Meddybemps News

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Town News

Linda Baniszeski 

 

Meddybemps Community Center is hosting a Halloween Party for children on October 31 from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.   Residents who wish to donate candy for the event can drop it off at the Community Center during post office hours.  Mark your candy with your name so the children will know who gave it to them.  This is usually a very fun event for children in a safe, warm and bright environment.  Anyone who wants to attend to see the costumes and enjoy the spooky ambiance is welcome to join the fun.  Children and parents are also invited to the Harvest Party for Kids at 2nd Baptist Church in Calais, October 27 at 5 p.m. -- no witch or demonic costumes please.

Meddybemps Volunteer Fire Department assisted at two area fires on Saturday.  One was a house trailer fire in Pembroke and another small brush fire.  Many thanks to these citizens who volunteer much time for training and serving.

Happy Birthday wishes to Alyssa Shaw, granddaughter of Terry Reynolds and daughter of the late Jennifer Doten.  She lives in the Portland area, and visits here when she is able to do so.

Wildlife is on the move in our area.  Janet Wooding enjoys watching the critters that frequent her property and reports,  “Our little cove is slowly drying up and the water is quiet shallow. A blue heron has been coming in. The other day I watched it flying in and it landed on top of a tree first before finally flying down to the water! It spends quite a long time wading around.”  

There seems to be something strange in our woods at night.  Scuffy has acted quite afraid and skittish when she goes outside before bedtime.  The first time she exhibited this behavior was about two weeks ago when she looked into the woods and wagged her tail as if seeing something.  Suddenly, she twirled and ran back to the house.  Whatever it was, she seemed to realize it was not influenced kindly by her little wagging tail, and instead a threat to her.  She is now very wary when I take her out and I keep wondering if there is a coyote, bobcat or other predator scaring her. Since she’s only 17# I stay very near to her  when we are out at night.

I asked Karen Holmes (who is a specialist about the wildlife in our area) her take on this, and she responded as follows:  “My guess would be coyotes.  Nothing seemed to be happening here around my two places in Cooper all summer.  Coyotes came out of the woods near the blueberry fields not long after dark and began announcing their presence.  They would do what is called the “assembly call” and then go off to hunt.  My dog Dingo (she is an Australian cattle dog) on the back porch started howling and barking back to them.  Not good! Then using trail cameras we photoed a group of four coyotes, probably a mother and her spring pups.  I know they stay around here because my dog Dingo will stare at the woods and find their tracks and scat.  I keep her on the leash near the woods because I do not want her to have a dangerous encounter with them.  If she ran away from me and chased them, the coyotes would probably kill her.   Their scat on our woods roads is full of blueberries! 

“I found tracks of a deer running because a coyote was running behind it. The deer are just getting established here in this area again and do not need harassment by coyotes.  I also have seen a resurgence of snowshoe hare and both spruce and ruffed grouse here. There are flocks of wild turkeys, too.  I saw 25 crossing the road on Route 191 in Meddybemps and we have a flock of 11 around both of my places.  ... I love all nature but sometimes things get out of whack and some control measures are needed. We need a balance.”  Like Karen, we have also seen flocks of wild turkeys, a horseshoe rabbit and one or two ruffed grouse.

Karen went on to say, “You could have a bobcat too.  They are great at keeping out of sight and are not rare here!  The bears are also on the move and maybe Scuffy scents them.  I have seen bears crossing Route 191 more than once in Meddybemps near the intersection with Route 214.  Raccoons are all over and you are right to think they are a possibility as well.  I have not seen both gray and red foxes here for awhile and wonder if coyotes killed them or drove them out of the area.  Dogs and cats let you know when wild critters are around as well as being great company!”  A number of our neighbors have also seen the bears at the 191/214 intersection, right up the road from us.  

Protect your little dogs and outside cats because predators are much too willing to make their acquaintance.  Such is life in the wilds of Maine.