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Essex 8/7

This Saturday, downtown Essex will be thronged with merchants and street vendors, and lots of shoppers out for fun and bargains. It's Downtown Essex Day once again. The village turns into one huge yard sale, but there will also be food and entertainment. I generally avoid yard sales, but this is a great opportunity to study your neighbor's cast-offs and other unloved possessions.

The library will be hosting a talk by Jan Eakins Tuesday, Aug. 10, at 7:30 p.m., in the Essex Community Church Fellowship Hall. The title of the talk is "Protecting House and Home: Ritual Marks and Shoes in the Wall." Donations are welcome and refreshments will be served.

The driveway to the sewer plant is getting finished up, and you can see the path the pipeline will take from behind the library uphill to the plant. When it's time to start laying pipes for the collection system, the contractor is going to make the trenches with a rotary cutter mounted on a bulldozer. It's like a big circular saw that can cut through pavement and rock. It's hoped this machine will reduce or eliminate the need for blasting.

Last Sunday's Press-Republican had a photograph of a timber rattler taken on Lake Shore Road, where the snake was enjoying the warm pavement. The snake wasn't identified as a rattler, but it very clearly was. I got an e-mail last week from an amateur herpetologist from Virginia seeking information on the timber rattlers of Split Rock Mountain. She is studying their movements and would like to talk to anyone who knows about our local vipers. Please let me know if you are interested in helping her and I can put you in touch.

This is the time of year when friends and family invite themselves for a visit. We've had as many dog guests as human ones this summer, and Ginny is exhausted. We just said farewell to my daughter's hyper-active puppy, and now we have a mercifully sedate Samoyed with us. Ginny has to show her who the boss is about once a day, but usually they just ignore one another and devote themselves to napping.

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