Story and Photos by Lisa Carolin
It was like a flashback to Woodstock outside Farmers Supply Company Saturday morning. Woodstock was in fact the theme of this year’s Pet Parade, and there was no shortage of tie die accessories and groovy glasses.
Juliana Gatza, 6, and her dog Paisley both dressed as hippies with the message of peace and love.
Tess and Hugo Kapelke were sporting a lot of tie dye as were their dogs Daisy and Heidi. They were planning to compete in the lookalike contest. Contests included one for youngest, oldest, best, funniest, and most unusual costume.
Susan Flinders and her dog Tobias both dressed in drag.
“I’m a ringmaster,” said Flinders, wearing a suit. “Tobias is my trick dog. He has a feminine side he needed to express with this outfit.”
There was also a goat in costume as well as Ana Hotaling with her bunny Tundra, the “hippy hopper,” and her son Jaeson with Altaria, the “hippy chick.”
Miss Washtenaw County Daveaux Riggs, and Miss Teen Washtenaw County Grace Newlin, were both judges.
“I’m overwhelmed with all the great costumes,” said Newlin.
“We’ve got some tough choices,” said Riggs.
There was a blessing for the animals and an offer to visit the water bull for thirsty contestants. Then it was time for the parade, which went through neighborhoods and culminated with a walk down Main Street.
Also on hand inside the depot were a number of representatives from animal rescue groups promoting everything from adoption to spaying and neutering in the case of Project Catsnip.
The parade is an annual event and attracted many onlookers.
Tags: Pet Parade
(Chelsea Update would like to thank Tom Hodgson and the Waterloo Natural History Association for the information and photos in this column.)
Over 300 bird species visit or reside in Michigan every year, but none are more interesting or unique than the diminutive ruby-throated hummingbird.
This, the smallest bird nesting east of the Rocky Mountains, weighs about as much as a penny. It is also the only bird with helicopter-like flying abilities. It can fly backwards, hover and change its position vertically in space with ease. It and can also go from full speed ahead to a complete stop in mid-air, and fly upside down.
We all remember that third-grade joke about why hummingbirds hum? Because they don’t know the words. It’s really because in flight their wings beat over 50 times per second, creating an insect-like hum. They are so confident in their flying abilities they seem to have little fear of humans. This is great for those of us who enjoy watching them as they are not intimidated by our presence in the garden.
Although there may be other birds that are more colorful, there are none that make better use of iridescent colors than the hummingbird. Special structures in its feathers scatter the light, neutralizing some colors and reflecting others. Such colors are called structural colors, not the result of an actual pigment.
The emerald green color on the hummingbird’s back is structural, as is the gorgeous red on the male’s throat. The actual underlying pigment on the male’s throat is black or melanin, which is why the throat patch often appears black. But when the bird turns and faces you, that black turns to fiery-red. That beautiful red throat patch or gorget is used to impress the females during courtship, and perhaps to intimidate other hummers when a male is defending its feeding territory.
Hummingbirds are very attracted to red or orange flowers, especially if they are tubular. They will also visit other flowers. The pale blue hosta blossoms in my back yard are popular with hummers right now. Hummers get much of their energy food from nectar, but also eat insects and spiders.
They are, of course, also attracted to hummingbird feeders filled with a sugar and water solution. Can they get along without these feeders? Absolutely. The primary benefit from hummingbird feeders is the enjoyment we get from watching the birds. In most years, there is plenty of natural nectar out there to satisfy the birds.
Can the feeders be harmful to the birds? Not if properly placed and maintained. The sugar solution should be made from one part table sugar and four parts water, i.e. one cup of sugar to four cups of water. Although some commercial pre-mixed “hummingbird nectar” contains red food coloring, it is not recommended. Plain old sugar and water is the best. Heat about five cups of water to boiling in a pan, remove from the heat. Pour four cups of this very hot water into another container, add one cup of sugar and stir till it is completely dissolved.
The heat will drive off any chlorine from city water and will kill mold and yeast spores that might be in the sugar. This will help the solution to keep longer. Allow the solution to cool and then pour it in a storage container and place in the refrigerator until needed.
The hotter the summer temperatures the more frequently the solution should be replaced and the feeders cleaned, in Michigan that means once every two or three days. To avoid wasting the sugar solution put only small quantities into the feeder until the amount of daily use can be determined. The sugar solution will stay fresh longer if the feeders are placed in the shade.
Feeders can be put up in early May and remain until the end of September. Feeding later in the fall is possible and will not cause hummingbirds to extend their stay.
Next week, we will visit with a hummingbird bander and researcher to see how the banding is done and to learn more about the life of hummingbirds and their migration travels.
Story and Photos By Lisa Carolin
In between the art booths and the food vendors lining West Middle Street, you can also find members of the Chelsea Kiwanis Club selling raffle tickets. The money for raffle tickets will go toward eliminate tetanus in Africa where 160 babies die every day from the disease.
Dr. Costas Kleanthous, a Kiwanis member and a retired physician, is leading the effort.
“It’s a very good cause,” he said. “For $10 you can save the life of a mother and child in Africa.”
Kiwanis raised $3,000 last year at the Sounds and Sights Festival, and Kleanthous’ goal is to raise a total of $10,000.
He’s offering a stay at his time share condominium in Florida as the prize. The sign at the Kiwanis booth states, “Welcome in the New Year on the beach!”
It’s a four-bedroom villa located in Weston, FL near Fort Lauderdale. The raffle winner can stay at the villa from Dec. 26, 2014-Jan. 2, 2015, and $400 of spending money is also part of the prize.
“I think it’s worth it,” said Kleanthous. “This is the kind of thing Kiwanis does worldwide.”
(Chelsea Update would like to thank Lion Keith Bloomensaat for the information and photos in this story and slideshow.)
In this slideshow is Lion Keith Bloomensaat and Lion Ron Montange thanking Jackson Lion Marianne Behler for presenting a program about helping families to organize their thousands of photos.
Lion Ron Montange thanks Chelsea resident Charlie Taylor for providing information about the Chelsea Park Commission.
Chelsea High School graduating senior Tiffany Valencia as well as a photo of she and her family receiving a Chelsea Lions Club service award of $1,000.
Tags: Chelsea Lions Club
Story and Photos by Lisa Carolin
Hundreds of children visited the Sounds and Sights Festival’s KidZone Friday and enjoyed activities ranging from a magician to meeting Paws, the Detroit Tiger’s mascot.
All the action took place and takes place again today behind the Clocktower complex, where there are free bounce houses, bubble blowing stations, a Chelsea Lanes portable bowling alley and more. The KidZone is sponsored by the Chelsea Teddy Bear Company.
On Friday, Jason Abbott’s magic show was the center of attention, and he involved many volunteers from the cheering audience. When he began his balloon swallowing routine, Abbott advised, “Don’t try this trick at home.”
Glitter tattoos were also a big hit.
“I’m getting the dancing dolphin tattoo,” said 7-year-old Keygan Monahan, who was with her 9-year-old sister Riley and their grandmother, Stephanie Collins.
“This is something exciting to do for kids,” Collins said about the KidZone.
“It’s a great atmosphere for kids,” said Pat Wier, who also was accompanying her grandchildren.
Her granddaughter, 7-year-old Alexa, was helping Clay Witter create a spin painting that would be placed on a tee shirt. Witter’s sister Sidney was applying the tattoos using stickers, glue and glitter.
The Jurassic Adventure bounce house was a popular destination for kids.
“My sons want to jump with their friends,” said Janice Watson. “We look forward to this every year.”
“It’s something to do that brings everyone together,” said Margie St. Pierre.
On Saturday is the annual Pet Parade with registration beginning at 9 p.m. at the Chelsea Farmer’s Supply across from the Train Depot. Kids can dress their pets in costumes and participate in the parade, which starts at 10 a.m.
Also at the KidZone Saturday, the Chamberlin Petting Zoo offers pony rides and a variety of animals on display from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
The Top Hat Show starts at 1 p.m. and combines circus acts, illusions and fire arts.
From 2-3:30 p.m., there will be a meet and greet with Princess Elsa at the Chelsea Teddy Bear Company. Inside, free popcorn, slushies and factory tours are available from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Story and photos by Lisa Carolin
The Art Market is open from noon-8 p.m. at the Sounds and Sights Festival and will have demonstrations and a variety of items for sale. There’s jewelry, handmade soaps, hand bags, ceramics, woodwork and more.
Rose Giacherio from Ann Arbor runs the Images in Metal by Rose booth, which includes hand designed jewelry with collectable gem stones.
“I like the small town feeling in Chelsea, and everyone is kind and welcoming,” said Giacherio. “It’s well organized.”
Tom and Ann Gladwin also came from Ann Arbor making their art fair debut with their Red Barn Studios booth that includes objects for the garden.
“I use metal, rocks and driftwood to create things to give joy to the back yard,” said Tom Gladwin, who says his work started as a hobby.
Ann Gladwin’s work is also featured. She makes flowers out of glass. The couple have patronized the festival in Chelsea, and say they’re happy to be a part of it.
Amidst the more than two dozen booths is one called Bird Doodle with handmade journals, cards and prints. Holly Whitney, who’s from Toledo, calls her business Bird Doodle because she says that whenever she sits down to be creative, she tends to doodle birds.
“I melt photography and graphic design together for accessible art,” she said. “Chelsea is such a lovely town, and I thought it would be a perfect match for my work.”
Art demonstrations include 3D portraits in water-based clay, repurposing found objects and wood, space themed spray painting, and Plein air painting of downtown Chelsea.
When I was a young boy, I often went to the local library where I could find just about any book that I wanted, take it home, read it and return it within 2 weeks. All I needed was a library card and a desire. I had to know something about what I wanted to read, because there was no Internet to help me find a subject, author, book title or anything else. There was a card catalog, and shelves of books, sorted by type, author, etc.
Today’s library user has an entirely different experience. The Chelsea District Library (CDL) is a vibrant place that not only has books, but music CDs, movies, magazines (printed and online). Many other items and services are also available to help the user to enjoy life, assist with a project or learn how to do new things. Computers are available for people who do not have one, or free Wi-Fi for people who have computers, but who live in an area without decent service. A Friends group of volunteers is always busy raising money to support programs that otherwise would not be available.
The largest form of funds to the library comes from Property Tax Millage. There are small stipends from some other sources, but some don’t always get doled out yearly. The library millage is regulated by law and is subject to periodic adjustment by the 1978 Headlee Amendment. The CDL’s funding has been affected with a reduction from 1.75 mils (per $1,000 Assessed Value) to 1.6321 mils.
On the Aug. 5th ballot there is a millage increase request of $0.32 per $1,000 assessed property value. It’s another few dollars a year added to your already bloated budget, but the difference is that you can gain more from using the library and actually get many bargains for the money you spend.
I am asking you to make an informed decision and I think that you will find that a YES vote for the CDL additional millage is the right thing to do for you, your family’s and your community’s benefit. The proposal is on the last page of the August 5th Primary ballot.