Amenia Free Library craft event
yields feeders for hummingbirds

Intent upon adding the right artistic touches to attract hummingbirds, Emma Steed, 3 (almost 4), was a serious participant in the Amenia Free Library’s crafting event held on Wednesday, May 29, to create hummingbird feeders from recyclable materials.

Leila Hawken

Amenia Free Library craft event yields feeders for hummingbirds

AMENIA — Ensuring that local hummingbirds will spend the summer fat and happy, the Amenia Free Library held an event for patrons of all ages to assemble charming hummingbird feeders from recyclable materials on Wednesday, May 29.

Leading the event was the library’s new programming assistant, Hope Bruzzi, completing her first month of being on the job.

“I made it to look like a little garden,” Bruzzi said, showing her model finished product made of a small plastic water bottle, cutouts of flowers from plastic plates, and short lengths of orange plastic straws. Hangers were made from twine. Colored markers would add artistic touches, like green stems for the flower cutouts.

During the 90-minute crafting period, patrons of all ages came along and set about making their feeders under Bruzzi’s guidance. Little Emma Steed, 3 (almost 4), of Amenia, was the youngest, and intent upon coloring her feeder effectively to catch the eye of hummingbirds.

“We are working toward passing the torch,” said Beth Hale of the library’s programming staff who, after serving the library for almost three years, will move soon to Vermont. She said that during her time at the library, she has learned a lot, particularly about how to reach out and bring people in to experience the library and all it offers.

During the transition, Bruzzi is assuming Hale’s responsibilities. Hale noted that the library is actively seeking a program assistant to work with Bruzzi.

Latest News

Art sale to support new nonprofit

“Galactic Dance,” a 90-by-72-inch work by painter Tom Goldenberg of Sharon, is one of about 20 works featured in a fundraising art sale at The White Hart Inn from June 14 to 16.


It has been said that living well is an art. For Keavy Bedell and Craig Davis, that art form doesn’t end in the so-called Golden years. The two Lakeville residents have created a new nonprofit organization called East Mountain House that will help make end-of-life kinder and gentler.

Bedell has been active in the community, providing access to all levels of assistance to people who are finding it hard to do the essential tasks and activities that bring meaning and joy to their lives. She is trained in contemplative care and is a certified end of life doula.

Keep ReadingShow less
A Heroine’s tale at Hunt Library

On Thursday, June 20 at 2 p.m., the David M. Hunt Library in Falls Village, in collaboration with the Falls Village Equity Project, will host “Honoring a Heroine: The MumBet Story.” This event features storyteller and museum educator Tammy Denease, who will bring to life the inspiring true story of Elizabeth “MumBet” Freeman.

Elizabeth Freeman, also known as MumBet, was an enslaved African nurse, midwife, and herbalist. Born around 1744 in Claverack, New York, she spent 30 years enslaved in the household of Colonel John Ashley in Sheffield, Massachusetts. Ashley was one of the creators of the 1773 Sheffield Declaration which stated that “Mankind in a state of nature are equal, free, and independent of each other, and have a right to the undisturbed enjoyment of their lives, their liberty and property.” This same language was used in the United States Declaration of Independence of 1776 and in the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780. Evidence suggests that MumBet overheard these ideas when Colonel Ashley held events in his home and when the documents were read aloud in the public square. Seeking freedom, she turned to Theodore Sedgwick, a prominent attorney who helped draft the Sheffield Declaration with Colonel Ashley. MumBet, along with an enslaved man named Brom, began the process of fighting for their freedom. Historians note that Sedgwick, along with many of the lawyers in the area, decided to use the case as a “test case” to determine if slavery was constitutional under the new Massachusetts Constitution.

Keep ReadingShow less
Knees creak by wee creeks

First brookie of the day in hand.

This spring I have spent more time than usual creeping around the “little blue lines,” those streams that show up on good maps as, yes, little blue lines.

This is where to find wild trout. Often brook trout, occasionally browns or rainbows.

Keep ReadingShow less