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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

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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Sometimes It Snows In April

We should probably note for the on-going record that it is currently snowing in Brattleboro, and there is close to an inch of the stuff piled up on the ground. What makes this somewhat unusual is that we've had almost no snow in March, the temperatures were warmer than average, and everything had melted. 

Spring was well on its way, with snowdrops, crocuses, and daffodils starting to blossom, leaves on some bushes and trees starting to bud, and birds returning from their migrations. Many humans had begun yard clean-up and spring cleaning. Now it is all put on pause until it watms back up.

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Jukrislim Woman - This is Bone of My Bones

In the beginning the LORD Thankgodiamaman created the heaven and the earth.

On the second day Thankgodiamaman gets very busy creating all kinds of things out of the void and from the face of the deep.

He said let there be light, let there be a firmament; let there be lights in the firmament and stars in the heavens; he made the land, he made the wetland; he divided the waters from the waters; he brought forth grasses, herbs and fruit trees; he made the creatures, two by two, on the land, in the waters and flying fowl, whereupon Thankgodiamaman blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful, and multiply.”

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And The Heat Goes On - New Global Temperature Records

Enjoy the warm temperatures while you can. That is, enjoy the warm days with a grain of proverbial salt. These warm days are actually bad things.

Scientists are reporting that February broke global temperature margins at record levels. Stories about the data used words such as: jaw-dropping, stunning, shocker, climate emergency, bombshell, extraordinary, frightening, and unprecedented.

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Rip Currents

In a recent comment I used the metaphor that we Americans were headed for a Rip unless we woke up, and it got me wondering if this was accurate. My exact line was “…the election is a vast nasty leading to a larger and far more dangerous rip tide.” Rips are naturally occurring, and while often deadly, they are avoidable, and deal-able, if panic doesn’t prevail. Most fatalities happen because people freak out and try to swim against the current, directly into shore, and drown from exhaustion or fright. Even strong swimmers can’t contend with the force of outgoing surge.

It’s worth keeping in mind, Rips don’t have vertical pull, they won’t suck you under. Mostly they channel water back out, built up from incoming waves.  Some Rips, according to recent science, a great many, are large surface level conveyer whirlpools, streams that will eventually return you to shore if you go with the flow.  You can’t always be sure that will happen though, so riding it out may not be practical, even if viable. In any case the current will only carry someone out a few hundred yards beyond where the waves break as a result of shallower seabed, or sand bars. 

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A Weird Winter

This has been a weird winter. We saw a few snow flakes in October, a bit of snow around the end of December and early January, then almost nothing. Relatives down south are still digging out, though, from their big snow storm.

The temperatures have been relatively mild. As I type it is about 40 degrees out. What little snow was there is turning to water and evaporating.

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A Worm of Robins?

This chilly, windy morning, as I was walking my dog, I was surprised to see a large flock of robins fluttering all around the Spring Street Parking Lot.

Are they lost? Or did they miss the southbound AMTRAK?

(According to the Quebec based bird welfare organization Le Nichior, the proper collective noun for robins is
a “worm”.

http://lenichoir.org/collective-nouns/)

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Did Anyone Else See the Sun Dog Today?

I took these photos from my back yard in West Brattleboro, just southwest of BEEC. Such a cool experience!

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Winter Solstice 2015

This year, the winter solstice will occur on December 21st at 11:49 PM EST. It'll be the shortest day of the year in which Brattleboro will receive about nine hours of daylight. Happy holidays!

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