August 9 – 15, 2019Vol. 21, No. 10

A Grandkid Returns

Grandson Nathan drives the boat.

by Pete Kallin

Two weeks ago, we got a brief visit from our granddaughter Maddy, when her parents dropped her off on the way to delivering her older brother to Jazz Camp at UMaine Farmington. This week, my wife attended a morning jazz concert and picked up her older brother Nathan, when his camp ended. She brought him home and fed him leftover lobster from the night before. The weather remained hot and humid so the afternoon turned into a movie at the air-conditioned Narrow Gauge Cinema followed by dinner at Uno Mas in Farmington.

The next day, Nathan arose at the crack of noon and we enjoyed a hearty brunch of scrambled eggs with freshly foraged yellow chanterelle and black trumpet mushrooms and fresh-picked blueberries. Nathan and I then headed out in the boat for a bit of fishing and exploring the lake, including a stop at Day's Store Lakeside Scoops for ice cream.

We caught quite a few fish and spent a lot of time cooling off in the water, including swimming and snorkeling in "The Graveyard" in lower Long Pond. While we were snorkeling, we scraped aufwuchs, the epiphytic algae growing on the rocks) with our fingers and had the sunfish nibbling snacks off our fingers.

Pete Kallin, standing at left, addresses North Pond Association members and families aboard the Melinda Ann.

Later we headed home in time to prepare a delicious dinner of Long Pond rainbow trout filets grilled with leftover lobster butter and tarragon, with more blueberries. After a good night's sleep, Nana took Nathan home by way of lunch at Panera's and shopping at Barnes and Noble. It always amazes me how much eating and sleeping a teenage boy can do in a few days. Next month, Nathan and the rest of his family are headed to Alaska for a couple of weeks of hiking and camping.

Later in the week, we towed the Maine Lakes Society's 30-ft floating classroom Melinda Ann to North Pond, and I led a couple of voyages with North Pond Association adults and kids to teach them about water quality measurements and give them hands on experience measuring Secchi depths, doing plankton tows, taking benthic samples, and measuring the temperature-oxygen profile in the lake. The Secchi depth of 4.22 meters was considerably clearer than last summer's readings of less than 2 meters.

Young Matteo smiles, having caught a nice bass.

When the trips were done, I headed back toward the boat launch when I got a call from Caroll Bubar, who was supposed to tow the boat back to Rome, saying he was running about fifteen minutes late. Luckily, I happened to have a flyrod with me in the boat and I managed to catch a couple of nice white perch while fishing where Bog Stream enters North Pond while waiting for Caroll. About two hours later, we enjoyed fresh fish for dinner, an added bonus to a fun day.

At about the same time, Mike Guarino was fishing with a family spending some time vacationing at Salmon Lake, when 7-year-old Matteo landed a lunker bass. It's great to see young kids out learning to fish and making fond memories.

This area offers some great outdoor recreation, whether you like to hike, bike, birdwatch, fish, sail, or paddle a canoe or kayak. Pick up a map of the local trails at Day's Store or from the 7 Lakes Alliance at the Maine Lakes Resource Center. Also, please check the 7-LA Facebook page for details on some interesting events scheduled this summer. Check the website and keep an eye on the sign out front. And make sure you take a kid along on your next outdoor adventure.

Pete Kallin is a past director of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance, which merged with the Maine Lakes Resource Center in December 2017 to form the 7-Lakes Alliance.