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2 Oct 2010
Smashing Pumpkins. Not the Band; This is the Real Thing

The 2nd Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival is being held at The Boyden Family Farm in Cambridge VT on Sunday, October 3, 2010.

There will be catapults and trebuchets in action throwing pumpkins hundreds of feet. Competition matches start at 1:00 in the afternoon.

Also, the American Chunker Air Cannon team from Merrimack, NH will be there early to launch its first public appearance. This incredible air cannon was recently completed after nearly a year's work and a $100,000 investment. The cannon has a barrel over 100 feet long and is expected to hurl a pumpkin nearly a mile. "Prepare yourself to be amazed at the latest and greatest in pumpkin smashing technology."

More information about this amazing device (big, expensive toy) is on the American Chunker website and their Facebook page.

To get to the Boyden Family Farm, you can plug this into your GPS: 44 Vermont Route 104, Cambridge, VT 05444

Or use this Google map.. The farm is Located in Cambridge at the intersection of Vermont Routes 15 & 104.

Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus

Events , Unusual
posted by  grunhaus at  20:44 | permalink

11 Sep 2010
Megapickles Vermont Photo Blog

I've written previously about how much I enjoy Megapickles, a daily photo blog by John Hughes, a professor at Saint Michael's. The Vermont landscapes and architectural photographs are well done and fortunately they make up the bulk of John's work. If you want to see what Vermont look like to a superb photographer, this is where you can find what you're looking for. The photo shown in the screen capture above is a good example. The reduced size here takes much away from how striking this photo is so please click the link and see the original. In fact, I suggest you go to the Megapickles website and see especially the photos posted between Sept 4 and Sept 11.

When I visit John's photo blog I'm reminded that there are many beautiful places all around the world and I'm fortunate to live in one of them.

Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus
Advice , Nature , Unusual
posted by  grunhaus at  20:43 | permalink

21 Jul 2010
Moose Watch

Photo credit: www.central-vt.com/moose "Montpelier, Vermont, the nation's smallest capital city had an unexpected visitor Monday, July 19th as a moose wandered leisurely during the lunch hour. This picture was taken by an administrative assistant at Vermont State Housing Authority on 1 Prospect in the city. A co-worker, Lindsay White, remarked that she loves the ruralness of Vermont, and this was the exclamation point of the day! "

I think the most frequent question we get from guests is "Where's a good place for dinner?" A close second is "Where can we go to see moose?"

Answering the first question is easy because we have dozens of good restaurants in the immediate area.

Answering the second question is tougher because we don't have dozens of moose hanging around nearby. We have one (perhaps more) around the inn that must come through about once a week judging by the fresh tracks we see that often. In fact a guest and his family last week pulled into our driveway one evening to find a moose standing right in front of them just a few yards off Route 100.

Moose are most frequently in remote, rural areas but they are located all over the state and, as seen in the photo above, they can even wander into a city This one was spotted in downtown Montpelier, the state capital. Once in a while deer are seen feeding on the state capitol lawn in the evenings but moose are a very rare sight in the city.

We have more moose road signs I think than actual moose. The last time I saw a statistic, the VT Fish & Wildlife Division estimated our herd between 4,000 and 5,000. In fact, the last two moose hunting seasons, F&W increased the number of permits to help reduce the size of the herd. This year, they reduced the number of permits back to 700 something. About 200 moose are killed by automobiles each year in Vermont. Moose have little or no fear and they will usually not hesitate to step in front of a car.

When I'm asked about where to see a moose, I tell people that you need a lot of luck to see one. For instance, the photo at the top of this blog was taken by a guest a few years ago through the windshield of his car. By the time he got the car pulled over and stopped to get out and take a better quality photo, the moose had already walked across the road (Route 100 between Warren and Granville) and was headed up into the woods. The point is that if he had left from our inn a minute earlier or a minute later, he would have missed the moose entirely.

But having explained that, we suggest the area around Island Pond, VT for good moose watching. Island Pond is a good central location for exploring the most remote part of Vermont known as the Northeast Kingdom (NEK).

The Appalachian Mountain Club website has a little primer on moose watching you might like to read. Note especially the warnings about getting close to these animals. They're not known for being aggressive but they are wild animals and you can never be sure whether they will attack. A mother moose (cow) will almost certainly be aggressive if she is with a calf.

An even better article is on the Island Pond, VT town website .

Route 105 is Vermont's "Moose Alley" but other roads such as 114, 111, 5 and 16 are worth driving as well. The back roads are also worth exploring but make sure you have enough gas in the tank before heading into backcountry.

But I would not go to the NEK just to see moose. I'd go to see the countryside with the idea that seeing a moose would be a special bonus.

Here is an enjoyable double (!) moose sighting video shot in the NEK by jenawesome

Good luck on your moose hunt! And drive carefully, especially at night.

Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus
Advice , General , Nature , Unusual
posted by  grunhaus at  16:02 | permalink

12 Sep 2009
Shelburne Museum Goes to the Dogs Sept 13

TiconderRover, winner of the costume contest in2007, wearing a model of the Ticonderoga steamship which is on display at the museum

Dogs, dogs,dogs. Flying disc dogs, retrieving dogs, pointing dogs, sled dogs, obedience dogs, agility dogs, police dogs, working dogs, dancing dogs, and even fashion show dogs in costume - they'll all be at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne VT Sunday, September 13 starting at 10:00 am and continuing to 4:30.

Shelburne Museum Goes to the Dogs is a fund raiser for area animal welfare groups and an admission of $10 for adults and $5 for children is charged.

The PAWsitively Vogue Fashion Show and Canine Costume Competition is at 1:30.

(c) 2009 (except the photo) Jeff Connor
Events , Unusual
posted by  grunhaus at  13:13 | permalink

11 Sep 2009
Killington Hay Bale Festival

If you are traveling around the Killington VT area in the next few weeks, you will see some unusual hay bale sculptures alongside the roadway.

They're part of the Killington Hay Festival, an annual exhibit of clever sculptures made of both round and square hay bales.

Get your camera ready and head out to see giant 30 foot hay bale structures fashioned into whimsical characters. There are 35 of them around the Killington area. The festival's website has a map of them so you can plan your tour. The exhibits are left in place through October. They are made by artists and enthusiastic amateurs.

Cabot Creamery is sponsoring the exhibit and providing free sample of their cheese at the Killington Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center on Rte 4.

You can stop at the Killington Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center on Route 4 to pick up a Hay Festival Scavenger Hunt guide and complete the quiz on Vermont agriculture. Answers are provided at each sculpture. There will be prizes and complimentary Vermont Cabot Cheese at the Welcome Center.

Some more photos are available on the festival's Facebook page.

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor (except the photographs) Grunberg Haus Inn
Events , Unusual
posted by  grunhaus at  22:24 | permalink

8 Sep 2009

I just found out that Magic Hat Brewing is having a "#9tacular" event tomorrow to celebrate 09-09-09, September 9, 2009. There's no mention of the next one a thousand years from now so it's best to attend this event which will be held on Church Street in Magic Hat's hometown of Burlington VT.

Magic Hat has a special affinity to nines because of one of the brewery's most popular beers is named #9. And if there's anything this company likes almost as much as beer, it's having a good time.

#9tacular starts at 6:00 pm and goes 'till 10:00. That's pm, not the next morning. There will be live karaoke, a performance by The Rubblebucket Orchestra band, a laser light show, a scavanger hunt to benefit the non-profit Burlington City Arts, and a chance to win a very cool #9 cruiser bike (contest ends Sept 18).

If you can't travel to Vermont for this, there will be many other #9tacular events around the country that may be nearer for you.

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor (except the Magic Hat artwork) Grunberg Haus Inn
Events , Unusual , VT Products
posted by  grunhaus at  21:10 | permalink

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