Tuesday, January 26, 2010

First Blooms of Spring - Fancy News from Springfield Vermont

Spring is in the air for sure, what with all the precipitation in the form of liquid water that has surprised the citizens of Springfield, Vermont, City of Lights and Official Home of the Simpsons. And now, the sunny break is bringing out the color in the buds of trees all about, and the local kindergarten has brought out a string of kidlets for a trot on a nice bright day, making it brighter yet.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Springfield Vermont in Mid-Winter

It's a chilly but pretty time of year in Springfield, Vermont.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

the morning after the fire on Pearl Street, Springfield, Vermont.

The scene of the fire from the hill -

On visiting this morning the site of the demolition of the Pearl Street house that went up so completely and tragically last night, there was heard a buzz of conversation as citizens exchanged information and stories about the house fire and the people most directly affected by it, and more than one citizen asked aloud if recent fires were not in fact caused to some degree by the complacency of a slum lord mentality, in the same way that the theater fire may have been caused by slum lord complacency in not installing a fire detection and water sprinkler system in an ancient building carved most improbably into dozens of rooms - could it be that the practice of "grandfathering" or of taking advantage of an "old boy network" has the unintended result that buildings broken down into multiple dwelling units are allowed to persist as fire traps? Don't landlords oblige their tenants to keep a given property in good shape and safe to some verifiable degree? Is it really an invasion of privacy to have the Fire Department conduct safety checks now and then to try to help affected citizens understand the fire potential they are living with, especially in buildings that have the crowded configuration observed in recent building fires? Would the oft observed approach be preferable ever, to rent out a warren of rabbit hutches rather than upgrade the properties and have them inspected ever?

The house that burned last night, starting at dusk perhaps around 5 or 6 and of course lasting all night long, is described as having been a bit crowded, that parts of the house were more than a bit crowded (the term "hoarder" was bandied about very casually but not derisively, and not with any intent to be flip). It was heard commented that there were at least 3 or 4 apartments, and that one man remained trapped inside and died when the floors collapsed on him. As an example of the effect of panic, it is said that one man was seen to run frantically back and forth between houses with a glass of water at one early stage in the fire.

Could it be, that one or more residents chose to fight this fire themselves, too proud to let strangers in?

This morning the town of Springfield Vermont is as gently as possible tearing down the house on Pearl Street with a steam shovel to let the professionals get in safely, to retrieve the remains of the neighbor who perished in the fire.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fire in Springfield Vermont - Victorian Village Farm House on Pearl Street is Ravaged by Flames

No stranger to accidents or tragedy, Springfield Vermont suffers this evening the sad occurrence of the most rapid oxydation a frame-built home in downtown possible in these balmy Winter temperatures, in the burning of yet another fine old structure in the area of the old downtown, creating tremendous shock, grief and burden to the inhabitants, and taking away yet another piece of the historic patrimony that belongs to us all.

Traffic could be seen stopped and watching along the roadway across on the other side of the frozen Black River, even as crowds gathered along the hilltop overlooking Pearl Street, producing lines of cars and traffic jams rarely seen in Springfield, Vermont, as apparently all citizens with a police band radio or within site of the hideous column of smoke, came out to the edge to look down as into a fiery cauldron, to look down on the astonishing progress of the fire fully involving the Victorian Village Farmhouse in roaring flames, as equally brisk in devouring wood at the recently repaired gingerbread porch as at the carved fairee decorations at the peak, dressing the entire home in a hideous golden sheen and drenching the neighborhood with a disarmingly beautiful and rich golden glow.

At one point, a gas tank of some kind was seen to suddenly burn off it's outgassing contents in a long bluish flame of about four or so feet long. The fact that it was sitting outside in front of the house suggests that the lady living on the first floor there, known to use an oxygen tank in the home, had time to leave the house, and it is hoped that there were no injuries in this unfortunate house fire.

After photos will follow tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Do Pileated Woodpeckers begin carving up territories or exhibiting nesting behaviors this early in the Spring, in Springfield Vermont?

Bongo cannot help but to wonder, if it is one same, singular and individual Pileated Woodpecker, that has been seen showing up more and more in recent weeks in the immediate vicinity of the East Coast Operations Center for www.springfieldvermont.org (COMCENTSPFLDVT).
Sightings have certainly become more frequent - a Pileated Woodpecker has been seen mainly in the nearby stand of trees, loping muscularly from trunk to trunk like a combo squirrel/banshee/F22 creature, all elegantly articulated points and razors, with a smart black and white livery punctuated by a bloody red shock of a cap on top, and sporting a heat seaking eye on either side, taking it all in like a pro.
The strange cry of the bird can be heard often as well, very like a crow's voice and sounding like a phrase from the crow-ese but fuller and more southern in a swampy way, with a depth that seems to have an element that is like a reverbration, like an echo searching for the cypress and mangrove to gloam about in, vaguely dinosaurlische and lonely.
This very morning, while out filling the bird feeder, the call could be heard, and very near by - an exotic thickness in the brittle sharp cold air, arresting and attractive in an odd way.
A few minutes later he was suddenly visible from the steamy french press, through a window, twenty feet away, sitting in a berrie laden tree above that just-filled feeder, checking things out and generally upsetting the local chicadees.
There was barely time to get a shot off, and no time to adjust settings, but there was this brief image capture to share, proof positive of the Great Fun to be had, in Springfield, Vermont, Official Home of the Simpsons, and Jewel of the Upper Valley.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Nor'easter in progress, Crows re-group to assess the day's offerings

The local crows have a routine, here they can be seen comparing notes. Content to let the smaller birds have the seeds, they are waiting for the day's stale bread and over-ripe fruit goodies to arrive on the granite altar ...