Rainbow

It’s always nice to see the first rainbow of the season. Sure, one can remember what the last one looked like, or view a photo of a rainbow. But, there is nothing like the process of recognizing that conditions are agreeable for a rainbow to form, casting a gaze out the proper window, acknowledging the presence of the colors as they ease out of grey, and enjoying their presence, no matter how fleeting, as they fade back into sky.

Common Periwinkle

Even more so than usual, any gaze cast on the neighborhood illuminates beauty.

Far across the valley, buds, impatient to leaf, nearly glow white, yellow, gold, rust, and every shade of green.

Light green conifer tips shed brown husks that had jacketed them since late Autumn.

Now pollen clouds puff from limbs like powder, like snow did this Winter when wind first picked up ending a snowfalls calm.

Nearby flowerbeds promise Peonies, explode with Periwinkle, begging the question “to where is venomous Myrtle running?”.

In between near and far, Lilacs range every purple shade of which they are capable.

Black Squirrel

Grey squirrels frequent the yard. It’s always nice to see their big fluffy tails. It’s not uncommon to see squirrels with near hairless tails especially in town, where they dine on lead wires or flashing. 

A couple of years ago, red squirrels chewed their way into the garden shed and wreaked havoc gnawing and nesting nearly everywhere!

This handsome fellow is the first black squirrel I’ve ever noticed in the yard. I hope that he is well behaved, and visits often!

Wikipedia reports:

The black squirrel occurs as a “melanistic” subgroup of both the eastern gray squirrel and the fox squirrel. Their habitat extends throughout the Midwestern United States, in some areas of the Northeastern United States, eastern Canada, and also in the United Kingdom. The overall population of black squirrels is small when compared to that of the gray squirrel. The black fur color can occur naturally as a mutation in populations of gray squirrels, but it is rare. The rarity of the black squirrel has caused many people to admire them, and the black squirrels enjoy great affection in some places as mascots. In several U.S. states, as well as in Canada and the United Kingdom, black squirrels have been introduced into the wild in the hope of increasing their numbers.

Spring Green

spring_green

Pastel green seems to be most prominent this spring, along with smatterings of puce amongst still grey yet to bud limbs. As they have steadfastly through the winter, evergreens punctuate the hillside.

The palest and the darkest greens, at least for a while longer, now compare, contrast, side by side.

Geese and Buds

buds_and_geese

There aren’t many more reliable signs of spring than buds and geese. 

Already, ski season seems like a distant memory, even though we were skiing less then three weeks ago. In that time, the snowpack from “The storm of a lifetime” receded gracefully.

Mud season has been more than tolerable. Sunshine and wind has kept the quagmire that was the driveway passable. Mostly all the ruts have eased back into the surface.

Plenty of raking to be done, limbs to be cleared, grass soon to be mown. 

Breath is already missing the sharp sensation of single degree air in the lungs. Bared limbs have already basked in sunshine that will soon be strong enough to be felt in bones.

As the seasons change, so do our favorite sensations.

 

Red Buds

red_buds

The hillsides are awash in pale hues of red. Buds! Soon  to be leaves are finally becoming prominent.

Mornings still start with near winterish temps in the thirties. By mid-morning, however, it’s hard to believe the thermometer – the sun heats everything to near Summer warmth.

Daffodils are noticeable, snow drops have come and gone. It’s Spring!

Spring!?

spring

Winter seems to want to hold on.. Earlier this week, above, grass greened up by warm weather before Stella, snow covering everything else except the mud and ruts of the driveway.

Today, a beautiful day – cool but sunny and breezy.

All in all, mud season is going well, as the snowpack left by Stella is gracefully diminished. Spring sun is drying everything out. 70’s forecast for next week!

GRANTS AND RAFFLE KEEP HISTORY MOVING FORWARD

CTHS volunteers Pat Peltz, Sandy Wilmot, and Shirley Granger take a break to talk about their program’s big fundraising raffle and the newest display in the Museum of Local History inside Clifford’s Community Center. The Museum, along with the restored Hoover School and the Clifford Baptist Church, will be open to the public on the third Sunday of each month, 1:00pm-4:00pm, beginning May 21st.  Volunteer docents are available at each site to greet and inform all visitors. Easter Sunday all venues will be closed.
CTHS volunteers Pat Peltz, Sandy Wilmot, and Shirley Granger take a break to talk about their program’s big fundraising raffle and the newest display in the Museum of Local History inside Clifford’s Community Center. The Museum, along with the restored Hoover School and the Clifford Baptist Church, will be open to the public on the third Sunday of each month, 1:00pm-4:00pm, beginning May 21st. Volunteer docents are available at each site to greet and inform all visitors. Easter Sunday all venues will be closed.

 

CLIFFORD TOWNSHIP PA — Much like history itself, the Clifford Township Historical Society (CTHS) is constantly marching onward. Collecting, documenting, and preserving the wealth of historical information and memorabilia relating to the early settlement of Clifford and the surrounding areas keeps the small handful of CTHS volunteers busy. But without funding, its collective efforts will fall by the wayside. And history could be lost and virtually unknown to future residents.

Volunteer efforts, in-kind contributions, and quiet donations are very beneficial to keeping organizations like CTHS thriving. Since its founding in 2006, various grants have provided CTHS the wherewithal to not only establish the Museum of Local History and its numerous indoor exhibits, but to restore and enhance the Hoover School, present the Clifford Baptist Church, as well as create and ensure the growing efforts of the new Children’s Garden, the new Agricultural Museum, and the ongoing restoration of Yarns Cider Mill at Suraci Farm.

The majority of our grant resources have come through the Endless Mountain Heritage Region,” said CTHS President Sandy Wilmot, “which is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Through that program, another $16,000 is available to us for this year and next. Many previous grants have been matched dollar for dollar through our merchandise sales and the generous donations of volunteer labor, materials, and dollars from CTHS members and friends. But now we need more help to match this large $16,000 grant.”

Toward this end, CTHS recently developed an innovative way to help increase its funding to match the awaiting grant monies. “We’re currently running a 50/50 raffle of 1000 tickets at $50 apiece,” said Wilmot. “This raffle is the first major fundraiser since CTHS was founded eleven years ago. It will enable us to award 20 prizes ranging from $100 to $10,000, while giving us the much-needed funds to finish the Children’s Garden and complete the cider mill renovation, restoring its original apple-pressing equipment.”

Wilmot noted that raffle tickets can be picked up at a variety of businesses throughout the Clifford area, including the Endless Mountains Pharmacy, Clifford Supply & Auto, Greenfield Power Equipment, Ellie DeFazio’s Hair Salon, Dunnier’s Country Store & Six Pack Shack, and Cable’s Deli. Tickets are also available by contacting 570-679-2723 or swilmot@echoes.net; they are also printable from the CTHS website, www.cliffordtownshiphistoricalsociety.org. The raffle drawing will be held at 2:00pm on Sunday September 10th during an open house at the Cider Mill at the Suraci Farm. “We’re hopeful that our efforts to preserve the area’s history will merit the support of this raffle,” Wilmot added. “With only 1000 tickets being sold, each ticket has a 1 in 50 chance of winning – very nice odds!”

While the raffle is ongoing, CTHS volunteers are completing another fascinating new display inside the Museum. Beneath a sign that states “A person without knowledge of the past is like a tree without roots,” seven large display panels feature photos and other paper artifacts that depict 150 years of local history. Donated by area residents, these are primarily items that have not been previously included in the CTHS historical books written by Sally Fischbeck and local historian Pat Peltz.

The CTHS continually benefits from local area residents and its dedicated volunteers who share their time, countless talents and skills, as well as their own ancestral memorabilia to help further the group’s works and enhance the community’s education of area history. Those who have any historical items that they would like to donate or lend to the Museum is invited to contact CTHS at 570-679-2723 or www.cliffordtownshiphistoricalsociety.org.

Written by Union Dale freelance feature writer Karen Bernhardt Toolan for the Clifford Township Historical Society, with thanks to the Susquehanna County Room Tax Grant Fund through the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau.

 

How much different can heaven be?