NORMANTOWN NEWS - By Lisa Hayes-Minney

I have not seen Mr. Holiday, the area eagle, for several months, but I assume he (or she) is somewhere raising young for the season. I have been informed of a possible nesting location in the community but haven’t taken the time to visit and see for sure. I have been reluctant to let our pullet hens free-range because of this recent addition to our community, but I recently started letting them out of their day pen in the evenings under my supervision before putting them in the coop at night.

For all the years we have lived here, I have wanted tame ducks on the lake behind the house. While we have plenty of wild ducks and Canadian geese, the wild ducks quit visiting about the same time that the snapping turtles return for the summer. This spring, I was given four Pekin ducklings, which grow much larger than wild ducks, almost as large as the geese.

I took the ducklings in at ten weeks and put them in a day pen with a kiddie pool until I felt they were large enough and strong enough to enter the lake’s water. They were fearful of it at first but enjoyed puttering around in the muck at the water’s edge. On their fourth trip to the big water, a snapper took a bite out of one of the duck’s chest. It survived, albeit with a good size bald spot – but now the ducks have no interest in even dipping a webbed toe into the big water. It seems now I have the ducks I wanted, but not where I wanted.

I am familiar with the largest snapper in the lake. His (or her) shell is more than 14 inches long. But as I paid more attention, I can now see there are at least three good size snapping turtles living here. Why the snappers do not bother the geese and have taken interest in my ducks I do not know, but I am ready for the turtles to be removed from the waters. I feel a good level of guilt about it because I am sure Oscar, the largest turtle, has spent many, many happy years here. But, if anyone wants to come to adopt (or eat) him and the others, please let me know. I would rather not clean and fill the kiddie pool every day for the next 8-10 years.

The mini-library at Mike’s Store has been stocked all summer with a good number of children’s books and many still remain. In addition, Summer Reading Activity Packets produced by Gilmer Public Library are also available inside the mini-library. Kids (and adults) who complete and return assignments from the Activity Packets are entered into the Summer Reading drawing for prizes, which include an Android tablet, a drone with a camera, a large art kit, earbuds, and more. You can also enter the drawing by participating in the Story Walk on the Nightingale Trail at Cedar Creek State Park.

Stumptown Mushrooms, the area’s newest business, is now a new vendor at the Berea Gardens Farm Market every Wednesday 4-7 in Minnora, Calhoun County. They are also a vendor at Bridgeport Farmer’s Market on Sundays. Preorders are not required but can be made by calling 304-804-6250 or through their website   Both fresh and dried gourmet mushrooms are available.

Normantown Historical Community Center has installed new LED lights in the gym and the brick building, and the new roof is finished. They have also signed a contract with John Spiker to hold an internet auction for a lot of the remaining furniture, etc. that they do not need. The auction, once launched, will run for three weeks.

NHCC had 110 families at the food pantry in June. They did not receive boxes from Mountaineer Food Bank because they ran out before they got to NHCC’s request. However, the clients received a huge amount of food from the stock of NHCC, some of which food has been purchased with grant funds provided by the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation. Unfortunately, traffic for the pantry was an issue this month, as patrons begin lining up on Route 33 long before the designated time.

It appears that our area of Route 33 has been selected as part of the state’s master road improvement plan, and state road trucks seem to have finished the project along Rosedale Road and moved to work on Route 33. Road improvements are always welcome, even with the slight disruptions to the morning and afternoon commute. Drivers in the region should be on guard for road work and might keep in mind the additional traffic in Normantown on Food Pantry days.

Please keep your donations coming! Donations to NHCC can be made online at   or mailed to NHCC, 3031 Hackers Creek Road, Jane Lew 26378, c/o Margaret.

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