by Lorrie Hoeh
Every week something new is in bloom or appearing where we haven’t heretofore seen it. This week I can report that the dwarf dogwood, aka cornus canadensis, is much in evidence on wood-land floors. Right now it has a four-petaled white blossom resembling that of the dogwood tree, but by fall those blossoms will have formed bunches of bright red berries. Hence the other name for the plant: bunchberry.
The lady-slippers are in full bloom, ranging from pure white to pale pink to a deep rose pink. They’re showing up in all sorts of places. Also emerging is the goldthread plant, which will eventu-ally have a small white flower. It is recognized by its three shiny, strawberry-like leaves. If one digs up its roots, the source of the name is obvious, because the root is a bright gold. If you bite on it, you will notice a numbing effect on your tongue. Thus it was once used for chewing to numb tooth-ache pain. Our yard and many up and down Paradise are fragrant with the blossoms of the Russian Olive trees. The honeysuckle is about to pop as well. I’m also noticing the colorful spikes of lupine along the roadsides and in gardens.
On Monday morning I walked the Bethel pathway from Davis Park to North Road and back (2.2 miles). The pathway winds through various environments. I plucked a leaf from the bushes of sweet fern just beyond the skate park so that I could crush it and enjoy its wonderful fragrance. Farther along I noticed marsh marigold in a boggy area beside a bridge. Then there was an open field where blackbirds, cowbirds, and others were swooping here and there.
Along the riverside below the Route 2/26 bridge there is a vigorous crop of poison ivy, complete with warning sign. And everywhere the wild black cherry trees are loaded with blossoms. The birds will be very happy this summer. If you’ve never walked the pathway, I recommend it highly. You can walk as fast and as far as you like, or as slowly and not far as you like. Either way you’ll feel good and enjoy the experience.
Sunday afternoon was shearing time at Sunday River Alpacas on the Flat Road. Mo Libby, alpaca farmer, invited friends and interested parties to come and watch, bundle fleeces, sweep floors, and/or lead the beasties to and from the shearing area. Mike and Marty, the shearers from Down Under, did a superb job in spite of the 80 degree heat and humidity. We shared a potluck lunch be-fore the work began, and a good time was had by all.
Tonight is the fourth Thursday of the month, therefore it is Grange night. I think the Grange Hall is open again, since we’ve had plenty of warm weather, so dinner will start there at 6, followed by a business meeting.
Last weekend Jane Hosterman and Barbara Mahler drove to Norway/South Paris to attend a con-cert by the Maine Music Society and Androscoggin Chorale. It comprised “Music from the Movies,” which those of us over 50 or so would have appreciated, since it was music from the ‘40s and ‘50s that we would recognize. Barbara and Jane loved it.
And speaking of shows, I hope you had an opportunity to attend Telstar’s performance of “Guys and Dolls” last week. The young man who sang and acted the starring role of Sky Masterson was Nic Kingsbury, our neighbor across the road from the former Hoehstead. Nic did a fantastic job, as did the entire cast. Congratulations to all on a job well done!
Once again I remind you of the Trek Across Maine on June 18 to 20, a fundraiser for the American Lung Association. If you or a loved one has had lung disease, tuberculosis, COPD, or other lung or breathing problems, you know how important this is. Flat Road resident Christine Trefethen will be riding her bike in the Trek, and would welcome your donations. I urge you to support her with a contribution. You can Google “Trek Across Maine,” click on “Pledge,” type in Christine’s name, and follow directions to pledge. Or you can send a check, made out to ALA/Maine, to Chris at PO Box 667, Bethel, ME 04217.
Last, but not least, we wish a Happy 90th Birthday to Marie Witter, formerly of West Bethel, now residing in Gilead!
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