The summer of 1994 was a pivotal summer for the region, for the Belgrade chain of lakes, for central Maine and for the century-old tourism trend of rustic camps, small seasonal businesses and relaxed resort lifestyles. In that summer, many were the beginnings of change that have carried over into today, that have resulted in more appreciation of the natural and economic resources of the area, more attention to the required stewardship of the region and more acknowledgement of the emerging importance of regional links.
Created more than four decades ago, the Oxbow Nature Trail is one of Waterville's oldest trails. The easy, three-quarter-of-a-mile loop sits on an undeveloped, 19-acre parcel at a U-shaped bend, or oxbow, on the Messalonskee Stream. These photos were taken on June 1, National Trails Day, after a clean-up in which volunteers from Kennebec Messalonskee Trails picked up litter and removed invasive plants.
b>Memorial Day weekend 2019: We canoed out of our bay and spotted a loon sitting on a nest. We kept our distance, knowing that if a frightened loon leaves the nest, it usually doesn't return. Paddling back later, we were surprised to see two loons sitting on the nest, side by side. We knew the birds take turns during the incubation period 4 to 6 weeks but it was sweet to see the togetherness. I'd like to think they were the same pair we watched last year, and hope they have better luck with their chick(s) this summer.
Beyond: Popham Colony: The First English Settlement in New England, the 2013 London Book Festival Grand Prize historic novel, was written by former high school teacher Dick Seymour of North Haven, Maine. He knew very well that students study the 1607 Jamestown Colony, but Popham in that same year is never mentioned in history books. Wonder why?
While plant life seems to be getting a later start this season, now is the time to begin identifying any "invasives" and try and mitigate their spread. Although about one third of Maine's plant species are native, only a small fraction of those are considered "invasive". These have the potential to cause great harm to our landscape.
The Luckiest Boy
This may not be as earth shattering as Paul Revere's warning announcement in 1776, but ask any grandparent what the highlight of their year or season is and the answer is the pretty much the same. After asking several Grammies and Grampies, here are some replies: "Oh, it has to be when the kids come on the Fourth of July"; "Definitely when the grands come for Christmas"; "Whenever we see the kids either at their house or ours."
Summer seems to be in full swing, with long lines at Day's Store and more out-of-state license plates than Maine plates on the cars parked in the village. The 7 Lakes Alliance and the Friends of Messalonskee Courtesy Boat Inspectors have been on duty since Memorial Day weekend at the public boat launches in the Belgrades, doing their part to prevent the spread of invasive plants into our lakes.