"Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire." - Virgil

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Welcome to iBrattleboro!

Welcome to iBrattleboro!
It's a local news source by and for the people of Brattleboro, Vermont, published continually. You can get involved in this experiment in citizen journalism by submitting meeting results, news, events, stories, reviews, how-to's, recipes, places to go, things to do, or anything else important to Brattleboro. Or, just drop by to see what others have contributed.

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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Nature


For nature stories

In Like A Lion Still Works

We may be experiencing unusual temperatures at unusual times of the year, but March's famed "In Like A Lion..." is holding true today, right on schedule. High winds are blowing about everything that is untethered in Brattleboro and southern Vermont.

It's causing some power outages, too. Portions of Guillford, Vernon, and Brattleboro are all in the process of service repairs.

I found our recycling and compost bins across the street this morning, and saw other neighbors chasing down personal property. It was a bit like the line of nanny applicants blowing down the street in Mary Poppins.

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Snow Day 2017

This morning Brattleboro is being treated to a very nice snow storm. It's a heavy, constant snow, covering up all the dirt and grime of the previous storm. For a moment, it looks like a calendar, or snow globe.

We've had four or five inches so far, and more is falling. Is the snow falling to the ground, or the ground rushing up to meet it?

When I first looked out this morning, I saw flakes that were hovering in mid-air over the street, just bouncing along at a height of about 8 feet with no intention of dropping. Others were choosing to drop, but a certain class of flakes would have nothing of it.

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Storm Damage

Last night between 3 and 4:30 AM or so I counted 13 breaking branches or falling trees.  There were other sounds, too, that I couldn't identify but might well have been other trees.  Does anyone have photos of the damage?  I was a bit surprised to wake at 7 and find the grid still up.

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That Which Accounts for the Blueness of the Sky

Has anyone told you, you have beautiful eyes today? No? Why don’t you try on hazel eyes for a day and let me be the first?

The beauty of hazel eyes adds a bit of a mystery on the human eye-color chart. Less than 7% of the world’s population has hazel eyes, which make hazel eyes rather rare.

The science of the observable characteristics of hazel eyes is, like all eye colors, determined by genetic traits “influenced by up to sixteen known genes, passed to you that you inherit.” Science no longer thinks that your hazel eyes “(or any other eye color) happened because of a dominant gene.”

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Drive, Walk, and Ride Safely

Brattleboro is getting a first dose of real winter weather, and conditions for walking, biking, and driving are poor. Take your time, go a bit slower, and get to your destination safely.

Just this morning I was walking near Western Ave and Cedar and BANG - two cars collided. (Another guy and I were close enough to check on everyone. We also directed traffic for a moment until the police arrived.) Both drivers were safe, but they are both looking at lots of car repair.

If you don't need to go out, by all means stay in. And watch the forecasts. More snow and rain is expected this week, along with cold temperatures.

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The Casual Observer - November's Beaver Moon

Earth’s moon is the largest planetary satellite relative to the size of its planet. Throughout its orbit it always shows the same face and this weekend it will shine down on us in one of its rare closest approach. The forecast indicates that this Saturday and Sunday will be sunny and clear, so hopefully viewing the Moon will be unimpeded at night.

The face of the Moon is arguably the most visual motif for countless subjects represented in the arts, literature and culture throughout all civilizations. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the Algonquin tribes and American colonists called the November full moon the Beaver Moon because it was the time to “set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs."

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Menopause - The Climacteric Cause of Female Life Extension and the Freedom of Newfound Sexuality

My sister-in-law told me that when she was menstrual and having babies she had little to no interest in sex. It was more obligatory to please my brother than necessary for her.Yet, after her divorce, and when she reached menopause, she said that she was really horny all the time, but because she was older and in her opinion, less attractive and post mid-forty, her opportunities to meet men to satisfy the newly acquired sexual urges were diminished. She complained that the sexual frustration was difficult to bear. I found her candor fascinating and I immediately understood that she was not alone.

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Golden Eagle Spotted Over Brattleboro

12:30p.m. immature Golden Eagle spotted making wide unflapping circles from Conn. River to over Elliot Street. New yard bird! 

robyn

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Maybe Coy, Maybe Not

I've been living here for several decades and it was my first close encounter of this kind. But what was it? I was riding my bicycle in West Brattleboro, past the cemetary where headstones are splayed on both sides of a dirt road. An animal darted in front of me, something dead, just killed, in its jaw. The prey, a hedgehog, I guess. The predator, what was it? At first I thought it was a German Shepard. A big one. It had a reddish coloring. Then almost immediately I second guessed that. There was no collar, there was something feral.

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SeVWA's 2016 E. coli Monitoring of Local River Sites Concluded August 31st

The Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance (SeVWA) had the final day of our monitoring program for the summer of 2016 on Wednesday, August 31st. Volunteers collected samples from 30 sites on eight rivers and streams throughout the summer. This year, we had sites on the West River, Rock River, North Branch Ball Mountain Brook, Williams River (including South Branch and Middle Branch), Saxtons River, Sacketts Brook, and Whetstone Brook.

The huge sampling effort that SeVWA undertakes this year and every year would simply not be possible without all of our wonderful volunteers. They wake up early every other Wednesday morning to take time out of their busy lives to collect samples rain or shine. Many of our sites can be difficult to access but the results provide our community with valuable information about the state of our rivers. Volunteers also get to know their particular portion of the river and help us identify possible pollution sources and alert us to any changes that might indicate a change in water quality. Thank you volunteers, for all that you do. SeVWA really appreciates it!

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SeVWA's 2016 E. coli Monitoring of Local River Sites Continued August 17th

The Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance (SeVWA) had the penultimate day of our monitoring program for the summer of 2016 on Wednesday, August 17th. Volunteers collected samples from 30 sites on eight rivers and streams and will conclude monitoring on August 31st. This year, we have sites on the West River, Rock River, North Branch Ball Mountain Brook, Williams River (including South Branch and Middle Branch), Saxtons River, Sacketts Brook, and Whetstone Brook.

The drought continues in our area with our entire sampling area remaining under moderate drought conditions and parts of eastern New Hampshire and Massachusetts being upgraded to extreme drought conditions. It’s hard to imagine the contrast in weather to our south in Louisiana where historic floods are devastating the southeastern part of the state. They received over two feet of rain with the most recent storm; it is the second rain event this year that received over 20 inches of rain. Many rivers have shattered previous flood stage records by 4-6 feet. If you are interested in donating to help flood victims in Louisiana, you can visit the United Way of Southeast Louisiana (http://www.unitedwaysela.org/flood). Unfortunately, as our climate continues to change, we can expect more extreme weather events throughout the world like the drought in New England and the flooding on the Gulf Coast.

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SeVWA's 2016 E. coli Monitoring of Local River Sites Continued August 3rd

The Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance (SeVWA) had the fourth day of our monitoring program for the summer of 2016 on Wednesday, August 3rd. Volunteers collected samples from 30 sites on eight rivers and streams and will continue to do so every other week through the end of August. This year, we have sites on the West River, Rock River, North Branch Ball Mountain Brook, Williams River (including South Branch and Middle Branch), Saxtons River, Sacketts Brook, and Whetstone Brook.

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Where's The Rain? Moderate Drought in Southern Vermont

I’ve been wondering where the rain is, and did a bit of research.

According to the United States Drought Monitor, Brattleboro and Windham County are officially considered to be in Moderate Drought, with about 85% of Vermont being categorized as Abnormally Dry.

The trend started in late June and has remained steady through July. The last time we were this dry in Vermont was June of 2015.

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SeVWA's 2016 E. coli Monitoring of Local River Sites Continued July 20th

The Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance (SeVWA) had the third day of our monitoring program for the summer of 2016 on Wednesday, July 20th. Volunteers collected samples from 30 sites on eight rivers and streams and will continue to do so every other week through the end of August. This year, we have sites on the West River, Rock River, North Branch Ball Mountain Brook, Williams River (including South Branch and Middle Branch), Saxtons River, Sacketts Brook, and Whetstone Brook.

River users, whether they be swimming, boating, paddling, tubing, fishing, or even just hiking by, can help improve water quality by taking care of the rivers and their shores. The best way is to practice Leave No Trace principles (www.lnt.org for more info), especially disposing of waste, including pet waste, properly. This can keep whatever would have been left behind on the shoreline from washing into the river the next time it rains as well as keeping it aesthetically pleasing.

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Behind the Break

It wasn't until I was on a paddle-board at sea, standing-up and looking down at a series of waves, that I could truly see how their power gathers and disperses. While I’ve previously felt the curl’s whiplash on my surfboard and viscerally knew if I was in the right position to catch a ride, it took being both immersed and watching the pattern come and go from above to grok the groove that is wavelength’s expression.

Paddling with only your arms lying on your belly, trying to get up to speed, the wave will inevitably overtake you. Knowing exactly when by feel alone is a hard earned skill. From the line-up, you get an incomplete picture. It’s coming, it’s coming, then it’s past. An iconic example of ‘seize the moment’ if ever there was one. Fundamentally speaking, to surf a wave, you must put yourself in its unrelenting path. A sitting duck.

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SeVWA's 2016 E. coli Monitoring of Local River Sites Continued July 7th

The Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance (SeVWA) had its second day of its monitoring program for the summer of 2016 on Wednesday, July 7th. Volunteers will be collected samples from 30 sites on eight rivers and streams and will continue to do so every other week through the end of August. This year, we have sites on the West River, Rock River, North Branch Ball Mountain Brook, Williams River (including South Branch and Middle Branch), Saxtons River, Sacketts Brook, and Whetstone Brook.

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SeVWA's 2016 E. coli Monitoring of Local River Sites Began June 22nd

The Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance (SeVWA) began its monitoring program for the summer of 2016 on Wednesday, June 22nd. Volunteers will be collecting samples from 30 sites on eight rivers and streams every other week through the end of August. This year, we have sites on the West River, Rock River, North Branch Ball Mountain Brook, Williams River (including South Branch and Middle Branch), Saxtons River, Sacketts Brook, and Whetstone Brook.

          Escherichia coli, more commonly known as E. coli, is a bacterium that is found in the guts of all warm blooded animals, including humans. Most E. coli will not make a person sick, but sometimes they can become pathogenic which means they can cause illness. Additionally, the presence of E. coli in waters acts as an indicator for the presence of other, more difficult to test for pathogens. We publish our results to the public in order to help everyone make informed decisions about recreating in Vermont’s waters.

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Seeing and Doing

I’m hung up on the unsilverlined silverback Harambe tragedy. After watching the video a few times, it continues to run in my mind. I see the great and beautiful primate clearly making a universal gesture of nurturance with its delicate paw.  His aura calm. Body language, unaggressive. Maybe I’m projecting, but I saw awareness and protectiveness on display in that enclosure. And a look, unforgettable, seems to be saying “Yo people, y’all know you dropped bambino in here, down here…Reading me?”

The subsequent hit on the ape, and ensuing flurry of responses, including laying of blame compels me less. But that’s sure interesting too.  [As a sidebar to this I keep thinking that if we can no longer recognize fundamental signs, mudras for benign intent- from creatures of our own world- what chance do we have of getting the right message when the aliens come visit?]

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Sign Up Early For Animal Communication Classes

Marta Williams, noted author/communicator/teacher will be offering an intensive training in July. Class segments include: Beginning Animal Communication, Talking With Your Own Animals, Death and Beyond, Animals as Teachers and Healers, Intuitive Animal Training, Talking with Horses, Finding Lost Animals, and Talking with Wildlife and Nature. Please register early for this rare event, as space is limited.

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Butt Naked - Why Humans Lost Most of Their Body Hair

Compared to our sisters and brothers in the animal kingdom, humans are gloriously naked, when they are naked. The drastic reduction of hair on our bodies is nothing less than remarkable. It is unprecedented in our family of hominids, which include orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees and humans. Nevertheless, humans still have approximately the same density of hair follicles as chimps and gorillas.

So why have we lost most of our body hair? Today’s evolutionary scientists speculate, but do not offer one definitive reason.

 

 

 

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