It's lovely to spend the holidays in Charlotte! Warmest wishes from all of us at The Charlotte News for a happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year. We're grateful for your support and we're looking forward to sharing the milestones and events of the upcoming year.
This guy (I assume it's a guy - who else would be heading out for a day of fishing in this 5 degree weather?!) was towing his boat to the fishing access for an afternoon on the lake. The sun is out, it's not too windy - why not?
Here is one of a pair of cedar waxwings visiting the feeder in yesterday's (and Friday's) snowstorm. Let's not forget our feathered friends during this holiday season, particularly now that their food sources are buried under a foot of snow - with more to come. To learn all about feeders and the birds you might see at them, go to vermontbirds.com where you can also play bird identification games and take a survey (currently on which kind of binoculars you like best).
Well, I uploaded the controversial candy cane-striped poles at CCS to ask what you thought about the whole idea, but when the image appeared, the poles are decked in blue and while striping - the little elf inside the computer must be thinking of Hanukkah?
In this picture, Germaine LeClair and Aileen Chutter (the Senior Center is exhibiting her quilts this month) talk about quilts at the Quinlan Schoolhouse Open House last Sunday. Germaine grew up in the house that Jay Vogler and his family live now, and where Pizza on Earth is, as well as Stony Loam CSA. She moved there from Quebec and started school in first grade not knowing any English. There's always something - or someone - interesting at the Quinlan School every time I stop in, not the least of which is good hot cider and cookies.
Aileen Chutter's quilts are on display this month at the Charlotte Senior Center. Each one is striking in its detailed precision and beauty. Don't miss this exhibit while stopping in for lunch on Monday.
The Charlotte Senior Center regulars finished the annual Christmas tree in record time this afternoon. Charlie (on the left) then sat down at the keyboard and played some music while Lisa Kiley carried the rest of the cookies into the other room for the craft group.
Meet Lucca, a new face in town. The Lyons family adopted him last week from the local humane society. He's tiny but can hold his own against the family dog (who tries very hard to be gentle). Lucca is thankful to be with his new family for Thanksgiving, and it appeared that the feeling is mutual.
Here are a few scenes from today's Artisan Sale at the Senior Center, featuring quality work by Charlotte artists and crafters. Above, Sue Smith created soaps for Hannah & Me, a label started by her daughter, Jenny Cole gets colorful in these gorgeous local landscapes (on exhibit all month at the Senior Center) and Jill Kleinman shares a laugh at her pottery display.
Alas, the lettuce could not hold out in this recent cold snap. Even here, in the banana belt of New England, winter must come, although it seems a little harsh to be so cold before Thanksgiving - and no warming trend in the forecast. So we adjust, dig out the long underwear, put on an extra layer and hunker down.
Let it be known that Charlotters can have freshly harvested lettuce in mid-November. It was planted while the weather was still warm - more recent plantings came up about an inch but then had second thoughts about proceeding. I'm hoping that the larger plants will hang on until Thanksgiving and next year I'll try a larger late-season crop.
It's the time of year when the sun sets directly across from Charlotte, into the Adirondacks. This happens twice a year, of course; now and in February when the sun is heading back to the south. (And yes, I know it isn't really the sun moving around. And it doesn't really set into the Adirondacks.) Anyway, when the clouds are right there is no place on earth with more beautiful sunsets, like the one pictured here.
There was one boat still on its mooring in the north half of McNeil's Cove today. It's certainly been warm enough for a late-season sail. Maybe the owner has weekend plans for it - let's all enjoy the unseasonal weather while we can.
Long day, late night...and now it's over. What a great time I had at CCS connecting with so many familiar and new faces of our town's citizens as they came out to vote. And thank you to all who graciously agreed to fill out our Charlotte News survey; I'll publish the results here once they're all tabulated.
Now that we've reset our timing for the colder months of the year, this morning's light was welcome after the dark, windy night. Thanks to Charlotte News' Linda Williamson, who snapped this photo of the Old Brick Store clock as a timely reminder of time passing.
And speaking of time...ONLY TWO MORE DAYS TO VOTE! There are important town and state candidates and issues to be decided upon, as well as the presidential election. Don't let it pass you by.
I hear it's stick season, according to the media, the name for this dark and dreary time of year between the brilliant foliage and glittering snowscapes. There's still a mix of leaves and sticks around the house but it will look a lot stick-ier after this storm. It's windy, wet and wild outside and I'm thankful to be warm and dry after a short walk with the dogs. Meanwhile, Charlotte is counting down to Halloween, only three days away!
Finally got home around 11 last night and was immediately assaulted by these two ferocious corgis (you can see how violent they are in the first photo; don't let their peaceful demeanors fool you). It's great to be back but YIKES is it cold outside! Must go find the cache of mittens, scarves, etc.
I know it's cold and snowy there but I've been in the San Jose, California airport for over 17 hours now, except for four hours at a grungy motel from 3:30 to 7:30 this morning, and I can tell you that I'd much rather be back in Charlotte simultaneously complaining about the weather and enjoying the first snow.
Fall is the perfect time for a walk in Williams Woods. The bugs are gone, the ground isn't muddy and fewer leaves mean more more light. The scouts have built a lot more board walkways, especially at the beginning of the trail, although there are still a lot of roots to watch out for. This compact gem of a walk through the trees is an ideal antidote to a busy day. Try it soon, before the odd mushrooms are covered in snow.
What a day for a tractor parade! Spectators couldn't have asked for a more beautiful fall day. Carrie Spears and her crew had everything ready the day before, including lots of new signs, and on Sunday afternoon it all seemed to run like clockwork. An endless line of tractors rolled down the hill for an hour and large crowds of all ages waved from the sidelines. Here are a few of the images from yesterday.
This is one of my favorite fall scenes these days, driving up the hill on Ferry Road toward the four corners stop. I've been watching the large maple gradually turn orange and when the light is right, the white of the newly-painted structure against the tree and blue sky really catches the eye.
Here is a crop of Hidatsa shield figure beans from Jill Lyon's garden on State Park Road. These Hidatsa indians were experts at raising corn, squah, beans and sunflowers, according to Jill (and the seed package). Jill is in the process of drying and husking them; no word yet on how they taste.
There are still a lot of boats in McNeil's Cove, though a few were pulled yesterday. Yesterday's dead calm was perfect for kayaking but not so good for sailing. Let's all get down to the water one more time before the snow flies.
There have been a lot of monarch butterflies around town this week, enjoying the perfect fall weather. According to Wikipedia, the one pictured here is a female (darker veins) and she deposits her eggs as she migrates south. I also learned that the name came from Samuel H. Scudderin 1874 because "it is one of the largest of our butterflies, and rules a vast domain." Although it might also be named in honour of King William, Prince of Orange. Either way, it's a favorite sign of the season.
This was taken late this afternoon. A woman passing by on her bike stopped to contemplate the flags planted in front of the Charlotte Congregational Church for the International Day of Peace. Four thousand flags were placed in honor of soldiers who have died in Iraq.
Took a bike ride on Saturday with a friend and noticed lots of things for sale (or free) beside the road, including sweet corn, zucchinis, tomatoes, windows and these free lilacs offered on Greenbush Road south of the four corners. Now if I could only attach one to my bike!
Coming to a tree near you! Brightly colored leaves! Yes, it's begun, as shown in this pic taken Tuesday. The smaller maples are turning red, the willows are more yellow. Nights are sharply cooler although no frost in my area yet. Today is another perfect fall day - sunny and warm - so get outside and enjoy!
Here's a pic from last night's Selectboard meeting, which was partly a hearing to talk about making changes to Land Use Regulations that would allow retail use on the corner that is now the Citgo service station and Uncle Sam's creemee stand. In this photo, Selectboard member Winslow Ladue points out current setbacks on a sketch furnished by Jerry Farnsworth, with assistance by audience member Martha Perkins. We should all take some time to think about what we'd like that corner to look like and what's best for the town. We will have a chance to vote on whether we want the changes or not, probably on the November election day.
Here are Phyl Lary and Beth Merritt, aka the Best Proofreaders/Copy Editors Ever, finishing up the last issue. With great good humor and precision, they peruse everything that goes in the paper and bring a lot of laughs to the final long production day. They're a wonderful addition to our team and we don't thank them enough.
I returned from our annual summer trip to South Carolina to spend a week on the beach with John's family (hot, humid, no hot tea). We got home at 2:00 a.m. thanks to another flying adventure and the next morning, I was greeted by...yellow! The blooming goldenrod turned fields to the golden late-summer hue. Enjoy these perfect days and cool nights!
It's the height of blueberry season! All the rain means the picking is very good if you can get out there between the showers. We went to the Charlotte Berry Farm this morning and will be visiting Pelke's in a couple of days for more. After coming home, I called my Aunt Donna in Buffalo and whipped up this pie for dessert -- so easy!
Try it yourself:
Aunt Donna's pie crust recipe
(Makes enough for three double-crust pies.)
In a large bowl, measure out: 5 cups white flour 2 1/4 cups shortening 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine with a pastry cutter or fork until pea-sized lumps.
Take a 1 cup measure and add 1 egg and 2 tsp. cider vinegar; mix and then add water to the one cup line. Make a well in the flour/shortening mix and pour in the egg mixture all at once. Mix with a fork, cover with plastic and let sit for 30 to 60 minutes. Then dump it out onto a floured board, cut into 6 portions. Freeze 4 for later. Flatten and roll out the last two for your pie.
I brushed the top crust with an egg white wash and sprinkled it with sugar. We're trying to hold out until after dinner but might have to start with dessert first!
Here's Charlotte News Ad Sales Manager Pati Naritomi pulling in ads on one of our two new iMacs, thanks to a wonderfully generous News supporter. They're beautiful and awesome, although we have a lot to learn. The upcoming issue is nearly ready -- look for it in your box on Thursday!