Friends and neighbors extend sincere condolences to family members and friends of Kay Warren, who died last week. Kay will be remembered for her tireless energy and passionate dedication to so many causes. Her service to the town of Rockport included a wide variety of things, including her service on the budget committee, a committee where she continued to serve throughout her illness. One of the things people treasured about Kay was that she could always make you laugh. She was a good friend to many and will be missed by all.
Town Office news
Dec. 31 was the deadline to get your dog(s) license and if you haven’t done that, today, Jan 31, by Town Office closing time, the state imposed $25 late will kick in, tomorrow, Feb. 1. The cost of the license is $6 for spayed/neutered dogs, $11 for others. Be sure to bring proof of up-to-date rabies vaccination.
Ashwood Waldorf School
Parent/child classes (a parent/kids 18 months to age three), with early childhood educator Cherry Short-Lee, continues today, Thursday, Jan. 31, (and next week, Feb. 7, which is the last week) from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Activities featured include circle rhymes, songs, bread making, a puppet story, outdoor/indoor play and healthy snack.
If you took advantage of Mid-Coast Audubon’s seed sale, remember that pick-up will be at Plants Unlimited Saturday, Feb. 2, from 10 a.m. to noon. Check with “Seedsale Sue” via email — sschubeltidewater.net — or by phone at 380-1370 to see if there’s a chance there are still seeds available.
The joys of winter
Merryspring’s “Winter Ecology Festival” will be Saturday, Feb. 2, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., free and open to the public. Celebrating the best of winter in Maine, the festival will feature both indoor and outdoor activities for the whole family, including a sugar maple tapping demonstration by Sarah Post of Aldermere Farm, a talk on ground hogs (did he or didn’t he?!) by USM Professor Christine Maher and a falconry demonstration by Barbara Tomlinson of Wild Haven. The festival will also offer children’s crafts, guided nature hikes, and other activities throughout the day. Wear weather-appropriate clothing and it you wish to go snowshoeing, bring your own equipment. Light refreshment will be provided. For more information, call Merryspring at 236-2239 or visit the website at merryspring.org.
Bay Chamber Concerts
Next up in the Performing Arts series is Ethel, America’s premier post-classical quartet in a program titled Present Beauty featuring “The Hours” by Philip Glass. The concert will be Saturday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. at Camden Opera House.
Tuesday, Feb. 5, at noon, Merryspring’s Tuesday Talk Series features Diana George Chapin, horticulturist and owner of the Heirloom Garden of Maine. Diana is one of my favorite local gardeners, horticulturist, garden designer, historian extraordinaire. Heirloom Garden, the family’s 90-acre farm in Montville, is truly magnificent! Diana will share a colorful photo journey through Heirloom Garden, making note of a multitude of timeless, vibrant heirloom plants that have been cultivated for centuries, telling stories and interesting historic details about the plants. These open-pollinated plants are all quite unique and are a lively, thoughtful addition to the gardens of novices and experts alike. Diana will also provide useful gardening tips and preservation methods specifically for heirloom plants. Admission is free for MNC members, with a nominal fee of $5 for non-members.
Camden Conference community event
The next CC Outreach program features Linda S. Robinson who will present a talk “Sunday Morning Shamwana” on Tuesday, Feb. 5, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Camden Public Library. The Conference itself: The Middle East, What Next?” will take place from Feb. 22 to 24. Visit camdenconference.org for information.
The “Wicked Good First Wednesday Book Club” will meet Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 6:30 p.m. Two “old timers” (books that is!), are featured this month: "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James and "The Secret Sharer" by Joseph Conrad.
The Poets’ Corner, a poetry workshop led by local poets George Chappell and Jim Ostheimer, will meet next Thursday, Feb. 7, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The workshop is open to the public and welcomes all levels of ability and experience. Bring samples of written work.
For more information about the library or any programs, call 236-3642 or visit rockport.lib.me
Citizens for Value In Education
The next meeting of VIE will be Thursday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. Guest will be Elaine Nutter, superintendent, explaining in terms understandable by "lay" persons, the meaning of the terms core curriculum and standards-based education, two things our schools are moving toward.
Ahead of the game!
Merryspring recently sent out a memo to members and others that MNC’s “Happy Hands Crafters” (the group that provides most of MNC’s Dec. Holiday Bazaar gifts), will meet year-round on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. at MNC. Join in the fun and learn how to create nifty things with natural materials such as birch bark vases, dried flower cards, origami boxes and much more. Two big bulletin boards offer creative ideas and Wendy Andresen will help you get started (along with fun music/refreshments!). Bring a friend, your own creative ideas and/or your own materials and even take materials home to work on at your leisure. Not only are you helping MNC, you’ll get some great ides for yourself and well ahead of the December crunch!
Night skies, etc.
Aha! Does not seem possible, but already we’ve gained an hour of daylight since solstice. And! Saturday, Feb. 2, is the infamous day known as Groundhog Day (halfway through winter - maybe!), tracing it’s origins back to pagan days and to the English, Scots and Germans. For the pagans, it was a celebration of Imbolc, the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox and for others, it was known as Candlemas Day. In 1723, the Delaware Indians settled Punxsutawney, Pa., as a campsite halfway between the Allegheny and Susquehanna rivers and they considered groundhogs their ancestral grandfather “Wojak” (woodchuck), using him as their sign about the balance of winter. German settlers to the area brought the tradition of Candlemas with them and used a badger as their “test.” Superstition holds that if the weather is sunny/fair (and now, Pete sees his shadow), we’re in for six more weeks of wintry weather, stormy and cold. I love a German poem: “For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far will the snow swirl until May. For as the snow blows on Candlemas Day, so far will the sun shine before May.” We’ll see!