Deer Tick News Is All Bad – “Ticked Off” Report should tick you off

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This morning my Kennebec Journal came with a deer tick. I start my day with a cup of coffee and the KJ, seated in a comfortable rocker with a view out the kitchen window to Linda’s beautiful flower gardens. Opening the paper to grab the section that includes the weekly travel column that Linda and I write, I spotted a tick on the edge of the paper. Ticks are everywhere these days! Perhaps the tick was just reading our column.

On August 19 I spoke at a press conference in the Baxter Woods conservation area in Portland on the National Wildlife Federation’s “Ticked Off” report. The conference was sponsored by the Natural Resources Council of Maine. You may have seen a news report in the newspapers, heard it on Maine Public Radio, or seen it on the TV news. The press conference got a lot of attention. If you missed the story, Jackie Farwell of the Bangor Daily News wrote an excellent account that is available on the BDN website.

Maine News Media Tells the Truth About Bear Hunting

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As we head into the last two months of what promises to be an expensive, bitter, ugly fall campaign over bear hunting and trapping, the issues are already getting lots of media attention.

Both Aislinn Sarnaki and John Holyoke of the Bangor Daily News have written recently about bear hunting, Sarnaki offered an excellent run down on current bear hunting practices, and Holyoke just wrote a preview of the hunting season that began yesterday (August 25).

Duchesne Radio Show

I’ve been very encouraged by recent news coverage of the bear situation in states that banned hunting with hounds and bait. Bob Duchesne, on his Saturday morning radio show on Bangor’s sports station, 92.9, is presenting on his radio show – over three Saturdays  – interviews with wildlife biologists in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado. The interviews are enlightening, interesting, and very important.

Everything you want (and need) know about Ed Muskie

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 Ed Muskie – Made in Maine 1914 – 1960 by James Witherell

It’s everything you wanted to know about Ed Muskie, and then some – informative, thorough, sometimes fascinating, often entertaining. James Witherell’s new biography of Muskie, titled Ed Muskie, Maine in Maine, 1914 – 1960, published by Tilbury House, is a good read and a book I savored, perhaps because Ed Muskie touched my life in quite a few ways.

He probably touched your life in many ways too, and it’s all here, in detail, perhaps because Witherell grew up in Muskie’s home town of Rumford, giving him a real sense of where the man came from, or maybe just because Jim loves history and writing and was willing to do the tremendous amount of research to capture Maine’s most famous politician in a way no one else has done – even Muskie in his own autobiography.

Chandler River Lodge in Jonesboro

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Discovering the Chandler River Lodge is like finding a huge piece of sparkling sea glass. You just want to bring it home with you!


One of the great things about traveling around our state is finding places that are so special – some of which we’d never heard of. Such is the case for the Chandler River Lodge that we have been driving by on our way to Lubec for years. Tucked up on a knoll well off Route 1 in Jonesboro sits a beautiful historic home (circa 1797) that is now a B&B and restaurant.

Moose: big game animal, tourist attraction, and a disaster waiting to happen.

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How many moose are too many moose?

State Trooper Dennis Quint, responding to a car-moose collision in July, collided with a moose on Route 1 in Cyr Plantation. Fortunately, with some cuts on his head, he was ok. So were the folks in the car crash to which Quint was responding.

Others have not been as lucky. Just days before Quint’s collision, newspapers reported the death of a Brewer man who hit a moose in Howland, and another collision in Monson. That one involved David Richards, the exceptional director of the Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan.

David was lucky. The moose landed right on top of his small Hyundai sedan, trapping him inside the car with a variety of injuries including cuts and bruises to his head. But he survived relatively unharmed, a miracle, really.

Baby Ada’s screeching brings deer out of the woods

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 My 3 month old granddaughter, Ada Claire Smith, was wailing away on my shoulder, so I stepped out onto the second-story deck of our son Josh and daughter-in-law Kelly’s Bridgewater, Massachusetts home, thinking the change of scenery might quiet her. Unfortunately not.

As she continued to screech, I was startled when a doe deer burst out of the bushes from the woods in back of the house, a look of alarm on her face, and dashed to the stairs leading up to the deck. She looked up at us and snorted. I thought she was going to come right up the stairs, and I’d started to back up toward the door into the house when she turned and leaped back toward the woods.

But the deer stayed on the lawn, darting all over the place, stopping suddenly here and there, pawing up the ground, looking up at us, and snorting. Finally, she ran back into the woods and I took a deep breath.

A touch of French elegance in an historic coastal inn

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Lincolnville Center
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A touch of French elegance in a beautiful historic Maine building make the Youngtown Inn unique, stunning, and popular.


                The Lincolnville Book Festival gave us our first opportunity to write about the town, and the minute we saw a photo of the Youngtown Inn, we knew that it was the place for us. It didn’t hurt that people rave about the Inn’s French restaurant.

                We love old historic inns but this one surprised us. In the Young family for about 180 years, it was purchased by a nonfamily member and converted to an inn in the early 1980s. Manuel and MaryAnn Mercier purchased it in 1991, turning it into the place they raised their three boys, a welcoming inn, and an amazing restaurant.

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