George Smith's blog

One Man’s Maine by Jim Krosschell

Blog Showcase Image: 

 Jim Krosschell’s book, One Man’s Maine, is both thoughtful and provocative. Published by Green Writers Press, a Vermont based publisher whose mission is to spread a message of hope and renewal, the book is all of that.

Jim’s “from away” with a home in Owls Head, and he’s a very strong environmentalist. I most enjoyed his chapters on Maine’s wild critters, from moose and deer to yellow finches and crabs. While he is critical of moose hunters, I forgive him for that. Having never hunted, he doesn’t really understand that hunting is not all about killing.

Jim has a unique way of expressing his appreciation for our state, from moss and lichen on a mountaintop to rockweed in the ocean, and he has strong feelings for our wild places.

Here’s a good example from his chapter titled “Human Natures.”

This writer has captured Maine

Blog Showcase Image: 

 I just discovered a wonderful Maine writer. Lew-Ellyn Hughes isn’t exactly a hidden gem, because she’s been writing a column, Away with Words, for western Maine’s The Original Irregular, for many years. And she’s won many Maine Press Association awards for those columns.

But I didn’t know about her until I read a review by Bill Bushnell of her new book, Maine Stories, published by Maine Authors Publishing in Thomaston. I was intrigued and promptly ordered up a copy of the book. And now I know why she’s so popular and has won awards.

Maine Stories are just that, great stories about our state and people. Lew-Ellyn has a very entertaining way of writing her stories, often in the first person. Many of the stories are humerous. She covers it all, from bugs to grandchildren. There’s even a story about how she could not come up with a story for that week’s column.  I also enjoyed her column about her collection of old Maine books – something I’ve done too.

Stunning photos and great stories about loons

Blog Showcase Image: 

 There is something very special about loons, and photographer Nick Leadley has captured that specialness in a spectacular way. In his book, Gavia – Tales from Loon Country, Nick gives us dozens of stunning photos of loons, and dozens of stories about loons submitted by folks all over the state.

As Harry Vogel, Executive Director of The Loon Preservation Committee in New Hampshire, notes in the Foreword, “Science and magic combine in loons as in no other animal.”

Nick has experienced photographic adventures all around the world, but says one of his very favorite places is the western Maine mountains where he spends his summers running a gallery in Rangeley, leading bird walks, moose photography outings, and more.

Snake wraps up woman and bites her face

Blog Showcase Image: 

 “Oh, please. I have a boa constrictor stuck to my – my face!”

How’d you like to be the 911 dispatcher who got that call?

This Ohio woman had moved the 5 ½ foot Boa Constrictor to her home recently, and apparently it wasn’t happy there. It wrapped itself around her neck and began biting her nose.

Cleve Wootson’s recent story in the Washington Post reported that the first responders had to cut off the snake’s head to rescue the woman. They reported that there was “blood everywhere.” Yikes!

Wootson reported that Born Free, a group that advocates against owning exotic animals including snakes, documented more than 471 attacks by “pet” snakes between 1995 and 2013. Double Yikes!

You might be surprised to know that anyone in Maine can possess a boa constrictor without a permit, nor do they have to let their neighbors or anyone else know when their snake escapes.

Bait deer and you’ll never hunt again

Blog Showcase Image: 

 Boy, did I get that wrong. On August 7, I reported that a new law required that the person who is convicted of hunting deer over bait during an open season on deer must lose his license for one year. A second offense would require revocation for two years.

That was the last amended version of the bill that I received during a work session of the legislature’s Fish and Wildlife Committee. But sometime between that day and enactment, the bill was substantially changed.

The new law requires that a second deer baiting offense results in the loss of hunting privileges – for a lifetime! I have to thank Representative Paul Stearns for calling this to my attention.

The original bill required a mandatory fine of $500 but that was removed, as committee members thought this should be left up to the Judge.

Sleeping turkey gets surprised by hunters

Blog Showcase Image: 

 This turkey hunting story was shared with me by my friend Jim Robbins. It’s a good one and I want to share it with you. Here’s Jim’ story, in his own words.

 

            One day in mid May my grandson Eli had Friday off from school so we decided that we would go turkey hunting together.  Knowing that teen agers usually don’t like to get up at 3:30 am I told him I would pick him up at 5 am.  We went to four of my favorite haunts but with no luck. 

            At one of the spots we could hear some gobblers way off but couldn’t get them interested in our calling.  At about 7 am we drove over to an old farm where I had some luck in the past.  Out behind the farm house there is a junk yard, typical of many old Maine farms. 

A beautiful book about a beautiful butterfly

Blog Showcase Image: 

           Monarch butterflies are in trouble, which makes Melissa Kim’s new book, A Monarch Butterfly Story, published by Islandport Press in Yarmouth, all the more important. Jada Fitch’s illustrations are beautiful, and Melissa gives us a wonderful story of a grandson in Maine who gets a special message from his grandfather in Texas, telling him that the Monarch Butterflies are “running out of food and places to live.”

Site by Fieldstone Media