Mountainkeeper kids!

Bella Noche Ruffalo                                                                         Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Hello, My Name is Bella Ruffalo and I was born in L.A and I moved to the town of Callicoon NY, in the Catskills, when I was around three years old. The Catskills is filled with dense green lands and incredible amounts of wildlife.  The vibrant colors of green, brown and blue – depending on the season, filled my senses when I first moved to the Catskills.

Some activities that I embarked on during the years that I lived full time in the Catskills were swimming in the Delaware River and frolicking outside in every season. The Delaware is very cleansing since the river is one of the cleanest natural water sources you can swim in. In recent years, the summer has become warmer and the winter temperature has been rising, and we have been getting less and less snow. Some people do not understand how this affects the ecosystem and not just their ski schedule – and this frustrates me, how people just live in the dark. The reason the climate is changing is each day fossil fuels are released into the sky and that affects our ecosystem in a negative way, causing global warming. unnamed-2For example, cars produce chemicals that fly up into the sky and destroy the ozone. But winter is beautiful, even if we get less and less each year so that just means we have to enjoy it while it lasts. Each year when winter comes around in the Catskills, the snow is white and fluffy and it’s almost like powdered sugar. Even though I may not able to enjoy liquid water during the winter I can enjoy the frozen water. Winter and summer may be very different but they both have their own unique beauty. For example, summer is hot and winter is cold.  In the heat and the humidity of the summer, you can see the blossoming of flowers and the hatching of robins and watch them open their eyes and look at the world, both curious and fearful. And for the winter all the birds leave, and the snow falls, and you can look outside your window and see a white desert. The Catskills is one of the most incredible places I have ever been I we fight every day to save it because this place is my Eden.

The Delaware River is a major river on the Atlantic coast of the United States and it is 14,119 miles long. I have mainly seen the Delaware in the Catskills but it can be seen in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware. The Delaware is the cleanest river in the United States in most cases of the Delaware we can drink its water unfiltered. Even our founding fathers saw the importance of the river. They used the river during the unnamed-1battle of Trenton they used the river for cover during the battle in the middle of winter. Just recently there was an oil spill in the Delaware which was caused by a train crash. This made the areas near the oil spill toxic and if it gets in direct contact with your skin it may cause medical problems in future years. Accidents like this can affect the river in a very negative way if it’s not dealt with.

I Grew up in Callicoon NY in the Catskill Mountains but there are many other places to go visit while you’re in upstate New York. For example, Narrowsburg and Bethel.   Since I grew up in Callicoon I’m going to be a little bit biased. I’m sorry about that, but nearest town is Narrowsburg and another nearby town is Bethel Woods where the  Woodstock Music Festival took place, are both an amazing place. Some reasons that you should go to Callicoon are how close you are to the water and the great food and restaurants and unnamedsmall businesses.  Many of the shops and restaurants are owned by families. My favorite restaurant in town is Matthew’s on Main and my second favorite is Pepenos. Matthew’s on Main is an amazing American-based food restaurant. For example, they have burgers, fries, pasta and other foods like that.  Pepenos is an Italian restaurant about 50 feet away from Matthews on main they’ve been growing a lot over time and getting bigger and bigger, so you might need to call for a reservation but their food is amazing and their service is great. Narrowsburg is another small cozy town that sits right on the Delaware River, and there are these two big rocks right under a bridge where go swimming and it makes for a good summer afternoon. My mom also owns a small shop in town called Sunny’s Pop. I would recommend you check it out, downloadshe recently opened it. She sells furniture, teapots and an assortment of other amazing and gorgeous items including vintage clothing. The Items at Sunny’s pop are truly quality. She sells stuff for artists that are trying to be discovered, and their art is unique. Some great food options in town are the Laundrette and the Heron.  The Heron has been around for a good 2 years, they sell an assortment of foods including one of my favorites is fried catfish bites that are seasoned in different seasonings that I cannot name. the laundrette is an Italian restaurant that sells amazing handmade pizzas and great salads even though I don’t normally like salads they caught my eye.

Fort Delaware Museum is a fun Activity to teach your kids about colonial history. Fort Delaware Goes back in time with actors in complete role play and costume. They show kids how to shoot cannons. Teach them about blacksmithing and how the settlers first Unknowngot here. They are open on the weekends and on Columbus Day. You get to enjoy the full settler experience, for example, you get to try farming blacksmithing candle making and baking. And there are also various shops throughout the fort and you can get a tour on TripAdvisor or just get tickets while you’re there. I’ve gone to Fort Delaware multiple times.   It is an enclosed place that’s surrounded by huge wooden walls that are spiked at the end. I would recommend Fort Delaware to anyone who wants to learn about the history of Delaware and Columbus in an interactive way.

Lenni Lenape Indians was a native tribe to the Delaware.  Lenni Lenape means men of men and they were one of the first tribe to live in the Catskill Mountains. Their territory was the Delaware River Basin which is now southeastern New York, eastern brush_shelter_in_Great_BasinPennsylvania and most of Delaware and New Jersey. For most native American tribes, how they treated animals was a big part of their culture, so each way they hunt is very different. The Lenni Lenape hunted fish with a spear and not with fishing poles so it put the fish through the least amount of pain. But if there was a bigger fish they would use a harpoon and they mainly used the wood head for there spears. Lenni Lenape mainly lived in wigwams which were a hut house made out of birch branches and bark. And the inside consisted some sort of blanket or wolf skin no furniture. The Lenni Lenape culture is a very interesting topic and has explored the Delaware for thousands of years.

From the Lenape to the colonial settlers to my peers, the Delaware Valley has been a place that we have called home, and I love it.

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