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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Our summer weather continues!  Even though rain has been forecast for just about every day this week, we didn't get much today.  I think it sprinkled once or twice, but never amounted to much.  It's been warm and wonderful - except for the black flies.  But they will be mostly gone soon.  I was looking on line for something about how long black fly season usually is in Vermont and came up with a this: "Mother brings them, Father takes them away," that refers to Mother's Day in early May and Father's Day in June.  A few people took issue with that post saying Vermont sometimes has them until at least late in June, depending on whether there's lots of wet weather and running water.  Black Flies hatch in running water, but mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so if it isn't one pest, it's another.  They all like me - a lot.

We had to go to Cabot Village today and came back over the old Bayley-Hazen Military Road from Route 215 to Cabot Plains Road.  I had heard that someone was clear cutting along that road, and for sure, there is one spot that is being clear cut.  I'm not sure who the land owner is, but it is land that used to belong to a family by the name of Petit.  There once was a road that went west, down the hill past the Petit farm, connecting the Bayley Hazen Road to what is now Rte. 215.  I don't think there's any sign of the road there now except a fence line with trees and bushes separating the two properties.  I believe access to that farm is now by Tetreault Road.  My Grandfather Bolton once owned the property south of that old road.  It consisted of fields we hayed and sometimes planted potatoes, and a very nice stand of sugar maples.  Our sugar house was in the Petit pasture, a few feet over the property line.  As I recall, rent for using the location was paid in maple syrup.  The Petits didn't sugar.  It was interesting to see all that pasture land cleared.  It actually brought back memories of before it had become so overgrown - when it was still being farmed.  The fields we hayed are fairly well grown in with quite large trees now, and there's a large house  at the crest of the hill.  The field below is where we had potatoes. That's where Bob Davis built his house.  That is also where my grandfather kept a herd of sheep at one time.  

It was all much more open than it is today - the early settlers clear cut so they would have land for farming. As the farmers  disappeared, so did the open fields.  It doesn't take very long for trees to take over.  

The Bayley Hazen Road is in fairly good condition these days, but there is one spot close to the end near Cabot Plains Road that is very steep ledge, and extremely rough.  That was always a tricky spot to ease a big load of hay down.  I don't remember that we ever lost a load there, but we kids were not allowed to ride on the load, just in case.  My job was to rake scattering with the dump rake, so while the men took the load to the barn, I would get busy making windrows of whatever hay had been missed by the loader.  We had a couple of horses on the farm that were really good to rake with, and I always enjoyed working with them.  

One of the things that surprised me today was that so many of the big maples close to the road have been cut.  Some of them had to be at least 200 years old.  Perhaps the plan is to widen the road a bit.  That is understandable, but sad, really, because that section of the old military road is unique in that it had been left pretty much the way it was when the settlers first came to Cabot - a narrow path through maple forest.  Other sections of the road have either been paved or are overgrown and lost.  Change happens - we adapt.

Here is something Peter Dannenberg, the treasurer for Cabot Historical Society, mentioned to me recently: 
 Anyone who buys from Amazon. com can name a registered qualified charity to receive a small percentage of their purchases as a donation from Amazon corporation. 

I registered Cabot Historical Society about a year ago. I hope more people will name C.H.S. as their designated charity in the future. It costs the buyer nothing.

I wasn't aware of this program, but next time I buy from Amazon.com, I will certainly name Cabot Historical Society as my designated charity.  It's very generous of Amazon Corporation, and although probably doesn't amount to much for them, every little bit counts for organizations like the historical society.  We don't have a lot of money and work hard to keep the place going.  Perhaps you will name Cabot Historical Society as your charity, too.  If you do, we thank you.

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