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August 11th, 2014
If you have a woodpile, you may have come across a shed snakeskin — a translucent, onion skin-like wrapper imprinted with the snake’s scale pattern. Or perhaps you’ve seen one along a foundation or stone wall. Why do snakes shed their skin?
Most animals, including humans, shed skin cells, explained herpetologist Jim Andrews, who coordinates the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas. “The difference is that humans are continually shedding skin. Snakes shed only periodically; hence they shed the entire skin at once.”
NEW HAVEN — On the first night of the No. 1 Auto Parts Demolition Derby last week, 64 vehicular hulks that would never be allowed on public streets each made a hard, metal-twisting drive for victory and a piece of a $1,400 cash purse in what is arguably the biggest night of the Addison County Fair and Field Days. The lineup included 22 six-cylinder beaters, 22 four-cylinder rattletraps, 10 eight-cylinders jalopies, eight past-their-prime minivans and two pickup trucks that didn’t have a lot of pickup left in them.
VERMONT — An Essex High School track and field standout, a championship Rutland High golfer, and a teenage racecar driver were elected in statewide balloting of Vermont Sports Media Association members as Athletes of the Month for June.
VSMA members picked Essex High senior Katherine Furland as the Female High School Athlete of the Month, Rutland junior Drake Hull as the Male High School Athlete of the Month, and East Montpelier resident Emily Packard, 17, as the Open Division Athlete of the Month.
MIDDLEBURY — U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy told stories to a group of 50 invited media and friends gathered outside the new 100,000-square-foot Woodchuck cidery and bottling facility in Middlebury on Wednesday of how Woodchuck Hard Cider was part of the “holy water” he keeps in stock at his prestigious office in the halls of Congress.
ADDISON COUNTY — It’s no secret that Vermont’s farmers are aging, but a program run by the University of Vermont Extension aims to inject new blood into the state’s backbone industry.
ADDISON — Addison residents on Aug. 12 will have a second and most likely final chance to weigh in on a town plan update that the town’s planning commission has said would allow Addison to adopt some new zoning laws that have been on hold since late last year.
On next Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Addison firehouse, the selectboard will hold a public hearing on the update, which includes many new factual updates and maps, changes made to conform with state laws, and new sections on town history, education, economic development, and recreation and tourism.
The well-known garden quote, penned over 200 years ago by landscape designer William Kent, that is the headline for this week’s column still rings true today. Creating a beautiful garden is akin to making pictures where you, the artist, get to choose the plants and manipulate them on your canvas to create a vibrant glorious whole.
BRIDPORT — Local farmers and farm workers gathered at Bridport’s Blue Spruce Farm in late July for a farm-safety training workshop that consisted of basic farm first aid training, a talk on power takeoff (PTO) safety, and a hands-on fire extinguisher exercise.
The two-and-a-half-hour workshop was sponsored by Co-Operative Insurance Companies in conjunction with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and University of Vermont Extension.