Washington news

By Charlotte Henderson | Oct 13, 2016

Meditation/relaxation

The Bryant Room of Gibbs Library is open to anyone each Thursday morning at 7:30 a.m. for an hour of peaceful and quiet personal time. The group doesn’t take attendance or keep a list, it has no “boss,” and doesn’t follow any prescribed format. If you want an hour for no one but you, just show up as you are. All are welcome to check out this opportunity. For more information, call Helen at 542-4639.

Food Pantry benefit supper

Washington Food Pantry will receive all the proceeds from a benefit supper this Saturday, Oct. 15, at Mt. Olivet Masonic Hall from 4 to 7 p.m. The meal is your choice of barbecued chicken or fried fish with accompaniments. The cost is $12 for adults and $6 for children. Little ones 2 years and under are free. The purpose of this fundraiser is to help the Washington Food Pantry purchase turkeys for the coming season’s holiday meals for families in our community. Please attend the benefit if you can, and bring friends.

Another way to support this effort is to send a check to Washington Food Pantry, c/o Mark Day, 81 Waldoboro Road, Washington, ME 04574. As always, non-perishable food donations can be brought to the special box at the Town Office. Mark Day and Cindy Parker, coordinators of the Washington Food Pantry, thank everyone in advance and hope for a great turnout. See you there!

Indigenous Peoples events

The first people in our area of the world have lived here for 12,000 years or more. Observances of Indigenous Peoples Day and month help us know and better understand these people. Events continue in Belfast with the Friday Film Series showing of “Ten Canoes” Oct. 14. The film series is held in the Abbott Room of Belfast Free Library, 106 High St., Belfast. "Ten Canoes" presents aboriginal people as a real traditional culture, rather than from the often-shown perspective of a people who have some kind of “problem.” The film series is free.

Other events include a two-part book discussion of "Dawnland Voices: An Anthology of Indigenous Writing from New England," co-facilitated by Cloe Chunn and Diane Oltarzewski.Oct. 17 and Nov. 14, and films," Smoke Signals" Oct. 21 and "Dersu Uzala," Oct. 28. Imagine, indigenous people have suffered 96 percent population depletion since their first contact with Europeans. Their story is long overdue.

Batty over red bat cutie

Late last Sunday afternoon, a small bat lay flat on its back with arms and legs sprawled like a KO’ed boxer beside our road. Using a tissue from my pocket to grasp it, I brought it into the house and put it in a jar. After I gazed and cooed at it a while, it stirred -- barely at first, but with increasing energy.

A call to Avian Haven in Freedom helped me assess the little bat’s condition: does the bat seemed injured? (no); was it in a safe place? (yes); had it something to “cuddle” in? (no, but we added some T-shirt cloth); could we bring him to Avian Haven? (no, not tonight). She said keep him in a warm, dark, quiet place and call in the morning. She also provided a couple of other numbers – the Mt. Desert Island Acadia Wildlife Foundation and a woman who rescues bats. Both numbers recorded our message but, amazingly, both called back in less than a half-hour.

Advice from AWF: keep the bat warm and quiet, don’t worry about food or water – it’ll be OK, make a plan to take to Avian Haven. Response from Chelsea Vosburgh, the bat rescuer, was that as long as the bat seems OK, she will pick him up in the morning. So, we (reluctantly, because he was so cute to watch) covered him with a dark cloth and set his jar by our feet. We did cheat a little and peek from time to time at the cute little critter with a teddy bear face.

In the morning, Chelsea arrived to pick up our little buddy who, by now, was lively, playing peek-a-boo with us, and eager to get out of that jar! Chelsea examined him (yes, it was a him), and saw no damage to his wings or signs of other injuries. She decided to keep him for a few days to make sure he’s OK before releasing. Chelsea is a wildlife conservationist with an animal care business, Peace & Unity Pet Care, and is a bat rescuer well known to Avian Haven.

She identified the little guy as a red bat, common to the area but not seen very often. Today she said he was feeding well and was very strong when she released him. That’s the perfect ending. Still, we kinda miss the little fella with the teddy bear face.

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Sarah Reynolds
Sarah E. Reynolds is copy editor for the Courier Gazette and Camden Herald.
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Sarah E. Reynolds has been a reporter and writer for more than 20 years, winning awards from the Maine Press Association and other professional organizations. She loves to read, ride her ATV and play word games.

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