Monday, May 19, 2014

Watch Out for Winter Moth!

Winter moth damage.
The Maple tree in our front yard has been decimated by winter moth caterpillars. I noticed it about a week after the leaves had come out—there was all this poppy-seed-like mess on our front steps. I looked up to see if I could find out what was causing it, and that's when I noticed that the leaves were nearly all chewed. It was a moment of horror as I realized that the black speckles were caterpillar poops. After some research, my husband declared that they are winter moths. Here's and article on them, and another

The next day was even worse. Not a single leaf remained untouched. The birds were starting to show up to snack on the wriggly, little bastards, but they can't get them all. Now I'm worried that they'll hop or drop to the next tree over. I can't stand the thought of using pesticides, but I can't bear the thought of the caterpillars consuming every tree on the block, either. Hopefully the expert will call back and offer some advice.

If you're here in Maynard, be on the lookout!

Her Real Name

I found out tonight that Connie's real name is Cornelia. Maybe you know who I'm talking about.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

One Red Tulip—Gone

Every few years David Mark, Maynard historian, plants hundreds of tulip bulbs at the intersections of Maple and Brooks Streets. He never plants the same way twice; is always changing up the colors, and every year, when the buds come up, I anxiously await the show.

This year the tulips closest to Summer Street came up as a field of yellow, with one exception. Emerging from the center of the whole patch was one red tulip. My five-year-old daughter and I got to have a nice conversation about it. It tied nicely into a sermon we had a chance to hear at a local Unitarian Universalist church. In the sermon, the minister was talking about making room for those who don't fit in common moulds. It was a beautiful sermon, and I found it to be very moving. So there we were, looking at the red tulip and talking about how it belonged there even though it was a different color.

Sadly, the red tulip went missing. David and I were talking about it, and he seems to think that someone just couldn't see it as anything other than a mistake in the planting—an affront to the garden's beauty. I'd prefer to think that someone just loved that red tulip so much that they needed to take it home with them, though I'm probably kidding myself. Whatever the case, they didn't know that the tulip was supposed to be there.

The whole planting of the tulips started as a kind of memorial to David's son, Daniel, who died several years ago. Daniel was always a great help to those of us from the Maynard Community Gardeners who gardened at Maplebrook Park. He would happily trim tree branches with his dad, and haul heavy garden waste away, never letting his disabilities keep him from helping us. When I see those tulips come up every spring, I am always happily reminded of him.

So next year when it's tulip time again, if you get a chance to see the flower beds, take a look and see if you can't spot something special there.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Whatever Happened to the 12:10 horn?

Has anyone noticed that the 12:10 horn is no longer sounding? People are looking into the matter. Information will be shared as it is made known.

Carry on.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Another Downtown Vacancy Slated for Filling? Interesting.

So here's what I heard, maybe you heard it, too—Miss Tricia's Dance Studio is looking into getting a second space on Nason Street. The current space is on Nason, but it's in the rear, down by the laundromat. She's considering expanding. I heard the plan is to get one of the empty spaces across from Gallery7.

I think this is a wonderful idea. It helps to emphasize how important the arts are to the community, whether we're art-makers or not. I think it will be good for Miss Tricia's business, too. Many of us overlook that back lot space, with part of her school (she still plans on keeping the old spot) right in the spotlight of downtown, she'll surely be seeing more traffic and appreciation for her work.

I look forward to seeing people dancing in our downtown (in addition to Flash Mobs, of course). I wonder if she's got classes for the double lefties who walk with canes. A girl can dream, can't she?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

What Went into the Old CVS Building on Nason Street?

It's no secret that the old CVS location on Nason Street is no longer vacant. Heck, I was singing the praises back in January when I found out that the building had been purchased. But have you taken the time to go down there and see what's going on inside? There's not a trace of he old CVS left.

Video Signals (the store that formerly occupied a spot on the other side of Nason by Porfino) bought the old CVS building, and since, has been remodeling it to showcase more and more of their massive collection of books and DVDs. It might sound crazy, but they've also managed to keep a space for paint your own pottery. It's a lot of different stuff—that's why they needed the bigger space.

If you haven't gone in there yet, you should. I was stopping in on a whim and stepped in to the bright colors of the store only to find a travel book that I needed. And the section of kids books is fantastic. No more going to another town to find that perfect kids book for a gift—Video Signals has a great selection of all kinds of books. All the merchandise is in pristine shape. And they have a really big room in back for parties.

But the main part of their business is DVD rentals. They have a huge selection. They offer a monthly subscription that allows you unlimited rentals of DVDs and video games. You might be able to walk down there from where you live, and you'll connect with real humans who actually care that you do business with them.

I am wishing them many years of good business. If they care enough to be in our downtown, then I care that they're here. I hope you do, too.

(Sorry my pictures are a little blurry. I was in a hurry and didn't have time to see how they came out.)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

After the ArtWalk

If you missed the spring ArtWalk, then you missed on the great opportunity to come together with the community to celebrate the arts. Rumor has it that it was bigger than last year. I'm sure next year will be even better.

I was there representing ArtSpace Maynard at Look Optical, and the event kept us busy enough that I didn't get out very much to see what was happening on the streets. I didn't even get to see the flash mob, where there was a large group gathered to dance to Billy Idol's "Dancing With Myself." Take heart, if you didn't make it to the event, here are some pictures taken by local photographer Dave Griffin. He even has some footage of the flash mob there.

Plan on marking your calendars for next year!

Who Are Our New Selectmen?

Just thought I'd hit you with quick "political" news.

It looks like we only have one new Selectman. David Gavin, the incumbent, has been reelected. Joining him on the Board will be Jason Kreil. Congratulations to both candidates. Now, let's see about getting some good work done.

The Slide at Coolidge Park

My blog title sounds like young-adult, mystery novel, but the reality is that there is some news to report on the slide at Coolidge Park!

Last week I heard a rumor that the big slide was going to be removed because it couldn't be insured. So when I saw earth-moving equipment there earlier I thought that surely today was the day they were taking it out. Not so!

A mom friend (S.M.) spoke to some of the workers there and asked if they were taking the slide down. The person overseeing the work said that they weren't; that they were removing some stone curbs and taking out the stairs—that it was those two things that were keeping the slide closed. She asked about the slide not being built according to the plan, and the overseer acknowledged that fact, but said that it was the stairs and stone that were preventing the opening.

So my fear that we would lose one of the coolest looking pieces in the park can now be put to rest. The slide might even be open when they finish up the work next week. Hooray!

(By the way, if you're not pleased with the uneven slide ride, those bumps are designed to help slow the kids down.)

Note: I was corrected—those bumps have something to do with the transport of the slide, and are not "speed bumps". Thanks for the correction Ken.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Maynard Community Gardeners' Annual Plant Sale May 17th

What would May be without Mother's Day, Memorial Day, and the Maynard Community Gardener's annual plant sale? Well, it just wouldn't be May, I guess. What's amazing to me is that this is the 20th year of the sale.

Full disclosure—I am a member. I have been for... let's see... maybe 15 years.

The annual Plant Sale is MCG's only fundraising event, and we use the money for everything we try to get done around town—maintaining gardens, planting downtown buckets, educational events, and even scholarships.

Mostly, I'd say, the group is about promoting town beautification and camaraderie through gardening endeavors. If we get you to plant a few things, great! If we turn you into a gardener, even better! If we get you to help us keep this town looking pretty, well, we might actually shed a tear of joy.

Let's start by getting you to come to the Plant Sale. Who knows where it will go from there.

The plant sale is May 17th, from 9am–12pm at the corners of Maple, Brooks, and Summer Streets.