Friday, September 23, 2022

First Day of Autumn!

 I'm expecting to see snowflakes flying by my window any minute! It was in the 30's last night (low of 37F), and it hasn't warmed up much so far today. Plus, there is a really vigorous wind right out of Canada! In fact, when I looked a little while ago, Anchorage, Alaska, was warmer than here, and it was still dark there! The wind nearly whipped the door out of my grasp when I went to measure precipitation this morning. We had another .62 in.  yesterday, which brings us to just under 5 inches in the past 5 days. That is more rain than we've had all summer, I bet. 

So today is the Autumnal Equinox here in the Northern Hemisphere, when there are equal hours of daylight and darkness. After today, the days will get shorter and darkness will overtake us a little earlier each evening until the Winter Solstice when we'll begin to gain daylight hours slowly. Then, on November 6, we'll set our clocks back one hour, to try to compensate, but that really doesn't change anything except it does louse up one's internal clock considerably. But the world keeps turning , controlling the ratio of light and dark in spite of human efforts.

I went out to get a picture of my pond a few minutes ago - wearing my winter parka!!!! It just felt right to grab that after my brief experience with cold and wind earlier to read the rain gauge. Jamie told me this morning he finally gave in and wore long pants and long sleeves instead of shorts to work this morning. I'm sure there will be short-worthy days ahead, but as one of the forecasters at WCAX said yesterday, we can look for snow flurries in a couple of weeks, probably, so it's time to haul out warmer clothing. 

The rain has been good. My pond is about 3/4 full - it is nice to be able to see the water from the house again. I finally received the photos I tried to transfer from my phone to my computer a few days ago, that didn't want to go through. So here are before and after shots - the picture on the left shows the pond at just about its lowest, on September 8, and below right, what it looks like this morning. With more rain coming, I might have a full pond by the time it all freezes over! It is very murky because of the banks having been exposed and the heavy downpours washed them badly. There is also water coming off the bank above the pond, so it's going to be soggy out there for a while.

Another sign of the change of seasons - I had Wood's Windows come to do my windows yesterday. I delayed having them this spring because I needed some work done to tighten up my kitchen windows and thought it best to wait until that was done. Now everything is tightened up, ready for winter, and my windows sparkle. Nick and Amanda are such a nice couple. Actually, they were married about a week ago. Amanda said she has been handling scheduling, etc., sort of "in the background," but now she's working alongside Nick. They are a great team - in and out in no time, and they do excellent work for a very reasonable price. Nick even checked my rain gutters, and Amanda cleaned my screens and put them away for me. If you need your windows done, I highly recommend them. You can reach them by phone, 802-249-8308, or email: nickwoodwindows@gmail.com. They live on West Hill in Cabot, and Amanda told me they hope to schedule jobs into early November this year, weather permitting. 

Now I need to get my hummingbird feeder in, cleaned, and put away, and get set up for feeding my bird friends this winter - among a few other chores necessary to prepare for cold weather. I got all the storm door panels in place before Nick and Amanda came, so they got cleaned, too. The house is always quieter once the changeover from screens is made. That also makes it seem warmer, somehow. I haven't brought out my mittens and winter scarves yet, but soon. And I don't "fall clean" the house, like my mother did and like I was trained by her to do. I did that for many years when I was first married, but somewhere along the line, I gave up all but swapping thin summer blankets in favor of  comforters, and I change drapes in the living room and bedroom - mainly for a fresh look. But I don't scrub the walls and woodwork anymore, or clear all the cupboards, repaint, and wash all the dishes before putting them back on fresh shelf paper, like my mother did. With all the garden harvesting, canning and a full-time job, I wonder how she found time. As my dad would say, she was a worker! That is not in the genes, apparently.




Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Wet and Wetter

 We've had a lot of rain in the past 48 hours!  Monday morning I measured 2 inches and this morning I had 2.28 inches in my measuring tube. My pond was down to just a few inches and now it's about 1/3 full. That's a lot of water. Some of it is coming off the hill above it, where I'm hoping Ben Ackermann will be able to channel runoff from those springs into a ditch that will empty into the pond at one point rather than having it running down the entire hillside  and eroding the banks of the pond on that back shore. It is very wet out there this morning  and I had to carefully pick a path where I wouldn't sink into mud - almost like it was last spring and well into the summer. We'll figure it out.

I began writing this edition of the blog this morning, and for a short period, it looked as if we might see the sun; but that didn't happen, and we've just had a strong rain shower, the sky is dark and there is fog settling over the hillside behind my house. More of the same in the forecast. 

I didn't publish this because I wanted to share some before and after pictures of my pond - it's quite amazing how much water it has in it now. But for some reason, the photos I sent from my phone have not been received on my PC, so I'll post them another day. With more rain coming, I may be able to post a picture of a full pond, who knows? So I'll continue on and publish this without the photos.

Some of you will probably already know about Dorothy Burrington's recent death, and I know many of you knew her. For those who didn't know Dot and her late husband, Morris, they were long-time residents and valued members of our community, and they will be missed. Here is Dot's obituary:

 Dorothy Rose Burrington, 82, passed away on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. Dorothy “Dot” was born in Hardwick on July 8, 1940 to Myron and Blanch Salls where she and her sisters, Goldie Salls (Chartier) and Sylvia Salls (Joyal) were raised and attended school. Dorothy graduated from Hardwick Academy in 1958 and soon married Morris Herbert Burrington on Dec. 29, 1958. They lived and farmed in Danville until 1972 when they moved to West Danville.

Dot stayed busy doing the things she enjoyed which included working in her greenhouse, maintaining her small farm as well as a window repair business. In 1989 she joined the Caledonia Farmers Market where she and Morris could be found selling baked goods, crafts and plants. Later into the fall, Dot would make and sell Christmas wreaths that decorated homes throughout the county. Their pride for the community and love of the land inspired Dot and Morris to maintain the Joe’s Pond Beach for many years. Dorothy was predeceased by her husband, Morris in 2018.

Contributions in her memory may be made to the West Danville Community Club, P.O. Box 6, West Danville, VT 05873, for the continued maintenance of the beach and surrounding community. Arrangements are with the des Groseilliers Funeral Home.

******************

Gretchen Farnsworth sent this lovely photo of the sunrise last Thursday, and I didn't get it posted. But here it is - a moment in time.

I'm sure I'll have foliage pictures to share within a week or so, but right now we're still very green. There are a few touches of color on trees near my house, and I can see a hint of color in spots on the other side of the pond - but only here and there. Nothing very camera-worthy yet, but it will happen soon. And be all over in a couple weeks.

Tomorrow is the last day of summer! Can you believe it? Some of the pond folks have left, but there are still lots of lights around the pond every evening. Time is getting short, though, and soon there will be only us year-rounders here. Most of the larger boats have been taken out because of the closure of the boat launch around the first of October. We aren't sure how long the repair work there will take, but most are not taking any chances and have already hauled their boats out. 

This is a perfect time of year to get out in your canoe or kayak, though! We will have beautiful fall days when the pond is like glass and the only sounds are birds and occasional distant shore sounds -- a door slamming, maybe some pounding where someone is making repairs or building before cold weather, or a dog barking. When the air is just right, there are sounds of cars on Route 2 or 15, or a truck on West Shore Road. But it all blends into the background and you are barely aware of anything except the reflection of fall colors on the water, and the rhythmic sound of your paddle as you quietly move through the water. Moments like that make lasting memories.

A bird just fluttered up to my window - chasing down lunch, I expect. I'm used to seeing hummingbirds coming to the perennial sweet pea vines next to my office window, but it has been at least a week, maybe more, since I've seen any, so I know it's time to take in my hummingbird feeder and reposition the pole for winter feeders. I found a great spot last year for the pole - next to the path from my basement door and where I can view it from my living room window. I need only to shovel a few feet to get to it to fill it. I will wait to hang any feeders out there, and won't attach my little window feeder for a while. There are plenty of seeds and fruit in the wild for the birds right now, but when snow comes, I'll be ready! I love watching the birds, and even the squirrels, up to a point. But they are greedy little creatures. Here's a solution I found interesting, but it is complicated - and more amusing than effective. Take a look. 

Actually, I enjoy pegging snowballs at the squirrels when they get too bold. I've managed to score a hit or two, but of course nothing is hurt except their squirrely egos, and after directing a barrage of what I imagine are squirrel curses at me from the nearest hole-in-the-wall entrance to their cozy underground den, they are back, swinging from the feeder again, joyfully defying me. There are plenty of seeds on the ground (the birds are messy eaters!) so I don't hesitate to open the window and lob a snowball when a squirrel seems to be hogging the feeder! It's a lot more fun than crossword or picture puzzles!

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Meet & Greet

 Here is a great opportunity to meet Henry Pearl (Danville and Pearl Island, Joe's Pond) who is running for re-election as State Representative.

An RSVP is much appreciated. Send to: lizsargent@charter.net

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Surprise and Disappointment

Autumn is a time for wonderful walks or rides along back roads where maple trees gleam red and gold in the sunlight, and when the sun goes down, there are church suppers and corn roasts, gorgeous sunsets viewed from Cabot Plain, or star-lit boat rides on the quiet waters of Joe's Pond. So much beauty, so many things to do before we say goodbye to warm weather and embrace the splendor (and some hardships) of winter. It's a fall ritual - and no small part of that is the suppers.

There are two I always look forward to. Fred and I began getting take-out chicken pie dinners from the North Danville Baptist Church years ago, and I have continued doing that. Hard on the heels of that dinner, we always looked forward to Cabot's turkey dinner - also an exceptional meal that we ususlly enjoyed with friends.

So here's the surprise part. I just found out that Cabot's Fall Foliage Day begins on September 24th this year! That's about a week earlier than usual; therefore (here's my disappointment), the turkey dinner in Cabot falls on the same night as the chicken pie dinner in North Danville. I've already made plans for the North Danville dinner, fully expecting the following weekend I could then have the turkey dinner. (BIG sigh!) I'm considering getting the turkey dinner, too, and freezing it for later. It might work! It is really good!

I can't help thinking that starting Fall Foliage Week that early is a mistake. There is barely a tinge of color anywhere in our maple forests, and I'm certain nothing much will change by the 24th. Imagine how disappointed visitors will be to get here and find it's still summer. I think someone isn't considering the changing weather patterns we've experienced in the past several years. Fifteen or twenty years ago, the first week of October was pretty likely to bring snow squalls, and sometimes the foliage was past peak, so earlier might have worked better. I used to do tours of historic sites around town, when Cabot's  day to host usually fell around October 1,  and more than once I've stood with a group of shivering tourists on Cabot Plain, peering into the distance at Camel's Hump or the Woodbury Quarries as rain turned to snow and one by one, numbed by the biting wind and driven snow, we had to retreat into our heated vehicles and cut the tour short. But that would be a very rare event now. There may be advantages to being first in line for Fall Foliage Week - but there also are some distinct disadvantages, too. Given a choice, I'd go later rather than earlier, I think.

Still, foliage color or not, there's a lot to see and do, and so much good food! Here is the schedule for Cabot's day and beyond:

 Cabot's Fall Foliage Day is part of the NEK Fall Foliage Festival.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 CABOT

Celebrate Fall Foliage season in Cabot where you will find delicious home-cooked food, beautiful vistas, interesting tours & presentations, first-rate entertainment, a gallery of work by local artisans and The Den, exclusively featuring Vermont craft beer.

Special events include The Cabot Art Barn open 10 am – 4 pm. www.cabotartbarn.com.

Turkey Dinner with all the trimmings at the Cabot Church from 5-6:30 pm, $15, take out only, with outdoor dining on the Town Common.

Molly Brook Farm - the 2022 Vermont Dairy Farm of the Year - offers tours from 10 am - 3 pm and hayrides at 11 am and 1 pm, 39 Cow Hill Rd.

Live music from 6 - 8 pm at The Den featuring The Shugarmakers, playing their blend of "Eclectic Americana," for a fun night of listening and dancing.

Learn about all the day's events at http://www.CabotVermont.org or call 802-279-4309.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Runaway Ladder and a Bean Hole Feast!

NOTICE: A wooden raft or dock ladder washed up on our beach at Sandy Cove. 1159 West Shore Rd. That is the Hamilton/Underwood cottage, not Ned and Carolyn's. 

While I'm here to post the above, I will also report on the Bean Hole Supper. Diane and I got there a little before 12:30, but the beans had been taken out of the bean hole early - for whatever reason. Perhaps they suspected they would be over-cooked if they left them until 12:30 - we just don't know. Lots of folks were disappointed. That said - it would be difficult to be disappointed in the quality or quantity of the food! Diane and I came away absolutely stuffed. 

There were perhaps five very large pots of beans, each made by a different cook, and each cook served their own beans. There were large beans, small beans, some dark and some lighter beans - all sweet and delicious. I lost track of how many salads there were, but the choice ranged large among potato salad or pasta salad. There was homemade bread, corn bread, and plenty of hotdogs, rolls and condiments. And blueberry cobbler if you had room. I had iced tea with mine, plus there was coffee and water available. The tables were filled with happy people and we were told they sold out of tickets. I'm sure they didn't run out of food! It was really quite a spread with tables and chairs set up under several canopies !

Diane and I saw a lot of Joe's Pond folks there, and I got to chat with several friends I hadn't seen in a while. Peggy Pearl was one - it's been a while since I've seen her, and I met Susan Tollman for the first time. Patty Conly was there - Patty is not only co-author with me of the West Danville history book, she is also director of the Danville Historical Society that sponsors the bean hole supper each year.

The weather was really perfect. The sun wasn't beating down on us, but it wasn't raining, either. Just a very warm, pleasant, cloudy afternoon - perfect for a meal by a country road, next to a brook where once stood a large wool processing mill in the middle of a thriving town. Now, just granite markers and a replica of the original covered bridge remain, along with some of the stonework from the mill foundation still evident by the brook. 

It crossed my mind several times while I was there that I was walking on land my great grandfather, John Bolton, once owned - where he built his small woolen mill. After his death, the Bolton mill was sold in 1849 to Benjamin Greenbanks who upgraded it to accommodate the increasing demand for wool processing and cloth.  The big five-story mill burned to the ground in 1885, along with much of the surrounding town. Greenbank moved his business to Enfield, New Hampshire, and within a short time, most of the remaining residents of Greenbank's Hollow had also left. The school, the last remnant of the little community, closed in 1912. The replica covered bridge is a reminder of how it used to be, when there was a bustling mill town beside Joe's Brook, in South Danville.


 

 

Saturday, September 10, 2022

A Tribute to Greenbank's Hollow

 I received this very nice photo from Joseph Webster of Somerset County, Maryland, today. He and his family have fond memories of the area and when he read about the Bean Hole Supper at Greenbank's Hollow tomorrow, he sent this picture of the shelter over their BBQ area, built to replicate the bridge at Greenbank's Hollow. I was interested in the connection, and here is what he told me: 

Hi Jane, A brief history for you. 1973 my parents (Neil and Darlene Webster) and grandparents (Northam and Pearl Webster) along with my two oldest siblings (Marty and Lori) happened to stop at Injun Joe Court for a night as they were traveling. Mr. and Mrs. Perreault treated them like their own family and their hospitality brought our family back every summer. My grandparents and mom have passed, but a summer doesn't go by where at least my dad, my sister Lori's family, brothers Marty and John's family, and my family don't visit. Our family has expanded, and these days we all try to rent on the pond somewhere. Every summer we always visit a small swimming hole near the Greenbanks Covered Bridge. When the site was brought back to life, my wife, myself and our four children picnic and walk the trails. It has become a tradition for sure and we take a family picture each year. We appreciate the history and how well it's kept up and look forward every year to visit and sign the book. Thanks for all you do! Joe, Marybeth, Gabe, Molly, Caleb, Sarah, and the rest of our huge family.

Many thanks to Joe Webster for sharing his story and his appreciation of all the hard work and careful thought that goes into preserving this historic site. I'll be thinking of them tomorrow when Diane Rossi and I are at the Bean Hole Supper - which is actually at 1 o'clock; get there by 12:30 if you want to see them open the bean hole! 

See you at Greenbank's Hollow!



Friday, September 09, 2022

Full of Surprises

I woke up earlier than usual this morning for no particular reason, and as I tucked my increasingly uncooperative, longer locks behind my ears in wet, unruly strands, I glanced in the mirror and decided to put on some lipstick, even before breakfast. "You never know what the day will bring," danced through my mind.

I planned to work in the garage, finishing reorganizing that I began a couple days ago, but just as I finished a quick breakfast, I got a call from my lawn mowing guy, Bob, asking if it would be ok to mow the lawn today instead of tomorrow. No problem. My direction changed and I decided I'd take a few minutes to use my electric push mower to mow the walkway and the tight spots he cannot get to with his riding mower. Before I could even get started, a car pulled into my driveway. It was my cousin Bonnie and her husband, Paul Baharian, who live in Massachusetts and winter in Florida. I see them about once a year. I was delighted to see them - and mentally congratulated myself I'd at least put on some lipstick so I wouldn't look too bedraggled, even in my rumpled denims and plaid work shirt.

We sat on the porch and caught up on family news - always such fun, and especially since I see so much of my grandmother Bolton in Bonnie. She and Paul are aging well.

Everyone had gone by lunch time, and I watched the new King Charles address memorializing his mother, the late Queen, and then came into my office to check my email. That is almost always a pleasure. For instance, yesterday I had several responses to my bacon-baking disaster - and thanks to all of you who took the time to send an email. Good advice! I'm still working on deodorizing the microwave. The baking soda didn't have much of an effect, so I washed it down again with white vinegar and Dawn, and then heated a small pan of the cleaning solution in the oven and left it there. I think that will take care of it.

Also in today's email was the newsletter from the Responsible Wakes organization. JPA's last meeting was the last Saturday of August, so I'm posting it here for anyone interested in the results of this summer's initiative to get a proposal before the legislature. I'm sure you'll find it interesting.

Now, the porch is calling to me - even though I spent half my morning out there (or maybe because it was so pleasant out there then!), I'm thinking it would be nice to settle into the recliner with the latest issue of the North Star Monthly. But before I do that, I'm going to put on a little lipstick and tidy up my hair - just in case. It's strange that there are days in a row when I don't actually see a soul - and then there are days like this when I'm happily chatting with unexpected visitors, one after another. But it would be a strange day for me to spend it without putting on my lipstick. It always makes me feel better, even if it's a day when I know I'm going to be wearing a face mask! It's just part of my routine, like making the bed every morning before I leave the room and checking the temperature before I go outside. There won't be many more afternoons when it is comfortable on the porch, so I guess I'll get out there and sop up some of the last of summer.

First Day of Autumn!

 I'm expecting to see snowflakes flying by my window any minute! It was in the 30's last night (low of 37F), and it hasn't warme...