This Maine six-year-old loves rabbit hunting!

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 When Tim Winslow sent me photos of his six-year-old daughter Laurelai with her gun and rabbit, I was entranced. So I asked Tim to write a story about their rabbit hunting experiences. And much to my delight, he asked Laurelai to write the story. And here it is!

Laurelai’s Rabbit Hunt

Hi, my name is Laurelai Winslow and I’m six.  We were sitting at the kitchen table when my Dad said, “What do you want to do tomorrow?”  And I said we would go bunny hunting tomorrow! 

 So the next day, we got my gun and we got dressed.  We got out of our PJs and got our masks.  Then we got in the truck and got to the place where we hunt the rabbits and we walked and walked and walked. 

An Amazing Arizona Adventure

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Two weeks roaming southeast Arizona, focusing on the wonderful birds there and enjoying the stunning scenery as well as the nice weather, put us in a very good post-winter mood. Our May 1 Travelin’ Maine(rs) column, published May 1 in the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel, tells you about the first week and a half in Arizona. The column is available on the newspapers’ website.

In this column, I’ll tell you more about that part of our trip as well as what we did at the end of the second week in Arizona, before moving on to Terlingua and Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas. Our Travelin’ Maine(rs) column on May 15 will feature the Terlingua trip along with some travel tips.

Slaughter in Saddlebrooke

Let's do lunch - in Portland and Mount Vernon

City or Town: 
Mount Vernon
Portland
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 George

                Whenever someone wants to meet with me in the Portland area, I insist on getting together in my “Portland office,” a corner booth by the window at Hot Suppa on the west end of Congress Street. So of course, when Linda and I decided to start this Let’s Do Lunch series, Hot Suppa was at the top of our list for a visit.

                The small cozy dining area is inviting, with a small bar, booths along one wall, and three larger tables along the picture windows looking out on the street. A huge chalk board on the back wall lists the day’s specials and brews – always with a good choice of Maine micro-brews.

Loved this Portland restaurant!

City or Town: 
Portland
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 Linda

                Union Restaurant opened in the spring of 2015. Located in the Press Hotel, it has a contemporary, edgy atmosphere. Slatted ceilings and nice lighting give it an open feeling. The restaurant is in a large space and they stagger reservations here so that service runs smoothly.

                You will notice the large open kitchen as soon as you enter. Several chefs work seamlessly to produce great dishes. There are no secrets in this kitchen - it's being produced right in front of the diners. Local and seasonal food is at the forefront here. They had recently changed over to a new spring menu when we visited. I was impressed at the level of creativity in the dishes presented.

Elegant Press Hotel holds onto its printing past

City or Town: 
Portland
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 George

                Walking into Portland’s Press Hotel for the first time was an awesome experience. I’d read a lot about the conversion of the Guy Gannett Building, which housed the Portland Press Herald, into a beautiful and luxurious downtown hotel, but seeing it was a special treat. They have managed to create a gorgeous and modern hotel, with tons of amenities, while keeping its history very much alive, starting with a wall of old typewriters just to the right of check-in desk.

                I loved the large and beautiful writing desk in our room, where I sat to write this column, and the famous sayings posted everywhere, including this one, on the desk, from Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” The staff must read this one every day, because they are super friendly and helpful.

The One-in-a-Million-Boy is a one-in-a-million book

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Monica Wood’s new novel is wonderful as well as compelling, no surprise from this amazing Maine author. I was a fan of her first four novels when I first met her while birding in Evergreen Cemetery in Portland. After introducing myself, Monica told me she was working on a new book, which excited me.

But then she said it was an autobiography about growing up in Mexico, Maine when the Rumford paper mill dominated the region and economy. I didn’t say anything, but that disappointed me. I wanted a new novel!

And then I got her autobiography, When We Were The Kennedys, and it was one of the best I have ever read.  I was so impressed with the book that I included a column I wrote about it in my own book, A Life Lived Outdoors, published in March of 2014 by Islandport Press.

Legislature set to turn its back on Maine’s struggling outdoor industry

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 Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife must improve its communications with sportsmen, landowners, and the general public, and reinstate its marketing program. Our outdoor industry desperately needs DIF&W’s partnership and a bill endorsed unanimously by the legislature's Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee would get that partnership started. The bill, which reestablishes a marketing position and modest budget at DIF&W, was sponsored by Representative Bob Duchesne at my request.

Unfortunately, an amended version of the bill, which authorizes the marketing position for one year and takes the money out of the agency’s large surplus account, received a 7-6 ought-not-to-pass vote by the Appropriations Committee. Most Democrats supported it while most Republicans did not. The bill now goes to the full House and Senate, where – given that the governor is likely to veto the bill – it is going to take a super-human effort to win. This is very sad.

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