Town News

Linda Baniszeski

Summer has arrived in Meddybemps!  Aside from the beautiful sunshiney days and warm (and some hot) temperatures, so much activity on the lake says it’s so.  The sound of jet-skis, boat engines and families out and about on the lake are the sounds of real summer joy.  Many mornings when the lake surface is as smooth as silk, kayaks and canoes quietly glide by, with often the sound of a loon’s call breaking the silence.  There were many families at the Rim on Sunday afternoon.  Adults, kids and dogs were enjoying the gorgeous day, cool water, and camaraderie after a long winter and cold spring.  The water temperature has warmed up a bit in the past week; but the lake level is unseasonably low. Terry Lord was seen cruising Sunday with Meddybemps neighbors and friends on his pontoon boat.  

 Many seasonal residents have begun their pilgrimages here to set up for the summer.  Sue and Barry Pearson arrived last week, Cheryl and Lance Bagley are back home after Lance’s illness that kept him in Connecticut longer than expected.  Continued get well wishes to Lance.  Cheryl Bagley’s daughter Katie, and Katie’s husband and their little baby girl were visiting this week from Illinois.  They purchased an island -- much to Cheryl and Lance’s delight, and were here to visit it in person for the first time.  Cheryl said the existing camp on the island will require some renovations, but is in okay shape.

 Other visitors included family members at Janet Wooding’s home. Janet shared that her daughter, “Anne and David came to spend a few days with me last week. We had a good visit and they helped me with some gardening.” Janet also remarked, “The dragonflies are doing a wonderful job of clearing away all the mosquitoes. There seem to be more dragonflies than usual this year and I am very grateful!”

The Lentzs arrived Saturday evening with Emmy, their Yorkie.  We are all in preparation mode for the arrival of family visits throughout the 4th of July week.  We are also expecting one of Barry’s Marine Corps buddies from Pennsylvania to spend a few days with us. 

 In other happy news, best birthday wishes to Barry Pearson who celebrates his on July 2, Chris Gillespie on July 4 and Raymah Lyons on the 6th.  

 Plans are underway for the town’s 175th Anniversary daylong celebration July 23.    Vendors who wish to participate should contact Dawn Winchester at 454-7900.  There is no set-up fee for vendors, but an item to be donated for the silent auction is required.  That’s a good deal!  I might even have a flea market table myself. 

 New kinds of insects continue to show up around the lake.  Janet Wooding found a Lunar Moth at her place. It was a beautiful shade of mint green with markings on the large wings that look like eyes.  This so fascinated me that I did some research and found that Lunar Moths’ hindwings have long curving tails. Wings are pale green, each with a transparent eyespot. Outer margins are yellow in the northern populations.  The usual wingspan is 2-15/16 - 4-1/8 inches.  Adults are strong fliers and are attracted to lights. Mating takes place after midnight, and egg-laying begins that evening. Females lay eggs in small groups or singly on both surfaces of host plant leaves. The eggs hatch in about one week and the caterpillars are sedentary and solitary feeders. Leaves and silk are used to spin papery brown cocoons in litter under the host plant.  They have one brood from May-July in the north.  The habitat is desiduous hardwood forests.  The range in the North is Nova Scotia West to Saskatechewan.  It is not endangered and secure globally.  This moth is often mistakenly called a Lunar Moth, instead of the Luna Moth; and is also sometimes referred to as the American Moon Moth.

 In last week’s column, I reported seeing a tiny hummingbird at the lilac bush outside our kitchen window feeding with butterflies.  Thanks to Pete Trouant, who informed me it could be what is known as a wolfmoth that appears as a hummingbird.  When I searched the interned for wolfmoth, all I found was some acid rock band by that name in California.  I then asked a question as a search:  “I saw a moth that looks like a hummingbird, What is It?”  This is what appeared: “ 

What you have seen is one of a number of moth species commonly called “hummingbird,” “sphinx,” or “hawk” moths.”  I found it was indeed a sphinx moth that DOES look like a hummingbird.  

 Looking  under the Family Sphingidae and brousing images on the web site for common examples in North America and the checklist for our area, it identified a list of Sphingidae in our area.

Most, but not all, sphingdaes feed much like hummingbirds, hovering in front of a flower and sipping nectar through the extended proboscis. That’s it! ... what I saw.  It was not a “bird” it was a moth masquerading as a hummingbird.  This is something I have never seen or known of before.  Every day is a new adventure living here in the wilds of Maine.

 Continue to enjoy these gorgeous days ahead.  Summer is so short, we should not let it pass by without savoring each day to the fullest.


Please send your news, wildlife and “insect” sightings, announcements and information of interest for publication in this column to: or phone 454-3719.