Let the season begin

I was at the hardware store Sunday afternoon picking up paint, and it was quiet. There weren’t a lot of customers. As I went through the check-out, one of the staff commented it was like the calm before the storm. She was referring to this weekend, of course, the traditional start to the summer season in Haliburton County. 

At the Environment Haliburton! annual general meeting Saturday morning, board member Oliver Zielke talked about setting membership goals for the organization. He said if they could get three per cent of the population, of 5,000 people, that would mean 150 members.

But board member Heather Ross said the population can swell to 70,000 when the seasonal residents arrive.  Over the weekend, Leslie Forrest sent us a photo of the week entry. It is of a Sandhill Crane on Bobcaygeon Road in Minden.  

I am watching Planet Earth on Netflix at the moment, and the comment at the hardware store, the EH! AGM and Leslie’s picture all have me marveling at migration patterns, be they animal or human. 

I haven’t seen one yet, but the Monarch butterflies have arrived, after their 3,100-kilometre journey from Mexico. Sandpipers are here now, too, after their 3,000 km trip from South America.  And this weekend, thousands … literally thousands … of seasonal residents will descend upon our county after their drives from the Greater Toronto Area and parts beyond for the fields of their dreams.

A few of the hardy ones come up in the winter to play but most await the spring weather. If they didn’t open the cottage last weekend, they surely will this weekend. After a true county winter, we doubt many will do the traditional Victoria Day dip.  

It’s an interesting time of the year for us year-round residents. We’ve emerged from aforementioned winter a little dazed and confused. It was a hard one when it comes to snow. We shovelled and chopped unlike anything we’ve done in years. The spring flooding and rains have us all a bit sluggish.

It does feel a bit like the calm before the storm.  

Naturally, we welcome our part-timers because they are so good for our economy. Our businesses, some of which have been operating on their lines of credit, are looking forward to moving some stock and providing some services.  Marinas, tradespeople, dock folks are all gearing up. Retail and restaurants are poised. The ‘help wanted’ signs have gone up in the windows. From a financial perspective, it is time to make hay while the sun shines.  

For our seasonal friends, there are a few things you should know as you return and pick up your long weekend edition of The Highlander. Inside, you’ll find our 2019 edition of The Highlander Handbook. This 90-page information guide should tell you everything you need to know for the coming season. 

We urge you to read up on burn regulations, since they’ve become standardized across the county. We’d also encourage those in Dysart to follow the new fireworks bylaw which should be passed soon. It will determine what you can, and cannot do, with fireworks this year. You should also know that the townships are all dealing with the issue of short-term rentals and should bring yourself up to speed on the latest news. And, finally, septic re-inspections are continuing across the county, which may, or may not, impact on you. 

Other than that, please pack and bring the summer weather with you. We look forward to renewing old acquaintances and making some new friends. 

Let the season begin.

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