322-7572; 322-5671

Searsmont smells good

Walking the road after a rare rain, we were struck by the complex, familiar autumn smells. We all look forward to the colors as the season turns. We don’t always notice the layers of leaves starting to compost with a hint of sweetness from the last asters, mixing with the unmistakable tang of pine needles and wood smoke. Blindfolded and put in the middle of the road with only our noses as a guide, we could tell what month it is and that we’re in Searsmont.

At the Town Office

Absentee ballots went out last week to more than 150 Searsmonters who already requested one (call 342-5411 if yours has not arrived). You can request one by phone or in person at the office before Thursday Oct. 29, 2 p.m., or online at the Maine state website. The office must receive your completed absentee ballot by mail or in person by 8 p.m., Nov. 3. It will be processed and counted starting Nov. 2. If you make a mistake filling one out, you can request a replacement from Town Clerk Kathy Hoey. Once you return your absentee ballot, you may not ask for another and may not vote in person.

Kathy reminds everyone that candidate signs are not allowed on town property, “in particular Veterans Memorial Park, the Well Park, old fire house, and community building property (including the upper gravel parking lot).” We’ll report on the Oct. 13 selectmen’s meeting next week, and the next one is Oct. 27, 5 p.m.

Trick or treat! Property and personal tax bills are due Oct. 31.

New at the Library

On Saturday, Oct. 17, “Explore the Wilds of Searsmont” for free with guides Bill Evans and Sarah Crosby who have been hiking, bushwhacking, skiing and snowshoeing the area for many years. Everyone is welcome, but space is limited. If interested, please call 342-5549 and leave your name, number and the number of people in your party.

Hikers wearing weather-appropriate clothes and footwear will meet in the library parking lot at 9:45 a.m. to convoy to the trailhead.

New library arrivals include the Ken Burns documentaries “The Civil War,” “The Dust Bowl,” “Prohibition,” “Jazz” and “The Vietnam War.” The new Robert Galbraith is in. So are the new Martin Walker, the latest J.D. Robb “In Death” novel, Bob Woodward's “Rage,” Douglas Tallamy's “Nature's Best Hope” and “The Essential Hamilton: Letters and Other Writings.”

You can schedule appointments and parking lot service on Thursdays, 2 to 5 p.m., and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and now you can drop by without an appointment on Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. If another patron is using the library, please wait until their visit is complete before coming inside. Face masks are required. Call if these days and times don’t work and set up another time that will work.

Empty out your garage and medicine chest

Get to the new Belfast Public Works Department at 54 Crocker Road on Saturday, Oct. 17, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., when Belfast Rotary, Waldo County Sheriff’s office and Triad offer free shredding, e-waste recycling and unwanted medical waste disposal. They’ll be happy to accept a donation and, if you want to, you can stay in your car to watch them shred your paper.