The Town of Greenwood went to court earlier this week for the unauthorized junk yard of Doug Grover on Rowe Hill Road. It was too late for this column but there's always next week.
Despite a ban on fireworks, some very rude people in the North Pond area near Route 26 set off fireworks from 1:30 to 2:30 a.m. Saturday. That is well past the allowed 4th of July exemption. Lots of folks are complaining and joking about how to get even. The idea I like best is to pick up the phone around 2 a.m. and call the Legislators who voted for this chaos and see how they like it. Let the politicians get as good as they give.
Dinner with the firefighters this Friday. Fish Fry Friday, July 12, 3 to 6 p.m. at the Howe Hill Road fire station.
There will be a Celebration of Life for Sam Chapman Sunday, July 21, 2 p.m. at the Bethel Inn Conference Center. This is a change from earlier plans. There will be stories told, songs sung, and pot luck dishes to share. Open to all. I doubt Sam would have wanted it any other way.
Blueberries are starting to ripen, and the war is on between birds, bears, and people as to which gets them first.
A fellow-swimmer asked about pond and lake depths around here, and I promised I'd put the link to the State pond depth maps in this column. Here it is: http://www.maine.gov/ifw/fishing/lakesurvey_maps/. It is a great resource. It has ponds and lakes by county and gives the depths at varying locations for each pond. It also identifies the fish species in each water body.
Of course, the above website does not include what ponds and rivers have leeches, those grotesque creatures also known as bloodsuckers. While I always thought leeches required still water, I was sort of wrong. Their preferred habitat is shallow, vegetative bodies of standing or slow moving water, such as streams, standing lakes or ponds. They like ponds and lakes with "muck" on the bottom, the muck being the sediment that settles in stagnant water bodies. When organic pollution is high, the population count of leeches will soar.
Leeches are attracted to water disturbance around docks and swimming areas. On hot summer days leeches are most active. Oh, joy.
So what do you do if you get one on you? Well, it's not what many of us did as kids. No salt, no burning them. This causes them to regurgitate in your wound. They have nasty bacteria in their stomachs, and those go right into your bloodstream when they do this.
Here's the removal method from a world-renowned leech expert. Find the skinny end of the leech and use your finger or fingernail to push it sideways off the bite point. Once it's released, you will bleed from the wound. That's okay. The bleeding is normal and is caused by the anticoagulants the leech puts in the wound. Then, just get it to release from the fat end the same way.
Leeches are an important part of the food chain in our ponds. Fish, birds, garter snakes, newts, salamanders, insects, and snails eat leeches. I try to keep an open mind about all types of creatures, but, in this case, I'm cheering for those snails. On the other hand, a leech's diet includes mosquitoes and gnats. OK, maybe they are not all bad.
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