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Essex Column

CATS, the hill and dale trail builders, are holding their second photography contest. This time around, there are three different categories to enter: shots of people enjoying the trails; nature scenes found in the Champlain Valley; and pictures of local towns. There are prizes for all three, both peoples choice and the judges. Check out their website champlainareatrails.com for all the details.

Martha Gallagher will perform Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. at the Essex Community Church. She is an accomplished harpist who is doing this show as a benefit for the Essex Community Concert series. The admission charge is $10. As part of this same series, Pete Sutherland and Rose Diamond will play at the church on Thursday, Aug. 15, at 11:30 a.m. They are folk musicians with a wide repertoire and although there is no admission charge, donations are gladly accepted.

This weekend the Perseid meteor shower makes its annual appearance. The best viewing should be after midnight from Aug. 10 to Aug. 13, with the wee hours of Aug. 12 as the pick of the litter. Meteor showers occur when the Earth collides with the tail of a comet, which consists of tiny particles that burn up as they hit the Earth’s atmosphere. This year the moon, which can spoil a good show by brightening the sky with its light, will be setting early and giving us a nice dark sky. Let’s hope for a cloud-free night.

The annual summer procession of houseguests reached a near overload last weekend with five adults and two dogs staying with us. Ginny, the chief dog hereabouts, accepts other dogs guardedly, and had run-ins with both of her visitors. The human guests took in Essex Day and then we all went to AuSable Chasm. I hadn’t been there since they got rid of the iconic wooden boats years ago and switched to big inflatable whitewater rafts. I am not fond of heights and forgot about the long stretches of perilous walkway that cling to the cliff sides, dangerously far above the river. We got thoroughly soaked going down the rapids, but as a reward for our bravery introduced our guests to the North Country’s most beloved contribution to the culinary cannon, the Michigan red hot. With onions, of course.

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