Lincolnville Town News
By Diane O'Brien
All meetings are held at Lincolnville Central School unless otherwise noted.
The Recreation Committee meets Wednesday, Jan. 2, at 6:30 p.m.
The office will be closed on New Year’s Day.
For all you expectant moms, a talk on the benefits of yoga for pregnancy, birth and postpartum recovery will be held at the Belfast Free Library, Monday Jan. 7, 6 to 7 p.m. And prenatal yoga classes start at High Mountain Hall in Camden on Jan. 11. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-314-1020.
An unusual sight
Isabel Morse Maresh of Belmont writes: “We were coming home from Rockland a couple of weeks ago, on High St. in L'ville. A pick-up truck had pulled over, and pointed to the side of the road. In a stretch between houses, there was a peacock, with its long, bright blue neck crossing the road. As we watched, she joined up with a band of wild turkeys and was disappearing into the woods. In case someone might think that we're seeing things, a man in Searsmont also saw the peacock. We're wondering how it would fare in the Maine winter in the wild.”
The story reminded me of the Lincolnville Center peacocks. Back in the 1970s Rene and Joan Carol Baker lived in the house next door to the Boat Club (then fire station); Brandon and Susan Allen live there now. The Bakers and their four children had an amazing collection of animals and gardens on the acre or so of land behind the house. I remember goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits, a pig or two and peacocks. It was such fun to visit and wander around the various outbuildings that housed all these critters. Down the road the McKittrick family lived in the big house where the war memorial is (Janis Kay and Tom Sadowski live there now). Ric told me the call of those peacocks could be heard all over the Center, and it sounded like the jungle.
Caring for the feral
If you’ve ever flown over Lincolnville you know that the town’s 39 square miles are mostly forest and marshland — we humans occupy only the thin edges along the roads. What we see from our cars driving around town — houses, barns, driveways, fields — gives a deceptive sense of our impact on the land.
So living on the edges of several thousand acres of forest as we do, it’s to be expected that we have occasional contact with the wild animals living only a few hundred feet away. Sometimes we’re invaded, as Wally and I were last winter, when several flying squirrels treated our house as their pantry, coming and going as they pleased. Almost everyone has a mouse problem now and then. Even the Schoolhouse Museum, as arid a place for grazing as you can imagine, has its winter mouse population.
One neighbor began noticing the wild ducks stopping by to nibble at the grain he put out for his livestock. Before long he had a faithful flock of mallards flying in every morning for the corn he began tossing out for them. Then they learned to come right into the hen house and help themselves at the full feeders; then they brought along their young. Those young grew up and taught their little ones where to go for the goodies. You get the picture.
At another house when a feral cat began hanging around, the homeowner put out a can of cat food for it. She’s now feeding the third generation of kittens from that one wild cat; on cold nights they all — mother, daughters and grandkittens — come inside her garage (through a window she leaves open for them) to curl up on the heated bed she provides them.
One more story: another guy has been “occasionally” putting food out for a cat that seems to treat his place as just one stop on a regular circuit through the neighborhood. He puts the food in the same two or three spots and by the end of the day, if there’s snow, sees one set of little cat prints leading up to it. This has been going on for several years. Once he saw her across his field with something in her mouth, a rodent, he thought. Later that day he heard crying and found a very young kitten huddling under a pile of yard rubble. (That kitten went to the Camden shelter). The apparent mother cat still makes her rounds.
Do you have a story of man/woman-meets-the-wild? I’d love to hear it!