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Essex 10-16

I heard from a reliable source at the transfer station that more than a few people are asking about all the digging going on in downtown Essex. In case you don't know, it's a sewer system for the hamlet. The street work is the collection lines going in, and across from the fire house will be the treatment plant. This morning the excavators were across from the Cupola House on Main Street, pounding and digging, with dump trucks unloading sand beneath the tangle of overhead power lines. They've hit rock, which has slowed progress. Although the trench runs close to the roadside trees, I noticed no roots getting cut, and figured they must grow primarily under the adjacent lawns. Roots need air, and there's not much air under the road.

I was waiting for the ferry in Charlotte last week and saw an unusual vessel making its way north. It was a long, low passenger ship named "Niagara Prince" on its way to Burlington. I studied it with binoculars as it sliced through the waves; I haven't seen a sizable craft on the lake (other than ferries) since fuel barges stopped calling at Port Douglas more than 25 years ago. At home, I looked up the "Niagara Prince" and found it's 175 feet long, 40 feet wide, and draws only 6 feet of water. There are 40 cabins with room for 78 passengers. It was built to travel narrow waterways like the Champlain Canal, and its itineraries take it to all over the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence and Mississippi River. This particular boat has a retractable pilot house so it can navigate under the low bridges and locks on the Erie Canal.

We finally got a killing frost, the latest it's occurred in my memory. Amy has been tearing her garden apart, and now all she has in it are carrots. I still have lettuce and spinach coming, and a kitchen counter covered with ripening tomatoes.

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