Cold Blood, Hot Sea by Charlene D’Avanzo

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Charlene D’Avanzo has come up with a clever and entertaining way to teach us something about climate change: a novel featuring an intriguing who-done-it, plenty of tension, and a compelling story that kept me glued to the book for two evenings.

Cold Blood, Hot Sea, published by Torrey House Press, puts oceanographer Mara Tusconi in a very tough and life-threatening situation, involving everything from big oil to lobsters. It’s a great who-done-it, for sure, but I also enjoyed the details about climate change that D’Avanzo slides into the story.

After Mara’s friend Peter is killed in a very strange accident on board a research vessel, she becomes determined to figure out if it was an accident, and if not, then who killed him and why. She gets into some very dangerous situations herself, and I won’t spoil this by telling you more.

Great Mexican food in Milbridge

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                We’d read about a place that serves really great Mexican food in Milbridge, and set our sights on trying it last year. Unfortunately, when we arrived, they had just closed for the season.

                It is surprising to find great ethnic food in a town this small. Add in the fact that this is authentic Mexican food. You’d probably have to search hard to find many of those in our entire state.

                Vazquez Mexican Take Out is open every day for breakfast and lunch, except Sunday, and usually, enroute to and from Lubec, we come through Milbridge on Sunday. But we’ll be changing that now that we’ve eaten here!

The Maine outdoors has changed a lot in my lifetime

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 On Friday, I spoke to the Portland Rotary about how our outdoor activities and experiences have changed in my lifetime. Today I share that speech with you.

Portland Rotary Speech

I must thank Rusty Atwood for this invitation. He emphasized – several times – the 30 minute limit, including questions and comments. Rusty knows I could talk for hours, especially about this topic, – How Maine has changed in my lifetime.

Tom Doak gets caught in the Wildfire

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 From Sunday hunting to picking edible crops on private land, my Wildlife co-host James Cote and I covered lots of hot topics with Tom Doak of the Small Woodland Owners Association, on the new edition of our TV talk show that kicks off tonight.

Each edition of Wildlife is aired on Time Warner cable station 9 on Tuesdays at 7 pm, Thursdays at 6:30 pm, and Sundays at 9:30 am. Each edition airs for two weeks. You can also access the show, including previous shows, online at

One major topic was discontinued roads, which many Mainers use to get into the woods to hunt, fish, hike, bird watch, and enjoy other outdoor experiences. Tom and SWOAM have been working on this issue for many years, and won a major victory at the legislature this year. He tells you all about it on Wildfire.

Maine once had 50 fish hatcheries or feeding stations

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                 The latest edition of the newsletter of the Maine Historical Society contained a link to a very interesting story detailing the history of fish hatcheries in Maine. I was astonished to learn that between 1895 and 1956, the state operated about 50 hatcheries or feeding stations. Today, DIF&W operates just 6 hatcheries and two feeding stations, amd hatchery in Gray is now closed due to a water problem.

class="MsoNormal">                The story, written by Candace Kanes for the Maine Memory Network, reports that, “The state's first fish hatchery was at Craig Brook in East Orland, started in 1871, and rebuilt in 1880. It became a National Fish Hatchery in 1889, dedicated to raising and stocking juvenile Atlantic salmon in Maine.

Peaks is a great Maine island get-a-way

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Peaks Island
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                There are lots of reasons I love to go to Peak's Island and right at the top is the Inn at Peak's. The suites at the inn are spacious and very comfortable. We’ve stayed in three different rooms here, and they were all nice with bright primary colors of painted furniture accenting the pale pastel walls. The high pine ceiling and full wall of windows in our “Cliff Island” room flooded the room with light. Amenities of an outside deck, gas fireplace, refrigerator, coffee pot, and two TV's add to its comfort and charm.

Brook trout specialist tells it like it is

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 “Our instream habitat around the state is the pits.” Those were the words of Merry Gallagher, brook trout specialist and fisheries research biologist for Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, explaining that, in the days of floating logs down our brooks and streams, those waters were straightened out by bulldozers and dynamite, and a lot of  the structure, including boulders, was removed.

Merry is a superb champion for our native and wild brook trout, and highly respected around the state for her work. It was a real pleasure to attend her talk in Wayne on July 13, sponsored by the Kennebec Land Trust.

Merry also expressed concern about climate change, reporting that “In many areas for brook trout, we are exceeding the thermal tolerance of these fish.”

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