Tag Archives: nature

Is the Intervale a bog?

A few days ago, we shared a link to a story in the Portland Press Herald about three hunters being rescued from a local bog. Is the Intervale a bog, I wondered? It seems more like a marsh— Of course, I googled it and here’s what I found:

The world’s wetlands are ecosystems in themselves, and are defined by the flora and fauna they support. Marshes are nutrient-rich wetlands that support a variety of reeds and grasses, while swamps are defined by their ability to support woody plants and trees. Bogs are characterized by their poor soil and high peat content, while fens have less peat and more plant life than a bog. Keep reading

Revisiting the mission of the Sabbathday Lake Association

Over this past winter, the SDLA gave presentations to the New Gloucester Board of Selectmen and Planning Board. We also spoke at the town budget meeting and answered questions about our Association. It became clear that there were some misconceptions about the SDLA. So, we would like to revisit our mission statement… for our members.

Mission: The Sabbathday Lake Association is a non-profit, environmentally oriented, charitable organization formed to protect the water quality and natural resources of its watershed.

Here are some things that we do and do not do.
• The SDLA is a volunteer conservation organization. There are no required memberships of fees for property owners, and membership for lake property owners and other members in the community is strictly voluntary. We currently have approximately 90 members.
• The SLDA does not own property on the lake or have jurisdiction over access to the lake.
• The SDLA has no authority over the Grange Hall or the beach at the south end of the lake.
• The SDLA does not operate the boat ramp on Outlet Road. This ramp is operated and maintained by a small business located at the Outlet Beach in a lease agreement with the Shakers. The boat ramp is open to the public for a fee and SDLA members pay launch fees just like other members of the community.
• The SDLA does not host fishing derbies. Fishing derbies that do happen on the lake are run as fundraisers by other organizations through permits obtained from Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

We hope that this clarifies some concerns about our role as stewards of Sabbathday Lake. It is our privilege to serve on the SDLA board and we enthusiastically welcome new members.
To learn more about SLDA projects and activities, visit the website  and select the What We Do tab in the home page header.

Chandler Brothers gift 2,500 acres to Maine Woodland Owners

Chandler Brothers, a family-owned land management company whose New Gloucester roots herald back to the mid-1700s, made a difficult but necessary gift of 2,500 acres to Maine Woodland Owners.

“We knew we had to do something so the land wouldn’t be developed. That’s why we’re giving it away,” said spokesman Steve Chandler, representing the four family owners, Charles P. Chandler, Bertha Chandler, Natalie Chandler and himself. Keep reading

BOS creates committees, considers land purchases

Selectmen on Monday night directed Town Manager Carrie Castonguay to contact the real estate broker marketing four tracts totaling roughly 200 acres owned by Wayfinder School of New Gloucester.

Selectmen said they are interested in two lots, one with 24 acres and another with 93 acres, both off Gloucester Hill Road. They need time to develop a plan by Jan. 30, and have a final plan by March 1 so voters could approve the purchase.
Keep reading

Browntail Moth: How to identify these and Gypsy moths and Eastern tent caterpillars

Why are they a problem?
The browntail caterpillar has tiny (0.15 mm) hairs that on sensitive individuals cause a skin rash similar to poison ivy and/or trouble breathing.
The microscopic hairs break off the caterpillars and are everywhere in browntail infested areas; on trees, lawns, gardens, decks, picnic tables and in the air.
The hairs can remain toxic for up to THREE YEARS so although the problem is worst from May to July, they may cause a reaction at other times of year as well.
Wind or activities such as mowing, leaf-blowing, etc., can stir up the hairs, leading to a reaction.
The rash and trouble breathing can last anywhere from a few hours to several weeks. It is caused by both a chemical reaction to a toxin in the hairs and physical irritation from the barbed hairs. Contact your physician if a reaction is severe.
Browntail
Moth
Maine Forest Service
(207) 287-2431
www.maineforestservice.gov
Maine Board of Pesticides Control
(207) 287-2731
thinkfirstspraylast.org
Life Cycle: Browntail moth (Euproctis Chrysorrhea)
 One generation a year.
 Four life stages; egg, larval, pupal, and adult.
 Larval stage (caterpillars) lasts from August through to the following June.
 In the spring, as soon as the earliest leaf buds open, the caterpillars become active and leave their over-wintering webs to feed on tender new leaves. They may devour the leaves as fast as the leaves develop.
 When young, the caterpillars return to the webs at night, but later remain out on the leaves overnight, and are fully grown by late June.
 The caterpillars then form filmy cocoons between leaves on trees, under eaves, picnic tables, decks, etc.
 Adult moths are emerge from cocoons in late July and August, laying clusters of eggs on the underside of leaves. The moths are strongly attracted to light.
 Caterpillars emerge from the eggs in August and feed on the upper side of the leaves of host trees.
 In the fall, colonies of caterpillars build winter webs on the tips of branches. The webs are made from leaves tightly wrapped with white silk. There can be 25 to 400 or more caterpillars in each web.
 The caterpillars overwinter within the 2-5 inch (5-10 cm) winter webs. The webs are found most often on red oak or apple trees.

Damage:
The caterpillars feed on the leaves of many hardwood trees and shrubs. Common host trees and shrubs in-clude:
 Oak, apple, crabapple, cherry, hawthorn, shad-bush, serviceberry, and rugosa rose.

Feeding by browntail caterpillars can cause reduced growth and branch dieback. A number of years at high population levels can lead to mortality of trees and shrubs.
Look-a-likes:
 Eastern tent caterpillars have a solid whitish line down the middle of the back with a row of oval pale blue spots on each side and are covered with long brown hairs.
 Gypsy moth caterpillars have pairs of blue and red spots along their back and are covered with long brown hairs.

Browntail Moth (adult):
 Both sexes of the browntail moth have snow white wings and a tuft of dark brown hair on the tip of the abdo-men. Only seen in July and August.

http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/
Identification:
Browntail Caterpillar:
 Dark brown with a broken white stripe on each side and two conspicuous red spots on the back. They grow to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in length.

http://maine.gov/dacf/mfs/

New Gloucester Environmental Committee  5/14/2017

Rain or Shine Club

Presented by the Royal River Conservation Trust, the Rain or Shine Club explores your backyard with a concise, thoughtful outing on Thursday of each week. Join the club for a free guided adventure that takes place under any weather conditions. The next two of them occur in New Gloucester.

On Thursday, Feb. 2, 10 a.m., the club visits Chandler Mill Pond, 250 Chandler Mill Road, for the first time. If winter decides to prevail, the group can explore the shorelines from the ice; if spring persists, they can explore the pond from the shoreline.

On Thursday, Feb. 9, 10 a.m., the site is Pisgah Hill Preserve – South at 74 Dougherty Road. Come help RRCT Stewardship Director Kyle Warren pack the trail, make luminaries, and build a snow bar at Full Moon Celebration Preparation for their sixth annual hilltop soirée. Call 632-6112 for more details.

Patti’s Jan. 6 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Meet wild animals

Meet Josh Sparks of Sparks’ Ark and the array of wild animals he rehabilitates. His talk is open to ages 3 and up in the Mount Washington Room of The Commons at Pineland Farms from 1-2 p.m., Monday, Jan. 16. Buy tickets at The Market and Welcome Center, 15 Farm View Drive, New Gloucester, for $5 per person. For more information, call 650-3031 or email education@pinelandfarms.org.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-75/

Patti’s Aug. 19 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

cider tasting

Dylan Staats and Allison Carrier, of Portland, enjoy sampling varieties of Norumbega Cidery products at a tasting held at the New Gloucester-based cider house on Aug. 13. Carrier remarked that seeing where the hard cider was made added to the experience, and the spice-flavored cider was her favorite.

NGPL Girl returns

The summer reading program, sponsored by the New Gloucester Public Library, 379 Intervale Road, wraps up on Tuesday, Aug. 23. As tradition would dictate, a play written by Tim and Jobin Terranova will open the evening’s festivities at 6:30 p.m. This year’s performance is entitled, “NGPL Girl: The Rise of RedRay.” A presentation of the end of summer reading awards will follow the play, and the evening will end with the Chewonki Foundation putting on their its program.

The public is welcome to come and show support for the young thespians and readers. For more information, call the library at 926-4840.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-43/

Patti’s July 8 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Pet Show

Would you like to show off your beloved animal and meet other interesting pets? Come to the New Gloucester Public Library, 389 Intervale Road, 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 12, for their 14th annual Pet Show.

All pets are welcome to attend for pet-themed storytime, socializing, and species-appropriate snacks. Light refreshments will be served for the human types. A representative from the GNG Animal Hospital will be on hand for a fun presentation. An additional exciting group will be here this year for your entertainment. All pets are welcome, be they scaly, furry, feathered, finned, imaginary, slithery or stuffed. For more information, contact Carla at 926-4840. Registration is appreciated.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-37/

Bird watching at the Shaker Bog

Trained naturalist and birdwatcher Carol Beyna will lead groups to the fascinating habitats of the Shaker Bog. The bog was originally built by the Shakers in 1816 as a reservoir to power their mills, but today, this 150-acre wetland has become a diverse ecosystem. The combination of woodland and wetland provides an ideal habitat for a wide variety of songbirds, game fowl, woodpeckers and more. Learn to beckon chickadees, nuthatches and other small birds. Possible sightings also include pileated woodpeckers, loons, ducks, Canada geese, and hawks.

This program is designed for families, young and old, and promises a fun and memorable experience in the Maine woods from 8-10 a.m., Saturday, May 28, at Shaker Village, 707 Shaker Road, New Gloucester. Dress for the weather and wear appropriate footwear for a two-hour, moderate trail walk in the woods. Bug repellent and sunscreen are recommended, too. Bring your camera, binoculars and bottled water. The tour size is limited to 12. The class is free, but pre-registration is required. Register online at www.maineshakers.com, call 926-4597, or email info@maineshakers.com.