Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance’s (SeVWA’s) water quality monitoring program was begun about 10 years ago. At that time, the organization was known as West River Watershed Alliance (WRWA). In 2014 there are 26 river and stream sites that SeVWA is monitoring and those sites are in the West River and Williams River watersheds and along the Saxtons River and Whetstone Brook. There are 26 volunteers that sample at those sites every 2 weeks during the summer, with 8 additional volunteers filling-in for the “regulars” on occasional days during the monitoring season. This summer the river monitoring program began on Wednesday, June 18th. The last 2014 sampling date at all sites will be on August 27th.
"How likely: 2 out 4 How severe: 3 out of 4"
"Rain is expected to overspread the region from west to east this evening. The rain will become heavy at times late tonight continuing into Wednesday. The rain may be accompanied by embedded thunderstorms resulting in torrential rainfall. Rainfall rates of 1 to 2 inches in one hour are possible in a few locations. This will bring the potential for urban and localized flash flooding. Some small stream flooding is also possible.
Recommended actions: Act quickly. Move to higher ground at once. Get away from places subject to rapid flooding, such as dry Creek Beds or places along streams. Avoid already flooded areas."
This lonely volunteer shaft of corn is growing downtown, near the firehouse.
I don’t think its corn.
Looks more like sorghum, but I don’t think sorghum grows in Vermont.
If it is, how did it get here?
This past Wednesday, July 30th, marked the fourth sampling day of the season for river monitoring by Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance (SeVWA). Earlier in the week heavy rains and thunderstorms brought severe flooding to some towns in our sampling region which includes the West, Williams, and Saxtons rivers as well as North Branch Brook, Rock River, and the Whetstone Brook.
August is vacation month and as everyone prepares to head to new or traditional vacation places, please think about how you can help to maintain healthy waterways. Some of these ways are complying with boating laws and regulations, carrying out all trash, and making sure harsh chemicals are disposed of properly. Also, checking boating equipment for aquatic invasive species helps to prevent the spread of non-native plants and animals into waterways. Think about the steps of CLEAN, DRAIN and DRY as you recreate on waterbodies or move your activities from one waterbody to another. Taking these steps will help prevent the transport of invasive aquatic species from one waterbody to another.
In the iBrattleboro’s column “Today In Local History” of July 28, 2014 the leading entry from 1860 reported:
“A meteoric body was seen passing through the heavens over this village at apparently no very great height on Friday evening of last week. The time was about ten o’clock and not more than a minute was occupied in the passage of the brilliant object. It lighted up the heavens with great brilliancy, and with its long and illuminating train it was momentarily thought to be an enormous piece of fireworks.”
On Oct 20, 2012 Halley's Comet Orionid Shower visited the Northern Hemisphere and on that night standing in the center of Prospect Graveyard on South Main Street three Brattleboro residents had agreed to meet at 10pm. This is my email newsletter sent the next day:
The Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance (SeVWA) had their third 2014 river monitoring day on Wednesday, July 16th, marking the halfway point of the sampling season. Volunteers successfully collected 26 samples from sites along the West, Williams, Middle Branch Williams and Saxtons Rivers as well as North Branch Brook, Rock River and the Whetstone Brook. Many of the results indicated very high E. colii levels. There were extremely heavy rains in the days preceding which likely washed contaminants from the land into the water resulting in these high numbers. The presence of E. coli in the water indicates a likely fecal contamination by warm-blooded animals. Swimming in water with an E.
On July 2nd SeVWA (Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance) successfully collected water samples from all 26 sites along the West, Williams, and Saxton rivers as well as the Whetstone brook. The E. coli results from our second sampling day of the summer can be found in the attached charts.
When reviewing the results please keep in mind that the samples were collected prior to the rain we just experienced and E. coli levels have a tendency to spike after it rains. This is due to run-off washing into the rivers and carrying animal, pet or human waste. The general rule is to wait 24-48 hours after a rain event before swimming in the rivers to minimize risk of waterborne illnesses.
Summer is officially here and Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance (SeVWA) had their first river sampling day on Wednesday, June 18, 2014. This year there are 26 river and stream sites being monitored by SeVWA. These sites are along the West, Williams, and Saxtons Rivers, as well as North Branch Brook, Rock River and the Whetstone Brook.
This year SeVWA has over 25 volunteers who graciously give their time by waking up early and heading into the rivers to collect water samples for testing. Volunteer involvement ensures that this program continues and we are incredibly thankful for all of their efforts. This first sampling day went smoothly with collection from all 26 sites and samples sent to the lab in a timely fashion. Testing for E. coli bacteria is time sensitive and requires the coordination of many people to be able to test all the different sites in Windham County, with an additional few sites in the village of Chester in Windsor County.
The old rule of "March - in like a lion, out like a lamb" seems to have gone haywire this year. It's more of an "out like a ice-breathing water dragon," or maybe a "cold toad."
Have the seasons shifted? Perhaps April will now be in like a lion and out like a lamb. But that might lead to May showers bringing June flowers. (Which will lead to the loss of a quality joke for 6 year olds. What do May flowers bring? Pilgrims! It doesn't work with Juneflowers.)
Today I saw two separate small flocks of Robins, one in Guilford and one in Brattleboro.
I couldn’t resist sharing this-
Leanne Kalabis, who lives in Nelson, British Columbia, was quite surprised to come home and find a bobcat in her basement. The poor, confused animal probably got in because a door was blown open while she was out. Once in, though, it couldn't find a way to get out again, and became agitated, lunging at a window..."Initially I just saw the front of its face and thought, 'oh, it's just someone's cat,' but then I saw the rest of it,"
Rest of story here: http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/honey-theres-bobcat-stuck-win...
The NWS says there is a Wind Chill Advisory in effect until Wednesday morning:
"A wind chill advisory means that very cold air and strong winds will combine to generate low wind chills. This will result in frost bite and lead to hypothermia if precautions are not taken. If you must venture outdoors...make sure you wear a hat and gloves.
The winter solstice this year is on December 21st st 12:11 PM EST. Although some might think it came early, the date and time shown is when it officially starts. The only thing I like about winter besides Christmas is the night sky with all the bright stars and constellations that can be seen like Orion and Sirius the Dog Star, for example.
Two adventurers set out in a canoe and happened upon a flock of starlings (collectively known as a murmuration) doing their amazing collective dance in the sky. Something mysteriously beautiful.
We were woken a little after midnight by a hoarse barking sound under our window. It went on at intervals of maybe 2 or 3 seconds between each bark. There was an answering bark in the middle distance as well.
The barking moved from yard to yard pretty quickly, but seemed to come back to our yard several times before moving off for good.
In an effort to get me to stop talking about the beach, Chris bought us a canoe this summer, well used but sturdy and appropriately green. I’m not an expert paddler but I love to float around in boats, so I was appeased by this gesture. Even so, it was almost September before we had mastered our knots (for tying it to the car) and assembled our gear. But all the preparation turned out to be worthwhile once we pushed off into the Retreat Meadows.
Please join SeVWA for Connecticut River Watershed Council’s (CRWC’s) 17th Annual Source to Sea Cleanup!
On the morning of October 5th help us clean-up some of our most favorite local swimming holes and recreational sites along the West River in Brattleboro, Dummerston and Newfane – be a part of making these locations cleaner and safer for those of us that visit and enjoy these sites, for the wildlife too, and to protect the river’s water quality.
Wantastiquet Hellgrammites Volunteer for the Connecticut River Watershed Council
The Windham Regional Commission (WRC) is organizing a volunteer opportunity for those who are eager to help clean up the shorelines of our regional resource of beauty and recreation, the Connecticut River. The Wantastiquet Local River Subcommittee of the Connecticut River Joint Commissions is pulling together a group of volunteers to clean up the island under the Hinsdale Bridge in Brattleboro/Hinsdale.
Meet up at our base camp on Oct. 5th at 9:15 am at the Amtrak Vermonter Train Stop parking lot, 36 Bridge Street, Brattleboro. Look for a big tent. Please join the community of volunteers that day. Gloves, trash bags, and refreshments will be provided.
For years, I've been looking at this stone which I collected off the shoreline of the West River, up towards Williamsville. I've not been able to figure out what it is. Do any of our amateur (or professional) geologists know?
Although not obvious from this photo, the stone has a strong blue-green cast and is crystalline in nature. The broken area at the top shows the crystal form somewhat, if you look closely. There are a lot of stones of this type in the river around the area where I found this one, and I thought now would be as good a time as any to enlist the expertise of the community to finally identify it.
August 28th was the last river sampling day of Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance’s (SeVWA’s) 2013 river monitoring program. In 2013 there were 24 river and stream sites that SeVWA monitored. Those sites were in the West River and Williams River watersheds and along the Saxtons River and Whetstone Brook. This summer the river monitoring program began on Wednesday, June 19th and this past Wednesday, August 28th was SeVWA’s sixth and final monitoring day of the 2013 season!