Be Smart, Be Safe in Weathersfield, VT July 20

Early morning with Mount Ascutney from Little Canada RD

My kayaking adventures continued last week. We saw a group of nine loons fishing together. These birds are usually solitary or seen in pairs. But nine-holy cow! 
Loons on Long Pond
What's a group of loons called?

I found this online about what to call a gathering of loons. It's from the Concord Monitor:
"Back in July 2010, the Monitor was doing a story about loon conservation on Lake Winnipesaukee when reporter Madeline Buckley asked Loon Preservation Committee biologist Vincent Spagnuolo what to call a group of these lovely water birds.

"Usually you don’t refer to groups of loons that often, because they’re highly territorial and you don’t see them in groups much,' Spagnuolo recalled this week. 'I jokingly said ‘an asylum.’ ”

“I had come up with that collective noun the year before and thought it was better than a ‘raft,’ a ‘cry,’ or whatever else was used at the time. Having seen some of the things they do, which are often kind of crazy – getting into fights and in the process kill one other, and sometimes swim in weird formations in post-breeding season – it seemed appropriate' "

So I guess we saw an asylum of loons.

Long Pond Loon

My friend and I paddled on Long Pond in Lempster, NH last Thursday. It's about 20 minutes from Claremont and well worth the drive. A very peaceful place. Half the shoreline has houses but the other half is pretty much bog and forest.

On Saturday we paddle on Silver Lake in Barnard, VT near the State Park but not at the park-too many people. We found out just before we left our houses that two loons have been spotted on Silver Lake.

It didn't take long for the loons to find us.

If you are a fan of Loons, I have a collection page of photos: (I think they might be my spirit animal)

How's Your Garden?

Mine is busting and I hope yours is too.

Our vegetable garden is doing well, thanks to Jay watering it daily (sometimes twice a day) and my weekly weeding.

Our peaches are right on track for an August harvest.
Peaches in Vermont

And the lettuce and summer squashes are exploding.
Lettuce for lunch

We've been picking, eating and freezing blueberries for about a week now.
Bowl of blueberries

I hope your gardens are as happy as mine is.

Town Website-Re-Designed

Have you checked out the new and improved Town Website?

2020-2021 Property Taxes-Delayed until Beginning of August

Tax Bills will be sent out later than usual. The delay in homestead information is because the personal income tax deadline was extended from April 15th to July 15th this year, and many taxpayers are taking advantage of the extension.

The education property tax rates were published July 7, 2020 and the Selectboard will work on setting tax rates and due dates by the end of July. 

That means pushing back bill printing and the first payment due date, since 15%-25% of homestead declarations and property tax credit claims will not be available until August 1. 

We are looking to send out Tax Bills the first week of August.

Vermont COVID-19 Updates

Cross-State Travel Information

COVID-19 Modeling for Vermont

Department of Financial Regulation has a whole resource center for COVID-19 Updates and Modeling.
Updated July 17

The governor's weekly press conferences have moved to Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 am on WCAX for the Governor's COVID-19 updates.

Past Press Conferences may be viewed on the ORCA media YouTube channel

Governor of Vermont Press Releases

ACCD Guidelines for Businesses

Re-opening businesses must follow the guidelines set forth by the Vermont State Agency of Commerce and Community Development

Vermont Department of Health-COVID-19 information

Face Masks Save Lives-Please Wear One! 
Looking or buy a Mask-Check out these businesses

COVID-19 activity by Towns in Vermont 
VT has just over 1300 confirmed positive with over 80,000 people tested.

COVID-19 activity in NH 
NH has just over 6000 
confirmed positive cases.

Get Tested, if you want or you suspect you have been exposed
COVID-19 pop-up testing facilities for anyone who wants to be tested but you must reserve a spot-
There are spots open in Springfield, VT on August 4

Watch for symptoms

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
This list is not all possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

SARS-CoV-2-the virus that causes COVID-19,  isn't done with us yet. Please continue to wear facial coverings when in public and stay 6 feet apart for physical distancing. 

People around Weathersfield have been observed NOT wearing masks and NOT physical distancing.  

Do the right thing and protect others from yourself. 
Even if you don't feel ill, you may still have the virus and you are highly contagious up to two days before you show symptoms!

You are NOT Alone, Please Reach Out!

We're all stressed out and are wondering about the future. Don't go it alone.
In either VT or NH dial 211
To access a 24-hour Crisis Text Line people can text VT to 741741

This is a stressful time for everyone. Don't go it alone.
Health Care and Rehabilitation Services 24-hour crisis hotline 1-800-622-4235

HCRS Warm Line for people struggling with COVID-19 related stress and anxiety 1-800-917-1622

Headrest local crisis line 603-448-4400 and Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255

Also check out Upper Valley Strong

Be Smart, Stay Safe friends and neighbors.
Remember to call or check in on your elderly neighbors, bring them some cheer from a proper physical distance.

Things to Do In and Around Weathersfield

Weathersfield Hikes are Back!

The 8th Annual Weathersfield Hikes have been announced. They are being held under the auspices of Weathersfield Parks and Recreation. Well-behaved dogs are welcome. They expect a range of hiking speeds and abilities.
Reserve Your Spot on the Hikes
Contact Steve Aikenheadat 263-5439 or to reserve your spot on the hikes.

Are you new to hiking?
Wear footwear that is broken in and appropriate for our uneven trails. Hikers join at their own risk.

Feel free to call Steve, organizer, at 263-5439 or
Experienced hikers are also encouraged to ask questions or comment freely. 

COVID-19 Precautions
Please observe COVID-19 precautions: physical distancing, wearing masks etc.. If you don't feel well, please stay home.

The Hikes

Saturday, August 1, 9:00 AM: A Felchville Forest Walk 

Marianne Walsh leads this hike through beautiful forest on well-maintained logging roads. The distance is about 3.5 miles on moderate terrain. There is a nice view of Ascutney Mountain, but the main attraction is the forest. The previous owner, Fred Hunt, now deceased, was and is famous locally for this forest. The current owners welcome walkers. The location is off Tyson Road, and the property borders the Knapp Brook Wildlife Management Area.

Saturday, August 15, 9:00 AM: Little Ascutney

We will walk up to the ledges – very nice view – on a trail that in part is strenuous. There is first a long steady climb, then a steep ascent, and then a steady climb. We will have gone from the parking lot at 900 feet to the summit of Little Ascutney at 1,709 feet. The hike probably will take over two hours. It feels like 2 miles up. 

Saturday, August 29, meet at Downers’ at 9:00 AM: Mt. Tom 

Don’t tell Mt. Tom, but this is a hill, not a mountain. The climb is 907’ to reach the summit at 1,357’. That climb, a little steep at first, is on a smooth carriage trail all the way up, passing the Pogue (Scottish for pond) on the way. The view of Woodstock in the valley below and of the surrounding area is lovely. Round trip of 4.6 miles. 

Saturday, September 5, 9:00 AM: “Up on the Hill” on conserved land near Charlestown

Marianne Walsh has been here and expects to join us. We will walk on trails by a river, though a forest and through meadows, and up the hill to a view of Ascutney. After looking at the map on the website, my guess is that we’ll do up to 3 miles of walking. I searched “Up on the Hill UVLT” and went to the website. 

Sunday, September 20, 5:00 PM: Ferry Road and the Connecticut River 

This generally level route with one steep descent heads down shaded Ferry Road and into Skyline Nursery. Soon it follows the river, sometimes with views. At one point the remains of the huge Consul Jarvis sheep barn can be glimpsed. The total length is about 2 miles. Carol Orth is the leader.

September date to be announced, 8:30 AM: Windmill Hill, the Pinnacle

Rated as a moderate climb because of some uphill and some rocks to step over, this well-maintained loop of 3.8 miles goes through a forest to an excellent view at the top. There are informational markers along the way. The car ride from Ascutney Park and Ride will take about 40 minutes. 

Saturday, October 10, 9:30 AM: Cooks Pond Loop

This is a route on wooded dirt roads more than on trail. There is a lovely framed view of Mt. Ascutney from the south end of Cooks Pond. Other mountain views occur at later points. Difficulty: easy to moderate, with one long incline and a shorter one. Distance: almost 3 miles. 

Saturday, October 17, 8:00 AM: Ascutney Mountain 

We will go to the fire tower and the Brownsville Overlook. We will go up the Weathersfield Trail, but people wanting a less strenuous hike (.7 miles up) could drive up and meet us at the top, we hope. I might join that shorter climb. We leave early because parking later is a problem.   

Within Reach Yoga Under the Trees 

Weathersfield resident, Lisa Gleeson is hosting outdoor yoga classes under the trees at the Weathersfield Meeting House/Church on Saturdays.

Slow Flow, Rest + Restore Saturdays, 9:00-10:00 am 

She's also hosting a POP-UP CLASS-Yoga For Equestrians Thursday, July 30 5:30-6:30 p.m.
A class designed to nurture your hips! Gather at the grove at the Weathersfield Center Church/Meetinghouse grove and invite a balance of strength and mobility for a healthy range of motion which can ease lower back tension. We'll stretch our upper legs to release any stress held in your inner groin and thigh muscles, encouraging them to widen and drape more easily over your horse’s back. We'll stretch our spines and strengthen core muscles to gain stability and balance. 
Happy riders = happy horses!
(PS - you don't have to be a horseback rider to enjoy this class! Happy hips are important for everyone!)

Email to register or with any questions.

COST: $12 drop-in or one punch for those who have purchased punch passes.

Please bring your own mat, props (blocks or blanket/towel) and practice social distancing guidelines.

To stay in the loop for classes and locations, for questions, to register, or to subscribe to our newsletter, please email lisa@withinreachyoga.comFollow her on facebook for class updates.

Learn to Meditate

Sundays, 11 am to Noon
Register before Sunday to get the link if you would like to be on the notification list. Or if you just want to try it once, email to request the zoom link.

Learn to Meditate Class and Dharma talk: For beginners and practitioners. 
This online open house is a great introduction to the Shambhala Buddhist teachings and an opportunity to connect with other practitioners. It features half an hour meditation practice with meditation instruction, followed by a talk by one of our senior teachers, and discussion period. Attendance is free and open to the public. A good class for both beginners and meditators.

If you would like to make a donation to the White River Shambhala Meditation Center for the online class, you can do so on this link to Paypal or by mailing a check to the White River Shambhala Center, PO Box 1254, WRJ, VT 05001.

ALL WELCOME. The class will be led by Shastri Donna Williams of the White River Shambhala Meditation Center.

Local Dining

Local favorites are re-opening for outside and limited inside dining.
Exit Ate is back at it with limited indoor seating (with AC) and outdoor seating. Greg is making homemade bread and potato chips and they now have a variety of salads for your quarantined BBQs: Potato Salad, Tuna Mac, Italian Pasta, and our delicious Cole Slaw.

Inn at Weathersfield-dine inside or outside Thursdays, fridays and Saturdays, call for a reservation 802-263-9217. They also offer a take away menu.

Springfield Diner-seating inside/outside daily 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Ice cream shop open Thursday-Sunday 1-7 pm. Please use ice cream shop entrance for ice cream. Daily specials.

Villagers Ice Cream Hours Noon-8:30 p.m. except Monday. 
After paddling on Saturday, I stopped by for an ice cream cone. Olivia was wearing a mask but you can still tell she's totally rocking a BIG SMILE! Thanks for the yummy post kayak treat!

The Hanover Chamber put together this list of Curbside Restaurants:

Check to see if your favorite restaurant is open for outdoor and/or indoor dining. Most are requiring reservations so call ahead for their guidelines and business hours.

Food Assistance

Ascutney Union Church Food Cupboard in Ascutney 5243 Route 5 Saturdays 9-10 a.m. call 802-674-2484. 

Weathersfield Food Shelf in Perkinsville. The 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month from 2-4 p.m. WFS is located in the 1879 Schoolhouse at 1862 Route 106 in Perkinsville. Donations of non-perishable food are always welcomed and may be dropped off at the facility during open hours or placed in the collection box at Martin Memorial Hall. For more information, call 802-263-5584 or email

Hartland Food shelf in Hartland. 4 Corners UU Church Fridays 8-10 a.m.
Reading-West Windsor Food Shelf in Reading. Mondays 2-4 p.m. and Thursday 4-6 p.m. Stone School 3456 Tyson Rd, Reading.

Did you fill out your 2020 Census yet?

Have you filled out Your 2020 Census Questionnaire Yet?
It's so easy to do online, takes 5 minutes and you won't get a visit from a Census taker.
Do it NOW-CLICK HERE for the easy questionnaire.

Travel Plans this Summer?

We'll get through this together. We're all connected.


Nancy Nutile-McMenemy is an Upper Valley freelance photographer and writer who loves to attend concerts and local events in and around Weathersfield and the Upper Valley.

If you have anything you think I should post during our Stay At Home Time drop me an email:

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