For February 9, 2017

Tag: 
Town News

Meddybemps

Linda Baniszeski

 

We are experiencing seasonal February weather extremes.  Our roadways continue to be well cleared and salted throughout the series of storms we’ve experienced.  Kudos to Maine DOT and our local community snow removal contractors.  

On Monday, it is sunny, cold and blustery out here by the lake.  The winds were so high in the very early morning hours that snow from the lake surface was lifted and swirled into the appearance of a snow squall.  That snow has been redistributed creating sculptures of continuous white waves and ripples covering the ice.

Sad news for our little town includes the recent death of Helon Turmel.  He was laid to rest in Meddybemps Cemetery last Saturday.  Sincere sympathy to his family.  We’ve also learned that Bruce and Sharon Bailey are experiencing very serious illnesses and treatments in Florida where they are spending the winter.  They sure have had more than their share of set-backs.  First their house burns to the ground before Christmas, and now this.  They need our prayers for healing and strength, as do many other friends and neighbors.  Get well wishes to Terry Reynolds who underwent back surgery this past week.  

In happier news, congratulations to Jill (Reynolds) Osmond who has been promoted to Government Housing Accounting Manager at Maine State Housing Department.  Her parents, Patty and Dana Reynolds are understandably very proud of Jill.  

Happy Birthday wishes to Louise Lee who celebrates hers on February 13, and Diane Gibson on the 15th.   Don’t forget your loved ones on Valentine’s Day, February 14.  

Congratulations to our New England Patriots.  Wow!  That Team and Tom Brady continue to set new records.  It was quite the game, and kept us on the edge of our seats in the 3rd and 4th quarters and overtime.

Our bird feeder continues to have many visitors.  An extremely agile woodpecker suspended itself underneath the feeder floor with its head bending and stretching up to the suet cage that’s mounted on the feeder side.  This little acrobat enthusiastically pecked its heart away as though its precarious position was the most natural thing in the world. The only unusual visitor to our bird feeder this week was a purple finch, all by itself.  Perhaps it was the bird scout seeing if our feeder was worth the visit for others in its flock.

While visiting Janet Wooding and her daughter, Ann we watched a bevy of birds enjoying Janet’s bird feeder.  During that short time, we saw chickadees, two nuthatches, finches, woodpeckers and a pine siskin.  There are a few red squirrels coming to her feeder as well.   Ann is a retired physician visiting from Cardiff, Wales.  

It is time to get our tax records ready for the 2016 filing.   Not at all a favorite activity of mine. We’re punished for taking care of ourselves, while others are rewarded for doing nothing, not fair.   But as my dear departed Dad once said to me, “If you think life is fair, that’s your first mistake.”

 

Please send your personal, organization and community news to LBaniszeski@myfairpoint.net or phone 454-3719.

 

Princeton

Sandra Smith

 

The Parks and Recreation Committee held a meeting on Monday, February 1. Attending were Jan Campbell, Meredith McLaughlin and myself. Fire Chief Tony Ramsdell addressed our first possible ice skating event. He can provide the water for us, but we need to check on the best way to make a rink. We are concerned about costs. Meredith is looking into a movie and fees for the movie night. Most of the meeting was to draft plans for the Fresh Water Festival. The date was set, which is to be Saturday, June 24th. We had a brochure for the festival from 1994 showing that it was a three-day event. We are hoping to build on the baseline of activities that we started on our first try last year. We are going to do a marathon again and the shirt tail parade. However, we would like to expand the parade to small floats. We want to increase the number of games, activities, demonstrations and display areas. We would like to work with other groups within the town as well. Last year the Masons did their breakfast, the ATV Club-poker run, the Rod & Gun Club-horseshoe tournament and dinner. Anyone that is interested in helping (and we do need help) with this very special town event is welcome to the next meeting, Monday, February 13 at 6:00 p.m. at the Princeton Town Office Conference Room.

The library continues to be a busy place with many patrons using the computers, wifi, dvds, audio books and new donated books. There is a great cookbook section at the front of the library and the craft section has been moved next to it. There are so many books with great ideas for craft projects and there is still a lot of winter left, so, check them out. The story hour for this month will be February 15 from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. Paul Beane from Talmage has volunteered to read a story about moose. This is an opportunity for the youngsters to have a story read to them, do a craft project, and have a treat that matches the story. Heidi has worked hard to make this story hour special. Also a reminder that the library is offering an opportunity to get help with your taxes at no charge. Sign up at the library for a 15 minute appointment with the consultant for February 22 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The library hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 10-3; Wednesday 12-6. Or call at 796-5333.

Don’t forget on this Saturday, February 11, the 8th grade students of the Princeton Elementary School will be around starting at 9:00 a.m. to pick up your bottles. They are raising funds for their spring trip to Portland and Boston. So far they have raised $5107.32 and the cost is approximately $6148.00

Also on Saturday, February 11 The Sunrise County Food Alliance will present a workshop on protecting gardens from deer, raccoons and other marauding intruders. Ted and Liz Carter, owners of After the Rain Farm, will be sharing how they have managed to protect their gardens for over 30 years (thus far). They will show and discuss a wide variety of fencing options and possible deterrents to protect your next garden. Everyone is welcome. For more information or in case of snow, call 454-3364. This activity is at the Washington County Community College in Calais from 12:00 noon - 3:00 p.m. and is FREE.

Town of Princeton still is looking for volunteers for the Board of Appeals and Budget Committee. Please consider helping out and call Donna at the Town Office at 796-2744 or email office@princetonme.com

Upcoming Activities

Princeton Pathfinders - Workdays every Sunday at noon at Isaac Cilley’s home in Princeton, then on to the trails.

Princeton Library Committee Meeting, Wednesday, February 8 from 5:00-6:00 p.m.

Princeton Parks and Rec. Committee Meeting, Monday, February 13 at 6:00 p.m. at the town conference room

Princeton Library Story Hour - Wednesday, February 15 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. at the library.

Town of Princeton Selectmens’ Meetings-First and third Tuesday each month at 6:30 p.m. in the conference room.

 

To send me news, just drop me a note princetonnews@outlook.com or give me a call after 10:00 a.m. at 796-2261. My deadline to submit the column is 4:00 p.m. on Monday, I need any news no later than early Monday morning.

 

Indian Township

 

Donna Meader-York

 

It is never easy to say good-bye. There is no word for good-bye in the Passamaquoddy language. We say “until we see each other again”, or “travel safely”. There is a certain beauty in that; no finality, no sadness. We have someone very special that we are soon going to wish safe travels to.  Irene (Mitchell) Dewitt, or Miss Irene to her students and her family will soon be moving to another state when her husband Stephen is assigned to the base where he will be stationed in Kentucky. Stephen joined the Army last fall. Miss Irene has worked at Indian Township School as a paraprofessional for 12 years. She has also worked for the After School Program and for Ckuwapon Summer Camp for many years. Miss Irene has always worked with our youth, being a mentor and a role model.  Irene and family are about to have a big adventure, and I can’t help but be excited for them! To say she will be missed is putting it mildly. Social media and Skype will keep her in our lives, and remember…no good-byes. Home is where the heart is, and this is Irene’s home, so “Apc oc” until we see each other again.

Following this column last week, on Friday, we had a school wide send off for Miss Irene. Children from each grade presented her with gifts and handmade cards of love and remembrance. Hugs, tears, and a special poem written by yours truly showed Miss Irene how much she is loved and will be missed. Miss Tonya made cookies for everyone which helped make us feel better.

There are lots of fish being caught on the ice of Big Lake. The cold does not seem to bother the kids. They just bundle up and go. The Passamaquoddy language class has been taking grades 3, 4, and 5 when weather permits. Sometimes they are feeding the eagles, and sometimes they are keeping their catch for their annual fish fry. Either way, they are having fun learning.

On Thursday February 16 and Friday the 17th, ITS will celebrate winter with our annual Winter Carnival. There will be lots of fun activities for the kids as well as hot chocolate! Friday is an early dismissal day, but activities will continue. Mark those days on your calendar so you can remember to dress the kids warmly so they can participate in the outdoor fun.

 

That’s all the news for this week. Until next time, take care, and keep learning!

 

Alexander School

Cassie Oakes

 

The 8th grade will be selling tickets on a Valentine Basket.  Tickets will be $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00

The 8th Grade will be selling Valentine Candy Grams for $0.25 each.  If you are interested in either fund raiser please contact any 8th grader or see Brenda McDonough in the office.

If you have any cans and bottles you wish to donate to the 8th Grade, you can drop them off at the Can Man in Calais.

Just as a reminder that Sports Physicals need to be turned in to the office for your student to be eligible to cheer at or play in any games.  There are a few students who still need to do this.

Basketball and cheering pictures will be taken on Thursday, February 9th at 8:30.  If you need a form, please let Brenda know at the front office. This will need to be with your student the day of pictures.

Both boys’ and girls’ basketball practice has begun. Check your Friday announcements for days and times.

The basketball schedule has been finalized and sent home on Friday Announcements.  It has also been posted on AES Web site and on Randy’s Variety Facebook Page.

Home grown Panther Breath Garlic is still for sale at only $3 a bag.  Please see Brenda in the office during school hours if you are interested in purchasing some.  The garlic is home grown on the AES grounds by the students.

Also, Valentine’s Day is not far away. Watch for your class list or call your teacher and see what you can do to help out.  

The AES library was open once again on Tuesday morning when several students from grades 4-8 came to the library to check out books and use their time for a study hall.  A couple of students opted out for a snowman art project while others participated in band.  Tuesday afternoon the 2nd and 3rd grade popped in and found all sorts of interesting books to read.  While in the library they heard the story “Wake up Ground Hog” by Susanna Leonard Hill and talked about Ground Hog Day and then made a prediction for what they thought might happen on February 2nd.  Shadow or no shadow.  Wednesday became a shortened library day due to school being released early due to the impending storm.  Pre-k made it in to sign out books, hear the story “Groundhog Day” by Margaret McNamara and color a Happy Groundhog Day paper.  The kindergarten and 1st graders popped into the library for a very limited time to sign out books. They took their coloring page back to class to do in their free time the next day.  Both classes learned a song, “I’m a Little Groundhog Fat and Round”.  On Thursday students from grades 4-8 popped back into the library for some free time.  Some chose to do a bit of work or look for a book for upcoming book reports.  Rylee Kinney was a new addition to the volunteer library staff this week, beginning to learn the ropes. Hopefully she will enjoy her new endeavor and will be able to help out more and more.

 

 

Robbinston 

Kathy Mekelburg

454-0654

Robbinston weather summary for January 2017: A very mild January followed a cold December. The monthly mean temperature of 26.3 degrees was 7.0 degrees above normal which made this the second warmest January beaten only by 27.7 degrees in 2006. Maximum temperature of 51 degrees occurred on the 11th, while the lowest of minus 5 degrees fell on the 9th. There were 8 days with maximums 32 degrees or less, 31 days with minimums 32 degrees or less, and 2 days with minimums zero or less. There was an eleven day stretch (19th - 29th) with daily mean temperatures running 10 to 15 degrees above normal. There were 1193 heating degree days or 219 below normal. Total since July stands at 3761 or 448 below normal. This translates to a 12 percent savings for January heating fuel.

Total precipitation came to 6.64 inches or 2.27 inches above normal. This was the second consecutive wet month which was badly needed after too many dry months. This was the third wettest January in station records and the wettest since 8.11 inches fell in 1999. Maximum daily amount was 2.61 inches on the 24th. There were 15 days with measurable precipitations. Snowfall totaled only 12.4 inches or 13.1 inches below normal. Only three Januaries (2007, 2012 and 2014) had less snowfall. Total since October stands at 32.6 inches or 16.9 inches below normal. Maximum daily amount was 4.3 inches on the 7th. Maximum snow depth was 10 inches on the 8th.

 

Mean monthly barometric pressure was 29.99 inches. Highest was 30.71 inches on the 14th, while the lowest was 29.02 inches on the 26th. Mean monthly humidity was 83.6 per cent. Prevailing wind direction was west. Peak gust was 41/w. on the 13th. There were 6 clear days, 6 partly cloudy days and 19 cloudy days. Daytime sky cover averaged 70 percent. There was one occurrence of dense rime fog on the 10th. Monthly sunshine came to 102.3 hours which is the second lowest for January. Only 92.2 hours in 2006 was lower.

Calais

Sharon Frost

454-3339

 

February is National American History Month.

February 17th - On this day in 2014, five people were injured when an airliner hit clear air turbulence near Billings, Montana. Violent north winds in February herald a fertile year.

The Baring Baptist Church held a pot luck supper on Saturday evening. A great spread of delicious food was served with lots of “chit chat”.

Wat a wonderful surprise in January to have our NYC Mayor, Bill deBlasio, visit Eastport to celebrate the 90th birthday of his aunt, Jean Wilhelm. Breakfast was served to him from the Waco Diner before returning to the Big Apple. What a welcoming surprise for the community.

Boy Scout Sunday was celebrated at St. Anne’s with a special warm welcome. Scouts Prayer and Oath were given.

Fellowship in the parish hall following the service with a delightful variety of goodies and a huge Cub Scout cake was served. A church tour following lunch was provided by Shane DelMonaco.

Food Pantry: gifts can be left at the back of the church.

Saturday, February 11th,  Sandra’s Sweetheart Dinner and Dance will be held at Garcelon Civic Center from 6:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. (Canadian).

Also, a CCCH Fundraising Dance will be at the St. Stephen Legion at 8 pm (Canadian).

Valentine’s Day is on Tuesday, February 14th named in honor of Saint Valentine, an early Christian Saint.

Cook up some romance such as tasting the sweetness of chocolate as it melts on your tongue. Good cooking is sensual and satisfying as well as a bottle champagne. Some say the scent of cinnamon buns is the only true aphrodisiac for men. Take time to help your children make valentines or decorate cookies you have made. Make it a special day, you may get lucky.

Richard Clark is recuperating at his home from knee surgery.

Free Refills: God’s kingdom is like free refills at a restaurant. Jesus used common everyday  items to explain the kingdom of God. Thirsty after one soda, coffee, etc. get another, no charge.

Cut the cake: Joshua Sammer, John Smith, Jr., David McHugh, George Stevens, Dennis Lovely, Heather Smale, Sally Moir, Allison Atkinson, Carla Bridges, Diane Gibon, Mallory Drew, Candy Dwelley, Eldon Libby.

Have lots of old, easy, fancy recipes but not allowed to write them up for our paper? Call the Advertiser and be heard.

Steve LaForge has been at Eastern Maine Medical Center for several weeks and on Monday will be transferred to rehab in Machias. I have been looking after their dogs and a cat. It will be nice to have Elise back home.

 

Reminder:  Free annual Winter Family Fun Day on Saturday, February 18th from 9 am to 3:00 p.m. at Boyden’s Lake Boat Launch, Perry. There will be hot lunch, beverages, fishing derby with cash prizes, scavenger hunt and more. Sounds like a fun day.

 

Alexander/Crawford History

By John Dudley

 & Cassie Oakes

 

Do you know what happened on the sunny Saturday afternoon on May 28, 2016?  The people of Cooper gathered to dedicate a flagpole to the town’s veterans.  The pole had been set into the center hole of a milestone that John Cooper had installed in 1816 at the grist and saw mill he named “Resolution.” These water-powered mills were placed on Mill Stream at what became the center of town.  Eventually this site that many call Grange Hall Corner became a major intersection of roads, south to Machias (191), north over Pineo Mountain to Calais, west to Crawford (Old Crawford Road) and the Airline, and east over Middle Ridge to Dennysville via the East Ridge Road.

(The north-south road was surveyed in 1806.  A trail of sorts existed from Machias (now East Machias) to this site that was called Waterhouse farm.  The survey then went through the woods to the future site of the North Union School; up by Hilda Crosby’s house through Alexander to the top of Bailey hill, hence followed the Houlton Road Route 1 south to Calais.  It was a ‘short route’ between Machias and Calais.)

The ceremony honored James R. Higgins and John Smith, Civil War veterans buried at Cooper’s East Ridge Cemetery.  It also honored living veterans in attendance.  A Color Guard and selectman raised the American flag.  Cooper’s own Sam Perkins played “God Bless America” and the “National Anthem.”  Sam Coltart of Calais played “America the Beautiful” and the anthem for each branch of the military at which time present veterans of each branch stood.

Pastor Jeremy Towns of the Meddybemps Church gave the opening and closing prayer.  The Cooper Community Center Friends provided beans with hotdogs and sweets in the hall after the ceremony.  Laurie Pike and Karen Holmes planned this affair.

We are reminded of a similar event held in Alexander on July 1, 2000.  Then a group of Alexander people gathered at the nearly new Municipal Building.  You can check out what happened that day in Chapter 11 of the TIME LINE in the
Alexander History on the web.  Readers may also read about all the known veterans on each town in the respective web-sites.

 

We are also reminded that the mill site in Alexander was at the foot of Pleasant Lake on Sixteenth Stream; there stood a sawmill and a gristmill both operated by Jesse Stephenson.  Where is that granite mill stone?  The center of Alexander eventually grew up at the intersection of the Airline and Cooper Road.  Do you know other towns that grew around an important intersection or mill site?

 

Alexander/Crawford

Cassie Oakes

 

So Groundhog Day has come and gone and the rascal saw his shadow so I guess we are in for six more weeks of winter.  Mom says, “Cassie we live in Maine, of course there will be six more weeks of winter, February and March are winter months.”  Mom thinks she is funny.

I got a very nice call and message from Audrey Sears who wanted me to send an extra special Get Well Wish from family and friends to her daughter Shirley Hill.  Shirley recently had a very serious fall in a very icy Wal-Mart parking lot.  She is following her doctor’s orders, resting, staying in a dark room and no electronics.  Please join me in wishing Shirley a speedy recovery.  All this happened just as Shirley’s husband returned from a business trip in Orlando, Florida.  They are all very grateful that he was home when the accident happened.  

Local Princesses and Queens went to Washington Place for a Valentine’s Tea and to spread some Valentine Love on Sunday, February 5, 2017. Two of our Alexander young ladies participated.  Brylea Newman, the granddaughter of Gert and Donny Newman and Ava Lynn Cromna, the daughter of Jason Croman and Erica Pike.

Several former AES students have been participating in the winter sports programs at the high schools.  In Calais Marissa Mitchell has been on the Cheering Squad.  Prue Maxwell and Kyle Richard have been playing Basketball for the Blue Devils.  All three of these students reside in Alexander.

At Woodland High School, Faith Johnson, Dana Howland and Danielle Poole are playing basketball. They all reside in Alexander.  From Cooper, Willow Newman plays for the Dragons.

Are there other former AES students or kids from our town participating in extra curricular activities at their high school or college.  Let’s give them some recognition! Please drop me a line and let me know.  All my contact information is at the end of my column.

This is the week that the Free Family Movie Night resumes at People’s United Methodist Church in Baileyville.  It will take place February 10th and the movie will be “Trolls.” Movie starts at 6:00 p.m. and free popcorn and beverages will be available. 

Good thoughts are being sent out to: Phil McVicar, Fletcher Perkins, Charlie White, Sandy Lyon, Elwin Daley, Lynn Hill, Trudy Poole, Lenny Frost, David Carson, Avis McIntyre, Linda Richardson, Joan Dodge, Carl Perkins, Karen Moraisey, Shirley Hill, Ron McArthur, Joan Dodge and Linda Bohanon.  

Upcoming Birthday wishes go out to Elizabeth McVicar, Marilyn Dwelley, Caleb Morrison, Marguerite White, Betty Niles, Christine Henry, Andru Leighton, Michelle Perkins Holmes, Katherine Mercier, Julian Owen, Steve Campbell, Barbara Webber, Audrey Rood, Tanika Niles, Bogumila Korasadowicz, Frank Crosby, Bev Crosby and Dennis Marshall.

I would like to send a special Happy Birthday wish to my Uncle Phil Crosby.  Love you and hope you have a great day!

Upcoming Anniversary wishes go out to Jim and Karen Davis and Lesliann and Michael Barnard.  I wish both couples many more years of wedded bliss!

Lucky Loser this week at Randy’s Variety is Gerald Cooper.  To be a lucky loser all you have to do is buy an online ticket at Randy’s and if it is a loser put your name and number on the back and put it in for a second chance winner.

It has been a fun filled and interesting week at the Beckett Center.  We played card games, listened to music and worked on the computer, I also played Wii Bowling and had jello for a healthy snack.  I also took part in dance class and had a great time, Thank you Susan Benedeto.  Of course you know Friday is one of my favorite days when we share a meal. I had delicious chicken salad sandwiches and chips.  On Thursday night, Mom and I headed to Baileyville’s Methodist Church and attended a turkey supper with all the fixings and had blueberry cake/with lemon sauce for dessert. Another delicious meal. I heard rumors that the next meal will be roast pork in March.

If you have anything you would like me to share in this column, you can email me at ptcfan@hotmail.com, message me on Facebook, or snail mail me at 1328 Airline Road, Alexander, ME  04694.  You can also call me at 454-2344 or drop off news at Randy’s Variety!  Thank you to all of those who support me and this column. Stay safe.

 

Baring

Sally Doten

454-2625

February 6th proves to be a typical winter day; cold and windy. I thought the car was going to blow away as I drove to Princeton this morning. It was nice to see the sunshine so I guess I can’t complain too much.

Peter Howland recently purchased the old airplane hanger on Rt. 1. Looks like H&H Disposal now has a new and permanent home. Way to go, Pete.

Mary McLelland and Sandra Sherrard were in Bangor on Monday for Sandra’s cardio appointment. Hope all went well, Sandra. 

Glad to see lights on in the former Olsson home. From what I can gather it has been purchased by Tiana Lola. Welcome to Baring!

Thoughts going out to those near and far. Hope all are avoiding the terrible flu. So far so good in this household. Get well soon to Ann Brackett and Marlene Bryant.

BARING TOWN 

MEETING

There has been a snag in some of the paperwork between Baileyville and Baring.  Nothing will change the many options we have; it was just a little more detailed than both parties expected. As soon as meetings are held and agreed to by both communities it will  be given to Senator Joyce Maker. She will present it in Augusta for approval. Lots of hoops to jump through. I realize we are all waiting for the the completion of this agreement and the selectmen are working hard in both villages to have every thing correct and inline for approval. I can’t say when the meeting will be but can tell you it will be soon. 

Well, readers, it is all I know for this week. I try my very best to keep you informed of all breaking news but this is the best I can do. I could make up some things but don’t think that would be ethical so what you read is what you get. See you next week.

 

sdoten@roadrunner.com                                        

 

Grand Lake Stream

Dave McCullough

 

On February 14, 2017 at 5:30, the Women to Women will be having a Pot Luck Supper to celebrate the day!  Strawberry shortcake will be served for dessert!  So bring your favorite dish!  Everyone is welcome and rumor has it there will be door prizes!

This past weekend I had a call from a person who did some ice fishing in the coves on West Grand Lake and just had a wonderful experience with a steady run on “pop up flags.” He always likes to ice fish just as the Lake opens up. The snowmobiling was great with fresh snow. They enjoyed the many advantages of stopping at the Pine Tree Store as an extra “treat.”

Thanks Mike Remillard for sharing this experience and our congratulations to you. “My third semester at WCCC, Computer Technology was a struggle. The young students know so much more. I had to study every day, just to keep up. It paid off. I made the Dean’s List. I only have three classes in my final semester, compared to 4 or 5 usual classes. I thought it would be easy. It was not. I had to do class work every night during my 4 week Holiday Vacation.  I’ll put in my study time during my final 3 months. I should be fine.”  Note from Editor:  For many of my professional years I worked in the D.O.E, Bureau of Vocational Ed. in charge of Adult Learning in Maine. There is no need to stop learning because of age!

Downeast Lakes Land Trust thanks the Grand Lake Snowmobile Club for their partnership with last weekend’s Group Snowmobile Trail Ride, celebrating the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend.  The Snowmobile Club is a great local organization, and their clubhouse is open every Saturday from 11 am – 2 pm for riders to warm up and purchase baked goods and hot drinks.  With another 4-6 inches predicted for this week, the trails in the Downeast Lakes Community Forest are looking very good for riding this weekend!  For more information on the trails in the Grand Lake Stream region, please visit www.grandlakesnowmobileclub.com or www.downeastlakes.org.  

Keep the donations flowing into the Grand Lake Stream Fire Department Fund Raiser to purchase a used mini pumper/brush pickup truck. Send them to GLS Fire Department, 6 Tanbark Street, GLS, 04668.  Thanks Gary for your leadership in support of the Fire Department! This is a very worthy cause.

Recently IF&W became aware of several dovekies which showed up on land in a period of 48 hours.  If you aren’t familiar with what a dovekie is, think about their larger relatives the Atlantic puffin, razorbill, common murre, or black guillemot.  They are all members of the family Alcidae and have black and white coloration in a variety of patterns often associated with this group of birds.  The dovekie is the smallest of these birds viewable in Maine, weighing in at approximately 160-200g, or somewhere between a baseball and softball.  They are only seen intermittently along the coast of Maine, primarily during winter months.  Dovekies spend most of the year at sea and come to land only to raise young, which they do in the high arctic.

We know of at least four of these birds which showed up in Washington County last week, but not in the water where we would expect to see them.  Each of them was found on land by a member of the public, and one was even found in the town of Crawford, approximately 12 miles inland from the ocean at its closest point. The assumption is that each of these birds was blown off course during strong winds, a relatively normal occurrence here in the Gulf of Maine.  The night before  at 12:50 am on January 11th, a weather buoy southeast of Jonesport recorded sustained wind speeds of over 40 mph, gusting to 53 mph.  Though locally exciting and interesting, this event was nothing like one recorded in the winter of 1932-1933 further to our south, which “saw Dovekies raining down on the streets of New York City and large numbers washed up along the entire eastern seaboard, from Nova Scotia to Florida.” (https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/doveki).

Two of the three dovekies found were transported to the ocean for release, one was taken to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, and a fourth died prior to being received.

Keep your eyes open, you never know what you’ll find in the front yard when you grab the morning paper!

If you find a wild animal you suspect is in distress, please contact a Game Warden, Wildlife Biologist, licensed wildlife rehabilitator, or your local Animal Control Officer for further instructions.

One of the enjoyable activities that Jenifer and I enjoy during the winter months is to locate “The Hermit” and go meet him for breakfast and head to the “Miss Brunswick Diner.” This is a spot to enjoy a good traditional breakfast. Spending time with “The Hermit” gives us a chance to talk about events in Grand Lake Stream and count the weeks until the upcoming summer adventures. His tale for this week is called Little Brother to the Bear:  “From December to early March the raccoon takes a nap.  Unlike the death-like hibernation of the chipmunk or the woodchuck, it is called a winter sleep.  During the late winter the parents breed and birth four young in early May.  Offspring remain with parents for a whole season.  

Wild animals are never suited to be pets.  The first year of life the coons are cute and cuddly.  From that point on they become pure nasty and are eager to bite the hand that feeds them.  Raccoons are absolutely fearless. They will not back down from man or beast.  Genetic members of the bear clan, coons are omnivorous eating both plant and animal foods.  They love to hang around the water.  It is claimed they wash before dining.  Boar raccoons can weigh up to 25 pounds.  Their riverside tracks resemble a small child’s handprint.  Dens are often in old hardwood trees containing two cavities, one at the base and the other in the branches.  These sites may be used by successive generations.

Last summer after years of feeding scraps to unknown nocturnal animal visitors, my good neighbors Patty and Barry said “raccoons”!  They were right — mom and dad and the kids. Hopes dashed, I still plan on keeping up my snack station next summer.  Who knows what’s lurking out there in the forest?

Remember to share your stories with the Advertiser column.

Have a great week! Your humble correspondent, Dave McCullough. 207-839-4205 or dmccull1@maine.rr.com