Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Not much sunshine today, but it was pretty mild. A good day for working outside. Not that I worked outside, but Fred did. He and our neighbor, Paul, finished up taking out the tamarack trees next to the road. It's very strange now to look out and see lights on the other side of the pond. I suppose I might have been able to do that without losing the trees once their needles had fallen, but still, there was a really tall wall down there and I was feeling hemmed in.

We didn't ask Paul to take the brush away. Fred dragged them down to his brush pile just off the edge of the lawn. There is a huge pile (see picture) that he's added to over the years. Each winter it packs down and decomposes a little more, but we think it makes good cover for small animals - partridges and rabbits in particular.

After Paul left with his last load of wood, I walked down to see the finished job - the stumps along the road and the brush pile. It sure is different. I was sorry to see the tamaracks go, but while I was looking at the brush pile I realized we have several more growing up down below the lawn where we had it cut off a few years ago. Once the snow comes, we'll get down in there (on snowshoes) to see what else is growing. We planted some white pines a few years ago and haven't check on them lately. Also there should be some maples coming along. I think we've planted more trees than we've cut - and that's ok, but I have to stop planting things close to the house that will grow up and cut off my view. We kid about that - the town officers will deny it, but we do get taxed more if we have a view. However, when the trees grow up and cut off the view, our taxes do not go down. I actually asked about that once and the reply was that the view was still there, even if I couldn't see it. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else, so I'll keep quiet and pay the darned taxes.

They are repaving along Route 2 between West Danville towards Marshfield. I don't know
if they are going all the way to the new road by Goodrich's, but I expect they will. I thought they might be just patching, but Fred said today it looked like they were putting on a new surface. That's good for making it smoother and getting rid of the potholes, but it can be slippery when that first snowfall comes. Every year we have to pay attention and remember how to drive in winter conditions again. We'll have our winter tires put on in a few more weeks and then I'll feel a little more secure.

We noticed today that even though we haven't seen any wildlife on our game camera, all the apples have been cleaned up under our two trees. There are still apples on the crab tree, and the turkeys and squirrels will enjoy them during the winter. Partridges like them, too. Not much goes to waste - by spring the crab tree will be bare of apples and ready to go again.

Here are before and after pictures of our tamaracks. The pictures were taken from opposite directions, so the first one is looking West towards our mailbox with the tamaracks on the right and the next picture is looking east along the line that was once a solid bank of tamaracks. All that's left at the edge of our lawn are the lupines that grow there each spring. At least we'll be able to see them better next spring!

Monday, October 21, 2019

Cheryl Castner sent an email today with photos she got with their game camera. I'm so envious! Look at all the wildlife she has captured in New Jersey, and here I am in Vermont getting nothing but an occasional robin, squirrel or wandering human on ours. We decided to change the location today, so perhaps that will have better results. In the meantime, enjoy Cheryl's photos taken on their driveway.

We are excited to be able to see the pond and some of Route 15 again. The big tamaracks along the road in front of our house have grown so big we were not able to see the hills over in Walden or any of the pond at all. We were beginning to feel very shut off from the other side of the pond. Our friend from West Hill Pond who is taking them for the wood will finish taking them down tomorrow. He will cut them up later, but wanted to get them all down while the weather was calm. They were fairly tall, but not unusually large trees, so it was fairly easy to get them down. In some ways I know I'm going to miss them, but I don't like feeling closed in, either, and I love the view from the living room windows. Now I actually can see a "view" and not just a bank of trees!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

I has been a dreary day - more November-ish than October-like. For us it's been a really nice break from our usual routine. We met friends Joanne and Jamie Stewart at Three-Ponds for lunch and found Jane Milne, Dot Larrabee and Pete Blackadar there - they were sort of leaving as we arrived, but we had a chance to chat a bit. Lunch was very nice. I have never been disappointed at Three-Ponds.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. As we were leaving, Fred noticed movement a little down the road from our driveway and realized it was a bear. We watched from our driveway - a couple of cars went by and the bear retreated, but came right back; then three motorcycles went by and that seemed to frighten him/her a bit more, but we waited, and sure enough, he was back at the same tree, getting something or other. I'm thinking it might have been a beechnut tree, but we're not sure. We rolled slowly down the road, hoping to get some closeup shots, but the bear was having none of it, and we couldn't be absolutely sure of the exact spot we'd see him. It was a rod or so above where the truck went off, but on the same side of the road, on Randall's property. This is the second bear we've seen on the road going by our house this year. We also learned that a while back a hunter killed a bear just beyond us on this road. I know bears are fair game during hunting season, but still - we both felt sorry to think one of "our bears" had been killed.

Last spring I got the bright idea that with all the wildlife around here it would be fun to have a game camera. We picked one up - actually, Jamie and Marie lent us one at first, but we decided to get one of our own. We set it up and it's been running all summer. The only action we've caught on it was Fred clearing snow off trees in March, Jamie and Marie's dog,  Otto, coming out of the woods one day, and a strange man that seemed to be "casing our house" from the back yard - it took me a while, but I finally realized it was the nice young man that came around doing the reappraisals for the town. Then there are photos of Fred's eyes or sometimes mostly his nose as he adjusts the camera after unloading the chip, me with a wheelbarrow on my way to dump weeds and clippings in the woods, lots of pictures of Fred on the lawn mower, and even more shots of nothing but lawn, trees and sky. I think birds sometimes set it off but are too fast for it and it takes the picture after they've gone by. We still like to have it going, just in case there's some slow-moving animal out there sometime. Unfortunately, it wasn't pointed in the right direction to capture the bear. He was probably too far away, anyhow. I'm convinced one day we'll find we've captured a magnificent photo of something unusual.

Having goofed off most of the day, I'm feeling relaxed and not the least bit concerned that I put in almost no time on my computer today. After we came home from lunch, we watched the rest of CBS's "Sunday Morning" - they did really interesting segments on Janis Joplin, Herbert Hoover and Harriet Tubman.

Now the sky is brightening with the sun setting - hopefully we'll have a nice day tomorrow. Most of the leaves are stripped from the trees, but still, there is a little color left on some of the lower branches and trees or bushes that were protected from the wind. Anything at the top of any hill or standing tall and exposed is bare, and there are
lots of leaves on the ground. There was a hard frost last night, so there's no more growing season - except for grass.
And just as I was signing off, Fred got this picture of a rainbow over the Walden hills. Pretty neat!

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Late yesterday afternoon Fred and I headed out for a short walk. Just as we were going down our driveway, a state police car pulled up. We knew the trooper, David Upson - he came to investigate when we reported hearing some kind of explosion one night a few years ago. He couldn't find anything wrong anywhere that night, so we decided it was probably a sonic boom - but the Vermont National Guard denied any activity, so we forgot about it. Yesterday he told us he later found out the Guard WAS conducting night-flying maneuvers that night. But that wasn't what he was here to talk about yesterday. He asked if we knew who anything about the pickup truck that was over the bank below our house. We hadn't even realized it was there. He ran the number and found out it belonged to a logger in Glover or some place - someone he knew - so he said he'd check him out to be sure he was ok. We chatted a bit and then he left.

We walked down the road and found the truck, a white pickup, was over the bank just past Randall's driveway, in almost the exact same spot Cecil Metcalf went off at a couple years ago. Why that truck didn't roll over, I cannot imagine. It was really seriously tipped.

We went along about our walk and when we got home it was getting pretty dark, so we decideded we'd get a picture for the blog early this morning. However, this morning the truck was gone! How or when it was removed we have no idea. We didn't hear or see a thing. Apparently they came and got it either very late at night or very early this morning. Long story short, I don't have a picture.

That's a very straight stretch of road and the tire tracks indicated he went straight in - it looked like he didn't brake and there was no evidence a soft shoulder pulled him over. I suspect the driver may have dozed off or had some sort of health issue. We'll probably never know, but I hope he's ok. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

Dr. Joe Hebert Honored

For those of you who do not get the news from the Caledonian Record, or who may have missed this in yesterday's (October 17, 2009) newspaper, Dr. Joe Hebert was given a "Service to Medicine and Community Award" at a ceremony at UVM Medical School recently. The notice appeared in yesterday's Caledonian Record.

Joe is president of the Joe's Pond Association. He and his wife, Pam have worked tirelessly over the years for the Association and their community. We are very proud of both of them. Congratulations, Joe!
Please be on the lookout for this lost dog in the North Danville area:

White Pointer with One Eye and Deaf
She is microchipped
She has lost her collars and harness
Don Goughnour

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Alba Rossi, 103!

Today Alba Rossi celebrated her 103rd birthday! Here she is today, looking not a day over 70! She is at a celebratory luncheon with friends at her residence at Lincoln House in Barre.  In the second picture, she is with her BFF Nelda Rossi (Larry Rossi's mom). I looked back at another picture taken when Alba  celebrated her 100th birthday and she hasn't aged  one bit! Way to go, Alba!

Alba and her late husband, Ted Rossi, were long-time Joe's Ponders. Their camp was where Bill and Diane Rossi's is now, on West Shore Road. If you'd like to send her a belated birthday wish, her address is Lincoln House, Rm. 11, 120 Hill St., Barre VT 05641. I'm sure she'd love to hear from Joe's Pond friends.

Our weather turned out to be much less threatening than the forecasters had predicted, but according the the news tonight, other areas of the state got damaging wind and rain. Also there were power outages, of course, and flooding. We were just plain lucky. I measured .70 in. of rain in my gauge this morning and as far as I know, we didn't have really unusual wind. The temperature is 38.3F as I write this, so it wouldn't be a surprise if we find the ground covered with snow in the morning. But then we're supposed to warm up, so we won't be bothered with it for long.

We've been hearing gun shots in the early mornings on weekends - duck hunting season opened on October 10 and runs through December 8. Canada Geese can be hunted from October 10 - November 8. Although  hunting is legal on Joe's Pond, we worry a bit because there are so many cottages and people living on the pond. It's really dangerous - what goes up must come down, so even if a hunter is firing at birds flying overhead, the shot has to fall someplace, and if they shoot at a duck flying low over the water, cottages could be in a direct line of fire. Hopefully not too many hunters decide to hunt here. There are other lakes and ponds that have fewer cottages and better hunting, I expect.

Lots of people have left the pond for the winter and several more are scheduled to leave next week. It gets very quiet here this time of year. There isn't much going on until the pond has frozen over and we have ice fishermen and snomobilers here to entertain us. In the meantime, the leaves have taken a beating, especially during yesterday and today with the wind and rain. The trees will be bare soon. Fred and I usually have a second season to look forward to, when the tamaracks turn, but this year that won't happen, at least here at our house. We are having our row of tamaracks next to the road removed. They have grown way too tall and  cut us off from being able to see across the pond to Route 15. It is amazing how quickly they grew up. We originally planted them to buffer us from the dusty road in the summer - and they did that for a long time. Then I realized I wanted to be able to see cars on the road below the house, so Fred limbed them about five or six feet up from the ground.  That was ok for a while, but now it's time for them to go. We connected with a neighbor who wants them for firewood.

We expect another cool day tomorrow, but a really nice weekend. We all need to get outside and enjoy every last minute - we'll be covered in snow soon!

Not much sunshine today, but it was pretty mild. A good day for working outside. Not that I worked outside, but Fred did. He and our neighbo...