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Coming on fast

Wood stoves in Searsmont are being lit in the evenings now and maybe on a morning or two. There has been frost on the meadow a few times. Doesn’t it feel like this has happened pretty fast? Searsmonters are, of course, ready for this weather with wood stacked and bush-hogging done or scheduled.

And if you’ve got spring-flowering bulbs like crocus and daffodils to plant, along with driveway reflectors, the wooly bear caterpillars are telling you to get them in the ground soon. Time, too, for the Great Clothes Swap, putting the warm-weather stuff away and bringing out the turtlenecks and sweaters. Where are those gloves? Winter is coming.

ACO gathering

The Sept. 25 all-day meeting of Maine’s animal control officers was such a success that people are asking Searsmont to host another one next year. According to town ACOs Robin Dow and Arnold Oulton, presenters included Searsmont’s Faithful Venture Farm dairyman Glendon Mehuren.

Waldo County Deputy Sheriff Jason Trundy spoke about dealing with law enforcement and Pope Memorial Humane Society’s Chrys Delorimier presented on rabies. Assistant Maine State Veterinarian Rachael Fiske presented and Lee Palmer talked about Spirits Place’s feral cat trap/neuter/release program. Robin thanks Amanda at the Fraternity Village Store for the doughnuts, Kathy Hoey for the homemade muffins, and the Vicky E. Morgan Foundation for the coffee. A hearty “well done” to all concerned.

Town Office

That didn’t take long. At their Oct. 3 work session, the selectmen hired a new town bookkeeper to replace Cassie, who resigned recently. Laurel Frye is now sitting at the desk on the right as you walk in. Stop in and say hello. The town is still looking for a permanent part-time Planning Board clerk.

Selectmen continued their discussion of a land purchase for a new salt and sand shed to replace the old one, now that the old fire house has been sold. If you have 2 to 5 acres (or more) for sale within a mile and a half of the village, let the Town Office know. They will get back to you.

The rest of the work session dealt with road repair, culvert work (with residents in attendance to discuss that matter) and gravel road grading before the snow flies.

The office staff reminds everyone that you can request an absentee ballot through Nov. 3. Ballots are due by Election Day and they recommend you mail your completed absentee ballot by Nov. 1, or bring yours in by Election Day. You can also register to vote through Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8. Bring your driver’s license or a utility bill to prove you are a Searsmont resident.

It’s that time, again. Dog licenses for 2023 are available Oct. 17, due and payable through Dec. 31. If you missed the Sept. 30 property tax deadline, be sure you are not late for this one.

Library

Heads up! The library will be closed Saturday morning, Oct. 15, for the annual “Volunteer Appreciation” event hosted by the library and Friends of the Searsmont Library. If you need a book or CD or DVD, a computer or printer that day, stop by between noon and 1 p.m.

Folks attending the free Tuesday morning light yoga classes led by Searsmont’s Janneke Zaadstra are enjoying the program, supporting it with donations. There is still room for people to join. Just bring your own yoga mat. Stop by the library, call 342-5549 or email searsmont.town.library@gmail.com for more information.

The library’s fall book group starts Saturday, Oct. 29, 1 p.m., and there is room for you there, too. The fall book is Annie Proulx’s “Accordion Crimes.” For more information, use the same phone number or email so a copy can be ready for you.

Fall-blooming clematis is in full flower on the Midcoast. Photo by Mickey Sirota

Bits and pieces

That wood stove smoke is perfuming Searsmont’s air but the growing season is not over. Fall clematis is blooming on rhododendron bushes. The wild cranberry crop did remarkably well considering the dry summer, producing a bumper crop in time for Thanksgiving and just ahead of the season’s first frosts.

Fall asters paint the Searsmont landscape with white and purple blossoms. Ferns and milkweed are turning gold and yellow. Winterberry bushes are setting red fruit. The town’s trees are a riot of color. It is getting dark earlier and the night sky is ablaze with stars and planets to see before turning in. This is a wonderful place to live.