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Nature's Notebook

Foldboats around the bend

Some 198 adventurous individuals paddled 18 miles down the Housatonic River, through 50 rapids, in May 1937. The pioneering “faltenbootpaddeln” paddlers were mostly New Yorkers who arrived in Falls Village on the New Haven line’s first Foldboat Train — proclaimed the first such railroad excursion in this country.

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Beat The Heat

Fine hot weather is great for vacations but we all need the rain. The extended hot and dry weather this summer has been stressful not only for us but also for many plants and animals in our region. 

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Peas

Donna planted snow peas in April. They grew rapidly, nestled against the anti-hungry-animal plastic mesh that surrounds our small vegetable garden. They reached the top of the fencing before they decided to flower.
We picked the first peas with great anticipation, stir-fried them in a little olive oil and mixed in almond slivers. 
Oh. They were very tough. Re-read the seed packet. It said edible. Hmm.

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Chalet de Poulet

Chalet de Poulet

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Stinking Willie

My wife, who enjoyed her long tenure as an elementary art teacher, thinks an ideal career, or at least sideline, would be in naming crayon or paint colors.
Color names need to convey a mood, a sensitivity, as well as hint strongly what part of the color wheel it’s from.
It would be equally fun, it seems to me, to name weeds and wildflowers, garden flowers for that matter.

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What happens in the darkness

Fireflies have been visiting my backyard after sunset, away from the glare of porch lights and street lamps. 

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For birds, run to the Peterson

It was a warm, late-spring day. Donna and I were deep in the woods, at least three-quarters of a mile in any direction from a house or highway. We were on a very old dirt road — probably used for years to remove logs, definitely used by charcoalers, as we passed a half dozen hearths.
We had just stopped at an intermittent stream and were about to turn back.

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I brake for turtles

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Chitter

Chitter
 
You just can’t talk to animals.
Well, you can talk to them, you can even get answers, but you can’t always get concepts across.
An example is our backyard chipmunk. (Each house on our street is assigned one chipmunk for the front, one for the rear.)

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Prone to whimsy

The garden is in, the lawn is mowed, and the wildflowers are blooming. It feels like Opening Day when every baseball team is undefeated and the possibilities are endless.   April in New England can turn and bite like a mad dog, but May is our reward for six months of winter.  

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