Monday, November 12, 2007

Bobcat Mountains

Early morning mist on the mountains.

Mercurie's cat Max was curious about the Catskill Mountains, so I thought I'd write a post about them.

It was the Story "Rip Van Winkle" by Washington Irving that seemed to officially make the Blue Mountains the Catskills.
The most logical reason for the name is an early sighting of a number of Bobcats frolicking near a river or creek (which would be a kill in Dutch) At first just a small town near the kill was named Catskill, and later the entire range.

I have only seen one wildcat in the area-- from a distance I thought it was a beige dog. I brought a can of cat food outside for it. Once I got close to the boulder it was sitting on, it turned to face me and it had a cat head! That freaked me out as I realized it was wild. ("NICE kitty... I am putting some food down...I am backing away...) It looked exactly like the Lynx pictured here. dog body, cat head.

The earliest settlers called the Catskills the Blue Mountains. They blend into Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains, which are really just an extension of the range with a different name.

And they are lovingly known as the Jewish Alps.

A lot of famous funny men got their start in showbiz in the Catskills including a young Jerry Levitch (later the famous clown Jerry Lewis) --who used to lip-sync to records while making funny faces and weird body movements, and Krusty the Clown (Herschel Krustofski) who had a blue act before becoming a childrens entertainer.