Essex 3/6

Tillie Pierce called this past week to tell me that her grandson, Ryan Pierce of Reber, was on the Dean's List last semester at Plattsburgh State. A source who prefers to remain anonymous provided more details on Ryan's academic prowess: this is the third semester in a row he's been on the Dean's List, he's majoring in computer information technology with a minor in business, and he plans to graduate in the Spring of 2011. Ryan's brother Tyler, a senior at Willsboro, has been accepted at a number of colleges and will begin his own rise to scholarly stardom this fall. Ryan and Tyler are the sons of Jerry and Robin Pierce of Jersey Street.

A belated congratulations to Lawrence and Dorothy Bliss on their 65th wedding anniversary Feb. 22.

Friday evening steam was billowing from the French's new sugar house, but it was just water they were boiling to test out the evaporator. However, sap has been flowing and they plan to start making syrup in earnest this week. According to common wisdom, a wind from the west makes the sap flow best, while a wind from the east makes the sap flow least. Or so the old timers said.

Copying an idea from a neighbor, I made a margarine feeder for birds. You drill wide but shallow holes in a piece of wood, squish the cheapest margarine you can find into the holes, and hang it from a tree. It took the chickadees and woodpeckers a while to find it and now they go through about a pound a week.

My dog Ginny and I made the rounds this weekend, searching out items of interest but came up empty handed. Essex hamlet was deserted, and at the transfer station all was very quiet. I spent last week teaching a class for census workers at the Willsboro Visitors Center, and of course, Ginny attended too. The town couldn't be nicer about letting me use this wonderful space, and Ginny adores the radiant floor heating. One student was particularly bad about giving her treats, and she spent the class lying under his desk on the toasty floor, accepting biscuits and snoozing.

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