two years now we have pushed back against Gov. Cuomo’s Energy Highway, a plan to build 153 miles of new transmission lines from central NY through Columbia and Dutchess counties, because it could offer no proven need or value. What has become clear to us this month is that the Public Service Commission (PSC), the state regulatory agency charged with protecting the public’s interests on utility matters, recommends advancing a project that will harm Hudson Valley landowners and businesses and drain the pockets of ratepayers statewide.            

Oct 15: The 42nd annual Cow Power sale of registered Black Angus came off in perfect weather last Saturday, Oct. 10.  Most of the cattle were offered by Rally Farms and Heathcote Farms.  Twenty-three head came from Rally and 22 were from Heathcote.

Jesse Bontecou reported that his average was over $4,000 which pleased him.  Judging by the license plates on the trailers that came in expectation of hauling away purchases, bidders came from New England and New Jersey. Old timers who had been regulars at this sale showed up along with a gaggle of young aggressive bidders who snapped up offerings as fast as the auctioneer’s western drawl could spell out the bids.  Rally Farms has been in the Angus business since 1930, longer than just about any farm around.  Jesse Bontecou looks back with pride at his contribution to the breed and to a long association with this annual sale.  


Oct. 11, 2015 - Over 400 people gathered in a tent set up on the grounds of Wethersfield to mark the Dutchess Land Conservancy’s annual lunch, its 30th anniversary, and the lives of two former trustees – Richard Kimball and Molly Schaefer.  The day was clear, the sky blue and the grounds of Wethersfield looked pristine.  Not a weed or blade of grass out of place.

Becky Thornton, the DLC’s executive director, thanked Kevin Molloy, the estate manager of Wethersfield for his historic contribution to the property that is the centerpiece of the Millbrook Hunt country.  “Almost all the properties we see from this vantage point are protected by conservation easements,” said Thornton.  “We now have 40,000 acres under easement,” she noted. 

1218 Nancy Stahl and Dan Slott - photo by Mary Hilliard

Malloy has been able to keep the property looking much as it has always been with a reduced staff and a reduced budget.   

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