On and Off The Mountain-Stephanie Grubert

It happens twice a year, the autumnal and vernal equinoxes. In 2016, the autumnal equinox is tomorrow, September 22 at 10:21 A. M. (EDT). In addition to the (approximately) equal hours of daylight and darkness, the equinoxes are times when the Sun’s apparent motion undergoes the most rapid change. From here on out, the temperatures begin to drop and the days start to get shorter than the nights. By the time we get to the next big weather day, the Winter Solstice December 21, 2016 5:44 a. m., our days will be at their shortest duration and then we start the march to spring.

Sunrise and sunset times come later in the morning and earlier in the evening. The loss of daylight is about 15 to 17 minutes per week. Today September 21 the sunrise is 6:50 a. m. and the sunset is 7:01 p. m. Gone are the long evenings playing golf past 8 p. m. and gone are the sparkling sunrises before we are stirring. There is a reason for the saying, “Make Hay While the Sun Shines!”

I enjoy watching the changing seasons. We can see the fall color starting to show in Mountaintop. Every day a new tree or shrub along my travels surprises me. My summer garden was parched and as dry as I have ever seen it on Sunday. The heavy rain early Monday morning gave the earth a much needed drink. Just about all of the tomatoes have ripened and are tucked away in my freezer as sauce. The small heirlooms I froze just as they were. I will soon see how that experiment worked out.

Despite the short days some of the plants are still blossoming and putting forth fruit. I picked a large bag of beans last weekend snipped a few broccoli heads, brought in 17 winter squash, and started pulling out the spent vines. New squash blossoms offer the promise of yet another fresh green zucchini. The bees still buzz around the begonias I have planted along my walkway and now and then a hummingbird comes by. Garden cleanup is just as important as preparation. I want my soil to be ready for 2017 next spring.

With the lack of rain all of the weeds are suffering too. I managed to pull out more, but it is always easier to do that job when the soil is wet.

Fall Sports The fall sports are giving young athletes some challenging games to enjoy. We have the scholastic schedule, published every week in the Eagle and the recreational leagues. Parents and grandparents are the most enthusiastic cheerleaders for the kids. The Eagle invites all coaches and parents to submit photos and write ups of their games for publication. The Mountaintop Eagle is our community newspaper and we want to reach all corners of the spectrum.

Homecoming This weekend is Crestwood High

School’s Homecoming Celebration. A parade down South Main Road Saturday at 4 p. m. will feature floats and king and queen candidates in open cars. The queen will be crowned before the Crestwood Comets play Pottsville Saturday night at 7:00 p. m. under the lights at the Crestwood stadium. The Comets have been struggling this season. They will play their hearts out and the students, their families and friends, and community members will enjoy the event too. Win or lose Homecoming is always a fun time.

We have photos of the Homecoming Court in this week’s edition and a schedule of events. Many Mountaintop businesses are sponsoring our special pages and we thank them all. Many have been cheering on the Crestwood activities for years.

Kindergarten Literacy Crestwood Superintendent Joseph Gorham is inviting teachers and community members to a presentation Friday September 23 to talk about the decline of literacy scores for Crestwood children arriving for Kindergarten each year. Gorham says the scores have been in a five-year decline and he has a plan to reverse the trend by giving teachers, parents and guardians and future students better tools for the next few years.

Crestwood’s superintendent is holding his meeting at the Marian Sutherland Kirby Library from 8:00 a. m. to 8:30 a. m. on Friday. He asks only a half hour of your time to explain how we can help with this challenge. Coffee and a continental breakfast will be provided. The Eagle will be there. Please think about coming too.

Ladies Ryder Cup The Blue Ridge Ladies Golf

League is in the middle of their three week Ryder Cup Tournament. The PGA Ryder Cup commences in Scotland later this week. 28 ladies played Captain and Mate, Alternate Shots and Better Ball emulating the real PGA Ryder Cup, which is September 27 to October 1 in Minnesota this year. The pairings are based on handicaps and with low handicappers vying against players with similar skills and high handicappers the same. The BRT Ladies have Red and Blue teams. So far the score is 4-1 in favor of the Blue. Two more weeks for all players to finish off their seasons with gusto.

Think about joining the Blue Ridge Ladies Golf League in 2017. Tuesdays are league night with ladies teeing off from about 3:30 p. m. to 5:15 p. m. beginning in April until September. If you or any of your friends would like to come and join us for the 2017 season call Tony Barletta at Blue Ridge, 570-575-GOLF (4653) and we’ll talk. Like any group or league we need new members every year to keep the play fresh and fun.