Essex 3/20

This past week I heard the first red-wing blackbirds of the season, and Amy says she heard bluebirds singing. Red-wings certainly don't sing, but bluebirds have a delightful song, much like a robin's. This is a good time to put out bluebird houses, as the birds are here and are checking out nesting sites.

On Saturday, March 20, there will be a swim in Lake Champlain to benefit Planned Parenthood. The "Polar Plunge," as it's called, will be held at Steven Kellogg's lake house just north of the hamlet at 10 a.m. Call 963-8038 to sign up or to sponsor a plunger.

Several events are coming up at the Belden Noble Library in Essex, with Jan Eakins speaking March 25 at 7:30 p.m. on "Communication: The Printing Revolution to the American Revolution." This talk is free and refreshments will be served. Basic computer skill training aimed at seniors will be offered on March 24 and March 31. The subject on the 24th will be the internet and email, and on the 31st health sleuth; both programs run from 1-4 p.m. Call the library at 963-8079 for more information.

This is an excellent time of year to prune trees and shrubs. Pruning done now will invigorate plants, while pruning done after leaf-out will inhibit growth. When pruning apple and other fruit trees, make a mild solution of bleach and water to dip your cutting tools into. This will prevent moving diseases from limb to limb or tree to tree.

My job with the Census is on hold for a few weeks until the next phase starts in. So far, we've been going door to door distributing questionnaires and checking addresses. Without getting specific, I can state that 99% of the local citizenry I encountered are genuinely friendly and helpful. At a few places, the residents are plainly at home but ignore the knock on the door, and at other places the conversations get so interesting it's hard to pull yourself away. Many people seem to spend their days in their pajamas, and it's rare to find a house without several dogs.

Speaking of dogs, Ginny went for her first swim of the year last Saturday. She has a favorite spot in a brook where the water runs deep, and on a walk with me, she just jumped in, splashed about, and then ran in wide exuberant circles around the hay field. After drying her off, she retreated to her bed for a long nap.

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