I was a presenter at last week’s Emergency Preparedness Fair held at the Belfast YMCA. Of the numbers of people who stopped to talk with me about foraging for wild plants, a great many indicated that they read and enjoy this column. So many people shared the same view that I was taken aback. To all whose kind words brightened my day, let me say, “Thank you.”

In the garden

It’s that time when we face the decision as to whether or not to cover our remaining garden vegetables at night. With temperatures in the high 30s, frost is never far away. But even without an official frost prediction, I think it wise to cover tender crops such as peppers, tomatoes and winter squash when temperatures drop below 40 degrees.

Another part of the garden scene, ruby-throated hummingbirds, remain around my place. But with flowers and their nectar on the way out, the little acrobats will leave us shortly, only to return next year.

New England aster time

Purple-and-yellow New England asters are at the peak of their bloom now. These are my favorite flowers, bar none. Though simple wildflowers, New England asters are the ancestor of today’s cultivated aster varieties.

Also, these are the last wildflowers to bloom, so when they are gone we can say that fall has finally arrived. But for now, why not stop and pick a bouquet of these handsome flowers?

Perchin’ prediction

Wouldn’t you know it? Only a week left for trolling on freshwater lakes and my motor has let me down. The impeller, a fan-shaped object that pumps water, has broken and now when it is needed the most my boat is in the shop. Oh, well, there is always next year.

But for those of you with working motors, trout and salmon should cooperate if you try trolling with lures or frozen or preserved smelt. Sometimes the biggest salmon of the year fall to angler’s rods in late September, an added inducement to get out for the season’s end.

‘Wild Critters of Maine’

Perhaps it won’t come as a surprise that I have another book coming out soon. It’s called, “Wild Critters of Maine,” and rather than being anything nearing a scholarly tome, it is all about my life in the woods and my interactions with our wild neighbors. The book will be out before the holiday season.

Also, while I initially wanted line drawings, the publisher insisted upon photos, so we contacted wildlife photographer Dave Small and Dave is supplying the photos. Dave is a top-of-the-line photographer and I’m honored to have his photos in my new book. So things worked out well, since Dave’s photos are superb. For those interested in seeing Dave’s amazing collection of Maine wildlife photos, go to

Weekly quote

This week’s quote is something to ponder, since it cuts to the essence of life: “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” — Heraclitus