Congratulations to Rick Alley, winner of the 2016 Maine Duck Stamp Contest. The blue-winged teal was this year’s duck; the winner is not allowed to submit next year, but Rick can be one of the judges. Next year’s duck will be the common eider.
Cindy Thomas went to a MeHAF (Maine Health Access Foundation) meeting in Augusta. MeHAF promotes access to quality health care especially for those without easily attainable services. They have given Maine Sea Coast Mission a grant, and the mission takes an islander to one of the meetings. Cindy took a day for a trip to Hallowell.
Spring is here! The sun has been shining brightly this past week on Great Cranberry. Around 5:45 a.m., it’ll rise up over the horizon from the east, lifting itself higher and higher into the sky, radiating a warm glow onto the island. “Wake up, go, grow,” it says to the islanders, and we rise with it.
One of the biggest signs of spring is the return of the Islesford float. Early Sunday morning, Roy Hadlock and Ian Krasnow brought the ramp and first section of the summer float. Bags will no longer be whisked up the stairs, but neither will the level step off a boat be blocked by a post, and the lowest of all low tides will no longer be an issue. (Important and needed as these floats are, the best Islesford float would come in a mug of ice cream and soda.)
The underlayer of the wind is warm air, so even in the 30s, it no longer feels like it did a month ago. Robins have been applying for lawn care positions for a couple weeks now, certified as cheerful wake-up calls as well. Peepers are back, loons have returned to the ponds, and osprey are returning to restore their nests. It’s falcon nesting time, so the various Acadia trails are closed; they open as soon as possible if there is no sign of successful nesting, or else at mid-August fledging.
With the longer days and warmer weather, islanders have been working like busy bees. Newman and Gray’s boatyard have been working hard starting to launch boats in the water. Ben and Cooper Sumner volunteered their time clearing the Whistler Cove Trail, now open for some island trailblazing. Blair Colby has been helping island gardeners get ready for the growing season by moving piles of dirt to gardens, relocating a greenhouse and tilling plots of land.
Cooler crops like peas and spinach are being sown in the ground, and seedlings are sprouting up along with us islanders. Everyone is cleaning and tidying, clearing fallen branches and raking away leaves that have piled up over the winter. While they were nature’s blanket, keeping the ground insulated during the cold winter months, it’s time to rip off the covers and let the sun shine down, warming the ground.
The sun’s invitation to a change of season has church services moving from the Ladies Aid and back to the Church with the service every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. with a potluck following at the Ladies Aid.
More signs of spring: Cindy Thomas, Joy Sprague and Barb Fernald had the April dip of the month. Air temperature: 48 degrees, water temperature: 42 degrees. Looks like an upcoming heat wave. They had a double-dip, cheered on by Kaitlyn, Cory and Bode Duggan, who also provided pictures. Barb wrote: “I love our dip-of-the-month club. We’re always open to new members!”
Islesford had the first movie night in the warm Neighborhood House for David Thomas’ birthday party. The movie was “Deep Waters,” the film adaptation of “Spoonhandle,” the book read back in February. The popcorn popper is alive and well, and Cindy Thomas brought a birthday cake. Cindy and Dave Thomas, Ann and Paul Fernald, Jeri and Ted Spurling, Serena Spurling and Rick Alley came; Skip Stevens set up and ran the film, and Sally Rowan got the popcorn.
The Events Committee, run under Chairwoman Jessi Duma, has been meeting regularly and has included new members. There is much enthusiasm for exciting events as spring starts and summer nears. Details will unfold as the season evolves and the sunshine grows stronger. The Publications Committee, under Chairwoman Elaine Buchsbaum, has begun planning for the next editions of the “Cranberry Chronicle Newsletter,” due out in June. The committee also is planning to publish three booklets this summer for sale at the Museum Store: “The Stanley Cemetery Restoration Project,” “A Farming History of the Cranberry Isles” and “A History of Schools on the Cranberry Isles.”
There will be a town public hearing Saturday, April 23, at 9 a.m. at the Cranberry House. It will be about proposed updates to the Flood Plain Ordinance, and property owners are encouraged to attend, as many will be affected by the changes.
Happy Passover, beginning on April 22.
Happy birthday to David Axelrod on April 23. Steven Philbrook celebrates on April 24. Oliver Blank and Johnny Myers add one on April 25, and Eric Dyer on April 26.
We look forward to reporting all the news. Send items to us by 5 p.m. on Sunday. For Islesford, email Sally Rowan at [email protected], and for Great Cranberry, email Kayla Gagnon at [email protected]