Summer weather, Camp Plymouth State Park and changes taking place as of July 1st ~ Margo’s Plymouth report

Reprinted with the Permission of The Vermont Standard

6/28/20

Another week of erratic temperatures & spritzes of rain, sometimes only lasting 10 minutes!  Some days have been almost perfect with lower humidity and a nice breeze.  So much for which to be grateful, especially that we are not having hazy skies with dust from the Sahara desert.  Family and friends in FL, AL and TX are experiencing dangerous air quality in addition to their spiraling COVID cases.

I had the privilege of watching an Eastern Phoebe teaching the baby bird to fly the other day.  I heard insistent chirping on my deck and went to investigate.  The baby was continuously fluttering from chair to table to floor, then eventually up to a plant to join the parent.  This scene played out for several minutes, until the little one finally swooped up into a nearby tree.  I cheered!

I enjoyed chatting with Chris, the new ranger at Camp Plymouth State Park.  They opened officially on 6/26.  The day use fees are the same – $4 for adults and $2 for youngsters aged 4 to 13.  There will be no concession, boat rentals, picnic tables, or carts.  The good news is that you can bring your own volleyball, horse shoes and other necessities and still enjoy a great time at the beach or on the grass at this beautiful place.  Please have masks with you and make sure to wear them when interacting with staff and actually anyone not part of your group.  After all, it is a courtesy and protection for others.

Although the official notice has not been published, I understand that the Coolidge Homestead (672-3773) plans to open 7/1 with hours being 10 AM until 5:00 PM, Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays), until October 18th.

According to Art, compliance with the 7/1 mandate to keep these items out of the trash: spoiled leftovers, meat, bones, and fat, vegetable scraps, fruit scraps, egg and nutshells, coffee grounds and filters, tea leaves and tea bags (staples removed), milk, cheese, and yogurt, soup, liquids, and yard debris under 1/8 inch, organics collection will be available at any Fast Trash locations, in residential curbside/off-curb pickups, as well as in dumpster rentals.  You will be able to purchase fully compostable bags in 2 sizes – 13 gal and 33 gal.  Please go to the A.B.L.E. Waste Management website for additional information and click on Compost Collection or call 672-3569.

If you see Michelle Pingree on 7/3 be sure to wish her Happy Birthday!  Betty Stear’s is coming up on 7/21 and Carolyn Scott’s on 7/31.

The Echo Lake Inn will be opening on 7/9, seating 40 indoors and more out-of-doors. Please note that reservations are required, so call 1-800-356-6844.

Thanks, Elaine for providing the following property transfer information.

5 Woodpecker Rd    $319,900    Michael and Joanne Fournier to David and Debra Christiansen

747 Dix Hill Rd     $447,500    David Goldstein and Claudia Rodriguez to Katherine Provost

2699 Hale Hollow Rd.    $197,000  James Duff to Allyson Robaczynski and Brandon Doyle

651 Salt Ash Rd       $565,000     Peggy Janney to David and Annamarie Haught

2823 Rte 100 A      $269,000     Martina Hamilton and Caitlin Hurtgen to Matthew O’Hara and Elena Chaynikova

148 Hawk Hollow La.   $270,000  Frances Ginsberg to James and Christine McCahon

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Community Work Day now Monday June 29th

Thunderstorms are expected on Saturday and Sunday, so the Community Work Day at The Community Center is pushed until Monday, June 29 from 3 until 5 PM.

Weeding the playground is top of the list, gardening gloves are recommended!

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Bear sightings, local Graduates, Community Center work day & VINS opening~ Margo’s Plymouth Report

Reprinted with permission from The Vermont Standard

 

6/21/20

Well, summer is certainly upon us and going for a dip is the way to cool off!  We have great friends with a house on Echo Lake, but Camp Plymouth State Park will officially open on Friday, 6/26.  Of course, you may go there now and park in the off-season parking lot – the former group field.  Masks are needed and social distancing should be observed.

I had an interesting discussion with a large doe the other morning.  As I burst out my back door to water the garden, I startled her and she jumped into view.  As I spoke to her, she stopped and turned, seeming to listen to me.  I told her that she was beautiful and welcome to visit, but asked that she not eat my flowers.  She lingered for a minute or so, hopefully processing my request, then she bounded off into the woods.

There are so many amazing creatures around here.  Turkeys wander into our yard and the chipmunks are prolific this year.  Bears seem to be in abundance.  Thanks to Steve Radonis for sharing this mother and cub who have been wandering through his yard.

I apologize for leaving Owen Coates off the list of graduating seniors from WUHS. Best of luck as he heads off to Quinnipiac College this fall.  Also, congratulations to Ian Dupont, who recently graduated from Champlain College with a BA in Fine Arts in filmmaking.  He is already employed at Scout Digital in Burlington.

Thanks to Katherine and Rodric Pingree for hosting the Community Luncheon outdoors at their place on Thursday.  Hot dogs, green and also macaroni salad, plus dessert were enjoyed by those who attended, included teens and counselors from Windsor County Youth Services. 

The book discussion (via Zoom) was also on Thursday and although “American Dirt” contained graphic descriptions of the hardships endured by those migrating to the US, everyone agreed it was eye-opening and a good read.  Some of the most disturbing parts depicted the horror of conditions and the activities of the drug cartels in some countries below our border, especially for young girls.  The next book is titled “Dirt” by Bill Bufford, which will be discussed on 7/23.

Lauren is looking for help at the Community Center and writes: on Sat, 6/27 from 11 AM to 1 PM there will be a community workday at the Plymouth community center. There are dandelion greens growing up through the wood chips on the playground, and the front garden bed could use a good weeding. Many hands make light work, and any help to spiffy up our shared community space would be much appreciated. 

It is nice that some places are beginning to open up.  VINS is pleased to be one of them.  Snacks may be purchased, but you will need to bring your own water and of course, a mask.  I didn’t realize that a new upper level has been added to the Canopy Walk, so consider going over to check it out.

I stopped in the Woodstock Farmer’s Market the other day and was pleased to be able to pick up a couple of delicious salads.  As usual, the array of luscious fruits and veggies was wonderful!

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Community Work Day at The Plymouth Community Center

Saturday, June 27 from 11 AM to 1 PM there will be a Community Workday at the Plymouth Community Center (35 School Drive). There are dandelion greens growing up through the wood chips on the playground, and the front garden bed could use a good weeding.

Many hands make light work, and any help to spiffy up our shared community space would be much appreciated.

Thank you!

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Camp opening, WUHS Graduates, & outdoor Community Luncheon! ~ Margo’s Plymouth Report

Reprinted with permission of the Vermont Standard

6/14/20

Yes, it appears that we still need to layer our clothing – the heat even came on the other morning!  That’s ok, still no better place to be and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.  It appears that many folks are coming up to enjoy our lovely state. The pandemic still haunts us, but with prudence we can still be outdoors and soak up the beauty all around us.

Speaking of beautiful places, per Brandon, “Bethany Birches Camp is working hard to alter its programming to keep up with industry and state guidance in order to offer a summer camp program this year.  Summer camp is as important as ever this year! Spots are limited, but you can see the schedule here: http://www.bethanybirches.org/summer-camps-dates/

Congratulations to Plymouth graduates from WUHS, Evie Cole and Charlotte Caron and also to former resident Theresa Steward.  It has not been an ideal way to celebrate, but I hope they have felt honored by the various ways folks have tried to make this time special for them.  I hope I haven’t missed others from town, but please let me know if I did and I will mention you next week!

It has been many months since we have held the community luncheon.  I believe February was the last one.  Katherine & Rodrick Pingree have offered to cook hotdogs and have folks come to their open field on Thursday, 6/18 at 11:30, where we can all spread out and socialize with appropriate distance.  There will be macaroni salad and green salad, as well as dessert.  It looks like the weather will be good, but they have a large barn in case of rain.

You may have noticed how lovely the lights on the Stickney Bridge in Tyson look these days.  A big thank you to the North family (Richard and Doug) for maintaining them and brightening up the night!

You may recall that the dog license deadline was postponed.  If you have your dog’s rabies certification and would like to get your new license, you may call the Town Office (802-672-3655) and they will prepare the paperwork and give you an appointment time.

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Local birthdays, Rebecca the Raccoon, Tyson Ladies Aid meeting and Tyson Library Summer hours~ Margo’s Plymouth Report

Reprinted with permission from The Vermont Standard

6/7/20

What a glorious bike ride I had last Thursday!  At 8 AM it was 60 degrees, a cerulean sky, and a light breeze.  There was relatively little traffic as I rode along Rte 100 and enjoyed viewing the lake sparkling in the sunlight.  I wish my knowledge of bird calls was more extensive because there were many different songs floating on the air.  A myriad of shades of green greeted me all around the lake and the delightful scent of lilacs reached me at several points.  Aren’t we fortunate to live in such a beautiful place – I feel very blessed!

June BDs. Sue Poirier – 6/4, Tom Marrone 6/6,  Margo Marrone & Matt Harootunian – 6/14,  Gwen Groff – 6/25.  By the way, you can still get cheese at the Plymouth Cheese factory (802- 672-3650) these days and pick it up curbside.  Jesse told me the story of Rebecca the Raccoon.  Apparently the Coolidges were sent a raccoon from Mississippi in1926, supposedly to feast upon for Thanksgiving dinner.  However, they choose to raise her as a pet and she roamed the halls of the White House munching on shrimp and persimmons, with eggs being her favorite.  An embroidered collar was made for her for Christmas saying “White House Raccoon” and she was walked outdoors on a leash.  She was one of many pets!

How wonderful it was to gather outside of Tyson Library for our 6/4 Tyson Ladies Aid meeting, the first in several months.  The weather cooperated nicely and we brought our own chairs and lunch, positioning ourselves at a distance from one another.  It was so nice to share camaraderie, joys and concerns.  Despite the need to cancel two fundraising events (the Good Friday Bake Sale and the Strawberry Festival), the group was able to pay for banners for the Black River High School seniors and will still provide two scholarships for graduating seniors – one from Black River and the other from Woodstock Union High School.

It was decided that Tyson Library will open for the season on 7/7, the hours being 10 to noon, Tuesday – Saturday.  Only one patron or family may enter at a time and masks will be needed to do so.  Weather permitting, games/cards will take place on Thursdays!

Mark your calendars for the 5/30 Household Hazardous Waste Collection from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the Springfield transfer station located at 135 Fairground Road/100 Recycle Way.  Visit www.vtsolidwastedistrict.org for more information, call 674-9235 or email mobrien@swcrpc.org

Please remember that during these days of COVID-19 wearing a mask is a sign of courtesy and concern for others.

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Gradual opening of VT businesses, some local history and new owners of The Inn at Water’s Edge~ Margo’s Plymouth report

Reprinted with permission from The Vermont Standard
5/31/20

 

I hope you didn’t put all of your warm clothes away – sweltering one day & freezing the next!  My hope is that it is killing off some of the bugs.  Out planting yesterday I accumulated bites on top of bites, mainly on my ears.  I can’t believe the size of the holes their chewing makes.  Anyway, most of the plants are in, now I just need to keep track of the temperature so nothing freezes…..

 

So, the Governor is “turning the spigot” a tince again because our COVID-19 numbers are holding steady.  I appreciate his caution and concern.  VT State Parks are scheduled to open 6/26.  I found a bit of history about Camp Plymouth State Park, our lovely recreation spot on Echo Lake.  Of course, things will be different in order to comply with social distancing and you will need to bring your own food and beverages, since the concession will not be open.

 

Here is what I found:  In 1925, a girls’ summer camp was established and operated for two years. In 1927, the property was purchased by the Boy Scouts of America and turned into Camp Plymouth, for which the park is named. At its height, the scout camp included camping sites for 10 troops, a trading post, archery range, rifle range, water front, and ceremonial camp fire area. In 1984, the property was conserved with the assistance of the Ottauquechee Land Trust and conveyed to the State of Vermont. Park facilities were constructed over the next few years and Camp Plymouth State Park opened to the public in 1989.

 

Although I have stopped a couple of times, I have not been able to meet the Rae family, the new owners of the Inn at Water’s Edge.  It know there have been workers there for several months, so it will be fun to see what has been changed.  There is a garden taking shape across the road near the old barn and apparently they are hoping to use produce from it for their customers. According to their website, it will be operated as a B and B, but perhaps dinner will be an option once again.

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Slow opening, Zoom Book Club meetings, & Green up bags ~ Margo’s Plymouth Report

Reprinted with permission from The Vermont Standard
5/25/20

What amazing weather we have had this holiday weekend!  It is common to see boats on Echo and Amherst Lakes and Woodward Reservoir, but I saw many different types of water crafts on Lake Pauline, as well.  When we drove by Camp Plymouth State Park, which is not actually open yet, the cars were everywhere – a mix of VT and out-of-state license plates..  Folks were carting chairs and picnic baskets down to the beach and they seemed to be keeping appropriate distances. The breeze helped to keep the bugs at bay a bit, too!

 

Things are beginning to open up here in VT.  We are so fortunate to have been able to keep our COVID-19 stats low.  Of course, we will still need to be prudent and adhere to the guidelines.  I was speaking with someone at VINS today and they are currently accepting injured birds and hoping to open in mid-June.  Things will be different at least for a time, however.  The store will not be open and the water fountains will be turned off.  There will be no shows, but the admission will be reduced.  Masks will be needed and following social distancing will be important, but you can still enjoy the birds and the canopy walk with your family.  Keep watching for more info!

 

During the Book Club Zoom last Thursday, we enjoyed a lively conversation about The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes.  We marveled at the strength of the characters and noted the social standards that have fortunately changed today.  The fortitude of these pack horse librarians not only advanced literacy, but they were also able to negate negative stereotyping as well,

 

The next book is the controversial American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins.  It is the story of the journey of a mother and son fleeing Mexico for America after their entire family is murdered on orders given by a local cartel kingpin.  The discussion will take place on Thursday, 6/18 at 6:30 pm. Thanks to Rose for hosting!

 

Don’t forget to pick up those special Green-Up bags at the town office, clean up an area, then drop them off at Fast Trash in Bridgewater on Sat, 5/30

 

Well, it is always tricky with birthdays.  I have been chastised for including some, but it is very easy to leave others out!  So, a belated congratulations to BettyAnn Hayward, whose birthday was 5/15.  A John Lennon quote reads:  “Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.”

 

He also said, “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.  I hope that we are not letting the fear of this pandemic keep us from living and loving.  I think one of the things I miss most is hugging, so I am trying to find other ways of expressing tenderness and affection.  I am working on having smiling eyes!

 

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Proud Geese Parents with their babies on Woodard Reservoir this weekend
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Green Up in Plymouth!

Jen Flaster, Green Up Coordinator

Hi all! Green Up Day info for everyone who wants to participate. Bags are now available outside the door to the town office from 8-4 Monday to Thursday.

Green Up bags will be accepted at Bridgewater Fast Trash up to and including Saturday May 30.
They will be asking for names and town at the payment buckets and will keep a bag count.

Please be patient as those participating will have to be in line and be directed like ABLE’s regular fast trash customers. The items will need to be in the Green Up bags and will not be sorted it – it will all be collected as trash. No large items like tires or furniture will be accepted during these weeks.

If you are finding large items, let me know! ABLE has offered to deliver a dumpster to the town office building for May 30 to collect large items in Plymouth -it would need a volunteer to monitor drop offs that day. If you’d like to volunteer, get in touch at jenflaster@me.com.

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Birds aplenty, no Strawberry Festival this year and Book Club online meeting! ~ Margo’s Plymouth Report

Reprinted with permission from The Vermont Standard

5/17/20

Well, it seems to have taken the black flies a week or more to realize it is May, but they are definitely here now!  I had to resort to using our bug zapper that looks like a tennis racket when walking the other day.  As a matter of fact, on Friday I went for my first bike ride of the season because they seem to leave me alone until I have walk up the last section of our driveway.

The other day Tom and I were sitting on the deck when a fox appeared on the ridge.  Perhaps it was a mom with young ones to feed because she was carrying dinner in her mouth, although we couldn’t quite determine the identity of the catch.   Keeping a wary eye on us, she ran down our sugarhouse road and off the other side of the driveway.  Next came the hummingbird and I was glad I had already put out one feeder.

The birds are in abundance now.  I hear the loon fly overhead early in the morning, although the finches have been making a racket long before that.  Both downy and hairy woodpeckers are finishing up the last of the suet and when they take a break, the chickadees take a turn.  The barred owls have been filling the night with wild calling that sounds more like angry threats.  Yet, I wouldn’t trade any of these delights of nature!

I imagine folks have surmised as much, but there will be no Strawberry Festival this year.  Such a shame since it really brings the various sections of town together, plus many folks from neighboring communities.  It also means loss of revenue for it is a fund raising event for Emergency Services, Tyson Ladies Aid, and provides funds for Tyson Church to help others in need.

It is with sadness that I bid adieu to Tom Eddy, a longtime resident known for his neatly manicured home and lawn on Lake Amherst.  Neighbors Cassie Horner and Tim Sink remember how in years past he used to enjoy windsurfing in the summer and snowmobiling in the winter.  They marveled at how he coaxed birds and chipmunks to eat out of his hands.

This Thursday, 5/21, will be the Zoom meeting for the Reading Group.  At least I hope this will happen, since Zoom seemed to crash for church on Sunday morning!  So, with hopeful anticipation, we will be discussing The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes, which was a very interesting book that takes place in Kentucky and details The Pack Horse Library initiative that was launched in 1935.

I also wanted to highlight the 5/18 program about Calvin Coolidge and his involvement with procedures put in place in MA during the time of the Spanish flu.  In order to participate, you will need to email C.C. Borzilleri (cborzilleri@coolidgefoundation.org) to receive the log-in information for the webinar.  Thanks for Rose for noting it!

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