Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dateline Woodstock
More than a few readers out there have asked when we would be posting the current link to the Vermont Foliage Cam. There's good news and bad. The good news is that very colorful foliage is progressing southward from the northeastern corner of Vermont (aka the Northeast Kingdom, or just The Kingdom) about a 2 ½ hour drive towards Woodstock. Most years, peak foliage hits Woodstock on October 12th and there's no reason to think that this year will be any different. What makes one foliage year better than another is the condition of the trees about the time Mother Nature is telling them "STOP -- go into hibernation." This year we had a very wet June and July so the leaves (mostly sugar maples in the hills around Woodstock) grew to be very dense. A few years ago, we suffered a significant summer drought so the maple leaves were very brittle and thin. When the first wind and rain of Autumn hit around mid-September, the leaves came tumbling down, leaving at least 42 busloads of tourists scouring the naked branches of sugar maples, usually ablaze with an intense display of yellow, orange, and red. Not Autumn 2009 however. Judging from the fact that you can't find a place to park anywhere on Main Street after 8:30am, we'd say that the town is buzzing with tourist activity - which makes the merchants of Woodstock very happy, but sometimes aggravates the townspeople who sometimes tend to forget who pays the rent. Foliage season does require some readjustment of our lives however. For example, there's only a very narrow window of time when you can get anywhere near the Post Office in downtown Woodstock. Most likely where you live, the Postal Service actually delivers mail. Here, we have to go fetch it because, if the postmaster were required to deliver mail, then he would have to lock the Post Office while he was out making his rounds. We're not certain of this, but we guess there is some Post Office Regulation that requires a Postmaster to lock the Post Office when no one is there. Doesn't that sound like a regulation that the US Postal Service would have come up with sometime in its 234 year history? We're sure that more than a few Woodchucks eschew picking up their mail until after the tourists are back on their busses and life in Woodstock settles back to its normal solitary state, that is, until Ski Season cranks up about mid-December. A recent study by the American Association of Junk Mail Producers (AAJMP) indicates that the mail contains 82% bills, 15% catalogs, and 2% pre-approved credit card applications. So what's the hurry, they figure? The bad news? Oh, the foliage cam got eaten by a porcupine last week. Sorry.

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