West Bethel June 17
Mea culpa. My good husband pointed out to me that last week I wrote about the fading of the trillium, when in fact I should have said that the lady-slippers were fading. It’s called a senior moment.
Meanwhile, we spotted pyrola in bloom in the woods along the Inn’s ski trails. The pyrola stem rises above a base of round leaves and bears a spear of roundish white flowers. There are several varieties, but I think the one we see here is the round-leaved pyrola. (Doh!)
Elsewhere the cow-parsnip is in bloom. There is a big stand of it just opposite Davis Park. It looks somewhat like giant Queen Anne’s lace and is a member of the parsley family. The umbel of white flowers can be up to eight inches in diameter. According to my field guide, the plant is rank-smelling, but I can’t attest to that, never having given it the sniff test. Maybe next week.
One of my readers, Ruth Blakney, lives in Connecticut but spends part of every year at the family camp in Greenwood. She responded to my description of the cobwebs in the tall grass, saying that her family always called them “fairy beds.” She adds that her children and grandchildren have always liked that designation. Maybe someone out there also called them that or knows of another name for them. Let us know.
Here is some exciting business news from West Bethel. David Doyle has contracted to purchase Jeff and Pattie Parsons’ hostel building and business at 646 West Bethel Road. Dave intends to operate Hosteling International— Bethel in the traditional sense of the word “hostel”— with an intent to offer a true educational travel experience to people from around the world. In the month of May, he has already hosted travelers from Denmark, Germany, Australia, Canada and across the U.S. Large groups from Penn State University have been to visit, as well as groups on motorcycles and single travelers coming by car and bicycle.
The atmosphere at the hostel is one of excitement— with planned events such as pancake breakfasts, sushi night, hikes and spontaneous events like game night and coffeehouse “travel talks”— all involving both guests and community members. Dave is currently working on collecting local photos of people enjoying Bethel— fishing, hiking, canoeing, skiing, snowboarding, etc., and photos of local wildlife as well. He’d be very glad to showcase (with care) your photos or your educational displays/memorabilia at the hostel. Any travel books, wildlife guides, maps or other informational material for guests are very welcome donations to the community room.
Local businesses are encouraged to contact Dave with discount coupons, package ideas, or service suggestions for hostel guests. Twenty-four-hour online booking is offered for both private rooms and dormitory beds ($25/night to HI members) at www.hiusa.org. For more information, call (207) 357-0273. The hostel is open year-round, with shuttle service available by request, and is available for parties, meetings, reunions, and other events. Good luck to the Doyles in this new venture.
Our daughter, Kate Griffin, came up for an overnight stay Tuesday because she hasn’t been here since we moved in. Needless to say, she is curious about how the old folks are faring and what things look like. Her little Min-Pin, Max, accompanied her on the trip. I’ll let you know what she thought of our Garden of Eden next week.
The World Cup Soccer games are often playing on TV here, and we are both annoyed by the constant buzz of the South African vuvuzela horns, which sound like a hive of giant bees. A little goes a long way. The smallest country in the tournament is Slovenia, which is where all my ancestors came from. On Sunday Slovenia defeated Algeria, and tomorrow they will play the U.S., the largest country in the tournament. My loyalties will be divided.
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