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25 Nov 2008
Annual VT Christmas Bird Count

The Christmas Bird Count is a 109 year old event held each year all around the country. It is sometimes held on Christmas day but often takes place on other days in December and early January depending upon each local group's preferred timing. In Vermont, there are about 20 bird counting groups with the earliest counts starting December 14 and going through January 5.

This is a great way to get out and see some Vermont scenery and enjoy a day with local and out-of-state birders. You don't have to be an expert. There will be at least one experienced birder leading each group.

Detailed information about this year's count is available on the Vermont eBird.org website page. This website is a good source of information not only about the Christmas bird count but also year around information about birding in Vermont.

Two other birding websites I like are Virtual Birder (it has weekly reports of rare bird sightings around the state) and the Vermont Audubon (including links to the group's state office and local chapters).

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Advice , Events , Nature
posted by  grunhaus at  20:15 | permalink

22 Nov 2008
Several VT Ski Areas Open

Stowe - November, 18 2008 (photo copyright Stowe)

Five ski areas are now open here in Vermont. In alphabetical order (with number of trails open in parens) they are: Jay Peak (3); Killington (27); Okemo (17); Stowe (9); Sugarbush (7). Most of these ski areas have base depths in the one to two foot range. In addition to some natural snow, Stowe must have had the fan guns on the highest setting 24 hours a day last week- they have depths of two feet to four and a half feet.

I'm surprised that a couple of cross country ski areas are open already. Catamount Family Center, located in Williston VT (near Burlington) has 35 km open (perhaps benefiting from lake effect snow - Lake Champlain is a few miles west of Williston).

And Three Stallion Inn , a very nice facility in Randolph VT, has 25 km open.

To keep track of who is open, check the VT Ski Areas Association web site conditions page.

(c) 2008 (except the Stowe photo) Jeff Connor
posted by  grunhaus at  12:22 | permalink

21 Nov 2008
Unusually Good Sales in VT This Weekend

Somehow, long ago, the tradition of having super sales during deer season got started in VT. If you live here, you know what I mean. You see newspaper advertisements addressed to "deer season widows" whose husbands are off in the woods in pursuit of deer. The deer hunting season in this state is huge, and so is this kick off to the shopping season.

There are two super sales that you might be interested in as destinations or stop offs while traveling in Vermont this weekend.

One of the biggest sales is the Cabot Hosiery Company ("Darn Tough") annual sale in Northfield VT, just a few minutes drive from the state capital of Montpelier. The company has been holding this sale for 29 years and it is a big one. Cabot Hosiery makes socks for both indoor and outdoor wear. I plan to go tomorrow and load up on Merino wool socks.

I went to the Black Diamond sale a few years ago and was impressed with the great prices on outdoor wear, mostly winter jackets, pants, and hats. Black Diamond, located just outside Montpelier, has excellent good quality products.

Remember the famous line: "The more your buy, the more you save!" Our economy needs you. Well, actually, it needs your money.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Advice , Shopping , VT Products
posted by  grunhaus at  18:32 | permalink

13 Nov 2008
Another Great Megapickles VT Photograph

Today's Megapickles photograph of a Lake Champlain scene reminds me of a Salvador Dali painting - it just needs a drooping clock hanging over the tree . . .

One thing I do most every evening is go to Megapickles Photoblog (see link in this blog's right hand column), one of my all-time favorite web sites. John H is the website owner. He publishes a photo every day, usually of outdoor subjects but he switched to indoor subjects and even a self-portrait earlier this year after slipping on ice and ending up in a leg cast. Some of his recent photos around Burlington and Lake Champlain meant he had to get up well before dawn and drive around looking for opportunities before heading off to his day job. That job is as a Political Science Professor at St. Michel's College.

Not only does John post a photograph each day but also he includes a note about what music he is listening to at the moment. He has an deep affinity for classic and jazz music - his collection of albums and CD's must be staggering.

I suggest you take a few minutes to poke around his website - I'm confident you will enjoy it and appreciate the amount of work that goes into it. There are many brilliantly composed and rendered photographs there.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor
Advice , Nature
posted by  grunhaus at  21:11 | permalink

12 Nov 2008
Make VT Thanksgiving Restaurant Reservations Now

Google is a great tool for finding a list of local restaurants in Vermont that you can research yourself or discuss with your innkeeper.

Thanksgiving is coming up in two weeks. If you will be in Vermont then and want to eat at a restaurant that day, you should make reservations now. Many restaurants will be closed for the day and those that are open may be busy. Find out from your innkeeper which local restaurants are open and get reservations just to be safe.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
posted by  grunhaus at  20:08 | permalink

11 Nov 2008
Used and New Ski and Snowboard Equipment Sale at Okemo

Just came across a news item that Okemo, Ludlow VT, is also having a new and used ski and snowboard equipment sale November 21, 22, and 23 at the resort's base lodge. Friday's times are 4:00 to 7:00; Saturday is from9:00 to 5:00; and Sunday is 9:00 to 1:00.

If you have equipment you would like to sell, you can drop it off this Saturday, the 15th, Sunday the 16th, or next Wednesday the 19th - each day is from 10:00 to 3:00. Equipment should be in good condition and not more than seven years old. Items are sold on 25% consignment with proceeds going to Okemo Mountain School. For further information, contact Mariel Meringolo at mariel dot meringol at okemomountainschool.org or 802-228-1512.

I mentioned in yesterday's blog about the Waitsfield sale that I would like to see a fishing gear sale and, wouldn't you know it, the Okemo swap also welcomes fly fishing equipment! I'm tempted . . .

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Advice , Events , Shopping
posted by  grunhaus at  21:16 | permalink

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