According to reptile experts this April Fool’s Day, eastern timber rattlesnakes are on the increase in Essex due to climate warming. More of the local rattlers are getting through the less chilly winters, and with longer feeding seasons the population is expanding. Craig Crotalus of UVM studies the snakes that live on Split Rock Mountain and thinks their numbers are definitely growing. Dr. Crotalus said, “With every mild winter, many more timber rattlers are surviving, as are the rodents and other small animals they prey on.” He warns local residents to be careful walking their dogs and those who live in older houses with porous foundations should be on guard as the snakes are moving north into the hamlet. “If you see a rattler, just step around it, but if the snake is menacing you or a loved one, carry a golf club and give it a good whack.” Used golf clubs can be had at the town transfer site just for the asking. Harold Reynolds, transfer station manager, is an ardent golfer and keeps all the used clubs residents are throwing away; he would be happy to equip you with a 9 iron for snake control.
Reber Rock Farm on Jersey Street experienced a small nighttime earthquake recently. The tremor was felt from Lewis to Keeseville with the epicenter just south of the farm’s barn. When the farmers went out the next morning, they were surprised to find that a sinkhole had opened up, filled with bubbling warm water which has a mild sulfur odor. The water is pleasant for bathing and seems to help with back aches and makes hair shiny. Men noticed that their beards are much more luxuriant and grow at an abnormally rapid rate. Bottled water is for now sale in the farm store. A spa planned for the site needs town approval but since many town board members take a daily dips in the pool, approval is probably assured.
By the way, Reber Rock as a name does not refer to the stony soil but rather to it being the child hood home of Weird Al Yankovic, whose parents gave dairy farming a brief try there in the 1970’s. Weird Al got kicked out of Willsboro School but went on to a successful career making parodies of current songs. Check out “Amish Paradise” for an example.
Happy April Fool’s Day!