Just Phyllisophy (150x67)By Phyllis Galowitz

The hills and valleys of Andes are lush and green. Wildflowers are flourishing on both sides of Route 28 as I take my usual walk between rainstorms. It’s been raining every day, but there are those hours during the day when the sun comes out, making the droplets on the leaves and blades of grass sparkle like diamonds. I love the lacey, white clustered flowers that are blooming now, all over the roadsides. We call them Queen Anne’s lace, but I’m not sure that’s what they are since they look so much like poison hemlock, which has an unpleasant smell and purple spots on the grooved stem, the juices of which are poisonous. Among the delicate white flowers, are the pink to lavender, dame’s rocket, a beautiful contrast. The dame’s rocket is easily confused with phlox, but has four petals instead of the five, as phlox and wild sweet William do.

Bryants Brook is full and flowing swiftly over rocks and fallen tree trunks. The rhythm, as it meanders, helps me to keep up the pace of my steps to match it. The singing of the birds is the chorus, while the eastern tiger swallowtail butterflies, looking like Tiffany designs (his inspiration?), are the dancers, perching on bushes and flowers.

On rainy days, when walking is not an option, there’s the new Catskill Recreation Center, recently opened in Arkville, with its beautiful, Olympic-sized pool and fitness room with something for everyone: Lap Swim, Yoga, Zumba, Pilates, Aqua aerobics, etc. Since they’re just getting started, events are being added, so check their schedule at their website, www.catskillrecreationalcenter.org for updates, prices and time. This is going to be a wonderful facility for us in Andes.

On sunny, warm days, of course, we are lucky to have the equally beautiful Andes Pool, which is outdoors and FREE! It will be opening in July, when the weather will be just right for a jump in the cool water. As of this date there is no information about the exact opening date or time of swimming lessons and adult swim. Hopefully, before the Gazette goes to press we’ll know more and include those facts.

The Andes Indoor Farmer’s Market and Outdoor Market as well are two treasures we are lucky to have. Just when we’ve all become more health-conscious than we already were, we have, right here in Andes, local meats, produce, baked goods, cheeses, maple syrup, honey and more, every Saturday, from 10-3 pm.

Swim, hike the trails (see related article by Ann Roberti), eat local foods, be healthy and enjoy each day!~