Supermarket shelves swept clear of basic food items. Schools and businesses closed. Travel banned. It is the Storm of the Century — and it happens at least once each winter season. Modern technology keeps the public informed about every nuance in the weather. If a storm is in the making, there is a rush to stockpile necessities and a flurry of cancellations and postponements. When Snowpocalypse does strike, warnings keep us one step ahead of big and small disasters. Then we complain about the inconveniences of working from home, lapses in electricity, rescheduled appointments, truncated train schedules, or having to watch movies from our cozy couches and sip hot chocolate while the cold winds swirl around us. What did our predecessors do, though, when winter dumped feet of snow onto the land?
The Newtown Torpedoes youth swim program, sponsored by Newtown Parks & Recreation, held its second annual Swim-A-Thon at Newtown High School on January 31. Dozens of swimmers in three age groups – 8 and unders, 9-10-year-olds, and 11 and overs – combined to complete consecutive laps during the four-hour event at the Newtown High School pool. Swimmers are raising money through donations and pledges for the Newtown Scholarship Association to support The Daniel Barden Newtown Torpedo Scholarship, as well as go toward present and future needs of the team. Student volunteers helped set up the lanes and track laps completed by the Torpedoes swimmers while cheering them on. Among those on hand to donate their time were Newtown High swimmers who came up through the Torpedoes program. “It’s a good program and we wanted to help out because we started with the Torpedoes,” said Newtown High senior Eliza Eggleston.
“The North Wind doth blow, and we shall have snow, and what will poor robin do then?” If he is lucky, he will visit a clean and well-stocked bird feeder. We are quick to hustle off to the grocery store when winter storms threaten. But what about the many songbirds that do not have such a handy source of food available, just when it is most needed? Bird feeders can provide that source of energy for Connecticut's birds that overwinter, and offer natural entertainment for the humans perched inside, watching the birds perched outside.
Tilt-A-World, founded by Pastor Dan Kelly of Second Chance Bible Church in Bethel, has been building playgrounds for orphanages around the world for ten years. Since 12/14, though, Pastor Kelly has dedicated each of the playgrounds to the memories of the 26 people who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Nearly 50 works of art were hung in the main corridor of Newtown Municipal Center on January 23. The collection represents an annual offering by members of The Society of Creative Arts of Newtown (SCAN). The exhibition, “Color in Winter Show & Sale,” will remain on view weekdays until February 27. The exhibition, with 46 works of art representing 25 artists, stretches nearly the length of the municipal center’s southern wall. A reception scheduled for Wednesday, January 28, has been postponed, but the collection of still lifes, landscapes, etchings and other works are doing exactly what the creators of this annual presentation were hoping for when they created the winter exhibition.
Knowing how much extra to feed your horse in cold weather starts with knowing what to feed him year-round to keep him in good weight depending on his age, breed, exercise level, and his general overall health. In the wild, horses free feed themselves exclusive on forage or pasture grasses and plants. In today’s modern world of stabled horses, free-feed pasture has been replaced by limited feed of hay and concentrated feed like whole grains like oats or corn or a processed pelleted feed. Experienced horse people have an “eye” to know when their horse is too thin or too fat or just right. Similarly, they know when a horse or pony has too much energy — like putting a saddle on a rocket ship as he bucks his way to Mars — or too little. Horse sense, commercially prepared feeds, and our veterinarians provide most owners and professionals with the tools to feed our horses proper rations. But what if we want to be more scientifically sure of our feeding program provides our horse with what he needs? Or, what if our horse is starting to exhibit signs of losing weight, respiratory distress, skin abnormalities, or other symptoms? Hay testing can help provide the answer to both these questions.
Ah. There’s nothing like a steaming cup of hot cocoa and a Pop Tart to start the day. At least, that’s what I thought as a kid, when that was what woke me up and got me out the door to school. I was only half right, though. Eating something after a night’s rest is important, but choosing the right breakfast foods makes the difference between a whole morning of satisfaction and a brief burst of energy followed by a slump. My stomach is growling and even the wretched smell of cat food — my first task of the day, for the cats’ breakfasts — does not stop me from looking forward to my own breaking of the fast. There are many good reasons for fueling the body in the morning.