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Bradford , Vermont
November 12, 2014     Journal Opinion
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November 12, 2014

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Page 16---JOURNAL OPINION--November 12, 2014 pns held earlier this month, Piermont resident Eleanor Trevithick, 96i registered to vote. - COURTESY PHOTO BY JOYCE TOMPKINS BMU VSO WRVS VSO WELLS RIVER-On Nov. 13, the WAITS RIVER-On Nov. 14, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra's "Ah! Vermont Symphony Orchestra's "Ah! Cappella" quartet will be performing at Cappella" quartet will be performing at Blue Mountain Union School at 1 p.m. Waits River Valley School at 9 a.m. The The performances are part of the VSO's performances are part of the VSO's statewide Symphony Kids education statewide Symphony Kids education program, program. Abby Metcalf (center), chair of Piermont 250th anniversary committee lights candles on a birthday cake as Piermont Village School student Wyatt Underhill (left) and PVS Principal Debra Norwood (right) look on during Charter Night on Nov. 6. dO PHOTO BY HELGA MUELLER ]Iournal Opinion 1865-2015 To Our Advertisers: It's Our 150th Anniversary! The Journal Opinion will turn 150 years old in 2015. To celebrate, we will publish a special ...... commemorative issue Dec. 31, 2014 with a look back at the ......... major evems of the last 15,0,.years, We will cover weather disasters, fires, the ...... railroads, crime and much more. To be a part of this special issue, contact your sales rep or call our office at 802-222-5281 to reserve your space now. Deadline for all advertising is Dec. 1, 2014. |l Connie Sanville, Publisher I I by Helga Mueller PIERMONT--Nov. 6 marked the Theplayopenedwithasceneina 250 years since the charter for the one-room schoolhouse on Nov. 6, Town of Piermont was granted by 1864 with the teacher Miss Stanley, King George III of Great Britain and portrayed by Hannah Vogel, ex- was witnessed by Royal Gov. plainingto her students the meaning Benning Wentworth in 1764. To of the Charter giving people rights celebrate, the final 250 anniver- and privileges to build a town and sary event, took place at the continued with the second scene Piermont Village School with depicting the first meeting of the students from the schoolpresenting Proprietors in January 1765 in a play with music about the early Portsmouth. Chaired by a modera- history of Piermont. tor portrayed by Lara Jones, the Entitled "A Piece of Paper" the Proprietors present at the meeting students performed two acts of the considered and voted on several original play by Florence Robbins, provisions of the Charter including adapted by PVS teacher Nancy surveying the Town's boundaries, Sandell. The play featured two laying out the town to be incorpo- original songs--"Piermont Song" ratedinto a Township by the name of and "Pumpkin Song'--composed Piermont, and setting the date for by PVS students in honor of Charter Town Meetings which were to take Day in 2014. Robbins wrote the place on the second Tuesday in play, which was performed in its March, annually. entirety, for the town's 200th On display at the school were anniversary in 1964. framed copies of the town charter ,'The Piermont Song" is an which includes a section to the alphabetical,'account"ofpeople and effect that all white and other pine places that make up the Town of trees within the said township, fit today. The principal in her newslet- for masting the royal navy be ter called it a "montage of the carefully preserved for that use and community." The "Pumpkin Song" none to be cut without special commemorates a 1770-71 army license for doing so first, as well as worms infestation that destroyed framed pictures ofthetown. crops in Piermont. The the people In conclusion Metcalfnoted that and livestock were spared from Charter Night has been the conclu- famine when residents of Haverhill sion of the 250 Anniversary Events and Newbury floated pumpkins which started in April with a down the river on rafts, program on Arbor Day and contin- Abby Metcalf, chairman of the ued with the big celebration on 250th Anniversary Committee August with a parade and other which sponsored the event, set the activities and ending the day with Piermont Village School students stage for the evening,fireworks. (from I to r) Connor Collins, Daniel "Imagine: 250 years ago thereThere also had been many Brine, Wyatt Underhill, and were mountains and the intervale, community suppers which featured Kimberly Underhill introduce an but there were no roads, no town, no various programs. original play written to recognize Piermont history. The play was people, houses, school, church, The evening concluded with the performed at the school on the farms or businesses, there was just cutting of a birthday cake and a night of Nov. 6 to mark the town's this one piece of paper, the Charter, group photograph. 250th anniversary, and from this piece of paper the JO PHOTO BY HELGA MUELLER towngrew!" November 2014 by David Falkenham UNH Cooperative Extension Grafton County Forester Late fall finds me in a cabin in Pittsburg, NH resting the dogs and us in between grouse and woodcock hunting adventures. The sky outside is the def'mition of slate gray. Mist, mixed with rain steadily falls on the roof as a constant reminder of the perfect hunting season weather. Chickadee[s, nuthatches an~l grey jays flurry about tile b'ailsam trees .... and hazel bushes in a rhythmic businesslike manner collecting food to keep their high octane engines burning. Outside the cabin, I hear the same seasonal sounds that I hear from my patio in North Haverhill; the distant honking of geese and the whistling wings of ducks as they streak by with the north wind at their backs and their faces pointed toward southern destinations. It is fall migration season, the beginning of the second half of their annual life cycle. Whether I am standing on an alder swamp listening to whistling wings or watching a spectacle of hundreds of ~eese rise off the Connecticut River oodplain at sunset I always pause and listen. I often wonder ifI am hearing one ofthe most ancient sounds that modem humans have the pleasure of listening to. Migration may not seem at first glance like the best business plan for survival, but it has been working since long before North America was even a dot on the map. Migration is triggered by photo period. In the spring, as the days slowly lengthen, migratory birds set the urge to fly north. Some start their flights and arrive earlier than others, but the purpose is the same for all of them; fly north to spend summers on rich ground, mate and raise a family. Once the baby birds hatch, the parents have a finite amount of time to prepare them for the rigors of the fall migration south. The shortening of the daylight in late summer causes a feeding frenzy in preparation for the fall flights. Some birds fly from northern Canada all the way to South America. Others are satisfied with shorter routes that end at the Gulf Coast or Chesapeake Bay area. Every year I think of the energy cost vs. rewards of this life strategy. Pondering it from that point of view is pointless since migratory birds have been doing this twice a year for hundreds, maybe thousands of years. Despite my love of the Labrador retriever as a hunting companion, I haven't yet found one who is willing to tolerate my prolonged presence in a duck blind. Therefor the only migratory bird that I hunt so far is the woodcock. This amazing little bird is one of the earliest spring ~vals, often showing up and beginning it s mating rituals as early as mid-March. Fall migration for woodcock starts in October and continues into December so it obviously enj oys our northern hospitality if not our winters. Whenever I hold one of these birds in my hand, ! can't help but marvel their tenacity. They are mostly wings and beak with a cryptically colored body in between. They loaf during the day, feeding on worms and insects and then make their pilgrimage flights by the light of the moon, flying from the Gulf Coast to northern forests and back again in a single year. I fI am lucky I get to hold one in my hand, and in the distance hear the sound of honking geese riding the north wind that bristles the back of my neck, precisely as they have done it throughout the course of natural history.