March 11, 2013 - Snow...Lot's of Snow

What a difference a year makes…
If you recall, last year at this time we were experiencing a mostly snowless winter and temperatures on the 60’s.  This year, the Hilltown are covered in a thick blanket of snow that ranges from 18-24″ thick.  In spite of the 7″ of heavy snow that fell in Goshen on Friday, the top of the block is still visible from shore.
The maple sugar producers are experiencing a great stretch of weather that sees daytime temperatures rise above freezing which encourages the sap to run.  I noticed a lone pair of Canadian Geese flying overhead yesterday searching for a spot of open water to land in.  When they saw Hammond Pond, they just kept flying.
The attached picture was taken yesterday morning and shows the block against a brilliant blue sky.  Strong sunshine helped bring weekend temperatures that soared into the upper 40’s.
The forecast calls for showers tomorrow with locally heavy rainfall amounts of up to one inch.  Combine that with an unusually deep snow pack for this time in March and a warm air mass and we might see some minor flooding in the region.  This rain event is being triggered by a cold front that will bring strong winds and temperatures that will struggle to get out of the 30’s towards the end of the week.
Several weeks ago, the ice on the lake measured just over a foot thick.  However, since that time we’ve received over two feet of snow that might be acting as insulation.  I know when I went out there yesterday, I found water under a crusty snowpack that sat on top of the ice.
I was greeted with over 20 envelopes of tickets when I stopped at the post office last week so I think it’s safe to say that the Meltdown contest is in full swing.
With only 10 days before a change of season’s, I think it’s appropriate that I end this note by saying
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2013 Meltdown as of 02/09/2013
2013 Meltdown as of 03/07/2013
2013 Meltdown as of 03/07/2013
2013 Meltdown as of 02/09/2013
Lake Drive and the Hammond Pond gatehouse 2013 Meltdown as of 02/08/2013

March 2, 2013 - The 2013 Meltdown has Begun

2013 Meltdown as of 02/02/2013

In a tradition that had its humble beginnings almost a decade ago, the 9th annual Meltdown has begun again. 

The block sits on a wooden pallet that holds a flag.  The flag is simply a marker that shows where the block is when it gets completely covered in snow.  The block is connected to an electric clock by a rope.  The clock is plugged into an outlet in the gatehouse on the dam holding back Hammond Pond.  Once the block falls through the ice or the ice floe moves away from the dam, the tension on the cord will pull the plug out of the wall socket and stop the clock.  It’s that straightforward.

This year’s fundraiser will benefit Camp Howe, a 4-H summer camp that’s called Goshen it’s home since 1935.  Specifically, the camp is looking to furnish a Cool Down Space in their new Multi-purpose building.  This space is planned to be a room in which any child that needs a personal break from camp can go to decompress and relax.  It will have an abundance of beanbags, pillows, sensory items (tactile fun stuff), and games / toys for interactive play.  Most importantly, this space will be especially useful for campers with special needs.

Regular updates will be posted on the Goshen Fire Department’s website.

Participants that include an e-mail address on their ticket stub will be added to a private e-mail distribution list that is used to provide periodic updates and snapshots of the block.  The current list includes several hundred addresses of people who are regularly entertained by these updates.  The sooner your tickets are returned, the sooner you can become part of that exclusive group.

I’m taking a chance at keeping the deadline for ticket submissions as April 1st.  If you recall from last year, the block fell through the ice on March 19th – almost two weeks before the deadline.  While I can only do so much to regulate the impact climate change is having on our contest, something tells me that the cold will be around longer this year.  Tickets received after April 1st (unless they were postmarked on or before that date) will be returned.  This date is weather dependant and will be irrelevant if the block falls through the ice before then.

Here are some statistics from the past 8 year’s of Meltdown events to consider as you make your selections:

– The most popular dates were 4/1 (467), 4/2 (450), 4/4 (435), 4/10 (422) and 4/12 (409).

– The ratio of morning to afternoon picks was 25% and 75% respectively.

– 81% of all guesses were for dates between April 1st and April 21st (hint, hint). 

– Daylight savings time starts on Sunday, March 10th.  Keep that in mind when making your selection.

The official ends of the previous contests were as follows:

 2012 – 03/19 –   2:14 PM

 2011 – 04/14 – 12:44 PM

 2010 – 04/02 – 11:52 AM

 2009 – 04/05 – 11:02 AM

 2008 – 04/16 –   3:04 PM

 2007 – 04/21 – 12:00 Noon

 2006 – 04/01 –   8:18 PM

 2005 – 04/12 –   4:47 PM

Other significant dates to consider are as follows:

 4/01 at 1:05PM – First pitch on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium AND at Citi Field (Mets) in New York.

 4/08 at 2:05PM – First pitch on Opening Day at Fenway Park in Boston against the Orioles.

 4/15 at 2:45AM – Day and time the Titanic sank in 1912.

Mail ticket stubs to P.O. Box 923, Williamsburg, MA  01096-0923 and please make checks payable to “HAMMOND ACRES CLUB”


2013 Meltdown as of 02/02/2013