Essex 1-29-11

This coming Saturday, Jan. 29 , Pok-O-MacCready puts on its second annual Snow Festival, featuring contests, races, food, snow cones and inner tubing on one of the Adirondack's oldest and finest tube runs. The activities start at 10 and run to 4; the cost is $10 per person, or $8 per person for groups of 4 or more.

Although the lecture series started last week, St. John's Episcopal Church is hosting Thursday evening talks on the poetry of Robert Frost, given by Richard Eberle of Plattsburgh State. They start at 7:30 and will run each Thursday until Feb. 10.

Two weeks from now, on Feb. 5, the film society will show "The Kids Are All Right" at 7:30 in the spacious auditorium at the Willsboro school. This comedy got great reviews and won a couple of Golden Globe awards. The film society is more correctly called "Champlain Valley Film Society" but that's a lot of typing and capitalizing, so please accept my shorthand.

Also on Feb. 5 , the Lakeside School is having a Winter Festival from 1 to 5 in the afternoon. After the email from the school finishes downloading, I'll have more particulars next week. We only have dial up out here, which is more than a nuisance.

My fellow columnist, Colin Wells, asked last week about the idea of non-residents voting in local elections. I can see how you might want to vote locally if you have property and deep connections here, but no matter how much property you own, you only have one residence. I don't think it's a good thing to have people outside the community making community decisions.

Now for the science and nature part of the Essex scene, which this week is about lenticular clouds. Lenticular means lens shaped, and refers to clouds that form to the west of us, downwind from the Adirondacks. The clouds are oval and strongly resemble UFOs. Winds flowing high overhead are forced up by the mountains, where their water vapor condenses in the cooler air. The winds form wave patterns after crossing the mountains, with lens shaped clouds forming on the wave peaks. They are very common, and especially beautiful when lit by pink and orange light at sunset.

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