Less tourists, Echo Lake Wine tasting, Book Club & Tuesday dinners at Inn at Water’s Edge~ Margo’s Plymouth Report

Reprinted with permission of The Vermont Standard


There are noticeably fewer people around now that the holiday weekend has passed.  Although many leaves have fallen, the golden glow persists in some places and is lovely on its own.  In addition to many bear sightings in Tyson, there were numerous turkeys crossing Dublin Road this week.  Yes, we do share this place with an amazing number of different animals – big and small.  Joan Day said there was even a moose pictured recently on her trail camera.

I did want to mention that on 10/11, the Echo Lake Inn hosted the wine-tasting and silent auction fundraiser for the Black River Independent School.  Most of us ventured outside the tent when sampling the wines (donated by the generous owner of a vineyard in Argentina) and wonderful appetizers, otherwise masks were worn.  Area businesses very kindly donated gift certificates and the community support was greatly appreciated.

The Book Group “met” this past Thursday and discussed in detail Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler.  It featured a number of interesting characters and the evolution of relationships.  From fiction, we turn to The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson for the next selection.  It chronicles the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, with wonderful historical detail.  Pick up a copy and join us for the discussion via Zoom on Thursday, 11/19 at 6:30 PM..

I learned from Joel at the Inn at Water’s Edge that they will be taking a break in regard to lodging, but they may still be having their Tuesday evening dinners.  Check out social media or their website (/www.innatwatersedge.com) for current information.

I understand that the Bridgewater Grange has voted not to have their annual Turkey Supper this year, in light of COVID.  It was a difficult decision since so many local folks, as well as visitors look forward to the delicious offerings, but it seems to be the prudent choice.  There will be a container and collection jar located at Maple Leaf Farm and Garden Supply on Rte 100A where donations may be left that will be used to provide Thanksgiving baskets for families.  It is open from 8:30 – 5:00 Monday – Friday and 1/2 day on Saturday.  Your generosity is appreciated.

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Active bears, Woodstock Mountain Bike Race, and new staff at Coolidge Foundation~ Margo’s Plymouth Report

Reprinted with permission from The Vermont Standard


It just seems impossible to know what to wear these days!  I have had my winter jacket on for an early morning walk, enjoyed bike rides with only minimal layers, and then reveled in a summer skirt, blouse, and sandals – all in the matter of one week.  Most of us have been busy putting gardens to bed and I took advantage of the 70+ degree weather on Saturday to plant some bulbs.

It doesn’t seem unusual these days to hear bear stories.  They are trying to pack on weight to carry them through winter hibernation, so they are diligently seeking any food they can find.  Even though my feeder hangs from a window high off the ground, one fellow apparently thought it was worth a try to raid it.  Around 7:15 PM last Wed I heard noise outside my dining room and decided to see what was going on.  I flipped on the spotlight to look out my bow window and came practically face-to-face with a huge bear.  He had climbed a tree about 10 feet from the house and was eye level with me!  We looked at each other, but by the time I regained my wits and grabbed my phone to take a picture, he had ascended further up the tree and peeked at me over a branch.  I opened the far window to gain a better angle, but he quickly clamored down the back side of the tree and then lumbered up our sugarhouse road.  I was amazed at how quickly this large creature could move up and down the tree.  It would have been an amazing picture.

Congratulation to Schyler Hagge on taking first place in last Thursday’s Woodstock Mountain Bike race that included grades 7 through 12!
I understand that the Coolidge Foundation has recently announced some staff updates. Jared Rhoads, who has led the Coolidge 5K race is at the Notch will be on site several days per week and is the person to contact (jrhoads@coolidgefoundation.org) if you would like to be a debate judge or volunteer with the high school debate program. John Ferrell, longtime office manager and archivist is often on hand as well.

The Foundation has recently hired Dean Ball as the new executive director, reporting directly to Chairman and CEO, Amity Shlaes.  Although based at the Foundation’s office in Washington, D.C, he will spend significant time at the Notch overseeing the Foundation’s many programs in Vermont. Planning will include working on the Coolidge centennial in 2023. 

Beginning next year, Matt Denhart, who has served as executive director and then president since late 2013, will be shifting his role to focus on development and administration of the Coolidge Scholarship.  Although COVID-19 has forced many events and programs to be online this year, it is hoped that in-person programs can return in the future, including 4th of July fireworks. 

Bear crossing sign on the road
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Bright Fall colors, Tyson Library Closing and Coolidge Site closing soon! ~ Margo’s Plymouth Report

Reprinted with permission of The Vermont Standard


If you blinked, you might have missed the beautiful, vivid colors.  They popped so quickly, but disappeared just as swiftly with the wind and rain!  Oh well, we needed rain and we still have some green leaves and more subdued colors – pretty nonetheless.

A few weeks ago my sister in NY state said she had a praying mantis on her screen.  Well, I couldn’t believe that I saw one this week, clinging to the cement leading down to the basement.  I was curious to learn more, so I did a little research.  They are so named because their front legs fold together, as if kneeling. One article referred to them as “the martial artists of the insect world”. Melissa Breyer provided some fascinating facts.  Because of the placement of their eyes, they have a wide field of vision and unlike most insects, they are able to turn their heads from side to side.  They are quite agile and can flip their bodies in mid-air.  Their legs have little spikes that work well when jumping upon and securing prey.  

Gardeners appreciate that they eat destructive insects like beetles, crickets, and grasshoppers, but they also eat bees and butterflies and possibly even hummingbirds (according to Mike Lewinski) if the opportunity arises.  Bats will attack them, but they apparently put up quite a fight.  And yes, according to the article, females have been known to lop off and devour the heads of the partners!

As you can probably tell, I don’t really have much news….  Please note that Tyson Library will be closing for the season on 10/10.  The Calvin Coolidge Historic Site will be closing on 10/18.  Unfortunately, there will be no Holiday Open House this year due to COVID.  

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Summer like weather, beautiful foliage and lots of local property transfers! ~ Margo’s Plymouth report

Reprinted with permission from The Vermont Standard


I hope others have been enjoying the return-to-summer weather!  I had pulled out some warmer clothes, but put them aside for the moment.  That cold snap did bring out our beautiful colors, though.  Everything serves a purpose.

I happened to be looking out the window the other day when something huge flew by.  This has happened in the past, but on this occasion, it landed in a nearby tree, so I was able to grab the binoculars and have a wonderful view of a barred owl.  I hear them nightly, so this 5 PM sighting was a nice treat.

I think we are all aware of our amazing COVID status here in VT and perhaps that partially accounts for the many property transfers noted below.

Pine Hill Rd. $140,000 Stryhas, Lawn, Shea, & Danyew to JAM Properties, LLC and Blayr and Beverly Crowley

2861 Hale Hollow Rd $535,000 Theodore and Kelly Earle to Nathaniel Hendren and Sarah Miller

Messer Hill Rd, 4.16 Acres $49,000 Mark and Laurie Silva to Jeffrey and Kathleen Campbell

323 Crimson Hawk Rd. $252,900 Robert Freedman and Steven Wexler to Mark and Karen Philip

1187 Kingdom Rd 0.8 Acres $1,438.83 Michael and Shawn Kershaw to Thomas and Holly Ellis

998 East Ash Rd L-19 $122,000 Steven and Amy Daddona to Victor and Jacqueline Thelian

515 Round Top Rd. $329,000 Scott and Fatima Westlund to Marcus and Dorothy Doyle

190 Coopers Trace $495,000 Robert and Jaime Wolfangel to Robert Freedman and Steven Wexler

Snowy Owl Lane, 1.85 Acres $4,000 Gerard and Ann Dehner to Richard Ticino

582 Weaver Hill $333,000 Estate of Richard Dougher to Michael andShawn Kershaw

700 Great Roaring Brook Rd. $265,000 Northern Woods LLC to Matthew and Patricia Lurvey

Echo View Drive Lot 6 $35,000 Thomas Derlinga to Brian and Lauren Bargmann

180 Meadow Hawk Rd. $370,000 Titus Leung to Andrew and Susan Vershon

1226 East Ash Rd. L-35 $285,000 Harvey and Nancy Gottlieb to Hillary Hunt and Alex Solomon

529 East Ash Rd. $265,000 George and Sarah Wilkins to Jesse and Danielle Kachapis

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Dipping temperatures, Book Club Zoom meetings, and beware of scammers! ~ Margo’s Plymouth Report

Reprinted with permission from The Vermont Standard


Brrr – not too much more to say about that!  I have picked the tomatoes and put the pots to bed.  I have been shielding the 4 hanging plants and a lovely big one that was a gracious gift because they are all blooming beautifully and I cannot bear to let them go yet.  Autumn has arrived and I plan to shift the hummingbird feeders today and replace them with the sunflower seed one.  I fill it out my dining room window, so it is high and not a bear magnet.

There was an amazing discussion at the the zoom Book Club gathering last week about The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.  There were so many layers to this book. One twin opted to claim being white and went on to live that falsehood with both positive and negative results.  The other twin propelled herself into a good job in DC and marriage to an attorney, but opted to leave that abusive relationship and return to her roots in a small southern town.  Not only were racial issues addressed, but transgender ones as well. 

Our next selection is Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler.  “Micah’s story of being jarred out of a fear-based, inert, complacent existence, and realizing that his very structured existence has left him feeling empty, lonely, and wanting more”.  Plan to read it and join us on 10/5 for the discussion!

I recently received an email from Dish that I thought might be worth passing on. It noted that scammers use a variety of techniques to entrap you.  For instance they try to give you a sense of urgency. They may ask you to help someone in need or a loved one or offer some kind of incentive or something of value in return for your personal info. 
Sometimes they impersonate government agencies by saying that your taxes are past due or you’re violating some law. I just received a call today supposedly from Social Security that my SS # has been suspended because of some fraudulent activity!  Often they reference computer vulnerabilities like your device needs new software or has a virus. The email cautioned against providing any personal information such as a credit card or bank account numbers, passwords, pin, birthdate, Social Security numbers.  Although most of us are aware and prudent, they often besiege us at vulnerable times.

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Open House/Court for New Pickelball Court at The Plymouth Community Center

Open House/Court for the new Pickleball Court at the Plymouth Community Center, this Sunday 9/20 from 4-6 pm.

Come learn and play. Bring your paddles if you have them. Dress in loose fitting clothes and sneakers. Bring water and enthusiasm! 

Call 892-353-7969 with questions

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VTrans meeting on Rte 100 Culvert Replacement-9/21

A public meeting will be held Monday, Sept 21 at 6:00PM at the Plymouth Town Hall and virtually. The intent of the meeting is to provide an overview of the culvert replacement project located at Route 100, Bridge 114 over Reservoir Brook. Representatives of VTrans and the Town of Plymouth will be available at the meeting to address public concerns about the project.

Click the link below to find the full meeting information.


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School Board Vacancy

The Windsor Central Unified Union School District has a Plymouth representative board seat vacancy to fill the term until the next WCUUSD Annual District Meeting, March 2021.

Interested persons should write a short letter of intent to:

Plymouth Town Select Board

c/o Plymouth Town Clerk

68 Town Office Road

Plymouth, VT 05056

or email clerk@plymouthvt.org

Deadline for the receipt of the letter is Friday, October 2, 2020.

Please be prepared to attend the October 5th Plymouth Select Board meeting to be appointed. For more information, 

contact the WCUUSD Board Chair, Bryce Sammel, at bsammel@wcsu.net, or 

Rayna Bishop, WCSU Exec. Asst., at rbishop@wcsu.net.

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Turning leaves, marauding bear, Park Closed for season and local passings~ Margo’s Plymouth Report

Reprinted with permission from The Vermont Standard


Heading toward the middle of Sept and some trees seem to be jumping the gun!  Oh well, we know that autumn is upon us with these chilly nights.  Somehow adding a blanket seems to make sleeping better.

An update on that marauding bear.  No, I haven’t seen it again, although several have been sighted in the neighborhood.  I just wanted to commend the kind person who used plywood to seal the shed up again.

Camp Plymouth State Park is closed for the season, but their message indicates it may still be utilized.  Parking should be limited to the designated all year parking lot, however.  The Vista trail should be beautiful when the foliage pops!
I need to step up my reading because the Book Group will be meeting this Thursday at 6:30 pm via Zoom to discuss The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.  It seems like a very opportune time to read this selection in light of racial tensions.

We are so fortunate that VT has low COVID numbers, but there have been a number of recent deaths that are not related to the pandemic.  In addition to Tom passing on 7/27, Hazel Tatro passed around that same time.  Len Stillings, formerly of Plymouth died recently in FL and his service will take place at the Notch cemetery on 10/10..  
Last Wednesday, Mike Gianola, son of Echo Lake Inn owner, Tom Gianola passed away as well. There is an open invitation to attend any of these events on Saturday, 9/26.  The Catholic Mass at St Raphael in Poultney at 10 AM. Internment at 11 AM at the St Raphael Cemetery.  Celebration of Life at 2:30 PM at Tyson Community Church, and light hors d’oeuvres will be served at the Echo Lake Inn at 3:30.

Condolences to all of these families.

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Abundant wildlife! ~ Margo’s Plymouth Report

Reprinted with permission from The Vermont Standard


Amazing weather and the perfect time to enjoy it before school begins.  Melissa and I met friends from MA at Shaftsbury State Park on Friday, an ideal COVID meeting place.  Small, tucked away with a charming swimming area.  Sun and shade and large, very clean port-a-potties – what more could you want!

Although I am seeing fewer hummingbirds these days, other wildlife is abundant.  My driveway alarm alerted me to three visitors early one morning last week.  When I looked out, it was a doe and 2 fawns, nibbling their way up the side of my driveway.
I have been noticing that my cherry tomatoes are disappearing, just when they are ripe and I am planning to pick them.  A visitor noted that she witnessed a chipmunk munching away!

Then on a walk on Sunday, I passed a house and heard a noise.  I thought it strange because there were no cars there.  Then I noticed a shed door pushed open and a large bear saw me, just as I saw it.  I imagine it considered me to be a threat because still clinging to a full black garbage bag, it sprinted deeper into the woods.

So, only creature info this week.  Send me some news!

Small fawn curled up in the grass.

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