Essex 4/10

The Essex Youth Commission is still seeking members, so please call the town hall and let them know you're interested. Saturday night at the Whallonsburg Grange will be a showing of the movie "An Education." It starts at 8 p.m.

If you'd like to explore an out of the way corner of our town, let me recommend a loop you can take: It's in the southwest corner of the town and is a bit over 4 miles, not including side trips. I started at the intersection of Sayre Road and Alden Road and went west on Alden. For about a mile you are on a rolling, curving section with nice views through the trees of open fields and the deep blue skyline of Vermont in the distance. Then you descend through a pine forest down a short but very steep hill and into the open again. Alden ends at the Lewis-Wadhams Road, where you turn left and follow the Boquet River. On the right is a dead-end dirt road called Loukes Road which takes you down to the river. Back on the Lewis-Wadhams Road, continue to Sayre Road and turn left up the hill. At the top is a spectacular view of the Adirondacks, including Giant Mountain, Hurricane, and the Jay Range. You go up Sayre past more fields and arrive back at the beginning spot. I like this loop because of the great scenery, the mix of forest and fields, and the relative lack of traffic.

With not much in the way of news this week, it seems like a good time to discuss bird intelligence. An experimenter built a large cage with a round hole in its plywood floor. He nailed a string to the edge of the hole and tied a small piece of meat to the string to hang down. Birds in the cage could see the meat but could not reach it. Gulls, crows, jays and hawks all screamed at the meat and pecked at the hole, but could not solve the problem. A raven was tested who simply reached down with his bill, pulled up a length of string and stood on it. He then reached down again, pulled up another length, stood on it and kept on until he had the meat.

Renovations to the old stone store in the hamlet are coming along. My sources say a gift shop may open there this spring. If your sources are better informed than mine, please let me know.

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