Town News

Linda Baniszeski


Happy Birthday wishes to those celebrating their special days between now and the end of 2016:  Kenneth Frost on the 22nd, Dr. Renata Bartneke - 23rd, and Terry “Skip” Carter and Janet Wooding on the 25th.  Hopefully, the Christmas babies will receive twice as many presents and blessings.  

 Christmas preparations and decorations illuminate the landscape throughout our little town and surrounding communities.  Terry Reynolds has a decorated 10 ft. Christmas tree and other glowing items set up in his Garage Mahal, awaiting the family Christmas celebration that he annually hosts.  I hear Tammi Smith and her son Dan had something to do with choosing and hauling home the amazing tree.   Many delivery trucks have been coming and going at Terry’s home as well.  It appears he is once again living up to his reputation as a “giver of the best Christmas presents.”  

 Here in Maine there is a phrase about the changing weather, shared with us by a lifelong East Machias resident.  She says, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.”  This past week has surely attested to this as a fact of nature here.  We simply live where our surroundings are a constant surprise.  The panorama of recent days is testament of God’s glory from season to season.  From December 12 on it’s been one kind of storm after another.  December 12 was the first plowable snow of 4-5” in Meddybemps.  Another inch of snow then fell Tuesday overnight.  There was a haunting mist hovering over the lake surface the following Thursday morning.  The 0 degree temp. of Thursday night was followed by our coldest day to date at -8 on Friday morning.  It didn’t get much warmer throughout the day.

 Barry learned on t.v. news, the hovering frigid mist above water is technically referred to as “Sea Smoke” when it appears over the ocean.  It must mean ours is “Lake Smoke.”  This “smoke” is the result of the interraction between much colder air against less cold water or ice surface temperatures.   It’s very pretty, but also somewhat spookie. My cousin, June lives along the St. Lawrence River/Seaway near the Thousand Islands in New York.  When we spoke on the phone this week, she told me that she saw the same phenomenon on the River.  We came to agree that it should also be referred to as “River Smoke.”

 During the very coldest zero and sub-zero days that followed the snow, the lake surface appeared to be moving.  Powdery snow circled and swept across the ice like sand across desert dunes.  We never expected the driving rains and temperatures into the 40’s some days later.  Immediately afterward, the temperatures plummeted.  Now the lake appears as clear crystal in some areas and in others as haphazard expanses of artistic, frosted sculptures.  

 Our wildlife has been fairing rather well throughout all of these schizophrenic weather conditions.  They seem to know where to hunker down and roost among pine boughs or under the lean-to beneath our feeder (or should I say “their” feeder).  The blue jays somehow puff up their feathers and sit in the warmth of the sun on the limbs of our Maple tree above the feeder when the winds calm down.  Right before the snow, we had a broad variety including Juncos, chickadees and crows, plus others who moved so quickly they couldn’t be properly identified.

 It was a great blessing to receive a phone call from Sandy Newman of Baileyville.  She told me she also enjoys the many birds that frequent her home; and said, “last Monday morning I had 46 yellow finches, 16 Morning Doves, 2 Woodpeckers and the neighbors 3 hens and 2 roosters on my deck and around the feeders.”  We had a very nice conversation about the birds and wildlife in our areas.  I also learned that she left this area for quite a few years, but came back home to care for her aging mother.  Many thanks to Sandy for sharing her news with us.  It warms my heart to know readers enjoy the column.

 Here’s wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, safe travels and blessed holiday season.