The Seasons of Vermont

Vermont is a state ruled by seasonality; discover what each season brings near the Golden Stage Inn bed and breakfast in Southern VT. From dangerous hurricanes to the first gentle snowfall of winter, there’s often something to talk about!


March Events in Ludlow, Chester, Springfield and Londonderry

Happy Mardi Gras, everyone! In the spirit of having fun while you can, we want to connect guests staying at our bed and breakfast with Southern Vermont events in nearby towns including Ludlow, Chester, Springfield and Londonderry! Mardi Gras was celebrated in our own town of Proctorsville VT with a celebratory party at the Crow’s Cafe Bakery pictured below.

Mardi Gras Party at Crows Bakery Cafe in Proctorsville Vermont

Events for this weekend, March 8th-9th

On March 8th, demo all types of skis and snowboards at Jackson Gore base of Okemo Mountain Resort, just a 7-minute drive away from Golden Stage Inn bed and breakfast. Get your energy up with some delicious maple syrup at the Vermont Country Store’s ‘Sugar on Snow’ tastings during every weekend in March! Yummmm. Two of their locations are not far from our bed and breakfast; one is in Rockingham and the other in Weston. If your sweet tooth is satisfied, keep in mind that our bed and breakfast has a new special for maple lovers during the weekend of March 22nd-23rd, which is Vermont’s Annual Open House Weekend for sugarers across the state. March 8th is also Okemo’s Light the Night Rail Jam with tons of prizes. If you’re looking for fun with the family, ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ is playing in Ludlow Town Hall at 7pm as part of the town’s free film festival.

On Sunday, March 9th, you can learn to ski or snowboard for free at Bromley! They have a new Terrain-Based Learning slope…from the perspective of a snowboard instructor, it sounds like a great way to learn and I might even check it out myself just to see how it works. For foodies or those who want to do some shopping on their way back south, the Taste of Winter Market is happening in Springfield at the plaza from 2-4 pm. There’s no produce like Vermont produce.

Next weekend’s events, March 13th-17th

On March 13th, The Downtown Grocery, a new farm to table restaurant in Ludlow Vermont, is hosting a benefit event. Each ticket is $75, a steep price but a good cause for constructing a bike path through Ludlow to make our town more sustainable and accessible. The menu includes a five-course meal paired with beer, wine and cocktails. March 14th brings another merry evening of food and drink with Fullerton Inn offering a wine tasting paired with dinner. Looking for music to enjoy? Okemo’s Sugar Daze concert series continues March 14th and 15th with Kip Winger at the Sitting Bull  on Friday and Matisyahu at Jackson Gore Base on Saturday. Local band Gypsy Reel will be opening; they are a fantastic blend of Celtic tunes, French Canadian folk and New England roots music…I would go just to see them! They are also playing at the Sitting Bull at 2:30 on Sunday, and at Killarney’s St. Patrick’s Apres Ski Party on Monday the 17th…St. Patty’s Day!

If you visit Vermont in March, we hope to see you soon at Golden Stage Inn Bed & Breakfast in Proctorsville VT!

-Sophi Veltrop, Golden Stage Inn

 

Your February Guide to Winter Fun in Vermont

With two feet of snow in the past week and another 1-3 inches expected today, winter fun in Vermont is going strong, and we want to be sure our inn guests have all the details on local happenings.  Looking forward through the end of February and into March, visitors to Central Vermont are staying busy with plenty of activities and events happening nearby our VT bed and breakfast.  This week, Okemo Mountain Resort’s events include a nature program on Vermont birds of prey, a nighttime ice skating party, and a sell-out comedy night.  A new exhibit featuring local artists is opening in Windsor, and a film screening of The Vermont Movie is happening right down the street during the Cavendish Historical Society’s annual meeting.

This week’s winter fun in Vermont…

February 20th  (That’s tomorrow!) 

Vermont Institute of Natural Science in QuecheeVINS, or Vermont Institute of Natural Science, is hosting a Live Raptor Encounter at The Roundhouse at Jackson Gore in Ludlow, VT.  Show up at 7 pm to see the falcons, hawks and owls that call Vermont home.  VINS is located 45 minutes away in Quechee, Vermont, and is a great place for lovers of wildlife and nature to visit if bad weather gets in the way of time spent outdoors. They are also hosting a Winter Wine & Dine on Sunday, February 23rd.  Meet at 5 pm to snowshoe through the woods, followed by a three course meal at Marshland Farm.

February 21st

Okemo Mountain Resort hosts Shakin’ Skate for a second time this winter.  This party includes a live DJ and tons of games for the family to enjoy.  From 6-9 pm at the Ice House at Jackson Gore in Ludlow VT; admission is $10 and skate rentals are $5.

February 22nd

Nuance Gallery in Windsor VT is opening their new exhibit, ‘Making Visible,’ from 4-6 pm. Featured artists include Valery Woodbury of Springfield VT, who will show her pastels, oils and watercolors, Michelle Woodbury who will display nature photography, and Nance Silliman, owner of Nuance Gallery. The Making Visible show runs alongside the Luminaries Exhibition, featuring fine arts and crafts from more than ten artists from Vermont, New Hampshire and beyond.

Popular comedian Bob Marley appears at Okemo Mountain Resort for the mountain’s 12th annual Comedy Night.  Marley has appeared on The David Letterman Show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and Comedy Central – he was also in the film The Boondock Saints!  Doors at 7, show at 8, with a cash bar for 21+.  You can book tickets in advance, as this show has sold out in the past.

February 23rd

As mentioned above, the Winter Wine & Dine presented by Vermont Institute of Natural Science is occurring from 5-9 pm.  In addition, the Cavendish Historical Society’s Annual Meeting will be screening “Freedom and Unity – The Vermont Movie Part One” at 6 pm at the Cavendish Elementary School.  If you can’t make it but are interested in the film, explore the Vermont Movie’s website or watch the trailer here.

Vermont has more to offer in March…

March will continue the winter fun in Vermont with Mardi Gras celebrations on the first of the month.  The following weekend offers a day of free ski & snowboard lessons at Bromley Mountain in Peru, VT, as well as the ‘Taste of Winter’ Market in Springfield for all the travelling foodies and farm-ies out there.  And the weekend after that brings the Sugar Daze concert series to Okemo with Matisyahu and other star musicians.  If those stellar acts don’t get your sweet tooth thinking about Vermont Maple Sugar Weekend on March 23rd, maybe our maple-themed breakfast offerings for that weekend will!  Don’t miss out on winter fun in Vermont this year, and keep an eye out for our upcoming March event calendar for the Southern and Central regions.

Maple Sugaring Open House Weekend March 2014

Witnessing A Honeybee Swarm (2013-July)

A swarm in May is worth a load of hay,

A swarm in June is worth a silver spoon,

A swarm in July ain’t worth a fly.

 

Simply put, a swarm is a beehive’s way of reproducing.  In the Spring, if the queen of a hive is strong and the population of bees plentiful, the queen will leave the hive with nearly two-thirds of the hive’s bees to find a new home, leaving the original hive to rear a new queen and continue on.  A honeybee swarm is an amazing sight to witness.  A strong hive may have 60,000 bees, so when the queen leaves with her followers, she’s in the air with nearly 45,000 bees.   An awesome vision, the bees fill the air like snowflakes in a blizzard.

 

So it was this that Michael noticed through our solarium window.  We have three beehives at our Vermont Bed and Breakfast and one of them is just outside our breakfast room.  This is the hive that had released its bees into the yard, completely consuming the front lawn – bees in the grass, bees climbing the hive boxes, bees in the air.   We watched for several minutes, waiting to see where the bees would land – because that’s what the poem up above is all about.  Ideally, the honeybee swarm will land in a place that we can catch them and relocate them to an empty hive box.  If it’s early enough in the season, say May or June, the bees will have plenty of time to draw out their honeycomb and fill it with enough honey to survive the inevitable winter season.  The earlier, the better, because a May swarm will not only make enough for its own stores, but honey for the beekeeper too!  But if it’s late in the season, the bees prospects for survival are just not as strong, so they’re not as valuable to a beekeeper.

 

Our own honeybee swarm was in the first couple days of July so I was feeling pretty optimistic about the bees being able to pull it together and make a go of it.  With this eagerness, we waited for the bees to settle.  A honeybee’s swarm schedule is pretty predictable.  The bees leave the hive in a flurry, then they settle on a nearby branch dispatching several bees to scout the area for a suitable new home.  This can take a few hours or a few days.  The swarm waits patiently in a cluster – well, a “cluster” is sort of an understatement.  The mass of bees crawling over one another and hanging off of one another is the size of a basketball with thousands of bees sprawling along the branch for several inches in every direction.  One of the coolest parts of seeing bees in this state is that the bees are super passive and very unlikely to notice a human’s presence, so we’re able to stand freely and watch the magic.

 

Unfortunately for us, these bees settled on a branch three stories high.   There was no prudent way to catch them, so we were forced to accept this a donation to nature.  The bees would find a new home, move into it and continue the tradition of bee-ness elsewhere. (In the photo — which was taken from 30 feet below –you can see the brown clump.   That’s the mass of 40,000 bees or so.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes a picture just doesn’t do justice.)

 

The bees remained on their branch for two overnights, through the torrential downpours that have so marked this Spring. And then on a sunny afternoon, after returning from errands, we found the branch bare.  The queen and her acolytes found a new space while the hive they left behind awaited the birth of their new queen.  Within days, their new queen would emerge and this ‘daughter hive’ would be complete once again.

 

Our Bed and Breakfast is located in the Okemo Valley of Vermont.  We have two sheep, nearly two dozen chickens (fresh eggs!), and three beehives.  Ask about getting a tour of a beehive.  You can don a beekeepers suit and veil — or watch through the windows from the comfort of our solarium.

-Julie-Lynn Wood, Innkeeper, Golden Stage Inn

Okemo Valley Shuttle connects our Vermont Bed and Breakfast with Ludlow Restaurants (2013-01-23)

Okemo Mountain Resort has long offered a free daytime shuttle service, transporting skiers to and from the mountain and valley lodging for fantastic Vermont skiing.  However, come evening time, Valley travelers have had little option other than driving their own cars when heading into Ludlow nightlife.  Not only was this inconvenient for many, but with high drunk driving rates, it was also unsafe.  The Okemo Valley  Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Ludlow Police Department helped initiate a service to correct this deficit in our Vermont Ski Resort community.  As members of the Chamber of Commerce and as a directly-paying Vermont lodging property, we are proud to introduce the Okemo Valley Shuttle as a complimentary service to our guests.

The Okemo Valley Shuttle will drive an hourly loop through the valley, picking up and dropping off passengers at Ludlow hotels, condos, bars and restaurants along the way.  The route begins at Jackson Gore on the north and travels through Ludlow, ending at The Pointe Hotel, continuing onto Golden Stage Inn Bed and Breakfast and Glimmerstone Mansion on a “on demand” basis.

Shuttle Service in Okemo Valley is complimentary to our Vermont Bed and Breakfast guests

The 24 passenger vehicle is available to travelers on winter Fridays, Saturdays, and holiday periods from 6pm through 2am, through the e­­­nd of March 2013.  A second vehicle, a 15 passenger van, is used for fare-taxi service in Ludlow and its surrounding communities. For taxi service, call (802) 438-8089.

The buses are owned and operated by The Good Bus, a local business offering taxi service and private charters for all occasions including weddings, bachelor or bachelorette parties, brewery tours, corporate outings and family reunions. Tesha Buss, owner of The Good Bus, says The Good Bus  “is excited to fill the transportation need for the Okemo Valley and contribute to the safety and vitality of our night life.”  For more information on The Good Bus and its services, you can call (802) 776-8333.

First Day of Winter brings plenty of snow to our Vermont Bed and Breakfast (2012-12-21)

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore Toto!

 

Our gracious guests at our Vermont Inn this week were not spared the New England winter experience as the area received two separate snow accumulations (I hesitate to call them storms as they were so peaceful and non-threatening), one early in the week of about three inches and one overnight last night that seemed to drop somewhere between four and five inches of the white stuff.

 

Nelly’s view of Vermont Snow from our back door on the first day of winter

Although heavy and wet down here in the village with temperatures in the mid-30’s, in neighboring Ludlow, Okemo Ski Resort is boasting much softer, fluffier snow because of the higher elevations. Our dog Nelly is in heaven as she feels like she’s visiting a brand spanking new place each morning even though it’s only outside our regular back door…. that’s how different the area looks under a fresh new blanket of snow.

 

Despite the rain scheduled for later on today, snow is said to resume tomorrow, beginning overnight tonight when the temperatures become a bit colder. As a quick aside, Vermont schools in this area have been called off three times so far this school year (including this morning) because of snow. Our best guess is that this state requires a level of caution regarding school bus safety that we just did not experience in suburbia, USA. With the mountainous terrain and the number of secondary roads up here, far less chances are taken regarding decisions about school closing or remaining open seem to occur up here than we had been used to in the flatlands of Massachusetts…much to the girls chagrin.

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