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Essex 7-10

Scrabble fans, get yourselves ready. The Literacy Volunteers are hosting a Scrabble tournament at the Whallonsburg Grange this Saturday, July 12. It's an excellent cause, and you'll be helping to raise money and awareness of literacy. Registration is at 12:30 p.m.; for more information, call 546-3008.

My dog, Ginny, and I took our usual weekly reconnaissance trip into the village yesterday, snooping around for tidbits for this column. There are three new dog clean-up stations, thanks to the Beggs Park Committee, which Ginny heartily approves of. She was delighted to be on the Town Dock, and exuberantly leaped into the lake, only to find it was way over her head. She's a good swimmer, but was a bit embarrassed. On our way home, what looked at first glance like a small plane flew across the road ahead of us. It was, in fact, a large turkey on a landing glide. I slowed down and it kept its steady course, flaring its wings at the last second before it touched down on a lawn.

In other bird news, an osprey was spotted close to the shore of Lake Champlain, flapping and struggling towards the beach, seemingly in some sort of trouble. The problem was the osprey had caught a huge bass, way too heavy to fly with, and was trying to get its catch onto land. Finally the bird and bass were on the beach, but when the bird released its talons, the fish flopped back into the lake, and the bird flew off empty-handed.

Haymaking is in full swing all over the North Country. The family that cuts our fields was busy over the weekend, loading wagon after wagon with sweet smelling square bales. The patriarch rides his old Allis-Chalmers tractor, mowing and baling, while younger generations stack and run the wagons to the barn and back. I love the sounds of their equipment, especially the baler, which rhythmically chunks and clicks, unlike more modern machinery, which merely hums efficiently.

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