If you haven't already seen it, go to essexnewyork.org and check out the town's new website. It has a modern design, it's very easy to use and it's full of information about our town and the goings on herein. You can read town board meeting minutes, find out about local farms, see what's happening at the Grange and find the film society's schedule. This is a comprehensive source of information in an up to date format, and we have Jennifer Pribble to thank for the design work and Olive Alexander and many others for making it happen. The old site is still there, but it's defunct, drifting in cyberspace.

This morning I let Ginny out in the morning gloom and heard for the first time this year the insect-like buzzing of the American woodcock. The woodcock (Scolopax minor) is found all over the northern hemisphere, a shore bird that lives on the edges of forests and a flaming exhibitionist when it comes to attracting mates. The male's call is a short buzzing sound, or "peent", repeated intermittently, followed by a flight that spirals up and up while its wing feathers make an otherworldly fluttering sound. When the bird is nearly out of sight, he plummets zigzagging down to the ground, where the buzzing starts again.

Now for some more on Plattsburgh's Lozier cars, which were built there for about 10 years in the early 1900's. Early car manufacturers used racing as a means of advertising their products, as is true today. Lozier, unlike its rivals, did not build cars just for racing, but used stock models with the fenders and other extraneous items removed. They succeeded because they were very well built, and although not particularly fast, they were always running at the end of the race. Investors from Detroit took notice and convinced the family to relocate to Detroit to compete with America's other luxury brands, Packard and Cadillac. They built a huge new factory there, spent way too much on it, and could not find a way to make quality cars at a reasonable price. It just wasn't in them to make anything other than the very best, and by 1915 they were finished, unable to keep up with the times.

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