Category Archives: Maine People

But Officer, my teacher told me to

  The four-years compressed into one-year learning extravaganza called the Maine Master Naturalist Program has gotten me into trouble more than once. I have been attacked by toe-biting insects and found myself deep in the woods with an angry goshawk. My last assignment had me talking to the police, or, had them talking to me. […]

Can’t get a fish from a hole in the road

Tip up with flag up

The ice has come, the ice has gone, the ice is here again. It will be here for six more weeks if we can trust that Ground Hog. I am skeptical of any creature also known as a whistlepig, though, and for whom the leading topics in an internet search include 1.) How to repel, […]

What is ice fishing really about? At Great Pond, it is not just the fish

American flags on a jeep

400 plus souls gather in a field of ice. Three boys toss a ball for their dogs. A silver-blue Miata cruises with its top down. Fires dot the expanse, and a small group huddles around each one, warming hands and roasting hot dogs. It is the annual Great Pond Fishing Derby. Fish are the reason […]

The learning will never stop–naturalists graduate

The last installment of my progress as a Maine Master Naturalist, Tier 1.   Fireworks end with a grand finale of ear-aching noise and blinding flashes. That is nothing compared to the Maine Master Naturalist finale, Tier One. We followed in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark through field and forest, and then put on […]

Science and Art: A group of naturalists make beautiful bugs

Another installment in my progress as a Maine Master Naturalist Tier 1 student.   We are in the home stretch, final assignments are due, and there is some scrambling to finish projects. Nineteen never-say-die aspiring naturalists, who might just possibly all be called over achievers, were given the assignment of building an insect model. We […]

Life behind a nametag: Do you wear your name on your shirt?

In decades of being gainfully employed I have never* had to wear a badge with my name on it. I never really thought much about them. The bag girl at the local supermarket has one, flight attendants wear them, my daughter had polo shirts with her name when she drove a team of horses, and […]

Fun with owl pellets, and a motley crew develops naturalist’s wings.

Another installment in my progress as a Maine Master Naturalist Tier 1 student.   “Dissect an owl pellet, separate and identify bones, and build and label a skeleton,” was one of the assignments due this week. “Piece of cake,” I thought, remembering seventh grade biology and all the dissections we had done. Earthworms, starfish, some […]

When is the ice safe? Ice-walking in Acadia

  “When is the ice safe?” I am asked. There are plenty of answers to this, but the only right one is: “It depends.” Safe for a skater does not mean safe for a snowmobile. There is a generous amount of info out there on judging ice safety by its color, whether it is early […]

Yes, Virginia, there is a small-town American Christmas (or, we find newts in the toilet and Santa is exposed.)

My village, Otter Creek, has an annual Christmas gathering that is part comedy of errors and part a magical suspension of time and personal differences. It is held in the former church, which has lofty ceilings, beadboard walls with old crackly varnish, long windows with colored glass fanlights, and it feels like Christmas even in […]