I'm feeling totally let down now the Ice-Out Contest is over. There's hardly any point in reporting the weather each day - the ice is completely gone from all three ponds - one of quickest meltdowns I can remember! Actually, the whole schedule was off this year. Joe's Pond has always been at least a week later going out than Molly's Pond, and it was on Friday, the 21st that Shelly Walker and Diane Rossi both reported Molly's was ice free. Two days later the clock stopped in the contest and by Monday, most of the ice was gone. I guess that's one more formula we can disregard.
It's good to have the contest over in a way - it signals the real start of the summer season. The LaGues are back, so are the Rouleaus - and probably others I don't know about, so activity around the pond will begin soon. The weather is supposed to be very nice - temps in the 70s tomorrow - so I'm sure someone will be out in a boat checking things out after the long frozen-in winter.
The geese are back - I could hear them plainly today from probably their nesting places along the north end of the pond where the channel comes down from Walden. I hope they were just resting on their way someplace else, but it's likely without anything to frighten them away they will stay and raise their young here. They are beautiful, but messy pests when they congregate by the dozens on docks and lawns.
I heard a woman in a St. Johnsbury store today telling about all the wildlife she has near her Waterford home. Apparently bears are frequent visitors to her yard, as are deer. She said she enjoys watching them - only once when there was a mother bear with two cubs did she feel wary at all. We are hearing from wildlife experts that the bears are unusually hungry this year because last year wasn't a good year for nut and berry crops, so they didn't have much reserve for their hibernation period and are waking up extra hungry. This means they are coming closer to humans in search of food, so be sure to keep your garbage cans well secured and don't put out any bird feeders or you'll have some unwanted visitors and damage.
Don't forget the buffet supper for the benefit of the Kingdom Animal Shelter. Click on the poster to increase the size.
The food will be great - we've had Steve's turkey pie and know it's super good. Admission is by donation - so plan to go with the family, enjoy the meal and be generous. The shelter does a great job of caring for homeless kitties, but it does cost money to keep them healthy and fed. This is a great way for people to help and have a nice meal and evening out.