Surely, you, too, Reader, have noticed that this spring’s foliage in Sullivan County has been a kaleidoscope of color, almost as fantastical as the foliage of fall. Right now as you buzz down …
Surely, you, too, Reader, have noticed that this spring’s foliage in Sullivan County has been a kaleidoscope of color, almost as fantastical as the foliage of fall. Right now as you buzz down 17B the distant fields blaze in lime while to the sides of the road and up the hills the treetops explode in tufts of pale pinks, ochres, chartreuse. Have you seen anything like it? I have not but it makes one glad-giddy to see one more May.
Things are stirring. For two nights in a row now a bear has trashed the single garbage pail parked in my driveway and—in spite or maybe because of the spare pickings inside (a large bag of used cat litter)—the old oaf has dashed the pail to the center of Keller Avenue and hauled out its useless unsavory contents. Back behind my property line, armies of carpet bugleweed are rising from the grass. As they do every May, the beautiful sprigs have spread themselves out into a dense carpet of purple. Each flower, shaped like a bugle, peeks out from the stem under dark green foliage. This time of year I let my lawn grow till the bugleweed fades. Bees, butterflies and other insects depend on the plant at this time of year to tide themselves over until other flowers appear. These insects, in turn, provide a welcome diet to birds building and tending nests. If you can, hold off that first mow of the season this year. Bird counts in North America have fallen by 30% in the last fifty years due to loss of habitat, pesticide use and outdoor cats. By sparing your lawn an early cut, you help the flowers which help the insects which help the birds. Hey, we are all in this together.
Part of our natural world, too, is the world of humankind in our County and here, too, things are stirring. Recently the Town of Bethel held a townhall meeting about Town Law #1 of 2023: a Law to Regulate Short-Term Rentals (STRs) in its jurisdiction. The meeting, held at Duggan on April 26th, generated a lot of in-person and zoom commentary. The Smallwood Civic Association (SWCA) has likewise held two Zoom meetings in the last two weeks concerning STRs. But whereas the Town has legal authority to impose restrictions on how and where STRs are permitted within the town, the SWCA can only decide to what extent transient visitors renting property from an SWCA member for a short period of time should be able to use the private property and amenities owned by the entire membership of the SWCA.
With this debate in mind, Smallwoodians: write down the date. The first General Membership Meeting of the Association of 2023 will take place on Saturday, May 27th at 10:00 AM at the Association Lodge, and the topic of STRs is bound to again be discussed at that time. See you there!
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