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News, culture & curiosities in Greater Danbury, Connecticut, New England, and the Milky Way.


State Reports Positive Mosquitoes for Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus

By Mercurial Staff

  The State Mosquito Management Program has announced that mosquitoes trapped in Hampton on August 26 have tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEE). These results represent the first EEE-positive mosquitoes identified in Hampton by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year.  … Read more »

Photograph by Darlyne A. Murawski, courtesy of National Geographic.
Photograph by Darlyne A. Murawski, courtesy of National Geographic.
gmo labeling

GMOS: The Modifier’s Perspective

Rebecca DiFabbio

  You enter the grocery store and glance at your list: snack bars, tomatoes, frozen dinners, corn, and cookies appear. It’s more than likely that these items are genetically modified or contain genetically modified ingredients.   GMO Awareness states on their website that genetically modified… Read more »

Photo courtesy of fs.usda.gov/lolo.

Connecticut Fire Crew Dispatched to Montana to Forest Fire

DEEP

  Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) announced last Tuesday that a 20-person fire crew has headed to Lolo National Forest, Montana to assist fighting wild fires in the western part of that state. Seventeen members departed early on August 13 with the… Read more »

A widespread wildfire in Canada caught on video.  See the video at globalnews.ca/news/696513/forest-fires-in-northern-quebec-affecting-eastern-canada.

Connecticut Fire Crew Returns Home From 30,000 Acre Canada Wildfire

Mercurial Staff

  Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) announced that the members of Connecticut’s fire crew returnd home to Connecticut on Wednesday evening at Eastern District Headquarters in Marlborough.   The 19-member crew (nine DEEP employees and 10 private-sector firefighters) left Connecticut on July… Read more »

Take Time Relaxation Center and Art Gallery, Bethel CT
Giant Hogweed, a federally listed noxious weed, can grow up to 14 feet tall. Photo courtesy of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

Giant Hogweed Makes an Enormous New England Appearance

Rebecca DiFabbio

photos courtesy of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation   Its sap can cause severe eye irritation, serious skin rashes, and even blindness––this is certainly a plant to know and avoid at all costs.   Giant Hogweed, or Heracleum mantegazzianum, is a perennial of… Read more »

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Bethel Turns Down Aquarion Water Company

Rebecca DiFabbio

  Voters in Bethel, Connecticut let their voices be heard last Thursday when they turned down Aquarion Water Company’s proposal to buy Bethel’s water system. The unofficial tally was 1774 nays to 693 yays.   Bethel’s political leaders firmly believed that Aquarion Water Co. could… Read more »

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A Bear in Downtown Danbury, a Kangaroo in North Salem?

Amanda Bloom

  Out of the ordinary animal sightings have been becoming more ordinary over the past few years – mountain lions and bobcats are often spotted throughout Connecticut, and a bear was recently tranquilized out of a tree in downtown Danbury.  But on Monday, the Ridgefield… Read more »

Sweet basil at left and hydrangea at right.

The Fire Escape Garden: June

Amanda Bloom

  It’s late June, and my fifth floor urban garden is thriving.  I’ve already harvested two bins of microgreens, my strawberries “patch” is fruiting, and the hydrangea pictured at left is in full pink bloom.  Two broccoli seedlings have survived a bout with cabbage worms,… Read more »

Students paint in the Sunken Garden at Weir Farm. Photo by Alex von Kleydorff.

Celebrate Connecticut’s Historic Gardens Day at Weir Farm

Cassie Werne

  Do you have a green thumb? Do you enjoy painting colorful gardens? Celebrate Connecticut’s Historic Gardens Day at Weir Farm National Historic Site where gardens and art go hand-in-hand.   Weir Farm National Historic Site, the only national park dedicated to an American painter,… Read more »

This shot of the Stevenson Dam shows powerful waters flowing in the Housatonic. Photo courtesy of Shelton Herald.

DEEP Cautions About Possible Unsafe Water Conditions this Weekend

DEEP

  Heavy rains mean river waters are high and swift   Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is cautioning residents and visitors about possible unsafe water conditions in Connecticut’s rivers and streams due to recent heavy rains throughout the state. Many of Connecticut’s… Read more »

A turtle crossing the road in Newtown, Connecticut. Photo by Amanda Bloom.

Turtles and Roads Are a Deadly Combination

DEEP

  Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is reminding residents to be on the lookout for turtles crossing roads. The months of May and June are the nesting season for many turtles. At this time, egg-bearing aquatic turtles often cross roads in search… Read more »

"Let's have a quick snack, then throw this everywhere!"

Awaiting the $600 Egg

Jessica May

  When I was a kid, I lived on a farm.  We had it all: horses, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, guinea hens, even a partridge!  My dad was the brains and brawn behind the operation; I was, for a time, the egg collector…. Read more »

Jordan Woodworks and Design - Bethel CT
The Afrezza inhaler, developed by Mannkind Corporation in Danbury, Connecticut.  The safety and ethics of the inhaler are currently being studied.

Inhaler for Diabetes Could be Available Within a Year

Rebecca DiFabbio

  Mannkind Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company in Danbury, Connecticut, will be releasing a new and easier daily treatment for diabetes within the next year.   Afrezza is an inhaler for diabetics used seconds before a meal.  It allows an insulin powder to be absorbed into… Read more »

A bin of lettuce and spinich at left and strawberries at right.

The Fire Escape Garden: May

Amanda Bloom

  What’s one to do when one loves to garden but hasn’t a yard?  Why, accumulate lots of pots and truck loads of soil up to one’s fifth floor apartment, of course!  This is what I’ve been doing over the past four years to create… Read more »

The bear sighted on Park Avenue in Danbury, Connecticut Monday evening. Photo by Camila Bortolleto.

Bear Spotted by Danbury Mall

Amanda Bloom

  Danbury, Connecticut resident Camila Bortolleto spotted a bear near her home on Monday evening and shared this video of the sighting with The Mercurial.   The bear was spotted on Park Avenue, which is just east of the Danbury Mall.   Learn more about the… Read more »

The 17-year cicada. Gerry Broome/Associated Press.

17-Year Cicada Exhibit at Peabody Museum through September

Mercurial Staff

  An extraordinary natural phenomenon is about to take place. This year the 17-year cicada will emerge from colonies in undisturbed forested regions in south-central Connecticut. Expect to see and hear these fascinating creatures starting at the end of May and throughout the month of… Read more »

Image courtesy of Connecticut DEEP.

Farmington Motorists Cautioned Due to Moose Sighting

Mercurial Staff

  The Department of Energy and Environmental and Protection (DEEP) has advised motorists in the Farmington to use extra caution and be observant while driving due to the sighting of a moose on Town Farm Road, approximately 2.5 miles from Interstate 84.  Moose near roadways… Read more »

long-island-sound

Connecticut Senators Push for Long Island Sound Preservation

Environmental Headlines

  Four U.S. Senators are pushing for increased funding for the preservation of the Long Island Sound.   Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) are asking Senate leaders of the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies… Read more »

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Learning to Live with Snakes

DEEP

  Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is reminding residents that snakes are starting to come out of their winter dens at the same time people are venturing outdoors to enjoy the nicer weather, start yardwork, or participate in various outdoor activities like… Read more »

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Seed to Salad in 10 Days–You Can Grow That!

Joene Hendry

  Need a quick growing fix? Look no further than a seed packet of micro greens. With minimal effort you can go from seed to salad in 10 days, making micro greens a perfect You Can Grow That! success story.   On the fourth of… Read more »

Giraffes at the LEO Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich. Image coutesy of itsrelevant.com.

Baby Rothschild Giraffe Born in Greenwich

Kwegyirba Croffie

  It’s a girl!  The LEO Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich, Connecticut welcomed a healthy baby Rothschild giraffe into the world last Friday morning.   Petal, a six-year-old endangered Rothschild giraffe, gave birth to the unnamed baby girl giraffe on March 22. Born at just under six… Read more »

The top portion of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline connecting Hardisty and Steele City, in a map provided by TransCanada.

Debating the Keystone XL Pipeline

Ehris Urban

  The Keystone XL Pipeline is a proposed $3.3 billion 875-mile pipeline project which would stretch from Alberta, Canada to oil refineries in the Gulf Coast areas of Texas and Louisiana. Its purpose would be to deliver up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil obtained… Read more »