Ben Kellogg of Bethel recently celebrated his 75th birthday at a party in Fort Myers, Fla. Those who enjoyed the good food and company were Mary Dooen, Kelly Scott, Erica Gundersen, Bob and Nancy Chadbourne, Bob and Cindy Blake, Jeanette St. Pierre, Terri and Gary Marston, Rodney Harrington, and Alberta Merrill.
Recent returning visits to Jim Young were Joshua Young, New York City; Shonna Young, Roanoke, Va., and family friend Stacie Ehrig of Roanoke, Va. Joining them for Easter were Mike and June Inman, Albany Twp., Aaron and Michelle Carlson and sons Zack, Lucas and Brody of Scarborough, and Kathy Tibbetts and Rosalie Holliday of Bethel.
The first flowers of spring have blossomed. There are dozens of skunk cabbages poking above the snow and ice in the bog and along the brook near my house. Right now only the flowers are visible: mottled purple and yellow hoods that are about 4-6 inches tall. The skunk cabbage is one of the few plants that exhibits thermogenesis, which means that it generates temperatures of up to 59-95 degrees F, which enables it to melt its way through the ice and snow. The flowers are pollinated by insects that also emerge early in the spring. The leaves will come out in late spring. Although the leaves produce a pungent odor if torn, the plant is not poisonous to the touch. It is poisonous if eaten raw. Skunk cabbage has been used extensively as a medicinal plant. Although I have never known anyone who has eaten the plant, I understand that the leaves can be dried and cooked in stews.
If you can, stop by the Mahoosuc Land Trust office tomorrow, April 12, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., for the public kick off for the Step Up for Step Falls campaign. The Land Trust is raising money to make improvements to the parking area, trail signage, and to rebuild the trail to the falls. Step Falls is a 24-acre preserve that has a series of waterfalls that cascade over ledges on Wight Brook. The falls are a few miles from Bethel on Route 26 in Newry. This is one of the few waterfalls that is easily accessible to almost everyone. It’s an easy climb to the lower falls, and a more moderate hike to the top.
On April 27, the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office will be collecting old medications and prescription drugs at its Bethel office at the Norway Savings Bank (the Parkway and Route 2).
The sheriff’s office organizes this event twice a year in conjunction with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. The program keeps prescription drugs off the streets, out of the hands of abusers, and also out of the ecosystem. Despite what we are often told, flushing drugs down the toilet does threaten animals and plants by releasing harmful chemicals into the ground water. Since 2010 these drug roundups have netted more than 2 million pounds of drugs. The sheriff’s office will be collecting drugs on April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The collection is anonymous; no questions asked. For more information call the sheriff’s office at (207) 743-9554 or 1-800-733-1421.
If you have news to share, please e-mail me at email@example.com, or call me at 824-2483.