Waldo Town News
By Tom Seymour
The recent spate of warm weather wreaked havoc on town roads, at least the unpaved ones. East Waldo Road was no exception, what with an unanticipated mud season turning the thing into a quagmire.
The worst of this was the ruts, something that when they occur in spring, will eventually get filled in by the annual spring road grading. But when they occur in winter, they remain in place until spring. One section on East Waldo Road was so bad as to permit only one-way traffic for a long stretch, the ruts in one side and in the middle being so deep as to make driving impossible.
Soon after this, the ground froze again, assuring that our ruts will be there, in situ, to greet us in spring.
Potholes, too, benefited by the freeze/thaw routine. Several perennial ones, notably the large, deep ones where gravel meets tar on the Belfast end of East Waldo Road and the large crater in front of Judy Kaiser’s residence, have grown significantly in size. They will most certainly pose an even bigger problem come spring.
I attended a Christmas party at Walt Wagner’s Waldo home, hosted by Walt and Deb Burwell. The party was well attended and as usual, full of good cheer. And as if to lend their two cents' worth to the festive atmosphere, a family of coyotes bayed loudly just a short distance away as I walked up the path to Walt’s place.
A recent topic of conversation in my part of Waldo was the doomsday non-event. Interestingly, I found that several Waldo residents had some unusual ideas regarding that scenario. One man asked me when all the planets were going to line up, and I was obliged to break the news that that wasn’t going to happen any time soon. He seemed disappointed.
Another neighbor mentioned that the Mayans had predicted that our sun would migrate to the center of the galaxy on the 21st. He appeared to believe that such an event was possible. I pointed out that the sun lies in the center of our solar system, not the center of the galaxy. And the solar system itself sits near the edge of the galaxy. The only thing at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy is a black hole.
The day before last Thursday’s snowstorm, I traveled to Augusta and on my way home, stopped by Togus Pond, where a group of young people were ice fishing. Walking out, I stepped gingerly, since there was only a two-inch layer of transparent ice. It’s unsettling to walk on a frozen pond and see things going on beneath your feet. But the ice was safe enough for walking. By the way, the youngsters hadn’t caught any perch, it being nearly full moon, a time when schooling fish such as perch pretty much stop feeding.
Larger lakes, though, did not fare as well as sheltered Togus Pond, and my advice to anyone headed out on any lake or pond is to cut holes at regular intervals to check ice thickness. Also, remember that snow acts as an insulator and since the ice wasn’t very thick prior to the snow, it will take prolonged sub-freezing weather to generate more ice. And above all, don’t drive on the ice, at least not for a while. Better safe than sorry, I say.
My grandpa Tom White had a favorite saying. It went like this: “Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.” With that mindset, I’m sure if he were alive today, Grandpa would not have bought into that doomsday blather.