June 13, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Ligonier (PA) Resident: June 12, 2011



June 12, 2011

     The day—Sunday, June 12, 2011—dawned pleasant and sunny, with hints of summer heat as the day wore on. It was Ligonier Valley Community Days, when community resources opened their doors to residents to visit their facilities with no fees.

     There were six locations—the Ligonier Valley Rail Road Museum, the Valley Players of Ligonier (Ligonier Valley Theater), Antiochian Village, Fort Ligonier, Southern Alleghenies Museum of Arts, and Compass Inn. Somehow, my husband Monte, our friend Lois, and I managed to visit all but the Compass Inn. We live a mile from there and have access at any time, so when our time ran short, we chose to take a few minutes rest.

     When we arrived at the Rail Road Museum, it was still warm and sunny.

     “Should we lock the doors?” Monte asked.

     “Naw,” I answered. We had just emptied all the items from the car, and there was nothing to tempt criminals in this pretty safe spot. Not locking the doors, we also neglected to close the windows.

     You guessed it. As we were examining items in the museum, we looked out the window—it was pouring cats and dogs and anything else you can think of. We sat around the museum waiting for the rain to quit, rechecking the museum items several times over.

     The rain continued this way for probably a half hour. By the time we noticed, the damage was done. 

     When the rain let up to a drizzle, Monte went and brought the car to the museum door. His side suffered little. I sat in waterlogged car upholstery.

     On the way to the Ligonier Theater to watch their day’s offerings, I suggested driving to the top of the Ligonier Cemetery hill—with the weather, there might be a (more…)

August 7, 2010

Googins Island, Maine: An Osprey Sanctuary





Sign on Googins Island, Maine

     The sign was on tiny Googins Island just fifty feet offshore in Wolfe Neck Park, Freeport, Maine. My husband Monte and I were there for two reasons. First, I was walking all the mainland beaches between Lamoine Beach, Maine and Wallis Sands Beach, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. And second, this island was named after the Googins family, one of my ancestral branches (see THE GOOGINS GENEALOGICAL LINE section at the end of this post).

I could walk on the sand, but not on Googins Island

     At low tide, the area separating Googins Island from the mainland was almost like quicksand. Perhaps we would sink if we stepped onto it, I thought, as I stepped gingerly on rocks, avoiding the wet sand.

     I was disappointed that we couldn’t walk around this tiny island. I also wondered: What is an osprey? Why does it need “sanctuary?”

     As usual, I surfed the Internet. I discovered that one of the biggest natural attractions at Wolf Neck State Park is the osprey nest on adjacent Googin’s Island, viewable from the mainland.** Not knowing what to look for, I didn’t spot the nest.

     The osprey became rare as nesting bird, especially in the northern and eastern parts of United States where unsuccessful reproduction believed result of chemical pollution of waters and fishes on which Osprey preys.*

     It is considered a raptor—a bird of prey—and is listed in the biological order Falconiformes. It hunts for its food with its extremely sharp claws, excellent eyes, and powerful wings.

     The osprey, almost eagle size, measures (more…)

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