Monday, May 26, 2008

Nifty grant opportunity for rural communities

A fine grant opportunity is available from the Orton Family Foundation.
The “Art & Soul” project will emphasize storytelling and the use of the arts to involve local residents. Through this engagement, the selected town will begin a process of identifying and protecting its “heart & soul,” those attributes, special places, characteristics and customs that citizens treasure and that connect them to one another and to their town...

The Foundation invites applications from Addison County communities that have a strong rural character, an active network of involved citizens and elected leaders, and an interest in promoting citizen engagement. The Foundation anticipates selecting one (1) community to participate in this 18-month-long pilot project. This community will be eligible for supporting funds, training, technical assistance and an artist-in-residence. Community benefits include: an archive of digital interviews with town residents; an artist in residence and associated works of art; training and technical assistance with community engagement; supporting funds.
Applications are accepted through the end of June.

(thanks to Jane Phinney)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Local gas prices, watch them rise

There's a neat gas prices device on, which lets you enter a zip code to find local fuel costs. Here's a snapshot of Ripton's results, from a few minutes ago:


Summer biking opens up

As summer begins to warm up our late spring, biking becomes increasingly exciting.

Here's a Rutland Herald article on Vermont trails, noting the Hogback trail.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Events at Ripton Elementary School

Toddler Spring Fling
Thursday, May 29
9-11 am
Ripton Elementary School
For all children in Ripton ages 0-5 and their families
RSVP 388-2208

and also.....

Grandfriends Lunch
Thursday, May 29
Ripton Elementary School
For Ripton grandparents and grandfriends
RSVP 388-2208

Monday, May 12, 2008

Spring Keeps Coming On

May 2 – Red trillium in bloom and Jack-In-The-Pulpit is up.

May 5 – Black-throated Green Warbler makes its first appearance of the year. Also, the gorgeous Rose-breasted Grosbeak and a Black-throated Blue Warbler. Red-breasted nuthatches are frequenting our feeders suddenly even though they are resident year round. Male and female turkeys strutting their stuff.

May 6 – First hummingbird – we filled the feeder yesterday.

May 7 – Nice look at a Nashville warbler. Plenty of Pine siskins in the trees.

May 8 – Black-and-white warbler and also a chestnut-sided warbler. An ovenbird is sending out its loud “teacher, teacher, teacher” calls. Seems like a lot of warblers in our trees this morning. And also two unusual birds – Red Crossbills!

May 9 – The delicate white flowers of goldthread are blooming.

May 10 – Bluebird in the yard. Osprey overhead.

May 11 – Mothers’ Day for bears too - a mama with two cubs were under our porch in the middle of the day. I had my camera handy and took a quick photo. Then I scared them off by banging together some pots. The little ones ran right away; the mother was less frightened but eventually took off after them.

Barry and Warren King

Monday, May 5, 2008

More Signs of the Season

April 23 – Along the creek in the woods, the false hellebore is now 6" high and watercress is spreading roots and leafy green in the cold water.  We stood outside inhaling the first warm rain and although it was just a brief shower, it was very welcome after nearly ten days of dry weather.
April 24 – Bright yellow trout lily blossoms today. The paler wild oats are also in bloom in some dry, sunny spots.
April 25 – We followed a bumblebee's hum to find it working a willow blossom. Dutchman’ britches and squirrel corn are both in flower and confusing us with their identification. Also in bloom: spring beauty, round-leaved yellow violet, blue cohosh, northern fly honeysuckle and one lonely red trillium (or wake robin or stinkin’ Benjamin or nose bleed.)

April 26 – Hobblebush’s large white flower clusters are shining like a beacon in the woods. Saw an osprey flying overhead. Our chipmunks have emerged from their long winter’s nap – not hibernation really, just a deep sleep.

April 27 - Blue-headed vireo singing. The little sweet white violets are blooming in the yard, four dandelions, and our first shadbush blossoms. If that's what this morning’s sprinkle brought, I can't wait to see what tomorrow’s rain will bring.

April 29 – First rose-breasted grosbeak at our feeder this morning. What a gorgeous bird!

May 1 - First BLACK BEAR in our yard! It left pawprints in the garden, cleaned out the sunflower seed and tipped the compost. Everyone should be aware of this and put away bird feeders, carefully clean grills that are left outside, etc. If you see a bear near your house, especially if it’s a young one (long legs and long ears for its size,) try to safely scare it off so it learns that being near people isn’t safe. Bang pots or make other loud noises to try to get rid of it. If it doesn’t leave, it’s probably a seasoned veteran and there’s not much to do except remove all possible attractants.

-Becky Purdum, Tom Moran and Warren and Barry King

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Brisk Hill Climb!

A brisk and windy version of the Green Mountain Hill Climb yesterday morning saw about 40 runners charge up from the Town Hall parking lot to the top of Middlebury Gap. The winners were both stars of the Middlebury nordic ski team: Tim Reynolds for the men, in a closely fought battle with last year's winner Robert Lukasiewicz, and Alexia Turzian for the women. The prize for youngest runner went to Ripton's Rowan Warren. The race, which benefits the North Branch School, drew on the skills of many volunteers, led by race chief Mike Hussey, Mia Allen, Barry King, Sue Halpern, Bill Biederman, Chris Lacey, and many many others. In particular, the Fire Dept. did its usual fine job of directing traffic. Pictures should be available soon at

Bill McKibben

Ripton Farmer's Market

Greetings to Spring in Ripton and also to all Riptonites!

There is movement afoot to again have a farmers' market in Ripton. Some of this energy combines forces with the community garden, so there will be a joint meeting for anyone interested in either or both endeavors. It will take place at the Ripton School at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6th.

Please come if you can, whatever your interest might be, even if it is the interest of a shopper or a spectator.

Laurie Cox