Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dateline Woodstock
We know that for many readers, April is a month to enjoy the Spring. Here in Vermont, April is still a winter month with an indication that Spring may be just hiding. Lately signs have indicated that the Solstace is inching its way northward. Last week marked the official Ice Out over at Joe's Pond. In case you didn't hear about this event on the evening news (it probably didn't make the cut) let us remind you that the good folks over at Harry's Hardware in Cabot; Joe's Pond Country Store and Hasting's Store, Dente's Market, Hope Cemetery, Barre Optical, Berg, Carmolli and Kent, and Yankee Clipper Barber Shop sell tickets to people who guess when the ice will melt. Proceeds from the campaign go to local charities. Determining the exact moment of ice melt was always an imprecise science until some clever Vermonters decided to rig an electric clock and an extension cord to a chair placed out on the ice. When the chair plunges through the ice, the cord is pulled out of the electric wall socket, and the clock stops. When the cord is retrieved and the clock raised, the official "ice out" time is announced to the world. When we called Fred Brown to find out how the ice was holding up he told us "There is still ice on the pond, but the rule is the ice out time is determined by the time the clock stops. That occurred in an unusual way this year: the winds were strong enough last night to push the mass of ice north; the flag and the block on which the flag sits moved with the ice and broke the electrical connection, and that stopped the clock. If you pass by the pond, you will see that the flag is still standing! My neighbor Homer said he doesn't think it has ever happened quite this way before."
So, that's the story of Joe's Pond for this year. Tickets will be on sale beginning in July.

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