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Waldo, like the rest of Maine, remains locked into snow and ice. But this week should see the last of the very cold weather and hopefully, things will begin to look more spring-like real soon.

For those who venture outside after dark, the next week should feature an interesting sight in the southwestern sky. The zodiacal light, a pyramid of light that appears just above the horizon after dark, should be active. Most everyone has seen this at one time or another but perhaps didn’t quite know what it was.

The zodiacal light comes from sunlight on the other side of the earth hitting particles in the atmosphere, exciting them so they shine. It really is quite the sight, so if you can, take a peek to the southwest just after dark and see if you find it.

Under the feeder

I swear I saw a robin fly past as I was pulling into my driveway the other day. Was it a true harbinger of spring? We’ll have to wait to find out. Meanwhile, when the snowpack finally begins to decline, look for large birds soaring overhead, their wings held at a dihedral. These are turkey vultures, a migratory scavanger.

Turkey vultures follow the retreating snowpack north. Maine can probably credit Interstate 95 with bringing the vultures this far north, since roadkilled critters figure prominently into their diet.

Esoteric eats

Perhaps I shouldn’t have this following a note about turkey vultures, but so be it. Last week one of my buddies dropped by with a special treat for me. He had attended a game supper and among the goodies on the plate were wild mushrooms stuffed with ground, seasoned opossum, Oriental-style dumplings with ground bobcat with cream cheese, bear sausages, Italian-style and venison meatballs. Also included were eider duck breasts, cooked to perfection.

The ’possum interested me the most. It was flavorful, but not too strong. I would have it again. Sorry, Pogo. The bobcat was quite mild. At first I had a problem separating the “bob” from the “cat,” but eventually I worked up my courage and tackled it. And now I can proudly say I have tasted not only ’possum but also, bobcat. Mmm-good.

Spring countdown

Although meteorologists consider spring as beginning the first of March, most of us go by the vernal equinox, which falls on March 20. So take heart, since official spring is only 13 days away.

Weekly quote

This quote comes from former President Calvin Coolidge, who said to his father in 1910, “It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.”