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Neighbors: Nice late-summer weather and upcoming moons

Hello neighbor.

So far, August has been kind to us — not too hot, not too humid, and most of the time offering a nice, gentle breeze to cool us off.

We all know August in Franklin County, and New England, for that matter, is known for its “dog days,” and there are probably a few of those ahead, but our lakes are open to swimmers and the Connecticut River is open to boaters, canoers and kayakers.

On a different note, we’ve got a couple of full moons coming up.

In August, the Full Sturgeon Moon will be on the 20th. Native American fishing tribes are given credit for naming this moon, according to Yankee’s Old Farmer’s Almanac. Sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, were most readily caught during this month. Hence, the name.

A few tribes called it the Full Red Moon, because as the moon rises, it appears reddish through a sultry haze. August’s full moon is also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.

Also according to the almanac, on Sept. 19, the Full Corn or Full Harvest Moon will be seen. Its name is attributed to Native Americans, because it marked when corn was supposed to be harvested.

Most often, the moon is called the Full Harvest Moon, occurring closest to the autumn equinox. In two of three years, it comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October.

At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the light of the moon. Staples like corn, pumpkins, squash, beans and wild rice are ready for gathering at this time of year.

Happy harvesting by the light of a beautiful full moon!

I HAVE ANOTHER REQUEST FOR YOU from Recorder editor Chris Harris. She is now working on The Recorder’s Fall Valley Guide calendar, which is a free listing for suppers, luncheons, fall festivals, historical society meetings and the like.

Please send her information about your fun event, if it is open to the public, by Aug. 30.

You can reach Chris at 413-772-0261, ext. 265 or email her at: charris@recorder.com.

JUST WHEN HE THOUGHT HE COULD sit back and relax to watch the Franklin County Fair Parade, Paul Calcari was asked to be this year’s grand marshal.

Calcari, who recently retired after serving 27 years as Greenfield High School’s music director, will be leading the entire parade this year, instead of just his award-winning marching band.

“After attending his farewell program in May, there was no doubt in my mind Paul was our guy,” said parade director Michael Nelson. “The stories of inspiration and dedication were incredible. The Greenfield community has a truly amazing man.”

The 35th annual fair parade will be held Sept. 5 at 5 p.m. from Greenfield Middle School. The parade will kick off the fair, which will be held Sept. 5 through 8 at the fairgrounds.

For more information, visit: www.fcas.com.

ALSO, THE FRANKLIN COUNTY FAIR is looking for volunteers age 18 and older to staff the children’s tent Sept. 5 through 8. If you or anyone you know is looking for a fun way to volunteer, call Linda at 413-774-4282 or email her at laf@mtdata.com

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO READ THIS SUMMER? Our neighbor Wilson Roberts of Greenfield has published his fourth novel, “Poet’s Seat,” which is now available for sale at World Eye Bookshop. In fact, his book is currently displayed in the front window of the store. The novel is about an agent who makes a decision that changes his life and sets into motion events involving the Mafia, Russian Mob, and poetry of Charles Bukowski in a small town called Graham.

Congratulations Wil!

His other three novels are “The Cold Dark Heart of the World,” a supernatural thriller, “The Serpent and the Hummingbird,” about serpent-handling Christian fundamentalists, and “Incident on Tuckerman Court,” about a UMass professor caught up in a whirlwind of violence.

OUR NEIGHBORS AT DAKIN Pioneer Valley Humane Society have been busy this summer, and I’m told the nonprofit is happy that it has reached a big milestone: On Aug. 2, its Community Spay-Neuter Clinic spayed its 40,000th animal, a 1-year-old pit bull named Kira.

The clinic, which serves dogs and cats within a 90-mile radius (including all of Franklin County) of Dakin’s Springfield facility, targets animals most at risk of becoming homeless. Those include cats, either living in low-income households, free-roaming or feral, and pit bulls.

The clinic assists an average of 1,000 animals per month.

For more information, call Dakin at 413-781-4000 or visit: www.dpvhs.org.

I HEARD THAT ANOTHER NEIGHBOR, Kevin Kennedy, who is director of Community Development in Orange, jumped out of a plane last week from 14,000 feet to raise money for the Northfield Dive Team.

The jump happened at Orange Airport. I’m told Kevin has expressed interest in looking at ways to use the airport as a way to drive economic development in Orange.

The event, which was sponsored by Jumptown, a skydiving school at the airport, raised $861.

“We had a great time,” said Kevin, who was among 14 other residents and emergency personnel who were on the plane. “What I’m impressed by is the outpouring of donations to throw me out of a plane. What is this?”

It was Kevin’s first jump. Wonder if he’ll go again?

Glad you made it to the ground safely, Kevin.

THE QUINNETUKUT II HAS BEGUN another season at Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center. You can take a relaxing cruise through the French King Gorge while learning about the fascinating natural, geological and cultural history of that stretch of the Connecticut River.

But, you must call ahead to reserve a seat. The Quinnetukut is on the river on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the season runs until Oct. 20. Chartered cruises are available.

For more information, call 800-859-2960.

COLRAIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY will hold its annual work bee and potluck picnic supper at the Pitt House on Thursday fro 4 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. The potluck will be at 6.

Tasks will include dusting, vacuuming and window washing, as well as cleaning out the abbey, dusting the barn, or whatever else volunteers would like to take on.

Volunteers are also asked to bring cleaning supplies for the task they choose.

People should bring an entree, salad, vegetable or dessert to share. Everyone should also bring their own place setting. Lemonade will be provided.

For more information, call 413-624-3453.

IF YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN TO SEEDS OF SOLIDARITY at 165 Chestnut Hill Road in Orange, now’s your chance. On Saturday, Seeds will give visitors a free tour in the morning and will offer an afternoon harvest market.

The tour begins at 10 a.m. with founders and farmers Ricky Baruc and Deb Habib. Visitors will learn about Seeds of Solidarity’s solar greenhouses, no-till cardboard methods of low-maintenance gardens, solar electric and hot water systems, energy-efficient buildings, and youth and community programs.

There is no cost or pre-registration, but donations will be accepted.

After the tour, visitors may bring a potluck item to share with others and enjoy conversations.

For more information, visit: www.seedsofsolidarity.com.

A FORMER SCHOOL HOUSE IN BUCKLAND, which now houses three floors of artifacts and town records, a furnished 1775 saltbox with five fireplaces, and a 1779 English barn with an antique barn loom and a shoemaker shop, will be open to the public on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.

The Buckland Historical Society will hold the open houses so that it may share the buildings and their contents with everyone.

The Buckland Historical Society Museum (the former schoolhouse) is at 20 Upper St. in Buckland Center. The saltbox, the Wilder Homestead, and its barn are at 129 Route 112 in Buckland.

I WANT TO LET YOU KNOW EARLY ENOUGH, so you can register if you are interested, that the Turners Falls Women’s Resource Center of Montague Catholic Social Ministries is offering MIND-Expanded, a free 60-hour training for women who would like to go to college, but aren’t sure where to start, or who need a little help facing the challenges.

The goal is to increase the economic opportunities for women with low to moderate incomes.

MIND-Expanded starts Sept. 3 and meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 4:30 p.m. for 12 weeks at 41 Third St. in Turners Falls

There will be group field trips to Greenfield Community College and participants will meet key people at the college who can help.

To register, call Christine at 413-863-4804, ext. 1003 or Vickie at 413-863-4804, ext. 1004. You can also email them at: christine@mcsmcommunity.org or vickie@mcsmcommunity.org.

The MIND-Expanded program is free to all women, and free child care is provided. A high school diploma or GED is not required to participate.

To contact Anita Fritz, a staff reporter at The Recorder, send an email to: franklincountyneighbors@gmail.com or call 413-772-0261, ext. 280. Information to be included in Neighbors may also be sent to: neighbors@recorder.com up to noon two days before you want it to run.

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