Now that spring is just around the corner, I called the chair of the herpetology department at Plattsburgh State, Dr. C. Horridus, for an update on the local timber rattlesnake situation. Essex is home to a number of the rattlers on Split Rock Mountain. Dr. Horridus told me that, with climate change, snakes are moving north and have been spotted in the hamlet, where they are thought to live in the foundations of stone buildings. This explains why you see so many people in town wearing tall leather boots and carrying golf clubs.
The big news in Whallonsburg is the recent appearance of a sink hole near the Grange. Residents awoke one morning last week after a night of mysterious rumblings in the earth to find the hole, which slowly filled with water that overflowed into the Boquet. Observers noted the water was warm and bubbling with effervescence, somewhere near 100 degrees. In spite of the chilly weather, numerous residents have taken a swim and reported their hair became more shiny, liver spots shrank in size and hearing improved. The Grange is opening a bottling plant to market what they’re calling Whallonsburg Organic Wonder Water.
My neighbors down the road gave their farm a curious name: Reber Rock Farm. It turns out the rock refers not to stones but to rock and roll. There’s a natural amphitheater in a pasture there, with lots of parking. Lady Gaga and Weird Al Yankovic (both natives of Whallonsburg) have already committed to performing there this summer. Future shows will be announced soon and in conjunction, the Grange is planning a lecture series on the famous rockers of Essex County. Did you know Elton John grew up in Keeseville?
- Timber Rattlesnake Safari (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Rob Ivy: Rattlesnake Increase and Essex Dissolution (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Timber Rattlesnakes at Split Rock
- Timber Rattlesnake: Fact, Fiction & Mystery