Thursday, January 23, 2020


Within my earlier posting Ideas to connect Family with Nature and Community, I suggested we as a community create a story telling time at the Community Center whereby folks could tell their story – personal true stories, fictional stories, or a blend of the two.

In my post I wrote, We each have a personal story we can share about life in Jericho, our lives; funny stories, sad stories, inspirational stories, stories from the distant past, stories about change, stories about kindness given, and kindness received... Sharing our stories brings us closer together, builds compassion and understanding. Shared laughter is healthy for all.

To sort of break the ice, I have written a story I would like to share with the community – in written word for now, perhaps orated at the community center sometime in the future if we do develop a story telling night.

I think a storytelling venture at the Community Center would draw many folks, friends, families. I hope someone gathers initiative and builds momentum to get one going. The art is not lost, the storytellers are here among us, and the ears of many would very much enjoy hearing enriching and personal stories. We would surely enjoy rides on tales of long ago and not so long ago, from those who tell them well.



A folktale by Bernie Paquette

Walking the dirt roads of Jericho, Vermont, you can find quiet pockets of time seemingly frozen in place. Stretches of solitude can be refreshing – clear the cobwebs, release frustration, calm anxiety. Sometimes, even offer true wisdom. AH, but from whom does one seek this wisdom?

I have often placed my palm flat against a large long-lived tree, seeking to feel the tree’s energy, but mostly to absorb any non verbal wisdom it might somehow pass on to me – perhaps through some sort of osmosis. Generally, I walk away with at least the notion that long-lived trees hold seasoned truths, how else to out distance others for sunlight and soil nutrients, resist diseases and insect attack, to live to a mature age. I walk away, open to the possibility that in some way we humans do not fully understand, other life forms can, and do communicate albeit often upon inattentive or non-comprehending human senses.

Recently a walk along a Jericho dirt road brought me to a most personified tree or at least it was so while I was there in attendance and awe.

Perhaps the image I see in this tree is only in my mind – you can judge that for yourself in the photo or better yet, seek the tree’s counsel in person.

I will not suggest any Carlos Castaneda – Don Juan experience. I did not utilize any psychoactive drugs like peyote or jimson weed, not even marijuana or whiskey. Nor do I think that the tree I reference here is a nagual – a shaman or sorcerer able to change or shift into another form. My experience was a trip, but not one of drug-induced state, but of a more natural, though perhaps unusual conversation of sorts with a normally non-communicative, in human terms anyway, life form – a tree, what remained of a tree.

Now here is the first strange element that struck me upon this encounter. I have walked past this tree too many times to count. Granted there are thousands of trees on this Jericho dirt road, most nondescript, unless one is particularly observant and open to seeing all that is about. Normally on these walks, I find my mind releases toxins and useless concerns; frees up space for creativity, simple joys, magnified senses, and truer listening and seeing. However, I do not expect to meet up with a tree in the same respect as meeting up with an ole Vermonter in front of his barn, deciphering the lean of a hundred year collapse, ninety-eight years in the making.

Yet, somehow, this tree like nearly every other tree I pass is uniquely individualistic, having experienced its own pain, joy, growth spurts, loss of limbs, yearly re-birth. This tree accumulated its own sense of self and an opinion of the world around it. More strikingly this particular tree, gave me pause for its old Vermonter look, growing more personified the longer I stared into its dark black resin eyes.

It was like meeting the ole Vermonter by the barn on Schillhammer road in Jericho. No one I had met before, nor had I knowledge of his residency here. Perhaps he was hermit like, and somewhat typical of old time native Vermonters, not wanting to mix much with flatlanders, or even city folk. His worn, hard worked face, once young and smooth as a fine beech or birch tree, now lined, scared, and darkened from weather, hardships, and life, blended in unnoticed, lost in the similarly weathered barn boards of a barn no longer appreciated for its industry.

Both barn and Vermonter, are wear worn, shorn from sought, lost to the handicap of longevity, translucent for all their past.

So to, perhaps this tree, at first nameless, until now faceless, unknown, unseen, invisible notwithstanding all its character, years of service, and annual change of drabness to flagrant greens, then reds and yellows and oranges.

This tree, which likely bled from deep within its chambers, extols the virtues of human blood donors. It has freely given sweet water, sugar, nutrients – Maple Sap from a summer long production and a winter long storage.

This tree, like the ole Vermonter, performed chores day in, day out - no absences, no complaints. Some years, heavy snows, errant cars, gauged bark; broken limbs from the weight of ice, now more common than in years past. Stature diminished, no longer able to provide herculean arms of shade refreshing leaves or stools for birds and squirrels, and ropes holding up tire swings for children. Sorrow embedded in sapsucker holes, tears dripping not in fluidity of youth and aspiration, but in meandering memories – children’s laughter, young birds chirping with wide-open beaks and yellow throats, red squirrels chattering with scolding twitching tails; wind whispering one minute, howling the next, snowflakes as big as quarters sewed together creating a blanket over shallow roots. Frogs croak, foxes yelp, doves coo, dogs bark (and whiz autographing bark), eagles scream, crows caw, bees hum and buzz, nearby apples drop to the ground with a plump, mosquitoes whine, owls hoot, scream, (and bats) screech at night. All of these sounds and more, the tree has absorbed in wood fiber cells – another kind of storage retained over a generation of days - inscrutable to the casual observer.
This tree has steadfastly recorded images of change growing faster every year. No season ever alike, however patterns once similar now dissimilar, exasperating variances stretching the capacity of tolerance, and adaptability against time.

This tree, today, like the ole Vermonter, somehow catches my eye and attention. I know not of this tree any more than the other beech, birch, oak, sumac, pine, spruce, hickory, and other tree families. I knew of their residence here yet not their family history, never mind their individual history, experiences, and or expressions, just as I know there is a whole village of folks in Jericho. I know of their passing in cars and occasionally view their faces along sidewalks and front yards, however not of their stories, livelihoods, passions, interest, accomplishments, fears, hopes, desires. They too occasionally catch my eye, and I wonder if I was able to look down from the sky up high, if I could see and hear their stories, and if I could, would the stars lighten the stage while they shared of themselves. If I embraced them with a long warm hug would we exchange each our learned bits of wisdom, our caring, empathy, kindness, compassion, our joy. Would we better hear and see each other?

Yes, it seemed strange that I had walked past this tree so very many times, having some knowledge of trees here about, yet no connection to this tree, more than any other tree, until this day. Now suddenly this unique individual tree with all of its particular collection of life, long lived, became real for me. No longer did I need to place a palm against bark for a possible intangible transfusion of knowledge.

 Now, within this tree, I could see a personality, a face to match the name, a personified history in long nose, deep dark eyes, thick eyebrows, a chubby roundish pronounced chin, a dimple on his left cheek, old time Vermonter like large ears and a gnarly concentrating forehead beneath a hat covered crown. His mouth is hardly visible but for a small protrusion above his chin.  His girth gives an indication of age that his diminished height no longer can. His arms seem armed and ready to thwart any further diminishment of his stature – resisting the inevitable just as the leaning barn reaches for balance against the pull of gravity. I blush at the errant thought of firewood split and stacked in neat form aberrant of its original shape.

Literally cutoff from the career heights he once attained, no longer able to produce offspring, devoid of industry functioning elements of maple sap, and foliage, nearly limbless, his face draws tight, and his past gilded of facts until history nearly vanishes.

Yet, somehow, in that hard worn, shorn, and nearly lost face, a diaphanous veil allows, for those patient and observant, a look inside. Inside is a deep, deep well of long gathered, accumulated, earned, cherished memories, reflections, and knowledge.  Stories shyly peek at the edges wanting to come out, eager for telling, waiting their hearing.

It is there, with my back resting against his still solid legs and over his feet and toes, that I sat back, closed my eyes, released the last of my cloudy judgments, presumptions, and my overzealous self. I emptied the room of my mind, removed all barriers, cleared a table, poured cups of coffee, and met my neighbor Fred, the ole Vermonter tree whom I had passed countless times, but never before stopped to say hello, never mind learn of his remarkable life of yesteryear as well of that of today. 

Do you have a personal story you would like to share with the community? Drop me a line and perhaps we can find like-minded folks to create a story night at the community center.
View my list of ideas for connecting Family with Nature and Community at

Locally sourced, Organic Jericho Folktale for fun with a hint of serious thought for consideration.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Local Jericho Business Lays off 1,500

JERICHO, VT – Jericho Settler Farm lays off 1500 and they all left town!

Interview with Christa of Jericho Settlers Farm. 

The population in Jericho took a nosedive this past November. For a number of years, once per year, Jericho Settlers Farm purchased chicken pullets - 14 to 16 week old hens from a farm in Pennsylvania. The chickens arrived at the farm via truck. 

Which reminds me of C.W. McCall's song titled Wolf Creek Pass. Listen to it here. He sings / talks about a truck carrying eighty-five crates of USDA approved cluckers through Wolf Creek Pass up on the Great Divide. Chickens were stacked to thirteen-nine, while the tunnel sign said clearance to twelve-foot line. You perhaps can guess how it all goes from there. Guess that is why chickens coming to VT are shipped from this side of the Great Divide. 

Just the same, I bet those chickens from Pennsylvania were overjoyed to arrive safely here in Vermont, and in particular to eat the pasture food under loving care at Jericho Settlers Farm

JSF always ran two age groups in their flock in order that one group would replace the older group as their egg production slowed down at about two years old. JSF never had any morning wakers (roosters) in the flock.

Daily egg production fluctuated seasonally and in relation to the age of the flock. Egg production generally ran about 1100 eggs per day ( 92 dozen) for a 1500 hen flock. 

Bacon8egg - Jobs Scrambled!
In November of 2019, Jericho Settler Farm's 1500 Solar Chickens flew the Coop. The hens were [laid off] sold to Maple Wind Farm to allow JSF to focus more on vegetable production.  

Christa concluded, As we refocus our farm into more vegetable production, Maple Wind Farm is doing the opposite, discontinuing their vegetable production and upping their livestock production. They have always raised their livestock in grass-based systems, on pasture, as we have done, so it is a great partnership for us to be able to offer their meat products in our CSA and farmstand as we discontinue our meat and egg production. In the future we will use the hoophouse that housed the chickens for vegetable production. 

While we may miss the chickens from time to time, right now we are not missing having to do winter livestock chores!

Time to hibernate, before the sun returns to grow vegetables again!

Check out Jericho Settlers Farm CSA and other vegetable offerings at their farm stand at 22 Barber Farm Road, and see their offerings on their website at

Read about Maple Wind Farm @

Read about how some of your local farmers are affected by and are dealing with climate change at

Read about Jericho Settlers Farm new business - Photovoltaic chicken and Electro Syrup at

Jericho Vermont
Images of Community
Intimate, caring, and personal; reflecting the community and its stories.
Bernie Paquette

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Jericho Commercial District - Will Residents Name it or Lose it?

JERICHO, VT – Ancient lost Jericho district discovered after nearly 200 year old town map uncovered amongst a tangle of artifacts in Town Hall attic.

Up until now, Jericho has long been broken up into three village districts. One is the Jericho Center home of the picturesque village green surrounded by historic buildings such as the Jericho Town Library and a picturesque church steeple and the Jericho Country Store- the oldest continuously running country store. Another is Riverside (half of the Underhill flats area – Thank You Underhill for the land-loan) home of the new Jericho Market, and the Deborah Rawson Library. In addition, there is the Jericho Corners, home of the famous Joe’s Snack bar and a roller coaster curve in the road-easier on horses than on automobiles.

The town selectboard and development board members were overjoyed with finding a new district within Jericho upon reviewing a Jericho map dated 1763. The map lay beneath antiquities, brittle yellowed newspapers, and no small amount of critter deposits and home making materials.

It seems the fore-founders of Jericho had in mind to encompass Jericho into four districts, three of which we have now, and the newly discovered district. The reason the fourth district became lost in obscurity is that the founders of Jericho could not decide what to name the fourth district.

The town charter issued on June 7, 1763 by Benning Wentworth reads in part, “… all tract or Parcel of Land situate, lying and being within our said Province of New-Hampshire [From the New Hampshire Grants], containing by Admeasurement, 23040 Acres…”. It goes on to make allowances for roads, mountains, and rivers (don’t anyone try an hide, desecrate, or otherwise withhold from the residents of Jericho, their beloved view of Mount Mansfield).

Of note, also lost was the charter requirement that every Grantee, and their Heirs or Assigns, shall plant and cultivate a portion of their land and continue to improve the land on penalty of the forfeiture of his grant or share in the said township. That is another story for another time.

 A small portion of land along where route 15 is now between Raceway and Browns Trace was allotted for a future market once the town consisted of fifty families. This plot of land (“A tract of land near the centere of the said Township”) was unnamed because the requisite number of families could not come to agreement on what to name it.

 Over time, many more families moved into Jericho, however given this jut of land inside Jericho had never been named; it was lost and not documented upon maps that are more modern.  It was said as each new generation came along the youngest upon reaching the age of agility would climb the tallest tree in Jericho and set sight on Lake Champlain upon which lay a shimmering setting sun, Lee River, Browns River, and Mill Brook and the Winooski River. The youth was tasked with seeking the now only rumored, long lost tract of land. The unnamed tract of land had long ago lost its whereabouts because  – a district unnamed is a district lost.

Given the density of the old-growth forest the small area within the township of Jericho remained lost for many a year. Still each year, as tradition called for, a representative of the latest generation, an agile youth, would take the search duty with the eternal hope of a gold miner. Whereupon, in the midst of massive clear cutting (for sheep grazing) in the late 1800's, a sighting caused great excitement for one family member high atop a very tall and old withered, pecker-chiseled white pine. 

Much of the land cleared of trees allowed for a view of formerly unseen tracts and vistas, in the middle of which lay the lost unnamed Jericho tract. As the youngster counted out the district names and overlaid the map in his mind to what was in view, the joy of discovery overwhelmed the poor gent; head over heels toppling down the tree, he went.

Needless to say the only word of the discovery went unheard in the whispering pines, which to this day when felled, either by man or storm, always fall pointing in the direction of Jericho's fourth district!

Therefore, for many more years, the unnamed land remained lost to all but the birds, squirrels, deer, and mice. By the time the next generation came along, and the respective tree climber set sight again, the forest had re-grown, all the sheep now being mutton and lamb chops, and the land once again unseen all but for a name.

Early in the year 2019, the original 1763 Jericho map came to light after over 200 years of hiding both itself and some of the Jericho land it represented on parchment.

The long lost map extends the coordinate points of Jericho from latitude of 44.5000 to 44.5039 and longitude from 72.9900 to 72.9976.  The formal boundaries for the village (assuming Underhill does not call in its land-loan and retrieve the half of Underhill flats that Jericho currently holds title to) encompass a land area of 1.378 square miles. The new map makes it 1.40 sq miles. Given the current very low density of street trees in Jericho, the lost land is in plain view if one is patient enough to drive through it at a reasonable speed or better yet, to bike on the bikeways or walk along the someday installed sidewalks.

 This is HUGE, one property developer was heard to say. “That is more area than Burlington’s hole in the ground – way better than a pit and it is right here in the middle of Jericho. Why, we could fill that hole, oops sorry, that new commercial district with miles of concrete high up into the sky with a couple of obligatory trees up front of course – after all this is Jericho, not Burlington –geezeem-crow.”

The Planning Commission set out to conduct a survey on what to name the new commercial district. Name proposals such as “The land between Majestic Mount Mansfield  and Dollar General”, and “Raceway Browns -Fastest Way to BTV” were considered however they seemed too obvious for such a treasured newly discovered part of the township.  

Sampling of Survey questions and responses:

Q: What do you feel are the appropriate size of buildings for the Commercial District?

A: Of the residents and one dog that responded to this survey question: Twenty-seven felt that the size of a breadbox up to the size of a two story home was appropriate sized building for the commercial district. Sixteen felt buildings slightly smaller than the Empire state building were appropriate as long as they could still see the antennae atop Mt. Mansfield. While twenty-three felt that was too tall and might cause Jericho affectively a warming microclimate inside the valleys of all that concrete and steel. 
The dog was oblivious to size of the buildings as long as they each included a fire hydrant.

Q: Would a Mountain Resort and mini ski Slope (think Jay Peak 4 season waterpark) fit into the district plan?

A: Twenty three - Yes, if I get a life-long free entry pass. Sixteen responded no unless the resort mountains were no bigger than the speed humps on Skunk Hollow road.

Q:  What uses do you want allowed in the commercial district?

A:  Agriculture  25 yes, 17 no. Are cows commercial, what about turnips?

A:  Forestry 18 yes, 25 no. 3 could not see the forest from the trees and 3 could not see the trees from the forest. One recent new resident from NJ had never seen a forest, therefore abstained from answering.

A: Green roofs - lest we forget the delicious color of VERD MONT in spring. 
     And Artscape on building walls and roofs, doors, or even drive tops

A: Stable-boarding/riding  24 yes, 18 no. We might need some bigger poo scoopers.

A: Nursing Home: 30 yes, 12 no. The yes folks perhaps figured the elderly were less likely cognizant (hearing wise anyway) of the urban like noise from increased traffic.

A: Community Maker and Incubator Space for the likes of Jericho Settlers Farm Fried Photovoltaic Chicken and Electro Syrup.  A zealous applause of YES from all.

A: Repair Cafe / Sharing Center.  Again, much applause and a resounding YES from all.

A: Food Hub (Food Processing Center). All YES, lets eat local and support our farmers.
     Combine with a local seed collection and preservation center.

A: Hug space. One square meter to stand upon and give or receive free hugs. All voted Yes - who doesn't like if not need a hug from time to time.

A: Outdoor Ice rink. Yes's around concluded ice storms are becoming more common, might as well skate.

Q: Will the town install a monument in the Commercial District recognizing the last snowflake to fall in Jericho? 

A: Alas, many respondents sighed in responding to the inevitable of climate warming. While others offered hope in suggesting the monument read
 "Save Our Snowflakes - Jericho, Vermont".

Q: Pet Parade road striping

A:  6,243 Yes, 6 no. The six were all pets – they did not want to be restricted to anything less than the whole road.

A: Related suggestion: Stone walls instead of curbs along the road.

Q: Will the Valentine’s Phantom be allowed to plaster the Commercial District with heart, love, and kindness messages, poems, paper hearts and other Valentine materials?

A:  20,302 yes, Jericho Believes in Love.  

It may be interesting to note that a similar survey asking similar questions about fencing their neighbors wished to put up, realized about 300% more respondents than the commercial district survey. A survey about a possible
quiet zone in Jericho and a proposal to unpave Browns Trace created the highest most vehement responses. 

Organic Jericho Satire thought there might be some more creative uses so why not ask the folks of Jericho, What do you want to build in the newly found land in Jericho? Read Seven Days article regarding BTV’s development ideas for their ‘commercial district pit’, to get your creative juices flowing.  

 Will Jericho residents agree on a name for the heretofore unknown district, quickly enough, to save this important part of Jericho’s history?


Take the REAL Jericho Town Development Review Board Survey at

Locally sourced, Organic Jericho Satire for fun with a hint of serious thought for consideration.

Why Does the Commercial District Need a New Name?

A new name is just one part of the story.
Here's what's done - new vision, new master plan, and Town Plan updates
What's needed now - new name, updated zoning
What's next - new map with possible new streets, paths, sidewalks, infrastructure options
Where is the Commercial District?
Along both sides of Route 15, where Jeri-Hill Hardware, Clarks Truck Center and Dollar General are. Also, some of Jericho East and many houses are located in the "commercial district." In fact, about half the development is residential, not commercial. And much of the area is still open undeveloped rural land.
Many Jericho businesses are located outside the "commercial district." Jericho Market, Synergy Dance Studio, JCAT, Joe's Snack Bar, Old Mill Craft store, Jericho General Store, Jericho Center Country Store, - are all businesses located in the Village Centers, which are different than the "commercial district." The Village Centers have always been the designated hubs for the community.
Why does the Commercial District need a new name?
Because it's not the only area in town where you can have a business. And because this area is not, and has never been, purely commercial. It's always been a mix of neighborhoods, farms, and small businesses. The area was named the "commercial district" over 50 years ago when Route 2 and Route 7 were developing as commercial highway corridors. Fortunately, development on Route 15 in Jericho didn't follow that pattern. Yet.
The Planning Commission spent more than a year talking to residents about how they want to see this part of Jericho grow and develop. More Industrial uses typical of "commercial" areas were not high on the list. Strip development wasn't wanted. What was high on the list? Locally-owned businesses, services for residents, (a brewery!), walkable neighborhoods, affordable housing, senior housing, recreation (pool and ice rink!), green spaces, small scale farming, bus access, river paths, broadband internet, renewable energy generation, and smart growth, were the most frequent requests.
This area could offer good locations for some of these to happen in Jericho. The topography is suitable, the location is central, some of the landowners are interested in development. We translated these ideas into a vision for the area and updated the Town Plan. The Town can't make these things happen. The Town doesn't own the land and typically doesn't invest in land development. But we can try to make them possible, by working to align private interests with community priorities. The Town Plan and zoning regulations are the Town's tools, to provide a framework of incentives and requirements for developers.
A new name will help communicate this new vision. The Selectboard recently adopted Town Plan updates to better reflect the district's role in our community. The Planning Commission will spend the next few months to update the zoning regulations to ensure that this area continues to be mixed use, but with better assurances that any future development would be small scale, locally oriented, livable, walkable, sustainable, and will help connect the community and preserve the mountain views, and not be a disjointed place we drive through faster to get somewhere else.
Please help find a new name that's a better fit for this area by filling out the survey on the town website (LINK below). Survey:
Town Plan updates info:
Thank you,
Susan Bresee
Jericho Planning Commission member

Monday, December 30, 2019

Jericho Vermont Images of Community 2019 in Review

Jericho, Vermont  2019 Hearth and Home - Scenes of 2019

Community is what we make of it, how we shape it, how we see it. Our sense of place, our sense of belonging is indeed shaped by our own hands. We may have little control of the world at large, however, here our voices are heard, our actions acknowledged, our neighbors are at least recognized if not known. Our country store, library, town green, road crew, farm stand, artists, and more, all spell that we support, in fact thrive on our local community - we support each other - one another.

Jericho of today is a story of building resilience, supporting our local farmers and artisans, and our natural resources. Jericho of today fills the school auditorium on Town Meeting day with respectful, considerate and thoughtful discussion and true listening.

Jericho of today trades items and discussion on FPF as though we were all related. 

Jericho of today preserves open undeveloped land for public use today with an eye for future generations as well. And Jericho honors our forebears at their resting grounds. Jericho sets out the quintessential invite for visitors - outdoor chairs. There is a chair for you in Jericho, come sit a spell, relax, and visit. Whether it be to visit with yourself, nature, or others, there is a place for you here - pull up a chair. 

Nobody beats Jericho's Cleary family's signage, from B E L I E V E to magnificent wood sculptures, and fire breathing and dancing Cirque De Fuego troupe performances. See photos of Cirque De Fuego performance on the Jericho Green, here

Jericho of today staffs town committees, school board, selectboard, fire department, and town volunteer groups with dedicated, intelligent, caring folks. 

Jericho today comes out for library story telling, poem writing, and more. Folks gather for the annual pet parade, Green Up Day, Santa at the JCS, Christmas tree lighting on the green. Jericho is honored to have the Gruppe Gallery as well as many distinguished artists who show their work there and at annual art events like the Plein Air Festival and Open Studio

The Jericho Community Center holds stage in the middle of town for both private and public events - a grand hall to watch a Snowflake Bentley puppet presentation or an outdoor food and music event, attend CPR training, or weekly Be Your Best Body classes.

The Jericho Underhill Garden Tour has me and I am sure others, eager to get new plants in the ground as soon as we have thawed ground again.  

And new community - family connecting - traditions are starting up and more are on the discussion table. View 17 of the ideas here. I particularly like the idea of a Jericho Repair Cafe / Sharing Center

I for one am grateful to this community - both the people in it and the geography preserved and maintained (read my Forever walk in Jericho here) and for the welcome and neighborly affection I receive here in this place.  I hope to do an even better job of reflecting what Jericho is about in the coming year.  A REVIEW OF JERICHO 2019 IMAGES AND STORIES is further down this page.

What of Jericho in 2020?
Can we change our internal models of the world fast enough - here at home?

"I wonder why things have to change," murmured Piglet. Pooh thought for a while, then said, 'It gives them a chance to get better. Like when the bees went away and came back.' " Return to the Hundred Acre Wood by David Benedictus

How will we embrace new information as new insight, how will we adjust (rapidly) in our own local community, in our homes, in our own beliefs and behaviors?

Of large and weighty heights, we do attend
yet in the end
airy light barely noticeable gestures of family, friends and neighbors
wrap us in life’s immortal jewelry
and warm us in perfumery of cinnamon, vanilla, fresh coffee
and cookies fresh out of oven
revitalizing our acuity. 

Happy New Year

Throughout the year of 2019, Jericho Vermont Images of Community offered snapshots of views from this picturesque rural community lying on the edges of  Chittenden County suburbia. The photos tell part of the story – what would a story about the pet parade down the middle of the road in Jericho Center be without pictures of the pets dressed in their glorious if not sometimes outrageously creative costumes? 

The stories also help highlight why Jericho, Vermont is a special place. Some of the stories were ‘real’ while some were ‘satirical’. Some attempted to inspire a few laughs while most left at least a hint of serious thought for consideration. For example, 'Jericho Goes Quiet' posting, real or satire? Strong opinions came out  believing that Jericho politicians had gone too far, while other comments declared satire a healthy joust against despair!

The 2019 most viewed postings are:

5. Climate Change and Local Farms – Jericho VT Panel Discussion (Enlightening write up by Maeve Kim describing three local VT farmer's stories, concerns, and actions regarding farming with the impacts of Climate Change).

Meanwhile some 2018 posts continue to gather more than their share of views.

  What kind of Jericho images would you like to see in 2020?

     What kind of Jericho stories would you like to read in 2020?


Save our snowflakes - Jericho, Vermont

Save our snowflakes and earth

Last year of burning dinosaurs
 (#2020in5 words: Hope less Act carbon less)

No walls in our Jericho

End plastic food packaging -WRITE

Laugh, Dream, Try, Do Good

Lawns don't feed our pollinators

Plant warm hugs, native plants

Jericho Vermont
Images of Community
Intimate, caring, and personal; reflecting the community and its stories.
Bernie Paquette

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Forever walk in Jericho Vermont - Poem

Forever walk in Jericho Vermont

By Bernie Paquette

I took a walk in Jericho,

My legs carried me
but my ears kept me in place.

Step one, step two
and four
should have been enough
except that I could hear!

I could hear
only the crunching
the crunching under my feet
as my heel  and sole
made contact with earth -

Not smooth, nor asphalt hard
nor uniform in grade,
texture, or color
only the sound
escaping my trespass.

No line to stay in between
only a suggested path -

An occasional pop and a squish
liquid oozes into the depression of my step.
Of what I crunched, I know not
the weight of my world
too much
for that of another.

Another step, and yet another
always that crunching
over pebbles, soil, and natural debris
like chewing on popcorn
one cannot stop until the bowl is empty
for the crunching rules over all else.

Such are the only sounds I hear now
step after step after step.

Sometimes I try to walk as I Imagine Native Americans perhaps did
 with moccasins or bare feet
silently moving with the breeze beside deer and birds and bear
not adding or taking away from their chorus.

I lose my thoughts,
lose all other sounds
to the crunching under my heavy step
the soul of my feet releasing a heavy  burden
to the depression of earth
she absorbs me with heart and without discrimination
only crunching, an occasion squish or pop, then
under my step

A branch snaps with a sharp cry.
I quickly pull up my step.
Too late.
I have stepped on -
broken -
the spine
of a mountain.

The deeper in this place
-this audio-less forest
I go
the more
the crunching dominates, drives, determines my stride.
I try stopping
holding both feet
the breeze bending tall
forward swaying grasses
impel my feet
from constraint to compel
they struggle to understand what to do
in this strange world where they are the dominant disruption.


Unnerved,  I quickly go back to walking
crunch, crunch, squish,
the quiet was disquieting
an alien place this
home to stealth birds, and deer and bear
I am unaccustomed to
as they are to my crunching.

Crunch, crunch,
softer now than on onset
smoother pace
gentler steps


blending in



I took a walk 
on a garden path
into woodlands
and lost myself. 

I took a walk in Vermont
and got lost

in miles of crunching steps
when a few
should have been enough.

Jericho Satire Express – Poo Spoof

Jericho Committee Considers Dog Diaper Station at Mobbs.

JERICHO, VT – The Mobbs Farm Trail Committee recently surveyed the Jericho Community about preferred use of Mobbs Farm Trails. The majority of folks responding to the survey chose poop free trails where their dogs could run amidst wildlife in a clean paw friendly park with no deposits to interfere with (the dogs) sniffing out the territory.

To insure compliance for a clean paw park, the committee first placed an ad in the local Mountain Gazette as well as the New York Times, and in the Weird News section of the Huffington Post. The ad reads, “WANTED: POO FAIRY – can be metaphysical, supernatural, or preternatural. We follow Fairy hiring practices; we have no prejudice towards short stature, green clothes and hair. Must be able to exercise magic powers to benevolent ends, I.E. insure folks bring their dog poop back with them when they leave the park.

“Moreover, must be able to intervene in irresponsible dog-walker’s affairs, via magic transportation of trail deposited dog poo to some place under their car seat.

“Diminutive, delicate, beautiful ageless winged woman attire of diaphanous white clothing welcomed. Coveralls, gloves and lots of perfume provided. Gnomes need not apply. Nor Goblins – too ill tempered. No Pixies as they are a bit too mischievous. However, Hobgoblins are acceptable, though we have no hearth to offer comfort on cold nights.”

Having received no responses to the Ad, the committee membership concluded that Poo Fairies had all passed away.

In order to educate the public of their passing (a sad day for us all), a sign of funerary art was installed at Mobbs, with the practical purpose of reminding dog walkers of the Poo Fairies’ demise.  

All dog walkers must now have their hand stamped with a ‘dog paws’ ink stamp before entering the park. Upon exiting the park those who demonstrate they respectfully carried their dog’s poo back with them to be properly disposed of, will receive a special wipe that removes the paw print from their hand. Those dog owners, who leave their dog’s poo on the trail, will not receive the special wipe. The inked paw print will only fade away in the time it takes for a plastic bag of dog poo to disintegrate - about 1,000 years.

Alas, it seems there will always be believers in Poo Fairies. Why else would they leave dog poo wrapped in plastic – a sort of double jeopardy for our trails?

For those folks, the committee will offer Dog Poo Catchers - reusable dog diapers. The Waste Terminator Station includes a diaper vending machine and changing station. All diapers are made of cloth, which if left behind, as opposed to kept on the dog’s behind, will decompose sooner than a plastic doggy bag and cause less harm. If you refuse to pick it up, don’t let it drop onto the ground – use Dog Poo Catchers.

Once a dog diaper-wash service is available, vending operations will commence. Dog Poo Catchers in five bright vibrant colors are coming soon. A portion of every purchase goes to Jericho RDO – Jericho Responsible Dog Owners to help defray the cost of picking up after the irresponsible drop and walk away poo’ers.

If you spot someone not picking up after their dog - leave him or her a anonymous gift – Dog Poo Hide-A-Key. Realistic empty boxes labeled “Dog Poo Hide-A-Key Free Sample” are available at the vending machine. Just fill it with the product material they left behind, and then drop it off by their front door.

Want to avoid the embarrassment of getting caught leaving behind your dog’s poo - but afraid you might forget to pick up the bagged waste? Consider Forget Me Not Ventilated Storage Bags to store your poo bag with a built in clip for your car keys. Never again, drive away from the park without your dog’s poo!

IF, and there will still be one or two – you know who you are. IF you still feel the desire to leave your dog’s poo behind, please use the poo bags labeled “my dog’s SHIT”. Own your behavior.

Your dog is perhaps, cute, but most likely does not have opposable thumbs. We don’t want the poop. Please clean up. 

The increasing incidences of lost dogs (even though the owners were ‘in control’) at Mobbs drove the committee to respond with infrastructure and technology. Skirting Vermont’s billboard laws is tricky. However, the committee has found a loophole enabling them to install a large billboard and a kennel at the entrance to Mobbs for Lost and Found dogs. Dog owners may post messages to their dogs on the billboard. For example, “Lassie, please come home, we miss you.” In addition, perhaps, “Darn-it Buster, this is the third and last time I let you off your lead. I am the master; I am in command of you. Now get your butt home right now.”

For a small fee, dog owners can rent a dog phone so that the dog and owner, if separated, can at least keep in touch until reunited. Specially designed phone number key pads accommodate a variety of paw sizes. Google will translate woofs, howls, and barking of nearly all types into sounds the owner will understand. Commands from humans to the dogs are limited to sit, rollover, and ET Phone home.

I think the Mobb’s Farm Committee is barking up the right tree with these ingenious ideas and implementations, along with efforts to educate the public about responsible dog ownership.

Support your Local Dog Businesses 

Jericho PPups (Poop Pick Up Service). Think picking up dog poop is gross while recognizing that:  1. Your dog cannot pick it up, 2. Dog poop is bad for the environment, drinking water, and public health 3. No fun to step in it. 4. Dog poop can last up to one year to break down, and still leave bacteria and parasites in the soil - harmful to dogs and humans. Then hire Jericho PPups. For a fee, we will follow you and your dog(s), pick up their poop, and properly dispose of it. Our fees are less than the fine you will receive for getting caught leaving dog poop behind. Alternativelypurchase a doggie vest and have your canine friend carry the poop. Be creative. Find an old coffee cup with lid - line it with doggie bag, fill, cover, carry home for proper disposal. Might want to draw a large red X on the cup.

Jericho Dog Rescue, a new firm in Jericho Center is available for a small yearly fee, to teach dogs how to apply for licenses, obtain rabies shots, and help them to find a place to buy dog tags inscribed with a home phone number. Vanity dog tags are available for purchase as well. Vanity tags statements include:  “I will come when I am done chasing the squirrel, deer, bird, or other critter.”,  “Man - master over dog – not over me!”, and “Every dog must have his day”. Also available for a limited time, “I Rescued My Human.”

Man’s best digital friend Inc. is now offering the next best thing to owning a real dog – a digital dog. A digital dog needs to walk only on your schedule, leaves no hair anywhere especially not on your white sofa or new dress. Bathe your DD (digital dog) and blow dry simply with an easily accessible phone App. Delegating potty breaks is a breeze.  Simply delegate the task to a digital poo fairy. However, you must execute a disc-clean up every month.

If your DD gets loose and lost, simply dial 933 or 9DD. The operator will instruct you on where to find your dog virtually every time. If your lost digital dog shows up at someone else’s house and they cannot kennel DD overnight, they can simply forward DD to you. However, you must receive her or him within 24 hours – otherwise DD might panic – surrounded by all those zeroes and ones in software land.

Caution: when in public and in wildlife areas, be sure to stay in command of your DD at all times. Even a normally friendly and obedient loose DD can sometimes run errant.

Dog walking quotes: 

You’ll never walk alone, because I’ll always walk with you
unless I smell something interesting, then all bets are off.

You become responsible forever for whom you have tamed. 
~Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry’s

Leave nothing behind except paw prints.

Own the dog – own the dog poo!

Locally sourced, Organic Jericho Satire for fun with a hint of serious thought for consideration.

Author's Note
Like most of my satirical writings, the dog poop writing is meant to be funny while retaining a sense of messaging. 

The messaging is not about dogs, but about the few dog owners who are irresponsible.  

I realize I took a risk that I might offend some dog owners. Please understand that is not my intention. I loved my dogs; I like other friendly dogs. I do not like seeing plastic bags of dog poop or unenclosed dog poop on the trails for reasons listed in the writing. This is not the dogs fault as I point out - they do not have opposable thumbs to pick up the poop. Moreover, I believe, most dog owners / walkers are responsible about clean up after their pet(s). 
 Our beloved dog Elliot, r.i.p.