Residents of Frankfort Village were abruptly awakened in the wee hours last Thursday morning by the passage of the “night train.” The train, which is composed mostly of tanker cars, blows its whistle well ahead of every road crossing, normally not a problem, until this time.

Usually, the train passes through town in mid-afternoon on its way to the Searsport terminal and returns by early evening. This time, the train was later than usual in departing and consequently was late in returning. This doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, everyone becomes aware of it.

Speaking of trains, a friend who also lives near to some train tracks was recently asked how he likes having trains passing by. He said, “I like it. It proves that someone is out there working.”

History note

From the Republican Journal, Jan. 22, 1914: “Frankfort – The plant of the Mount Waldo Granite Works was shut down two days last week on account of the intense cold weather. There is a fine quantity of ice on the Marsh Stream this season, and all the local ice houses are now being filled. Freeman Snow and Jerry Hughes have their nets set in the river for smelt fishing. So far the run of fish has been very light.”

Under the feeder

Songbird activity continues at a high level. The usual retinue is in evidence and this includes starlings, robins, goldfinches, juncos, blue jays, chickadees, hairy and downy woodpeckers, doves and cardinals.

Reports keep coming in from all over Waldo County of small flocks of bluebirds. Might this be an early sign of spring? After all, meteorological spring begins March 1, only three days away.

Vernal signs

Here are a few more signs of the coming season. Some commercial businesses already have green, St. Patrick’s Day decorations out. St. Pat’s Day is only a few days away from official spring. Also, the expiration date on a carton of orange juice I just bought reads “April 21.” Perhaps I grasp at straws, but when it concerns spring, hope springs eternal.

Weekly quote

From The Five Points of Husbandrie, 1551: “The hop for its profit I thus do exalt, It strengtheneth drink and flavoreth malt; And being well-brewed, long kept it will last, And drawing abide if ye draw not too fast.”