The Fourth of July in Essex will kick off with fireworks at dusk on the evening of Friday, July 2. The parade will step off at 11 a.m. on Saturday, the third. Line up for the parade will be at 10. Following the parade, there will be games at Beggs Park, including a homemade boat race at 2 p.m. Your craft must have two crew members, both of whom can swim, and your conveyance must not have ever been a boat or part of a boat. No motors are allowed and both crew members must be on the craft when it crosses the finish line. The town's website, essexnewyork.com, has photos of previous entrants and the complete rules. As of this writing, neither the town hall staff nor your Valley News correspondent is planning to enter. On Sunday, the actual Fourth, no town events are planned.
Traps for the emerald ash borer are back hanging from trees along roadways around town. The traps looks like large purple box kites. The emerald ash borer is an insect that attacks ash trees, which we have lots of around here. The borer is metallic green and can fit on a penny. It can kill a full grown ash in two years, which is very rapid, but has no interest in humans. The borer has been found in western New York and southern Quebec and the purpose of the traps is to see if it's reached our area yet. There is no practical control for this bug except to limit its movement by restricting the transportation of fire wood to a 50 mile radius.
A golden eagle may be in our area. A huge bird has been spotted in several places near the lake, hunting over open ground. Goldens feed on other birds and small mammals, and people who have seen this bird noted, with alarm, that it seemed interested in their cats and puppies. Bald eagles, which are fairly common on Lake Champlain, feed on scavenged fish and the occasional duck. I'm hoping someone with a camera can get a good picture to confirm the identity of this imposing bird.