On and Off The Mountain-Stephanie Grubert

The Memorial Day Holiday weekend was forecast for mid 80 degree temperatures with thunderstorms on the horizon. At this writing the real weekend has not begun, but the thunderstorms at week’s end were few.

Invigorating yard work including planting seeds and plants in my vegetable garden, a golf game and some early morning walks in the forest were on my agenda.

The flying insects have hatched. A few were buzzing about as I wrote my column Thursday night. I am happy the season has awoken. I saw a couple of Gypsy Moth caterpillars, tiny little immatures on my mailbox and flicked them off with no response. They were dead. Charlie found more on his truck parked under trees. They were eating.

I have seen very little voracious eating of trees in my yard to date. I am hoping the Gypsy Moth caterpillar crop of 2016 in Wilderness Estates has died of natural causes. Our late spring may have kept the caterpillars dormant longer than in previous years, but I saw the first hatched vermin a good 4 weeks ago and still no overwhelming food fest.

Weeks of damp, cold weather could have done them in. There is no evidence of the voracious eating of the leaves on the trees that we witnessed in 2015. By June last year the trees were stripped. I hope I am not wishing for the impossible.

I have heard and seen aerial spraying activity near our neighborhood in the past week. The private sprayer that we hired has not yet sprayed our neighborhood. I cannot confirm that the state sprayed some of the Gamelands surrounding us, but any aerial activity is most welcome.

Welcome Summer

The Memorial Day Weekend marks the beginning of the summer vacation season. Whether it is a trip to the shore, a cross country outing to parks and lands far from Mountaintop or a renewed appreciation for what we have right here in our own backyards, it I time to fire up the grill, get the potato salad ready and invite family and friends over for some conversation.

Crestwood Transportation

The Crestwood School District and its new Transportation contractor are finalizing their plans for 2016-2011 this week. Mountaintop Bus Company, owned by Kevin Foley will be providing the district’s bus service for the next 5 years. The previous contractor, Rinehimer Bus Lines, did not provide a competitive bid to continue servicing Crestwood.

Kevin Foley is reaching out to drivers who have been employed by Rinehimer to attend an informational meeting at the American Legion in Mountaintop on Church Road on Thursday June 9, 5:30 p. m.

Foley is purchasing 40 new and used buses and 7 new vans and he needs drivers to continue the long tradition of safe and cost effective bus service for Crestwood’s school students.

Foley’s Mountaintop Bus Company will have a garage on Route 309 in Wright Township for storage and maintenance of the bus fleet.

Companies and their services are born, grow and are bought out or cease. Kevin Foley’s new company will embark on a new venture with a goal of safety and success.

Kiwanis Pet Parade

The Mountaintop Kiwanis Pet Parade last week had a healthy number of competitors. Our photographer took lots of photos and they are in this week’s edition.

My family always had a dog and a couple of cats as we were growing up and we never thought they were anything special to anybody but us. Times have changed and dogs and cats and their care and health are big business. The Mountaintop Kiwanis Pet Parade was more fun than business, and it brought out the faithful to have a good time. More than 30 dogs strutted their stuff at Wright Township Park Saturday May 21.

Events like the Pet Parade are fun for the community and the Kiwanis wants to sponsor events that many people can enjoy. They are holding their 34th Annual Kiwanis Golf Tournament on Friday June 3 at Mountain Laurel Golf Course. Pets or Pars are on the Kiwanis schedule for community fun. I played in the tournament last year and was reacquainted with Mountaintop Kiwanis members from the 1980’s at the event. You are never too old to enjoy golf.

Pink & Blue at Blue Ridge Trail I am working on the 6th Annual

Blue Ridge Trail Pink & Blue Golf Tournament scheduled this year for Saturday June 18. The theme is cancer awareness and support for all cancers, but especially breast, colon and prostate cancers. Every family faces one of the cancers in their lifetime. Screening is the most proactive thing we can do for ourselves. Mammography, colonoscopy and prostate screening can identify signs that must be monitored before they go too far.

Scientists and medical professionals have identified pre-cancer and cancer conditions and protocols for dealing with keeping them in check and treatment. Screening is preventive medicine. Age is cancer’s friend. Screening and treatment is the antidote.