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Tag Archive | Alton

The Blueberry Crisis In New Hampshire.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. This is a Google Map (Satellite view) of the hill I live on — with 3 BIG wild blueberry farms.


Click to access ‘Boston.com’ original from last Fall. Still v. applicable.


No. Nope — there is no shortage per se. Actually we are in the midst of a global GLUT of blueberries. Chile, Canada, Mexico and Peru are POURING in ‘cheap’ blueberries into the U.S.

This has resulted in blueberry prices going down since 2017. Good for the consumer.

Not good for growers, especially those in New England — New Hampshire, of course, among those hit. Plus, in New England it is wild blueberries, that grow close to the ground, as opposed to the ‘Highbush’ grown further down. Highbush is called cultivated. Wild blueberries have more antioxidants, tend to be bluer and tastier. But, they are hard to pick. That adds to their cost.

I live on the side of a hill — and in reality it should be called ‘Blueberry Hill’. We have three large wild blueberry farms on it. I run/walk by them most days.

Last year I heard rumblings that the owners of these farms were not happy. They were not making the kind of money they were used to. I then heard that a Maine company that ran one of the farms, on behalf of the owner, had pulled out. It was not economical to run the farm!

Yesterday, on my walk, I got to talk to one of the owners. He told me that the issue was the prices: ‘way down’. They are basically at break even and their cost is lower than mosts and they also sell at local farm markets where they can get retail as opposed to wholesale pricing. He was not happy. He reckons that Canada is dumping blueberries into the U.S. market.

Not good. I like having these farms around. They bring in bees to pollinate the plants. Watching that is fun.

So, this is a heads up since many people don’t appreciate what is happening. All they notice is that blueberries are plentiful at the supermarkets and that they are at a good price.

But, this, alas, is at the expense of New England farmers.


Related Posts:
Check Category ‘New Hampshire‘.


by Anura Guruge

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Rattlesnakes (Timber Rattlers) In New Hampshire — We Supposedly Had Two In Our Woods.

by Anura Guruge


Click image to access “The Baysider” original in today’s, i.e., May 16, 2019, issue.


I do NOT like snakes! Period.

It doesn’t matter whether they are small or large, striped or spotted, venomous or harmless, green or brown. I do NOT like snakes.

There is, of course, a very good reason as to why I don’t like snakes. I grew up in a country, Ceylon, where we had deadly snakes, King Cobras among them, and you personally knew of folks who had died from snake bites. I remember one incident when a boy of about 19, who lived nearby, got bitten by a cobra. I don’t think we had anti-venom then. The whole neighbourhood kept vigil around this boy’s house, late into the night, as he died. I remember that starkly.

So, I do NOT like snakes.

This column in our local newspaper today sent a shudder down my spine. It CONFIRMED, quite forcefully, that we do indeed have rattlesnakes in New Hampshire. They are called Timber Rattlers.

It gets worse, especially since I do NOT like snakes.

When we bought this house, in Alton, in 2007, the neighbour next door, an busybody Baptist pastor — who alas was also a Selectman — had decided to appropriate, for free, some of our land. Thanks to a corrupt Realtor we only learnt of this illegal incursion after we signed the contract and parted with the check. It took some time and money to sort out and one of the things we needed was a complete professional survey of our property to make sure that we had managed to recoup the land that this bugger had stolen.

We hired a well known and reputable ‘local’ surveyor. He was very nice.

There was, as always, two of them. Around noon they came to see us, quite flustered and red. They had seen seen two Timber Rattlers in the woods! They insisted that they knew what they had seen and that rattlers were occasionally seen in NH. I was beside myself. I do NOT go in the woods much. Have not heard of any reports, since, of rattlers in the neighbourhood.

Then this story. YIKES.

I do NOT like snakes.


Scary coincidence here.

I had, just last week, read a real scary story of a real serious, though not-deadly, rattlesnake bite in Yosemite National Park no less. Yes, I like the West and we travel to the West often — including last Summer to Canyon de Chelly (yet again). Running into a rattler is one of my perennial frights.

Click to ENLARGE. In the April 2019 issue of “Reader’s Digest”.


That is enough about snakes.

Did I mention: I do NOT like snakes.


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by Anura Guruge

Maya’s 8th Birthday, Celebrated, Per Custom, At McDonald’s — May 15, 2019.

by Anura Guruge


Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.







We have been celebrating the dogs’ birthdays for 15-years or more; even when we lived in Gilford and just had Ulysses (our big Golden boy). In those days, in Gilford, it used to be an ice cream cake from ‘Hannaford’ (or whatever it used to be called in those days). Ulysses, who had grown up under my care, like all my dogs, liked his chocolate — and BEFORE you even ipen your mouth to say anything he lived a very good, active life, with very little wrong with him, until he was past 13. For a big dogs, that is quite brilliant.

Once we move to Alton in 2007 the tradition became that of taking the dogs to McDonald’s at ‘the circle’ for cheeseburgers on their birthday.

Teischan, a great lover of birthdays (albeit, her’s her all time favorite), does a great job of keeping track of the dogs’ birthdays. I have been told, near daily, for the last 2-weeks, that it was going to be Maya’s 8th birthday and that we are going to McDonald’s. Suffice to say I have pictures of such birthdays going back years. A trademark of all these pictures are the dogs LICKING their chops in anticipation! It is classic. They know what is coming. Just search on ‘Maya birthday’ or ‘Braxton birthday’.

This year I decided to change the routine a bit — partly in honor of the ice cream cakes that Ulysses used to get. So, they got an ice cream cone, each, before their two cheeseburgers. I did not hear of any complaints.

The dogs know McDonald’s. I take them outside of their birthdays too. They probably go to McDonalds 7 or 8 times a year — maybe slightly more. I don’t think it is once a month, on rote, but it is thereabouts. Suffice to say I have pictures of such birthdays going back years. A trademark of all these pictures are the dogs LICKING their chops in anticipation! It is classic. They know.


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Search ‘Maya birthday’.


by Anura Guruge

My Walk In The Woods, In Alton, New Hampshire — On Sunday, May 5, 2019.

by Anura Guruge


Click picture to ENLARGE.


This was 1.6 miles from home. Property belonging to some friends. They have a lot of acreage, with two large ponds — one manmade (by them) — lots of elevation and views to kill. This was the most I have walked on their property. They were around and I did get permission.

Yes, I was trying to get mileage. Pretty sure that GPS was wrong. First the trees and the other that I was doubling back on myself. So, after awhile I decided just to hike for 1 hour — screw the GPS distance. It was a true hike. Wasn’t easy. I am still wearing a locked brace and using a stick!

But, it was fun. The dogs went with I. It was very rewarding. Amazing views and sites. Saw a HUGE pile of moose poop.


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by Anura Guruge


 

Flowers Of Alton, New Hampshire — May 5, 2019.

by Anura Guruge


NO post-processing whatsoever.

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.




Taken at Aubuchon, Alton, NH with my new Canon EOS RP with a 24-105mm lens. As some of you know I can’t resist taking pictures of flowers. So, please get used to being bombarded with more and more flowers as the weather gets warmer.


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by Anura Guruge


 

‘Moosehead Lake’, Maine, In Late April ‘Mud Season’ — Go For The Solitude, Expect Nothing Else.

by Anura Guruge



Having lived on or around ‘Lake Winnipesaukee‘, New Hampshire for 28-years, I had expected the twice-as-big ‘Moosehead Lake‘ in Maine to boast a similar lifestyle. I had always heard that it was hopping ‘year round’. Well, it sure does NOT hop or show much of any type of animation during the last weeks of April — the so called ‘Mud Season’.

We visited (and stayed at a timeshare) in Greenville, Maine — the gateway to ‘Moosehead Lake‘ & the North Country — for 5-days last week, April 23 – 27, 2019. It was my first visit to that area. I had done some Googling and located some interesting restaurants and places to spot moose. But, I was to be severely spoilt and disappointed.

What I had not checked was the population — in terms of people as opposed to moose — up there. I knew it was up there, close to the ‘tundra’ and that it was extremely rural and isolated.

I did not expect it to be dead!

On Tuesday night there was only one restaurant open, the ‘Stress Free Moose‘. It actually had good food, great service, wonderful folks and was rocking. Alas, though, it is primarily a heavy-duty bar with a few tables crammed in. My 13-year old daughter, a restaurant connoisseur, was not impressed nor amused. I liked it, but I do not enjoy not having any choice. I had hoped to eat at “Kelly’s Landing” but like so many other places they were only open Thursday to Sunday.

IF I had checked the human population I would have been better prepared. I had assumed that Greenville, on the southern tip of the Lake would be similar to Alton (where I live) which occupies that spot on Winnipesaukee. Alton’s year round population, however, is 4 times greater. If you include Wolfeboro, 11-miles away from Alton, the year round population in this neck of our Lake is 10 times greater. That, I came to realize, makes all the difference.

There is no Chinese in Greenville or from what I can deduce in Moosehead (town) nor Rockwood. No Chinese. I had never thought about it much, but I guess you can demark civilization based on the presence or absence of a Chinese. I won’t even mention Indian.

There are also NO fast food establishments! No McDonald’s, no Subway, no Dunkin Donuts, no Aroma Joes. I gather the Greenville McDonald’s closed at least a decade ago. How is that possible.

Moosehead Lake, from what I saw, does not have the kind of money that you see around Winnipesaukee or Bar Harbor (Acadia). Nowhere close to the number of multi-million dollar mansions on the water. Far, far less fancy, grand waterfront hotels.

Salubrious is not a word I would associate with the area.

It sure is empty, isolated and rustic.

Though we spent hours looking did not see any moose. Actually a noticeable dirth in wildlife. That we saw no deer was surprising.

This is not to say the trip was a bust. I enjoyed it. Not so much, my 13-year old.

I like solitude and it is pretty desolate up there. Some striking scenery though nothing very different to what we have seen in New England before.

They say that it really rocks in August. I can believe that. But, I think I will stick to Acadia.


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Search ‘Moosehead’.


by Anura Guruge

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