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Island musings

We picked the coldest (and last) weekend of the summer to take a few days on Monhegan Island, so we really kept moving. We hiked island trails Saturday afternoon, all day Sunday and Monday morning before the midday boat back to Port Clyde. We met lots of birders who told us there had been a scarlet tanager sighting, and got lots of reports of those “confusing fall warblers” in migration. We were able to identify a vireo, a bald eagle and maybe a tern, in addition to the usual herring and black-backed gulls.

We were reminded why we love islands, from crashing surf and seals spotted on tidal ledges to the smell of the sea, even at low tide. We both grew up on salt water, so low tide smells right to us. Our only regret was coming back to find a surprise nip of frost had wreaked havoc on half of our basil and a few tomato plants. Had to light up the wood stove for the first time, too.

Remembering Michael Anderson

We were saddened to hear that Mike Anderson passed away Sept. 9. Mike, a long-time local plumber, was born in Island Falls and graduated from Mount View High School. His wife Kathy was a town selectman in the late 1990s and mid-2000s, and their daughters still live in Searsmont, as do several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. You may send condolences to Kathy at 142 Roberts Shore Road in Liberty, and the family would welcome a tree planted in memory of a fine man and a family that has done much to make Searsmont a great place to live.


Three people attended the Sept. 22 selectmen’s meeting, with eight more on Zoom. In just 16 minutes, David Marceau became Searsmont’s new cemeteries sexton, we learned Kenneth Ortmann will complete work on town personnel policies in early October, and contracts were signed for Pond Road/Fire Station snow plowing, winter sand, sand storage and loader rental. After the coming year’s General Assistance ordinance was approved per state regulations (“what choice do we have?” said one selectman) and with no public comments, the meeting was adjourned. Guess the three selectmen are getting pretty efficient. The next meeting will be at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 6.

Town Office

The Town Office is preparing for the Nov. 3 election and Town Clerk Kathy Hoey has already received about 150 absentee ballot requests. She asks folks to “just make one request, even if you get another request form in the mail.” Kathy has already received two dozen duplicate requests, and absentee ballots don’t go out until later this month.

Expect some “people flow” changes at the polls to accommodate a heavy in-person turnout and state COVID-19 distancing guidelines.

Town Library doings

Thirty-five people turned out for the library’s first-ever outdoor concert on Sept. 22, supported by the Onion Foundation. According to one attendee, the Bare Back Rider performance “felt like an outdoor festival.” (That assumes Woodstock featured social distancing and wearing face masks.) Don’t be surprised if the library tries this again next spring when the weather warms up.

Temperature doesn’t affect “Exploring the Wilds of Searsmont” walks (thank you, Moosewood Fund), led by Bill Evans and Sarah Crosby. We’ll tell you more about the Sept. 26 hike walk next week, but jot down Saturday mornings, Oct. 17 and Nov. 14, for the library’s next two family-friendly rambles.