Essex Column

The local American Legion post is looking for new members. The Legion, a social and mutual aid organization, invites military veterans from around the area to join them for quarterly meetings at Rick’s Place in Willsboro. Email Sam Blanchard at sblanchardcustomhome@yahoo.com for more information. Sam, a Vietnam vet, observed that not too long ago, Vietnam vets were the young guys in the Legion and now are mostly in their 60’s.

Luck Brothers of Plattsburgh won the contract to apply stone facing to the Lake Street retaining wall in the hamlet. Their bid was $189,000.

This seems to be a very good year for katydids, a pea green relative of crickets and grasshoppers that feed on deciduous tree leaves. Using their front wings, they make the familiar late summer evening sound that’s like three or four quick swipes of a sanding block on wood. Katydids spend most of their time in tree tops, preferably oak, and are not harmful to humans or crops.

The Grange Block Party will be Sunday afternoon, Sept. 8, from 1 to 5 p.m. There will be music, games, a farmers market and of course the creations of that guru of the grill, Chef Jeremy. His menu is a closely guarded secret, but his devotees come from as far as Lewis and Willsboro to feast on his creations.

With any luck and some clear skies, we may see northern lights later this week. Every eleven years, the sun’s magnetic fields reverse themselves and in the process the sun throws off huge streams of energized particles that react with ions high in our atmosphere to create the shimmery effects known as the aurora. We’re at the eleven year mark right now. There are other causes of the aurora, but this is the most predictable one. I’ve only seen one spectacular display in the thirty years I’ve lived in Reber, with waves of orange and green flickering overhead for several hours. No doubt I’ve slept through plenty of them. We’re too far south from the North Pole to see them regularly, but they’re most active in the spring and fall.

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