hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


March 6, 2014

The Lamp Post


They force drivers to dodge them to avoid front-end damage. They also force state crews to be out there working late-night hours to make repairs. Recently, workers have focused those efforts on the bridges along I-495 north entering Haverhill.

That work repeats a familiar image. Workers have been repairing potholes on those bridges for the last two years.

Attention-getting trend: When something is effective, it catches on quickly.

Take the practice of Nettle School students, who nail signs about events onto utility poles in the neighborhood around their school.

Now, Whittier Middle School kids have picked up the habit, but with a bit of a twist. They have created signs about an upcoming event at their school, attached metal poles and stuck the signs in snow banks along busy roads.

Drivers can't help but notice the signs.

Sounds of spring: The Lamplighter recently heard that special bird call, "feee beee," which heralds the impending arrival of spring.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Eastern Phoebe bird’s raspy “phoebe” call is a frequent sound around yards and farms in spring and summer. These brown-and-white songbirds sit upright and wag their tails from prominent, low perches. They typically place their mud-and-grass nests in protected nooks on bridges, barns, and houses, which adds to the species’ familiarity to humans.

Hardy birds, Eastern Phoebes winter farther north than most other flycatchers and are one of the earliest returning migrants in spring.

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