Last Friday Mike and I had no sooner arrived at the Bethel Inn Lake House for the Outing Club meeting and potluck supper, than we were whisked into the 26-feet-long war canoe (lent by Sonny Hastings)for a quick paddle around Songo Pond with eight other paddlers. Jeff Parsons paddled stern, and Martha Siegel paddled bow. The rest of us just paddled. Amazing how fast that antique canoe could go with ten paddlers moving it.
Afterward we enjoyed the aforementioned potluck and the accompanying visiting and schmoozing. Met some new folks and reconnected with old acquaintances. The rains held off, so it was a pleasant evening.
Last week I talked about how it was beginning to feel like fall. Well, it is, but it is coming on much later than it used to. When we moved to the Flat Road in March of 1987, for the first several years we were there, we regularly had our last spring frost around June 10, and our first “fall” frost about Aug. 22. This year our last frost was sometime in mid-May, and as of this writing the first fall frost has yet to happen. Try to convince me that the climate isn’t changing.
The other day Jake and I headed down the Paradise Hill ski trail behind the houses on the west side of Paradise. There we found an amazing variety of exotic-looking mushrooms. One that I was able to identify was bright yellow, and consisted of a cluster of hollow, slender tubes about three or four inches high. Its name is clavulinopsis fustiformis, and as far as I know, it is inedible. But striking and interesting to see. Alas, I was unable to zero in on the others.
Mike has rigged a birdbath of sorts, using an inverted trash can lid on a tree stump. He placed a large rock in its center to stabilize it. It has been a great success, and the birds are (so to speak) flocking to it. They drink, they bathe, they congregate and visit.
They are also rapidly diminishing our supplies of sunflower seeds and thistle seeds.
Large numbers of goldfinches, purple finches, chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, pine siskins, cardinals, and of course the blue jay bullies are at all the feeder trays and tubes. These birds provide endless enjoyment to both of us. We have noticed, however, that the hummingbirds seem to have flown the coop.
Sunday morning we drove out to Broken Bridge Pond. Our intent was to hike on a new road that has been cleared in the vicinity and find out where it leads. Turns out it took us to the other side of Broken Bridge, where the Forest Service has built a new dam. Even with the dam boards in place, though, the water level seemed low. We seem to be getting just dribs and drabs of rain here and there, but not enough to raise streams and ponds. That said, the next hurricane will probably bring us some gullywashers.
On Monday we headed to Freeport and L.L. Bean’s for a bit of shopping. It seems that every time we go there something has changed or been added, or both. This time it was a huge addition comprising the hunting and fishing department. eedless to say, Mike had a great time there replenishing some of his fly-tying materials and just window shopping.
Late lunch at the Muddy Rudder, and then we headed home on Routes 115 and 26, so as to avoid the cave-in on Route 136 in Lewiston.
That’s it for this week. Hope I hear from some of you soon. Oh, don’t forget the Oxford County Fair today, tomorrow, and the weekend. firstname.lastname@example.org; 824-2917.