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Essex 2/13

To shake off the winter doldrums, get yourself and your dancing shoes to Whallonsburg. This Saturday night, the 13th, there will be a swing dance at the grange starting at 7:30, with instruction offered at 7 p.m. The cost is $5. On the 27th, there will be a dance from 7-10 p.m. to benefit the Essex Theater Company. This dance will feature a live band, Ironville, with Yves Tanguy, Crown Point's fiddle-playing baker.

Bald eagles have been spotted all along Essex's lakeshore, from opposite the ferry dock down to Split Rock. They are fishing in open waters, especially where streams enter the lake. Betsy Tisdale, a friendly local ornithologist, told me that the birds move south as waters up north freeze over. If our winter continues as it has been, the eagles will probably be departing for the Hudson River in the near future. Ms. Tisdale and I conversed while standing in the middle of Main Street, where, thanks to the ferry closure, there is absolutely no traffic. That's a bit of an exaggeration; Cheryl Blanchard and her school bus rumbled past, and Bruce Boisen went by, back from a long road trip judging from the amount of salt on his car.

Here in Reber, the pressure is on to get my garden seed order finished. Amy grows the flowers and I the vegetables, for the most part. She selects her varieties in about 5 minutes, while I get caught up in the catalogs and their enticing choices. It takes me forever to select my favorites and then compare prices; it's endlessly enjoyable but Amy is growing impatient with my daydreaming and has given me a deadline so she can start the onion and leek seedlings.

I occasionally refer to Reber but I realize it's a part of town unfamiliar to many, particularly those who live by the lake. In next week's column I will try to define Reber; if you have an opinion on this admittedly esoteric subject or anything else, please let me know.

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