By Tom Seymour


Cloudburst. Gulley washer. The heavens opened up. These all came to mind last Wednesday as torrential rain came down in buckets.

Since there was no lightning associated with this storm, I decided to sit it out on the front porch. There’s something comforting about sitting comfortably on a cushioned chair in a rainstorm while protected by a roof.

Living on a paved road is still new to me and it was interesting to see how rainwater formed rivulets that washed down into my lawn and driveway. What was more interesting was to watch traffic passing by.

This was in late afternoon, during a time of fairly steady traffic. What amazed me was how blithely dismissive drivers were of any danger associated with driving on flooded roads. With a speed limit of 30, most people went anywhere from 10 to 15 mph over the posted limit. The tires on speeding vehicles caused waves of water to fan out for 10 feet on either side of their vehicles. I sat, ready to run, in case a vehicle were to hydroplane and fly off the road in my direction.

Thankfully, that didn’t happen, but there was no reason it shouldn’t have. I deduced that with the exception of one driver who kept to a reasonable speed, 99% of the people had never been in an auto accident; nor had they ever lost a loved one in an accident. Consequently, they feel immortal when getting behind the wheel. I guess that’s just normal human behavior, but it certainly is cause for concern.

In the garden

Here’s a note to a reader, John, who wrote concerning his missing pea seeds. I had mentioned planting my peas several times, since each time the seed would mysteriously disappear. John had the same problem. Now I believe I know the reason.

In both our cases, there were no tracks or holes to indicate that crows or squirrels had taken the seed. However, I watched a chipmunk crawling around the raised bed where I planted my peas. And then it hit me. Chipmunks burrow underground. It is very likely that chipmunks had burrowed under the pea beds and took the seed from beneath. That’s why there were no holes or tracks. And that’s why John and I won’t be having fresh peas this Fourth of July.

History note

As reported in The Republican Journal, good times were had in Frankfort on July 11, 1899: “The young folks of this town went on a straw ride Tuesday evening, July 11th, and hired the hall at Monroe, where they danced ‘till the wee sma hours.’ Ice cream and cake were furnished by the ladies and music by members of the party. There were two hay racks too well filled for comfort, as not only Frankfort, but Bangor, Hampden, Winterport and other towns were well represented, making about 60 altogether.”

Perchin’ prediction

I was able to take time one day last week and fish for mackerel at Searsport. As the old fella said, “Never got a bite in the morning but come afternoon, action slowed down a bit.”

Now, after considerable rain, I wonder if the salinity of the top layer of water has become so diluted that the mackerel will head back down the bay. It’s happened before.

Weekly quote

“I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the  people under the pretense of taking care of them.” — Thomas Jefferson



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