Family traditions, while too regularly falling by the wayside of an increasingly speeding and spreading world, are sometimes just another word for routine.
There were times of excitement and frustration for the Titusville Rockets in the 2014 season.
Dorothy G. Woodford, 96, a resident of the Golden LivingCenter, in Titusville, passed away Sunday afternoon, Oct. 26, 2014.
I was pleasantly surprised by the positive feedback I received when last week I wrote about the legend of Daisy Campbell.
On April 27, 2008, God sent a miracle to this world. He blessed our lives by sending this angel to us, to care for until he called her home.
Every year at this time, the trees take on a haggard look – like photosynthesis has become too much work and our friends look forward to changing into their colorful pajamas before settling down for a long winter’s nap. Foliage is insect eaten, withered or yellowed. Summer’s green mantle fades just as a robe of royal splendor tatters with the passage of time.
While ferreting through some old newspapers The Herald has in its collection, I discovered a gem of a book called, “Industrial Titusville.”
As many of you know, I lost Vernon, my walking companion, a year ago. In the interim, we also lost other aged canine companions. This old farm house, at an all-time low of only four dogs, seemed as empty as my classroom on the Fourth of July. A puppy explosion soon followed.
I look forward to my first groundhog sighting each spring. What now seems like ages ago, I watched Punxsutawney Phil whisper into the ear of his handler that we were in for six more weeks of winter. However, it is not Phil that concerns me now, but rather, his lesser-known relatives.
In our language, a collective noun is a word used to define a group of objects, concepts, emotions, animals or people. Words such as array, family, jury and chorus, are all familiar collective nouns.
This is the time of year when mice are most often glimpsed inside homes, though, if, like Tom and I, you live in an old farmhouse, you know they may be found inside during other seasons as well. Since we have so many dogs living in the house with us, the mice have either smartened up and decided to become less visible, or live elsewhere, for this winter we have seen very little evidence of them.
It happens every year at this time – that curious feeling that it always was, and always will be winter.
Since I last reported my early morning wildlife sightings, I have not glimpsed many floating eyes or wind-up toys as I journey to school each morning. I know deer season seriously spooked the floating eyes that always entertained me, and the wind-up moles, shrews, voles and mice have been elusive as well. Great blue herons were always a thrill, but as the calendar turned toward the first day of winter, even they deserted me. Lately, the only fauna I see with any regularity are owls in general and Eastern screech owls in particular.
So far this young winter season, snow has been sporadic, unlike a year ago, when, by mid-December, we were already in a deep freeze. Last year, my school was canceled for the first time on Dec. 15, and Justus Lake was frozen solid by Christmas.
At this time of year, only two words exist in the minds of children. These words dance inside their heads like sugar plum fairies on steroids and rob them of their good common sense and zest to learn. The children I know simply can’t concentrate on anything other than those two words: Santa Claus. This obsession escalates the closer to Christmas we get — even though at the school where I teach, we focus on Advent rather than secular Santa.
For the past few weeks, I have walked through the woods without consequence. I have seen nothing but occasional bushy white flags bobbing off in the distance, or a squirrel or two that scolded from high atop the bare canopy.
Since September, and for no reason whatsoever, I’ve been counting the number of creatures I see each morning as I drive to school. Because it is always shortly after 5 a.m. when I depart, all my sightings are in the dark. I also keep track of the temperature, and weather conditions — not for any great contribution to research, but just for my own enjoyment.
After watching a TV alert on arsenic in fruit drinks on a morning news show this week, it made me wonder how many people will receive this information. There are a number of ways people might hear about this. After a lot of thought, it seems to me it will come down to whatever generation a person is in. Each of the following examples speaks to a different generation. You can decide for yourself which generation.
All the world is washed in shades of brown and gray. How quickly time passes. What a change from October’s bold proclamation of vivid color is the somber November woods.
There is a sleek, crested, black-masked bird that calls nowhere, yet everywhere home. This bird is often referred to as elegant — in fact — in the words of renown birder Ed Kinze, in the August 2010 Backyard Birds Newsletter: “This bird is one of the most glamorous of our continent.”
Jesus often used symbols in his teaching to get across a spiritual truth. Rocks, pillars and trees are not about literal things. They are about the spiritual walk of a Christian.
The Sept. 15 reopening of the Kinzua Viaduct sparked my memory of two visits I made to Kinzua Bridge State Park.
Nature’s seasons are clearly defined by color. Though autumn has the reputation as being most colorful, I believe each season gifts us with as many tints and hues as autumn. The other seasons stage a more subtle display.
One of the more interesting places I recall from my childhood was St. Joseph’s Academy.
There is a vine that catches my eye each summer and captivates my attention every autumn. This vine is considered an invasive pest by some people, yet is grown as an ornamental by others.
We have addressed this before, however the definition of a Protestant is one that is constantly misunderstood and quoted.
It’s good to once more keep company with a batch of 8-year-olds turning 9. The children in my new class of third-graders are as refreshing as my morning drives around Justus Lake. Though I treasure my summers, there is always something special about returning to school each August.
I never knew how much I missed my early morning drives to school until the short weeks of summer waned and I resumed my early morning driving routine.
September is the golden rite of passage between summer and autumn. For those who view summer’s demise as unpleasant, September is a melancholy time. For those like me, who enjoy all four seasons, September is a welcome change.
During recent evening puppy walks, I’ve noticed a plethora of meadow mushrooms along the mowed paths in our overgrown pasture. These delicate, delectable treats always invoke very fine memories of my mom.
On a routine trip to the local recycling center, I noticed yellow jackets were once again out in full force, buzzing in and out of the receptacles. Every year at this time, problems with yellow jackets occur.
Once the calendar turns to August, everything changes. I know these changes don’t happen overnight — it just seems that way to me. After all, there have been numerous subtle changes since the heat wave broke in mid-July.
In the year 600 BC, King Nebuchadnezzar II, of Babylon, built his wife, Amytis, a garden to keep her happy. Amytis didn’t like the Babylonian desert. She missed the trees and fragrant plants of her homeland.
No, I am not about to start a political comment column, but we have been hearing a lot about the debt ceiling, and the word default has surfaced quite a few times. How can one avoid the topic? You have probably heard and read all the same news as myself. So, here are some brief thoughts on the economic situation in our country.
Every year at this time, various bear sightings are reported. Most often, these come from people who reside in town and spy bruins at their birdfeeders. Other sightings occur when people traveling area roads, catch a glimpse of Ursus Americanus crossing the road in front of their vehicles. This happens all the time. Many friends and neighbors tell me so.
If I had to rate the months of the year on a scale from one to 12, July would fall near the bottom of my list. I have always thought of July as High Summer — a green and monotonous month — a let down after the great flush of spring.
Saturday marks the 25th anniversary of the Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad. Tom and I moved to Titusville in April 1974 — 12 years before the OC&T’s first run. When Tarr Farm became our home, the old Perry Street Station was our source for Blue Seal Feeds sold at Titusville’s Valley Farm and Lawn Supply — housed in what is now Perry Street Station. Since we had an abundance of animals at the time, we spent a great deal of time inside that feed mill.
My husband is a collector of caterpillars and cocoons. For as long as we’ve been together, I cannot recall a single summer when we didn’t watch some sort of Lepidoptera metamorphose from either chrysalis or cocoon. Last year, it was monarchs. The year before that we hosted a rare treat — a giant swallowtail laid her eggs on the citrus trees that summer in pots on our front doorstep. How that lone female managed to find exactly what she needed so far removed from her normal range remains a mystery to Tom and me.
"Ice cream!" we kids would shout, as the music from a slow-moving van wafted its way down each street and alleyway of Titusville.
Whenever we drive to town, Tom and I look for kestrels perched along electric lines. We are seldom disappointed.
Every year at this time, when I browse the lawn and garden section of hardware stores or “Big Box” establishments, my nose is assaulted by the chemical smell of lawn care products.
When the Amblin logo appears in front of "Super 8," the latest blockbuster by director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek), you can't help but feel warm memories. It is, after all, the company headed by Steven Spielberg, which brought us "E.T.," "The Goonies," and the "Back to the Future" trilogy.
How did another school year end so soon? Each September, I think the end will never come, but every June comes sooner than the year before. I am now at the stage in my teaching career where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have only two years left before I turn 62 — the age at which I have chosen to retire.
"X-Men: First Class," the highly anticipated prequel to the previous X-Men trilogy, walks the fine line often seen in comic-book films between emotionally powerful and slightly cheesy. And at the end of the day, the excellent performances by the two leads aren't quite enough to save the overall product.
Is there anything more delicious than the scent of wild crabapple blossoms? I think not.
Like every other member of our community, I have anticipated the arrival of spring since Groundhog Day. For many long weeks, I dreamed of hearing my first spring peeper and feasting my eyes on clusters of daffodils. Spring took a long time coming this year — like some superior being pressed the “pause” button on nature’s magnificent video.
The dusty old memories of visiting circuses and vaudeville shows are all a part of the Queen City.
Though I thoroughly enjoy all seasons, spring is my favorite. I eagerly anticipate every subtle hint of green from snowdrops to the first beaded canes of honeysuckle. I wait for the springtime chorus of frogs and toads like my friend waits for the opera to come to his town. I turn my eyes toward roadsides for the cheery yellow disks of coltsfoot, and wait for coltsfoot’s yellow companion, forsythia — while the winter weary carpet around us catches green fire. I long for the hills’ first froth of lovely pastels. All of this is happening now. The only problem is — I feel like I’m watching from the inside of a goldfish bowl.