By Tom Seymour


I’ve spent years marching in parades playing Highland bagpipes. Some were long, with lots of hills. Much of this was in the blazing sun and when the parade would pause, it seemed that our unit was always stopped in the open, while others got to bask in the shade.

One thing that always caught my attention was that people playing other instruments often got to ride on a float, no marching and standing on the hot pavement in the sun. But a pipe band is a marching band and that’s that.

Now I’ve traded my Highland pipes for Irish pipes, the kind you play sitting down, with a bellows. I also play pipe-and-tabor, a sort of one-man, fife-and-drum corps. And guess what just happened? The Frankfort Congregational Church will have a float in the Fourth of July parade (start time 11 a.m.) and I will get to fulfill a lifetime dream by riding on the float and playing my music.

There was no parade in town last year because of the state lockdown, but now things are returning to normal and the summer events we all look forward to are back on schedule.

Perchin’ prediction

The mackerel are in. People all over the bay, from Rockland to Searsport are catching mackerel. It’s early, though. Usually these pelagic fish don’t arrive here any earlier than the last week of June and often, the first week of July. But things are changing and now we get to enjoy these sporty and tasty fish a bit earlier.

Here’s something to consider. Dry conditions continue and with them, ever-lowering water levels in lakes and ponds. Places we used to drive our boats over are now high and dry. So be cautious, especially when driving near shorelines. Rocks that were never a problem before may present a hazard now.

I’ll add that a planned shad-fishing trip to the Kennebec River in Waterville was canceled at the last minute because of low water. And this is only June. Things may be far worse by summer’s end.

History note

The July 15, 1915, issue of The Republican Journal contained these two items:

“The heavy rains of last week nearly caused a flood in this vicinity; streams and meadows overflowed and the roads were badly washed out in many places.”

“Andrew Clements, who has been ill for many months at his daughter’s, Mrs. E.F. Ward’s, has so far recovered as to sit up a few hours in the wheel chair. Mr. Clements is over 90 years old and his gain has been very slow.”

Under the feeder

Having never fed songbirds in summer, until now, I’m amazed at the number and variety of avian visitors. Chickadees, nuthatches, sparrows, goldfinches and cardinals all have me hopping to keep the feeder filled.

In the garden

Finally, garden vegetables are beginning to grow with a vengeance. There are even little tomatoes on the vines. I hope to harvest green beans, lettuce and chard by mid-to late-July.

Weekly quote

“June damp and warm does the farmer no harm.” — Old English saying