Remember when the 4th of July meant family time, staying close to home, being free for a day from a set routine? Remember when the 4th of July meant a simple picnic with peanut butter and marshmallow sandwiches and chips or a simple cook-out with hot dogs and potato salad and everyone drank Kool-Aid, and adults sat around and children never stood still?
Well, our ponds are really starting to feel the effects of another drought. Although the Great Pond and Long Pond dams have been completely shut down for a good month now, Great Pond is down just 1" from full pond with Long Pond down 3.12" below full.
Left unchecked, aggressive non-native variable leaf milfoil grows rampantly, forming large mats on the surface, recreational boating, fishing and swimming, and even reducing property values. This year, with ice-out about a month earlier than usual and abundant sunshine, invasive plants have gotten a head-start.
As people who work in the environmental field, responding to situations of environmental crisis is our default. It's like breathing for us. If I'm being honest, it's actually kind of an adrenaline rush when you remove invasive plants from the lake or respond to a report of an injured loon. But the past couple of months have popped my "bubble"; I am acutely aware of other issues that are overwhelmingly large and troubling. I've asked myself, "Is my work enough?" "Is protecting the waters of the Cobbossee Watershed making enough of an impact in this world?"
Another stirring memoir, Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs by Jennifer Finney Boylan, is quite the read for dog lovers and non dog owners alike. Many people have adopted pets during these strange days of isolation, so walking the dog has become essential in many lives in Belgrade Lakes and all over our country.
Although many traditional summer events have been canceled, postponed, or moved online, one key event is going forward, although in a slimmed-down form and at a different venue. The Maine International Film Festival is moving to the Skowhegan Drive-In. The festival will run from Tuesday, July 7 until Thursday, July 16.
Last week, we took a sneak peek at the Maine Shorts to be shown at this year's Maine International Film Festival. Now, we'll take look at MIFF's other shorts program, the Shorts From Away. Ranging from 7 to 23 minutes long, the ten shorts total just over two hours. They range from comedy to horror, from sadness to joy.
The Luckiest Boy
Like most towns, Belgrade had its share of "characters" and probably still does. Exactly what that means or meant may vary some, but one key ingredient is that they were people who leave this earth with a lasting epitaph in people's minds. In reflecting back over the last 60 years or so, I pondered some of the people in our town who were characters when I knew them in the 1950s and 1960s. There were many, but I settled on two old men whom my friend Ralph Pope worked for at age 16.
One of the side effects of the pandemic restrictions is that my older grandkids' Ultimate Frisbee camps, tennis camps, and jazz camps have been canceled. I told my daughter-in-law that Grandpa's lakeside fishing, swimming, and hiking camp was still open and ready for business. Shortly thereafter, my teenage grandkids, Maddy and Nathan, checked in for a short stay.