What on earth is THAT?

Imagine heading out to grille chicken on the deck and encountering this on the railing?  Repulsive yet intriguing. Those are small bones!  How did it get there?  What on earth put it there (or “left” it, “deposited” it?).  Is this a good thing or a problem?

Turns out it’s a good thing if you want confirmation that birds of prey such as Owls reside among us along Lake Buel.  You see these birds do not process everything they eat quite the same way as one might think.  Undigested food items are internally formed into a ball and regurgitated.  The result is what is called a pellet or cast.  So evidently an Owl or Hawk ate well and decided to complete the process on our deck railing.

Our grilled chicken was good, although we were careful to avoid ingesting any bones.

It’s not just the Lake water that’s under threat from invasives

There’s nothing quite like sitting by a wood stove or an open fireplace to take the chill off as the days grow shorter and the temps fall.  Perhaps you also get satisfaction from knowing that burning wood is displacing use of expensive heating oil or propane.  But did you also know that you could inadvertently be introducing invasive insects to Lake Buel’s shorelines?  It’s true if you ‘import’ firewood.

The beautiful forests surrounding our Lake are under assault from invasive species.  Common threats include woolly adelgid killing Hemlocks and the Asian Longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer insects attacking hardwood trees.  Already woolly adelgid is ravaging eastern MA and metro New York, and Asian Longhorn beetles are prevalent in sections of Worcester County, MA and have been sighted in Brookline and Boston.  With its initial infestation point most likely Brooklyn, the Asian Longhorned beetle has since spread throughout metro New York City including New Jersey.  Even Central Park has not been immune!  It has been described as the most destructive non-native insect in the US.

What can we do?  Be very careful about buying firewood.  Know where it is sourced, and insist on buying from reputable local firewood dealers.  And be very skeptical of buying bargain firewood in areas where the Asian Longhorned beetles are prevalent.  Don’t inadvertently accelerate the spread of invasive species by “importing” diseased firewood to Lake Buel.  Buy local!

What to learn more?  Here are a few sites you might find helpful:

Don’t Move Firewood

New York Dept of Environmental Protection

New Jersey Dept of Agriculture

Connecticut Dept of Energy and Environmental Protection

Help bring broadband service to Lake Buel!

Many part-time residents have expressed the desire to spend more time at the Lake, but can’t because they lack high-speed internet access.  Telecommuting on Mondays or Fridays (or full-time!) isn’t an option for most without high-speed internet access.   Fulltime residents have been equally frustrated with slow options — dial up internet or DSL for a subset of Lake residents.

You may have heard about Wired West, and the effort to build out the “last mile” network bringing true high-speed internet access along with digital telephone and television options to the Berkshires. We’re passing along information from Wired West, and ask that you take a few minutes to complete the brief Expression of Interest survey card.  This is your opportunity to communicate if you are interested, and assessing potential demand is key milestone for Wired West.  Without sufficient demand, it is much more difficult to justify the network build-out.  Some residents may also receive a survey card in the mail, although online completion is preferred by Wired West.

“WiredWest is our communities’ chosen solution to the regional problem of inadequate broadband.

In Western Massachusetts, over 40 towns have inadequate access to high-speed internet, while it has become a necessity in today’s digital world. Even those who have broadband access are using outdated technologies that are not robust enough to equip our businesses, students and workers to survive and thrive.

Western Massachusetts towns are creating our own solution to this problem. We’ve created a municipal cooperative of member towns, and are working with state and local organizations to build a financially sustainable, state-of-the-art fiber-optic network to serve everyone. A network that will have the capacity to last for decades to come. And a network that will drive regional economic development, create jobs, improve education and healthcare, and provide a sustainable future for our communities.

You probably have a lot of questions about the details. To find out more about the WiredWest project, please see About Us, FAQ, Project Overview, and how you can help the project here.”



Fireworks over the lake

Photo by Paul Schaittacher

This year’s fireworks will be held on Saturday, September 1 at 9pm (rain date is Sunday, September 2) on the beachfront of KSA Sports Camp on the western end of the lake.

Every year, the District sponsors a magnificent display of fireworks on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend for the benefit of all District residents, friends and neighbors.  The display is put on by our very own master Harvester, Dave Lewis, who is also a licensed pyro-technician and the owner and operator of Berkshire Fireworks.


Our brand new blog!

Welcome to the first official post on Lake Buel’s new blog! (The one above this about zebra mussels is pinned there semi-permanently, so it doesn’t count :)

This blog is by and for the Lake Buel community. It’s a place to share information, stories, photos and more. We hope that it will also be useful to people who have not been here but who are curious about the Lake.

We encourage you to explore the various pages attached to this blog by clicking on the links below the photo of the Lake at the top. If you have questions or comments, please use the commenting feature. Comments are posted unedited, although we of course reserve the right to remove any that are less than civil or are spam; this is not the place to rent your house or sell your boat. It is a place to talk about that which will help each of us preserve the Lake and enhance our experience of it.

If you would like to become a regular blogger, please send an email to one of the initial administrators of this site: Paula Hatch, Chuck Pierce, Ginny Hyde, or David Weinberger. (Please check the blogging guidelines first.)

If you have questions about this blog, or ideas for how it can be improved — and we know there’s lots of room for improvement! — please let us know, either in the comments for this post, or via email to any of the administrators.

And a special shout out of thanks to Robert Chamberlain for so kindly and generously letting us use the LakeBuel.org domain name. Thanks, Robert!