August 26 – September 30, 2016 Vol. 18, No. 12

Another Summer Wraps Up

Kelly, Marty, and Sophie McKenzie on The Mountain.

by Pete Kallin

Suddenly the days are getting a little shorter and I am beginning to notice leaves beginning to turn red in the wetlands and yellow high on the hillsides. It is still quite warm during the day but the nights are growing cooler. Soon it will become easier to find a parking place in the village.

Like the birds and squirrels, I am double checking my summer "to do" list and trying to make sure everything gets done. My wife helps by leaving me friendly notes and reminders such as, "Call the chimney guy," on the kitchen counter.

I have spent a fair amount of time foraging for blueberries, blackberries, and elderberries. Soon I will be brewing my annual batch of blackberry-elderberry wine.

I have also managed to squeeze in a few hikes here and there. On The Mountain last week, I ran into Dick and Sue Greenan hiking with Dick's sister. It was good to see my friend, Dick motoring along pain-free on his new hips. Hopefully he will be ready for some skiing this year when the snows come.

I also met the McKenzie family from Andover, MA, who were renting a camp on Long Pond for the week. Kelly and Marty were hiking with their 6-year old daughter, Sophie, and the family dog, Cooper. Sophie was very excited as she told me all about the fun things they did while "living on the lake," including all the stars she could see at night through the skylights of the room she slept in.

The Orup children and their cousins practice diving from their 3-meter platform.

The bass fishing has continued to be excellent in Long Pond as the bass are gorging themselves on landlocked alewives. The alewives typically remain deep during the day but come up to feed near the surface at night. They come into the shallower coves to spawn. I like to go out early in the morning or in the evening on calm days when these schools are easy to find. Casting a fly or other lure (e.g., a small floating Rapala) that looks like an alewife into the school is an exciting way to quickly catch a lot of fish.

The water is still warm and I'm seeing lots of people out swimming and otherwise recreating on the water. My neighbors, the Orups, from Sudbury, MA and Peninsula Drive in Rome recently had a big family get together and kids were getting in some practice on the 3-meter diving platform in preparation for the 2020 Olympics.

It is hard to believe that this is the final issue of Summertime in the Belgrades for this year. I hope this column has inspired some of you to get out and explore the outdoor recreation opportunities the region has to offer and I hope you took a kid or two along. Until next year I encourage everyone to "take it outside."

Pete Kallin is a past director of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance.