Devine Dining at Delvino’s in Belfast

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               Bethel and Belfast impress us with lots of community-wide events that entertain both tourists and local residents. Bethel offers stunning views of the mountains while Belfast gives us those ocean views we just can’t get enough of.  In early October we were drawn to Belfast for the weekend-long Farm and Art Tour, organized by the Belfast Creative Coalition.

                Our “home” in Belfast is the Fireside Inn & Suites where every room overlooks the ocean, Manager Barry Asalone and his staff is super friendly, and the rooms are exceptional. The Fireside Inns spread across Maine and New Hampshire are owned by Lafayette Hotels in Bangor and offer wonderful room amenities. Ours had a relaxing massage chair and gas fireplace, with an outside deck where we lingered, enjoying the cool fall air, colorful trees, and blue ocean water.

Blue fishing like you’ve never experienced it!

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Rooting around in some old stories I wrote about deer hunting years ago, I discovered this October, 1988 story I wrote for The Maine Sportsman. There’s a version of this story in Chris Potholm’s wonderful book, “Tall Tales from the Tall Pines,” published in September by Down East Books. You may think Chris’ amazing tall tale about a blue fishing experience is fictional, but it’s the mostly truth. Here’s how I told it.

                He was sitting in the hot tub when his wife Sandy reported, “Bluefish are in the bay in front of the house.”

Killing the moose was the easiest part of the hunt

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                At moose/deer/and grouse camp, it all starts with breakfast, the eggs and bacon sizzling, the stories flying, the laughing and (sometimes) lying going on and on. But then, it’s time to get serious and hit the road. At moose camp in October, we had to leave the camp at 4:30 am for an hour and a half ride to the hunting district to our north where Scott Ireland had won a permit in the June lottery. Scott’s friend Greg James was his subpermittee.

New Hampshire’s Margarita Grill has SOHL

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                Amongst the nearly 100 restaurants in the North Conway, New Hampshire area, we have now chosen a favorite, Margarita Grill. Here’s why.

                Owner/chef Bud Selmi offers imaginative and very tasty Margaritas ($8.50) along with a lengthy menu of southwestern and Mexican food at very reasonable prices. Oh yea, Linda and I love Mexican. Bud also is focused on farm-to-table meats and produce, some of it including beef from a group of small farms organized as Maine Family Farms. When we visited in late-September, Bud had recently purchased a $5,000 smoker from Humphrey’s in West Newfield, Maine.

Unpaved Surfaces by Joseph Souza

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                 When he autographed his newest novel, Unpaved Surfaces, for me, Joseph Souza wrote, “I hope you like it, George!” Well, Joe, I am sorry to report that I didn’t like it. I loved it!

                Boy, it is always a treat to discover a new favorite novelist, and Joe has made the list. And I’m particularly excited because he wrote another novel, The Reawakening, that I haven’t read yet. That novel won the 2013 Maine Literary Award for Speculative Fiction.

                Yes, Joe is a Maine writer who lives in Portland with his wife and kids. He’s been writing award winning short stories for quite a while. You can read more about him at

Nordic Village Welcomes Visitors to New Hampshire’s Stunning White Mountains

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                Up the mountain we went, past tennis courts and other game fields, the sheep corral, Nordic Falls Park that includes a game room pavilion and a small pond, numerous inside and outside swimming pools, and six condominium buildings, arriving at our destination, Innsbruck, and our very nice condo with a view across the valley to nearby mountains. And we were only half way up the mountain!

                Linda wanted a special get-a-way to celebrate her birthday and first weekend of retirement from teaching, so I booked a surprise trip to Nordic Village Resort in Jackson, New Hampshire, thinking the foliage would be stunning. Well, the White Mountains are certainly stunning but the colorful foliage was late this year. Didn’t matter. We had a wonderful time here.

Here’s why Maine will never restrict deer antler size

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Senator David Burns (R-Washington County) sponsored a bill to require deer hunters to only shoot bucks with a minimum antler size. Other states have done this and there’s even a group of hunters in Maine who have been advocating for it for many years.

But we’ll never have it because the wildlife biologists at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife are strongly opposed. Gerry Lavigne, during his many years as DIF&W’s deer biologist, felt it would be a mistake, and nothing has changed since Gerry’s retirement a few years ago.

At the public hearing on Senator Burns’ bill this year, Judy Camuso, DIF&W’s Wildlife Division Director, delivered the agency’s testimony in opposition to the bill. Judy provided an excellent explanation of why the department believes antler restrictions would be a mistake. Here is her testimony.

Camuso’s Testimony

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