2015 Dublin Town Meeting Recap
By Margaret Gurney

While a few articles were voted down this year at Town Meeting on March 14, they did not go down without healthy discussion. Only 24 articles on the warrant kept the meeting short, not quite three hours, and honors were bestowed on those who deserved recognition.

Jeannine Dunne, Town Clerk, oversaw the swearing in of several new officers to town, although several were not present. Town officers elected for three-year terms include Walter Snitko as Selectman; Judy Knapp and Bill Gurney on the Budget Committee; and Cemetery Trustee is Brooks Johnson. On the Planning Board, we have Bruce Simpson and Steven Baldwin, and the new Trustee of Trust Funds is Christopher Flynn. Bill Gurney will be joining the Library Trustees. Tim Clark was re-elected to both Town Moderator and ConVal District Moderator. Of the 1,192 voters on the checklist, votes were cast by 29% (346).
Jeannine Dunne, Town Clerk, oversaw the swearing in of several new officers to town, although several were not present. Town officers elected for three-year terms include Walter Snitko as Selectman; Judy Knapp and Bill Gurney on the Budget Committee; and Cemetery Trustee is Brooks Johnson. On the Planning Board, we have Bruce Simpson and Steven Baldwin, and the new Trustee of Trust Funds is Christopher Flynn. Bill Gurney will be joining the Library Trustees. Tim Clark was re-elected to both Town Moderator and ConVal District Moderator. Of the 1,192 voters on the checklist, votes were cast by 29% (346).

On the Budget Committee, departing members Rich Scheinblum and K Horgan each received plaques for their six years of service; Nancy Campbell received one for her 10 years as well as numerous other functions she performs for the Town. May Clark, who is retiring as Teaching Principal of the Dublin Consolidated School after 11 years, received a standing ovation. And to many, it comes as no surprise that Bill Goodwin won Citizen of the Year (see article below.)


As the meeting came to a close, Selectman Sturdy Thomas awarded departing Selectman Sterling Abram a Town clock for his service of three terms, mentioning what a great man he is to work with.

Sterling Abram completes three terms as Selectman. Photo by M. Gurney
Sterling Abram completes three terms as Selectman. Photo by M. Gurney

The operating budget approved at Town Meeting by the 101 residents who attended was $1,863,641, which is a 1.21% increase over the operating budget approved last year.

The budget included 2% pay raises for most town employees and an amendment was quickly passed to raise the salary of the superintendent of our Transfer Station as well (Selectmen had felt it was already at a par with similar positions in other towns).

We approved the repair / replacement of the Charcoal Road bridge, of which 80% will be reimbursed; Phase II of the Traffic Calming Project; installation of a new gas-fired heating system for the Town Hall, which includes removal of the old tank next to the Town Hall; and an upgrade to the generator that serves the Library, Town Hall and Archives buildings. Plus we will widen the bay doors at the Town Highway Barn, for which repainting was also approved.

We turned down an $80,000 proposal to update the drainage and pave the parking lot between the Town Hall, Library, and Archives, although mention was made of needing to upgrade the handicapped access between the buildings regardless. (Further plans may well follow, especially as a new Master Plan begins to emerge.)

While we approved $17,800 to upgrade the security system at the Police Station, we turned down the Chief’s $4,820 request to purchase a digital radar traffic speed display sign.

Rotten sills at the Post Office will be repaired, and repainting will ensure it maintains its ability to generate income for the town.

All necessary funds received approval; contributions were approved for eight human-service agencies that provide needed services to townspeople; and The Dublin Advocate is grateful for the continued support by the town.

Two articles submitted by petition received much attention. While we turned down the hiring of an environmental consultant for the management of town land recently logged, we ultimately voted to procure site-appropriate trees and shrubbery to restore a natural buffer adjacent to the Town Highway Barn.


Photo by Sally Shonk
Photo by Sally Shonk

Bill Goodwin Awarded Citizen of the Year

Bill Goodwin, shown here with the Town Clock award, was named Dublin’s Citizen of the Year for all his various commitments to multiple organizations in and around Dublin.

Bill is treasurer of the Dublin Historical Society, he is chair of the Dublin Public Library Trustees and chair of the Dublin Trustees of Trust Funds; he is treasurer of The Dublin Advocate, former chair of the Trustees of the Dublin Community Church, and member of the Dublin Planning Board. He serves as Lake Host program Point Person and is team captain of the Dublin Community Church’s biannual rummage sales.

On a regional level, Bill served as Division Chair of the Monadnock United Way Peterborough campaign in 2013 and 2014, and prior to that, he was Campaign Chair of the Monadnock United Way in 2012.

Beyond town limits, Bill is co-founding member and Treasurer of the Peterborough Folk Music Society as well as Treasurer of the Grand Monadnock Youth Choirs.

(See article for earlier mention of Bill’s activities, May 2012 Advocate, p. 13.)

Margaret Gurney is editor of the Advocate.


 6 tons

Town of Dublin
Public Notice

Effective March 16 through May 1, 2015,
all Town roads
will be closed to all vehicles over 6 tons.
For exceptions, please contact the
Road Agent, Brian Barden at 398-8546.



Dublin Public Library

April…the month we wait and wait for the hint of spring to arrive. While you wait, stop in the library to find books to really get you thinking: compost, gardens, compost, exercise, compost, spring clothes, compost; yes, the library really has books on composting. Take out a biography, mystery or a book by a favorite author — it’s a great way to spend a day of April showers.

Spring has arrived at the Dublin Public Library’s Wednesday morning StoryTime. The children formed eggs out of modeling dough and have been waiting for April to arrive to add the magic of color. We will learn about the real eggs we cannot touch as we wait for the robins and other birds to return. There will be plenty of fiction and non-fiction books about baby animals and we will imagine how it feels to have a tail or pouch!

Earth Day is on the 22nd during school vacation week, so we will have several activities available for young and old. New books that we will be reading include Cheer Up, Mouse!, What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? and What Does It Mean to Be Green? Refreshments are served and a different craft is offered each week. StoryTime is from 9:30 to 10:30 on April 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29.



Dead Wake by E. Larson
Art of Arranging Flowers by L. Branard
The Secrets of Midwives by S. Hepworth
World Gone By by D. Lahane
The Marshmallow Test by W. Mischel
Endangered by C.J. Box


Respond to FDPL Survey: Don’t forget to fill out the Survey (light blue) from the Friends of the Dublin Public Library. You can find it online (http://goo.gl/xj7fMC) and it’s also available from http://dublinlibraryfriends.weebly.com — or you can fill out the hard copy located in the entrance of the library. There is a drop box in the entry area or mail it to FDPL, PO Box 202, Dublin, NH 03444. Thank you.


Dublin Library Museum Pass Program
By Kim Allis

The Friends of the Dublin Public Library would like to remind members that the library is offering a terrific assortment of museum passes this year.

MUSEUM PASS COVERThe program provides free or discounted admissions to six area museums for patrons and their families to enjoy. Use your library card to sign out a pass to use on a specific date, enjoy your visit, then return the pass for another family to borrow. Here is the 2015 museum pass list:

  • Cheshire Children’s Museum, Keene, NH; www.cheshirechildrensmuseum.org
  • Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH; www.currier.org
  • McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, Concord, NH; www.starhop.com
  • Worcester Museum of Art, Worcester, MA; www.worcesterart.org
  • Ecotarium, Worcester, MA; www.ecotarium.org
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; www.mfa.org

Check out the websites for information about what the museum provides, plus times of operation.

Kim Allis is a member of the Friends of the Dublin Public Library.



Dog Licenses Due April 30
By Jeannine Dunne

The Dublin Town Clerk’s office has dog licenses available starting on January 1 of the year of issue of the license so that you can get them early, but please be sure to do it by the end of April to avoid additional charges.

dog woodcut

Bring your dog’s current rabies certificate or call ahead to see if the Town Clerk’s office has a copy supplied by your dog’s veterinarian. As long as we have a copy of the current rabies certificate, licenses can also be done by mail if you send a check and self-addressed envelope.

If dogs are not neutered or spayed, licenses are $9.00. For puppies 4 to 7 months old, neutered males and spayed females, licenses are $6.50 each. If the owner is more than 65 years old, the first dog’s license is just $2.00.

If you no longer have your dog or if you have any questions, please call the Town Clerk’s office at 563-8859. Thank you.


Jeannine Dunne is the Town Clerk/Tax Collector of Dublin.




News from the Dublin Women’s Club
By Jill Lawler


The Dublin Women’s Club Board of Directors and Beach Committee members have been busy this fall and winter making plans to come up with a long-term solution to solve our erosion-control problems at the Women’s Club Beach.

DWC Beach

We hired wetland scientists who completed a topological survey of the beach site. We now have a contract with an environmental consulting firm to work from the topological survey to design a plan that will control runoff, minimize the impact that our activities have on the health of Dublin Lake, and also allow for safer and easier access to the water.

It is our hope to have a plan ready to share with the membership at the Women’s Club Annual Meeting, which this year will be held at DelRossi’s on April 28. Once the plan is approved, the consultant, with help from the wetland scientists, will prepare the necessary permits required by the state.

While we know that we will not be able to implement the plan in time for this season at the club, we are excited to be moving toward stabilizing our waterfront, which is such an important part of Dublin summers for so many.


Jill Lawler is the Chairman of the Dublin Women’s Club Beach Committee and the Club’s Board of Directors.




Community Dinner at DCC: On Tuesday, April 21, the Dublin Community Church will host a family-friendly homemade dinner from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. Come one and all to join us for great food and wonderful company. Free for all.



A New Citizen

foster monsterFoster Winnow Lynch was born on December 14, 2014, to Riley Ahern and Graham Lynch. She weighed 6 lbs., 7 oz. Her grandparents are Daniel and Christina Ahern of Dublin and Nancy and John Lynch of Westmoreland.


DCF Accepting Scholarship Applications

Dublin Community Foundation is accepting scholarship applications from 2015 graduating high school seniors who are Dublin residents. A limited number of scholarships are available for students planning to continue their studies at a college or university, technical or business school.

The deadline for applying is May 15, 2015. Notification of awards will be made by June 15. Applications are available from guidance counselors at ConVal, Dublin Christian Academy, the Dublin School and Fairwood Bible Institute. DCF also welcomes applications from those Dublin students who have been home schooled. We can also send applications by email on request.

Completed applications may be returned to us by mail (DCF, PO Box 1036, Dublin, NH 03444) or electronically to dublincommunityfoundation@nullgmail.com.




Woodcut Prints by Graham Blair
Woodcut Prints by Graham Blair

DHS: Dublin Historical Society has rescheduled Ben Kilham’s talk on black bear behavior for Friday, May 1, at 6 pm at the Dublin Consolidated School.






Attention 2015 College Graduates

Announce your graduation from college or graduate school in the May issue of the Advocate. Please send your photo (head and shoulders) and a short paragraph about your plans to DublinAdvocate@nullgmail.com by April 15. Since not everyone is on Facebook, let your neighbors know about your success; make sure you are entered into the Dublin Archives through these pages. Thanks, and congratulations.



Rummage Sale: May 1 & 2
Dublin Community Church
Time for a new wardrobe? Looking for something special?
One never knows what can be found at the Rummage Sale. See you there!
Help needed setting up. Call 563-7476 for more information.




Hub Art Opening April 18
By Nancy Jackson


Joyce Fearnside is a printmaker, a woodcut printmaker. She summered in Dublin as a child and knows the area well. “What I see in nature becomes distilled into print expression,” she says. “By age twelve, I was a woodcut maker. After many years of experimenting, I continue to explore printmaking, including reduction and white line woodcut techniques.”

Joyce has been teaching classes at the Sharon Arts Center on art, printmaking and book arts among various other venues, and exhibits her work in many New England galleries. Recently, she published an early children’s book entitled Five Fantastic Frogs. She loves to wander the brooks and rivers in Peterborough, where she resides, and watch the beaver at work. She plans another book on brooks and beavers. Her prints are found in private collections across America.

The opening will be held April 18 from 5 to 7 pm at the Dublin Community Center; refreshments are served. Her show will continue through April. All are welcome to attend.


Nancy Jackson serves on the board of the Dublin Community Center.






Birdfeeders and Bears Don’t Mix

Reduce the chances of bear visiting your home.

By Jane Vachon


Beginning in late March, the sun is strong and melts snow fast. With warmer days, bears start to get active so now is the time to put the birdfeeders away until late fall to help prevent bear visits. NH Fish and Game Department recommends taking down birdfeeders between April 1 and December 1.

Take action now to prevent attracting a bear to your home. If a bear gets to the birdfeeder before you remove it, you encourage foraging behavior by bears near residential areas. A single food reward will cause the bear to return and continue to search the area for food.

If you have questions about bear-related problems, call 1-888-749-2327 (1-888-SHY-BEAR), which is a toll-free number coordinated jointly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services and the NH Fish and Game Department.

Avoid encounters with bears by taking a few simple precautions (Photo courtesy NHFG):

  • Stop all bird feeding by April 1.
  • Clean up any spilled birdseed and dispose of it in the trash.
  • Secure all garbage in airtight containers inside a garage or adequate storage area, and put garbage out on the morning of pickup, not the night before. If using a dumpster, inform your dumpster company that you need a dumpster with metal locking tops and doors that are inaccessible to bears and other wildlife.
  • Avoid putting meat or other food scraps in your compost pile.
  • Don’t leave pet food dishes outside overnight.
  • Clean and store outdoor grills after each use.
  • Finally, never feed bears!

These steps are important because they prevent property damage by bears and prevent bears from becoming nuisance animals. For more information on preventing conflicts with black bears, visit wildnh.com/Wildlife/Somethings_Bruin.htm.


Jane Vachon handles public affairs for NH Fish and Game in Concord, NH.





What’s in a Name?
How we got from Mechanics’ Row to Church Street.
By Felicity Pool


It would be hard to guess why Church Street was once named Mechanics’ Row, sometimes called simply The Alley. In the first half of the 20th century, it was the place to go to find Dublin’s contractors, painters, a plumber or a blacksmith. Descending from Upper Jaffrey Road and climbing to Main Street between Town Hall and what is now the Police Station, Mechanics’ Row was also home to several of Dublin’s garage owners.

This pre-1909 postcard image shows Mechanics’ Row looking north from Our Lady of the Snows church. We know it is pre-1909 because the Leffingwell Hotel, which burned to the ground in November 1908, is in the upper right corner. This postcard was published by Henry D. Allison, owner of the store on the oval at that time, and chronicler of birds and wildlife in this area. Postcard courtesy Dublin Historical Society
This pre-1909 postcard image shows Mechanics’ Row looking north from Our Lady of the Snows church. We know it is pre-1909 because the Leffingwell Hotel, which burned to the ground in November 1908, is in the upper right corner. This postcard was published by Henry D. Allison, owner of the store on the oval at that time, and chronicler of birds and wildlife in this area. Postcard courtesy Dublin Historical Society

Charles Howe, farmer and mechanic, built the first house in 1890 at the street’s southeast end near the Upper Jaffrey Road (#71). In 1907, Howe sold the house and barn to contractor Thomas Willard Sanders who ran his contracting business at the site. Ernest Gay, the town’s only plumber, was a tenant with his wife and twin girls. The house stood from 1890 to 1914 when it burned. The remaining barn was rebuilt by Thomas Hyman, well-driller and general contractor, who lived there with his wife and three children from the 1940s into the 1990s.

Farther to the north and on the road’s other side, carpenter/contractor James Brockway built his house (#42) in 1908 on the slope next to Our Lady of the Snows church (consecrated in 1905) above what would later be the town’s ball field. Brockway married into the Clukay family and ran his business from home. In the July 1909 Dublin News, he advertised his carpentry skills (phone number 38-2). Brockway appears on the town checklist until at least 1950. The house was acquired by mechanic Lawrence Gilman who lived there with his family and operated Gilman’s Garage, which relocated from the village to the site of what is now Morning Star Maple on Route 101.

Up the hill to the north, at what is now #22, Alfred F. Greenwood, housepainter, built a house in 1911. With his adopted son, William, a business partnership was formed. At some point before the Greenwoods sold the property in 1930 to Millard (“Spook”) and Dorothy Worcester, the Greenwoods apparently relocated and another painter, named Shea, carried on at the site. Spook operated Worcester’s Garage on the village oval (currently the site of AVA Restoration).

Starting in 1905, Dublin’s last active blacksmith, James A. Porter, lived and worked across from the Greenwoods in a house (#23) built by friend and contractor/neighbor, James Brockway. As there was more and more call for car maintenance and less for shoeing horses, blacksmithing dwindled and Porter left town in 1919. The house was sold in 1931 to William Thompson who ran the garage later operated by Larry Gilman. In 1959, the property was acquired by the Brening family.

It seems likely that the street name went from identifying a hub of business to reflecting a church site in 1952, when official road names were laid down at the town’s Bicentennial.


Felicity Pool is a member of the Dublin Historical Society.





Cobb Meadow Hosts Puppet Show

When we can’t find spring outdoors, we can easily find color and beauty indoors at Cobb Meadow School.

Van, Calvin, Hazel, Dylan, Elwyn, Elliot and Gavin scale Mt Cobb Meadow looking for spring! Wren and Kaya show that coming down is a little faster.
Van, Calvin, Hazel, Dylan, Elwyn, Elliot and Gavin scale Mt Cobb Meadow looking for spring! Wren and Kaya show that coming down is a little faster.

Cobb M 4

Van, Calvin, Hazel, Dylan, Elwyn, Elliot and Gavin scale Mt Cobb Meadow looking for spring! Wren and Kaya show that coming down is a little faster. Wren is grinding the rye and while Dylan and teacher Lucy Watkins are churning the butter for Wednesday's bread; Miles waits to put his muscles into action. Gavin is busy in foreground.
Wren is grinding the rye and while Dylan and teacher Lucy Watkins are churning the butter for Wednesday’s bread; Miles waits to put his muscles into action. Gavin is busy in foreground.

The sap is rising now, and the activity at school is happy and busy. Please join us at the Peterborough Unitarian Universalist Church April 11, at 11 am, for a puppet show and luncheon fundraiser to benefit our financial assistance fund.




DCP Outdoors: Children at Dublin Community Preschool playing in the woods one sunny day. Brodie Jadis, 4, of Dublin, balances in the saplings.




News from the Dublin Consolidated School
By May Clark


April is Read-a-thon month! We’ll be counting our minutes for two weeks, trying to break our record for minutes read last year. We’ll have a mascot, and Super Bookworm will, no doubt, be making an appearance. We’ll wrap it up with a celebration lunch, provided by the PTO, just before the vacation week starts. Going along with Read-a-thon is Turn Off TV week, where children who choose to participate will limit all screen time to schoolwork only.

Literacy Night arrives just as these events are winding down. It’s one of our favorite events of the year, where students bring their families and visit three different artists of various sorts for a wonderful two hours of fun. And everyone is invited to Literacy Night on April 16 at 6 pm!

The other thing that is coming up this month is perhaps not quite as much fun, but we will all learn a lot. New Hampshire’s new state test, replacing the NECAP, is called the Smarter Balanced Assessment. All students in grades 3 through 5 will take it in April. It will cover reading and math, and is done on computer. There will be an adaptive section, very much like the NWEA testing we already do, and a performance assessment section. We’ve seen some sample questions, but don’t really know quite what to expect. What we do know is that it will be a learning experience for us all!

We’ve got some wonderful classrooms and kids to see — please visit if you’d like — just call or email first.

May Clark is Teaching Principal at DCS. She can be reached at 563-8332 or mclark@nullconval.edu.




Clean Waters – Part 2: Septic Systems
By John Morris


In the November issue of the Advocate, Felicity Pool wrote a compelling piece about how we should protect our water bodies and waterways. There are several things each of us can do to help. This is the second in a series of several topics that can affect water quality. Last month I wrote about controlling storm water runoff, probably the biggest carrier of pollutants into waterways and water bodies.

The second topic that affects water quality is septic systems. Dublin relies on private septic systems for handling waste. There are strict guidelines for building new septic systems that require setbacks from waterways, testing of soils, design of systems, etc. Existing systems need continuous care to avoid damaging them and releasing pollutants, and possibly requiring replacement, which can be costly. The waste handled by septic systems has pollutants such as e-Coli bacteria and dissolved phosphorus, both of which are harmful to our waterways and water bodies (and our well water!). Animal waste has the same pollutants, so please clean up after your pet as well.

Ask yourself these questions:

Do you know what type of system you have? Has your septic tank been pumped out on a regular schedule, as advised by your septage hauler? Have you noticed septic smells around your septic tank or leach field? Are there wet areas in or around your leach field?

If you answered yes to any of these, maintenance work is needed. Septic tanks should be pumped out regularly. The frequency depends on many variables, so ask your septage hauler. Delaying pumpouts can permanently damage your system. Smells usually indicate that septage is leaking out without being properly filtered. Avoid driving over leach fields.

More information can be found from the New Hampshire DES especially “Fact Sheet: You and Your Septic System” (http://des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/pip/factsheets/ssb/documents/ssb-13.pdf) or by asking whoever maintains your septic system.

The better our septic systems are built and maintained, the cleaner our water bodies and waterways will remain.


John Morris is on the Dublin Conservation Commission, Dublin Lake Preservation Committee, and Dublin Planning Board. He can be reached at 563-7042 or jamnh@nullmyfairpoint.net.




Exhibits at Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery

The Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery, located on Wyman Way on the campus of Keene State College, offers an ongoing show called Intersection: Art, Culture, and Identity II, Object-based learning using the Thorne’s permanent collection.

From April 18 through May 9, the gallery is opening Emerging Art: KSC Art Student Exhibition in which the KSC Art Department showcases work by 11 BFA and 5 BA graduating seniors. The public reception will be held Friday, April 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

Inquiries may be made at thorne@nullkeene.edu, visit www.keene.edu/tsag, or call 358-2720.

Gallery hours are Sundays through Wednesdays from noon to 5 pm, Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 7 pm, and Saturdays from noon to 8 pm.




Harry Meiklejohn 1926-2015: A Remembrance
By Sally Shonk


Harry Meiklejohn and his wife Doris moved to Dublin in 1996. Harry was born in Scotland and served in the Royal Navy and also worked for the Cunard Steamship line. He was a friend of the Dublin Public Library and the Dublin Community Center.

Harry met my father, Peter Shonk, at the recycling center. Harry and Doris became regular visitors to our house, chatting with Mom and Dad and sharing Doris’s wonderful pastries at tea time.

Harry was a kind, considerate soul who loved traveling around the world, always coming home to his favorite place, his home in Dublin on the banks of the Howe Reservoir.

There will be a memorial service at the Harrisville Community Church on May 2 at 11 am.


Sally Shonk is on the staff of the Advocate.


Note: For an earlier article on Peter Shonk’s legacy, see the front page of the Advocate April 2013, when he was awarded Dublin’s Boston Post Cane.




John Allis: No sooner was March in the air, and the roads somewhat clear, than John Allis hopped upon one of his hundreds of bicycles to head into Carr’s Store to get the newspaper. John, a former Olympian bicyclist, repairs bicycles of various vintages. He is an enthusiast of the highest order. He actually rides all year round, including snow and sleet (but not rain), and that’s what’s funny. He’s all bundled up on his three-speed with the basket and everyone else is snug in their cars with heated seats.




10th Annual Spelling Bee on May Day
By Laura Sebert


Join The River Center on Friday, May 1, at 7 pm for the 10th Annual Community Spelling Bee at the Peterborough Players. This is a major fundraiser for The River Center, which is a family and community resource. Individuals, businesses, service and faith organizations can donate toward the Spelling Bee at www.rivercenter.us, email info@nullrivercenter.us, or call 924-6800.

Join the fun by forming your own team comprised of three people from local businesses, organizations and families, and compete for the honor of top speller.

Raffle tickets will be sold in advance for your choice of an IPad Mini, a cord of wood, a one-year membership to the Bond Wellness Center, or a Bose Soundlink speaker.

Purchase tickets at www.rivercenter.us/content/spelling-bee-raffle-tickets. Admission is $5 at the door.

Laura Sebert is Employment & Outreach Specialist at The River Center, 46 Concord St., Peterborough, NH 03458.




The Timberdoodle
Come to an evening “Woodcock Watch” on April 10.
By Tom Warren


Many people believe that owls are the only birds to be observed at night, but not all night birding involves owls — as the unique inland shorebird known as the Woodcock, or the Timberdoodle, shows us.

Photo by Joy Marzolf, Mass. Audubon Broadmoor Sanctuary, Natick, MA.
Photo by Joy Marzolf, Mass. Audubon Broadmoor Sanctuary, Natick, MA.

The conservationist, Aldo Leopold, commenting on the woodcock’s spring courtship flights, states that the dawn and dusk “sky dances” are a “refutation of the theory that the utility of a game bird is to serve as a target, or to pose gracefully on a slice of toast.”

The woodcock has several specializations that differentiate it from its cousins that you can see on sandy beaches in summer. A long bill for feeding on earthworms, a stout head with large eyes set in back for rearview binocular vision, a polygamous mating system and a mottled, brown plumage that blends in with the forest floor are a few of its trademarks.

It has many colorful vernacular names such as Timberdoodle, Labrador twister, night partridge and bog sucker. Approximately 2 million are shot annually by hunters, but they have not declined in numbers because coniferous forests in the north have been opened by large-scale harvesting. They prefer to live in young forest near wetlands.

The Timberdoodle is best known for its unusual courtship display, which begins promptly about 15 minutes after sunset (or when the light level reaches 0.05 foot-candles, for those technically oriented). The male flies from his day roost to an opening in a field, makes a peculiar “peent” sound for a minute and then rises in the air in a series of spirals, making a twittering sound caused by the air rushing through his primary wing feathers and, when he reaches about 300 feet, returns to earth with a warbling call and begins his peent call again at, or close to, the same location. The female is nearby and he will walk up to her fluttering his wings vertically and raising up his tail while bobbing his head. He will repeat this show for about 20 minutes.

On moonlit nights the show goes on for hours. It is repeated at daybreak. The night show advances by one minute each evening and decreases by two minutes daily in the morning. Apparently, romance tires.

The female lays four eggs in a shallow depression. The eggs hatch lengthwise (this is unique to the woodcock) from the shell in 21 days and as soon as they are dry, the young can take care of themselves. The male provides no parental help with the raising of the young and will often continue his romantic displays while the female incubates the eggs.

Woodcocks spend the winter in the southern United States. A heavy snowstorm in April can kill woodcocks because they cannot find earthworms in a snowy field.

There will be a “Woodcock Watch” at Tom Warren’s cottage at 91 Charcoal Road on April 10 at 7:30 pm. All are welcome.

Tom Warren is a Trustee of the Harris Center for Conservation Education based in Hancock and New Hampshire Audubon.




Emerald Ash Borer Poses Big Threat
Landowners can take steps to protect their ash trees.


By Eric Aldrich

The emerald ash borer, a green beetle that’s native to Asia and eastern Russia, accidentally arrived in shipping material in Michigan in 2002. It has since been spreading throughout the eastern U.S. and Canada, killing millions of ash trees, usually within five years of its introduction. This includes all North American ash species: green, black, white and blue ash.

The beetle reached New Hampshire in 2013. It is known to infest ash in nine New Hampshire towns between Salem and Canterbury. The closest infestation in our region is Mont Vernon, where it was discovered this year.

Em Ash Borer adult_on_leaf

Steve Roberge, the UNH Cooperative Extension forester for Cheshire County, likens the threat of emerald ash borers to the way Dutch elm disease killed the big, old elms that once lined our streets.

About 4 percent of the tree species in New Hampshire’s forests are ash – mostly white ash – and the farther west you go, the more you find ash, Roberge says. Ash is commercially important, providing a key part of the firewood mix. As a straight-growing species, ash is also milled into flooring, basket-weaving material and other products.

Most of the harm done by the emerald ash borer occurs when the beetle is in its larval stage, feeding beneath the bark, in a tree’s phloem and cambium. Eventually, the borer’s feeding paths disrupt the tree’s flow of nutrients, essentially girdling the tree. Most susceptible are unhealthy ash, though the borer can kill big, healthy trees too.

In an effort to slow its spread, state forestry officials have issued a quarantine for all of Hillsborough, Merrimack and Rockingham counties. The quarantine prohibits the movement of hardwood firewood and all ash products, unless certain conditions are met, regardless of whether they show signs of infestation.

Detecting an infestation can be a challenge. You can look for D-shaped exit holes left by adults emerging from the bark. Another sign is when woodpeckers feed on infested trees, scratching the outer bark, leaving light-colored patches called blonding. Infested ashes will also lose their leaves as they succumb.

If there are biological ways to control emerald ash borer – like a predatory insect – researchers haven’t found it yet. But they’re working on it.

There are steps landowners can take to protect their ash trees. Arborists and foresters can offer advice on treatment, removal or replacement. Some treatment may involve use of insecticide, which is best used by a licensed applicator. To learn more, contact Steve Roberge, Extension Forester in Cheshire County, UNH Cooperative Extension, 33 West St., Keene, NH 03431; 603.352.4550; steven.roberge@nullunh.edu.


Eric Aldrich writes from his home in Hancock.

Note: This article, which first appeared in the Bobcat’s Tail (online newsletter of the Harris Center for Conservation Education in February 2015), has been edited and reprinted with permission of the author.




Breaking News from the FDPL

Tuttle's book coverPeter Tuttle will be speaking about his new book on Saturday, April 25th at 10 am at the Dublin Public Library. He will be signing and discussing The Porch of Common Prayer, a meditation on happiness to be found where you are, with the people among whom you find yourself, and maybe — as he and his wife Edie have found — that’s on the porch of a small-town general store.

The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Dublin Public Library.




Jazz Sunday at DCC

The Dublin Community Church will hold its annual Jazz and Gospel service Sunday, April 26, at 10 am. The choir anthems and congregational hymns will feature well-known gospel music and spirituals, accompanied by Scott Mullet on the sax and his jazz quartet.


The church is accessible and babysitting is provided. For more information, or if you would like to participate in this joyous event, call Barbara Summers, 563-7184.




Three Art Shows at the Jaffrey Civic Center


The Jaffrey Civic Center announces the retrospective exhibit of Shannon Stirnweis: a lifetime of efforts in the art of painting. The show began March 20 will be in the second floor Cunningham Gallery and will run through Saturday, April 18.

Shannon graduated with Distinction in 1954 from Art Center College of Design. After serving in the army he returned to art as an agency sketch man, then doing childrens’ books, magazine adventure illustration and paperback novel covers. His work has been shown in the Smithsonian and Museum of the City of New York, and is part of the permanent collection of the US Air Force, the US Coast Guard, and the US Army Museum, Dept of the Interior, and others.

Also, Ann Sawyer’s watercolors will be on display in the first floor Display Cases through Thursday, April 9. The artist explains, “For over 50 years I have found inspiration for my painting on our fifth generation dairy farm in Jaffrey, NH. I am creating paintings of farm life and a celebration of domestic animals, beautiful creatures who touch our lives in a wonderful way with their service and devotion. This is their legacy to us for which I am so grateful.”

In a third exhibit going through April 18, Scott Niemi will be exhibiting his colorful acrylic and oil paintings in the first floor Auditorium Gallery of the Jaffrey Civic Center.

The hours at the Jaffrey Civic Center (40 Main Street, Jaffrey) are Tuesdays 10-6, Wednesdays through Fridays 1-5, and Saturdays 10-2. For information, call 603-532-6527, email jaffreycntr@nullaol.com, or visit www.jaffreyciviccenter.com.




Rotary Speakers in April
By Sue Copley


The Monadnock Rotary Club meets in the lower level of the Dublin Community Church on Tuesday mornings at 7:30 am for fellowship, breakfast, updates on our service projects, and to hear a speaker of interest to club members. You are welcome to attend.

April 7: Dale Gabel, “Club Assembly Meeting”
April 14: Joyce Carrol, “The Cornucopia Project”
April 21: Leonard Matczynski, “Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music”
April 28: Sean Ryan, “Peterborough Chamber of Commerce”

If you are interested in learning more about the Monadnock Rotary Club, please contact President Dale Gabel at dggabel@nullmail.com, or Membership Chair Jerry Branch at jerrybranch2@nullgmail.com.


Sue Copley is a member of the Monadnock Rotary Club




Other Local News

Discover WILD New Hampshire Day will be held on Saturday, April 18, from 10 am to 3 pm at the NH Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH. A fun family day with live animals, big fish, hands-on activities, and exhibits by outdoor and environmental groups. Help Fish and Game celebrate 150 years conserving fish and wildlife. Free admission. Visit wildnh.com.


Impact Child Abuse: Although child maltreatment (neglect and abuse) occurs in our state, it rarely makes the news. You can make a difference in these young lives. CASA of NH, which provides guardians ad litem to be the voice of these children in court proceedings, offers an independent study, a blended training of classroom and at-home study, in April. Visit www.casanh.org/onlineapplication or call 603-626-4600.



April 2015