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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

    This has been a really nice day - good for catching up on outdoor stuff, if you put things off because of the nice weather, like I did.  I have three "tender" shrubs I like to wrap in burlap so they don't get frost burn, and I had delayed doing that because when I would normally do it - mid to late October, it was so warm I thought it would be better to wait.  Then of course we got cold weather and snow - but I lucked out.  The ground isn't frozen, so I was able to get stakes in where I needed to, and today was even warm enough so I didn't come in cold to the bone.  I did manage to lose my favorite scissors, though.  They are in the snow somewhere, but both Fred and I have looked and couldn't locate them.  Darn!  I knew when I took them out of the kitchen it was a bad idea, but I didn't want to go down in the basement to get a pair from the workbench - figured I'd only need them to cut one piece of burlap.  That was true, but in the meantime, I think they got caught in some of the old burlap I had in the wheelbarrow - I was being so clever to take all my material and tools in the wheelbarrow so I wouldn't need to keep running back and forth the get stuff.  Anyway, when I took out the old burlap, they must have been caught in it, so goodness knows where they ended up.  Somewhere in the snow, probably not to be found until spring - if at all.
    While out there, I discovered I'd forgotten to finish painting the window sash on the basement window I'd worked on back in October.  Got it all scraped down at the same time I was doing the garage windows.  I painted the garage windows, but ran out of time or warm weather, and then forgot about the basement window.  If we have a nice warm day, I may get out there and slap a coat of paint on to at least protect the bare wood this winter.
     At least our cat, Woody, is earning his keep around here.  This is the time mice like to get into any place they can build a nest to stay warm through the winter, and two nights in a row Woody has caught a mouse.  Sunday night I let him in from the garage and he brought in a live mouse.  He let it go beside Fred who was standing by the kitchen counter - we both saw it at the same time, and Fred was able to step on the mouse's tail.  I got gloves (we've been through this plenty of times, so know the drill) and Fred was able to capture the mouse in his hands and take it outside.  He said he felt bad about releasing the mouse in the snow - it was pretty cold Sunday night.  I bet the mouse was back in the garage before Fred got back in the house.  We decided Fred should be the one letting Woody in from the garage - he sees better than I do.  Last night when Woody knocked on the door to come in, Fred went to the door and checked for a mouse - but after Woody got in the kitchen, he dropped a mouse, this time headless, on the floor.  Perhaps the same mouse - who knows!  We like that he is a good hunter, but wish we could somehow convey to him the "presents" are neither wanted nor appreciated.  At least I'm off the hook now as being the one who isn't careful enough about checking the cat for wild things before letting him into the house!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

     It seems the days go by quickly, in spite of it being dull and sunless outside.  The milder days recently and rain last night washed away nearly all of the snow on the ground around Joe's Pond area.  Now the sprinkles we had this morning have turned to snowflakes and the ground around our house has turned from bright green to light green as the snow begins to stick.  My thermometer is showing 32 degrees, down from the 40s yesterday, and seems to be falling.  The prediction is we may have a couple of inches by tomorrow morning.  One thing is for sure, it's a raw day outside.
     We lost power for about 20 minutes mid-morning.  We know from calling Washington Electric there were lots of towns without power, and suspect it has to do with wind.  As the temperature was dropping rapidly early this morning, the wind picked up considerably, and there's still a good 15 mph NE wind registering on my wind gauge.  With the soggy ground, there could be more trees down before things quiet down.
     During the past several days I've been working on a chapter for the West Danville history book about lumbering.  Sometimes  unexpected chapters seem to develop all by themselves.  In working on a segment about general commerce, I realized we have gathered a lot of information about lumbering "back in the day."  I came upon lots of things I needed to verify or that simply piqued my interest, one of which was a new saw that was "rope powered."  This was in one of West Danville's water-powered mills, so I believe it was and "up-and-down" saw.  If you haven't seen one of these old up-and-down saws working, click on the link.  It's amazing they were able to saw the amount of lumber that they apparently did at such a slow rate.  Later on, steam powered sawmills used circular saws that were much faster and gave a cleaner cut.  However - looking at all the moving parts made from wood, I'm fascinated at the ingenuity of the whole process. 
     I never did find out exactly what a "rope powered" saw was all about, but I found out Vermont has made a fairly miraculous comeback in reforestation after the timber here was decimated in the 1800s.  Foresters are saying Vermont - especially the Northeast Kingdom - is beginning to look very much as it did when the first settlers pushed north from Massachusetts.  Of course, there isn't the old growth the settlers found, but because most of the forested land is our state is privately owned and Vermont has strict laws about clear-cutting, we are unlikely to experience the bald hillsides that were once the view from every homestead and highway by the turn of the century.  I particularly like this old photo showing the area above our present beach, the railway station and lumber stacked and waiting to be shipped.  Notice the cleared land behind the town.  This was probably taken in early 1900s.  In this second photo, about the same vintage, the hills above Route 2 are open farm land.  You can also see a boom of logs in the shallows on the right of the picture, just above where the beach is today.  Logs were kept in booms until the mill was ready to take them into the sleuce for sawing.  Booms were held in the cove near Point Comfort, as well.
     I'm watching the temperature still heading downward but also some sunshine breaking through the snow showers.  An interesting weather day!  Also interesting is that our power blipped off again a few minutes ago just enough to startle me and knock my computer off.  Nothing was lost, but it's one of those days it may be better to go read a book than work on the computer.



Thursday, November 16, 2017

Construction Update
Cabot Danville US 2 Reconstruction
FEGC F 028-3(26) C/2
Project Location:  The 1.4 mile project extends along US 2 from Last Road to Danville Hill Road in Cabot. This is a multi-year project with most of the work occurring in 2017/2018. Completion is scheduled for 2019.

Thanksgiving Holiday Break:  No work will be performed on the project from Wednesday afternoon (11/22) through Sunday (11/26).  Work will resume on Monday (11/27).

Week of November 20th, 2017
     Construction will be occurring in several areas within the project limits this week.  A majority of the work this week will occur east of Goodrich’s Maple Farm.
      Minor work will be performed on the temporary roadway approaches for the temporary bridge that will be placed over Molly’s Brook just south of Last Road.  Traffic can expect minor interruptions.

US 2 – East (Danville Side) of Goodrich’s Maple Farm
       Crews will continue construction on the second phase of excavation for the new roadway alignment east of Goodrich’s Maple Farm.  Work will include installing new underdrain and select stone material.
      Crews will be excavating to tie in the existing roadway to the new roadway alignment which is under construction.

* Trucks will be hauling material to the fill area near the Folsom Farm throughout the week which could result in minor traffic interruptions as trucks access the area.
      Alternating one-way traffic will be maintained for the construction package east of Goodrich’s Maple Farm. Expect short delays.  

US 2 Bridge #88 (Near Folsom Farm) Replacement:  
      Work on the bridge will be wrapping up for the winter this week.  Crews will resume work on the bridge in the spring of 2018.

Traffic – Minor traffic delays can be expected this week.

It is illegal in VT to use any handheld portable electronic devices while driving. The law carries fines of up to $200 with points assessed if the violation occurs in a work zone. 

Contact Francine Perkins, Project Outreach Coordinator, FRP Enterprises, LLC with any questions or concerns with regards to the project at 802-479-6994.  Construction updates are posted at www.roadworkupdates.com