joycesirota@gmail.com; mickeysirota@gmail.com

322-7572; 322-5671

Easing into summer

A pleasure of Searsmont living is being close to nature. We experience the changing seasons up close, including a mostly cloud-obscured partial solar eclipse at sunrise on June 10. Canada Geese are producing fluffy goslings. May’s bare trees are green now. The meadows that looked mowed are now filled with fragrant bed straw and growing inches a day. The bare vegetable gardens are producing peas and greens for early planters who are trying to figure out where to put the “extra” seedlings and hoping that rain brings a day without the garden hose. Despite chores and the prospect of starting work on the fall woodpile, summer’s arrival is a blessing. We are most grateful.

Town Library

After the success of the end-of-May performance, we are looking forward to the Blues Prophets Live OUTSIDE the library concert on June 19. We will tell you about it next week. Put July 24 on your calendar (rain date July 25) for Shirt Tail Kin, an “alt country rock” band that has been entertaining Mainers since the 1970s. Once again Searsmont thanks the Onion Foundation, Maine Arts Council and Friends of the Library for these live musical events. Call the library at 342-5549 to reserve your lawn seats in July.

Town Office and Broadband

It was a brief, efficient selectmen’s meeting June 8 and there is little to report. The Board of Assessment Review is scheduled to hold a public hearing on Tuesday, June 29, 6 p.m., regarding a property tax abatement appeal from KHA Holdings LLC (owners of the Come Spring Industrial Park). This will be the first such hearing in town since October 2013.

Bits and pieces

Congratulations to Searsmont’s 2021 Belfast Area High School graduates and the women and men who have completed their two-year, four-year and graduate college degrees. It was a challenging year, and we’re all proud of each and every one of you.

School is out so there are no morning and afternoon school buses on the roads. It also means there are kids out there. For their sake, please be alert as you drive.

Summer also means that Healthy Grab & Go free breakfasts and lunches are available for your Regional School Unit 71 student (up to age 18) at Ames Elementary School beginning Tuesday, July 6, and every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday through July 29, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the lobby. Meals are also available at Capt. Albert Stevens School in Belfast, curbside or lobby, every Monday through Thursday to Aug. 31. Questions? Call Director of Nutrition Perley Martin at 338-3320, ext. 307, or email pmartin@rsu71.org.

Did you know anything with calamine lotion helps with brown-tail moth rash itching? So do witch hazel, Benadryl and about a zillion other home remedies, we hear. And it says here that we only have another month or so of this annoyance in Searsmont. We’ll believe that when we see it. Now excuse us while we go scratch those red bumps.

Move away from the wild parsnip if you see it on your property or along the road. Mickey Sirota

And a warning about nature in Searsmont. Wild parsnip has been spotted on a number of local roads. This tall plant with a Queen Anne’s lace-type spray of yellow flowers on top, is a phototoxic monster. That means its sap on your skin, combined with sunlight, causes a chemical burn (not an allergic reaction but a real burn) that can leave a scar for more than a year. Look it up and be on the lookout for it. If you decide to root it out to keep it from seeding like thistle or dandelion, be sure to suit up and include face protection.