Morrill Town News
by Melinda Rowlands
Mondays 5-8 p.m.
Tuesdays 12-8 p.m.
Saturdays 8 a.m.-Noon
Congratulations to Belinda Place, daughter of Randy and Tina Place, who just graduated from Thomas College with a Masters in Business Administration. She worked very hard to complete her master’s program in just one year! She is now working at the Best Western in Waterville. Great work, Belinda!
Another recent graduate is Lyndon Whitcomb, son of Greg and Michelle Whitcomb. He just finished his degree at Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle in Diesel Hydraulics. While attending there, he also learned welding and received his license to do State inspections. Before he finished the course, he was hired to work at Milton Cat in Brewer. He graduated on a Saturday and started work on the following Monday. Congratulations, Lyndon!
More Graduations Coming Soon…
There should be a number of graduations coming up soon and quite a number that have already happened. If you could give me a call or drop me an email letting me know about your graduate’s plans, etc., that would be great!
Birds and Spruce Budworms
This is one of the best times of the year for bird watching, as the smaller leaves making viewing easier. This is also the time of the year for the annual warbler migration, so, it was no surprise the other day when I spied a warbler-like bird outside the living room window. I am not very good at identifying birds quickly as I get too excited to really note the bird’s field markings, but I quickly grabbed the binoculars and, fortunately, was able to watch the bird long enough to get a good identification. It turned out to be a bay-breasted warbler. I was quite excited to add it to my ever-growing list of warblers that I’ve seen around our house over the years, but my excitement dissipated when I read that one of the reasons I was probably seeing this warbler was that its population increases during years of spruce budworm outbreaks. I told Dean what I had discovered and he, being one that actually watches the news, confirmed that news sources had been discussing the budworm situation. I had an immediate flashback to my childhood years, remembering the devastation of the outbreak in the mid 70’s, so I went online to try to find what information I could.
It appears, according to the Maine Forest Service, that we are indeed building toward another serious outbreak. The Maine Forest Service, along with several other forest-related entities here in Maine, have put a task force together that is split into eight different teams, each responsible for assessing and addressing various aspects of the budworm problem. They are also developing an emergency preparedness plan and public information sheets that should be available sometime in the fall. Apparently it is hard to predict exactly when, or how widespread, an outbreak we will see here in Maine, but there has been a rapidly growing outbreak in Quebec since 2005 that has now grown to over eight million acres. No trees in Maine are showing signs of defoliation; however, the forest service has been setting insect traps in northern Maine and New Brunswick and they have seen an increase in spruce budworms over the past several years. The forest service predicts that an outbreak will start within the next few years and would grow rapidly over the period of 10 years or so. The source for my information on this topic, as well as a great place for you to learn more about this potential outbreak, is the Center for Research on Sustainable Forests at the University of Maine. Let’s hope that if an outbreak does occur that people will be willing to follow the strict forest-management practices that will be recommended in order to keep the damage to a minimum.