Essex Column

The CATS photography contest winds up May 15, so get your camera or smart phone or whatever technology you prefer, and hit the trails. The details on the contest are on the CATS website.

The masterful movie men and women of the film society are offering “Silver Linings Playbook” this Saturday night at 8 p.m. at the Whallonsburg Grange. This film is a comedy with an excellent cast and great reviews from the critics.

The storm drain work on Begg’s Point Road in the hamlet has hit a snag that will delay the project. It seems the existing water line will force the storm drain to be relocated, which means review and approval from DEC will be needed, and possibly a historical review because the storm drain will no longer be in the ditch. The county crews will clean up and wait for the bureaucrats to do their thing.

May 28 is tax assessment grievance day, when you may formally protest your property assessment. If you don’t understand or agree with your assessment, you should meet first with the town’s assessors to informally discuss the matter. If that doesn’t resolve the problem, then you should prepare the paperwork and plan to attend grievance day. The burden of proving the assessment wrong is on the property owner. This is all explained in detail at the town’s informative website, essexnewyork.org. Please remember that the assessors only determine your property’s value, not the amount of tax you pay on it. To complain about taxes, see your town, school district or county officials.

Marsh marigolds are in bloom right now, most easily seen in roadside ditches or wherever it’s wet. This bright yellow flower is a member of the buttercup family and is native to North America and Europe. In medieval times, marsh marigolds were used to decorate churches at Easter. The word marigold is a form of “Mary’s gold”, referring to the Virgin Mary.

At Juniper Hill, the first of the peas and beets are up, and the strawberries are starting to flower. The crew is busy covering the growing houses with plastic and setting out tomatoes. The farm chickens have improved their egg production with the longer days, and I need to get the cultivator out because the weeds are also thriving.

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