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By the way for June 10

While there will be no July 4 parade in Bristol for a second summer in a row due to an abundance of COVID-19 precaution, there WILL be fireworks. The fireworks will be held on Friday evening, July 2, with a rain date of Monday, July 5. The fireworks will be set off in the same place as usual — the Mount Abraham Union High School sports field — by Northstar Fireworks. Parking will be provided by the Masons, and there will be several food and other vendors at the Bristol Recreation Department field. At this time, the number and variety of vendors as well as the presence of music is uncertain, according to organizers.

There’s a new gallery in town, and you are the artist. It’s the “Free Little Art Gallery,” and it’s located in the garden of Middlebury’s Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History at 1 Park St. Anyone can participate by creating a mini work of art in any medium. Bring your art to the Sheldon and place it in the Free Little Art Gallery. If you see a work you like, you are welcome to take it home with you. The Sheldon curators may select pieces from time to time to display in a future mini exhibit. For reference, the scale of the gallery is 1:12 (1 inch equals 1 foot). Keep that in mind as you create your work. Spread the word, tell your friends and family. Stop by often to see what new artwork has arrived.

Vermont Legal Aid is hosting a virtual legal advice clinic by phone for free civil legal assistance to Vermont seniors, age 60 and up, to answer legal questions about COVID-19 related assistance, federal and state benefits, housing, unemployment, or other civil legal issues. The clinic is slated for Thursday, June 24, from 9-11:30 a.m. Book your free 20-minute appointment by calling 1-802-318-4169. Leave a message with your name and number, and the best time to return your call. You can also book an appointment online at vtlawhelp.org/seniors.

As we drive Vermont’s roads, we’ve grown accustomed to keeping an eye out for deer that might cross in our path at any given moment. Well, local environmentalists remind us that this is the time of year when we’re likely to see a much smaller and slower animal risk it’s life getting from one side of the road to then other: turtles. According to folks with the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas Project, female snapping and painted turtles are now moving overland in search of open, sunny, lawns, gardens, and road edges to dig nests and lay their eggs. This will continue for the next month and it provides the easiest time to find and document them. Watch out for them on the roads. You can help them by moving them across the road in the direction they were heading — but always check for traffic first. If the turtle is colorful with red and yellow stripes, it is a painted turtle and you can move it safely. If the turtle has no red, yellow, or orange colors, it is probably a snapping turtle. Snapping turtles are nervous on land and will defend themselves. Keep in mind that their necks can reach just about as far as the length of their shells, so keep your hands out of that area to avoid a serious bite. Small to medium-size snappers can be safely lifted by the back of their shells (head pointed away from you). It is best not to lift a snapper by its tail, as you can do damage to their spine. However, you can slide a large snapper along the ground by grabbing the tail and a hind leg. Large snappers can be lifted by the bases of their hind legs (head pointed away).

The “Lunch ‘N Learn” series of Homeward Bound (the Humane Society of Addison County) continues with “Raising Guide Dog Puppies” on June 17 at noon. This one-hour Zoom session will be led by Candy Fox, who has fostered three guide dog puppies now happily placed with their people. She will share the rewarding, fun, challenging, and heartbreaking aspects of her experience. This is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. To sign up, email Hannah Manley at hmanley@homewardboundanimals.org.

Meals on Wheels provides so much more than a meal to seniors and shut-ins. The moment you knock on that door, you make a connection. The friendly visits, safety checks and nutritious meals are a lifeline to many. Now the nonprofit organization Age Well needs Meals on Wheels volunteers in Bridport and other Addison County towns. Time commitment is based on your availability: Deliver once a week or once a month — whatever works best for your schedule (weekdays only). Delivery is typically from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. For more information, contact Laura Need, volunteer coordinator for Meals on Wheels at lneed@agewellvt.org or 802-662-5279.

Further signs of society’s reawakening from the COVID-19 pandemic: Local libraries are starting to reopen to citizens for browsing and borrowing materials and computer use. For example, Bristol’s Lawrence Memorial Library is now open. Come browse all the new books and the art created by community members during the last year, now on display in the library’s entryway off North Street. Bristol residents are also invited to participate in an all-ages Community Collage project. Not all of the “action” is indoors. The annual outdoor Storytime for kids and toddlers is back, starting on June 17 at 10:30 a.m. Join Marita, her ukulele, and friends for stories, songs and activities (weather permitting). And don’t forget to make use of the summer pass program available at the library. Check out a pass to Vermont State Parks for free admittance for up to eight people and many other great passes for free or discounted admission to area attractions; learn more at lawrencelibraryvt.org/family-passes.

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