Friends and neighbors

Midcoast residents were saddened to learn of the recent death of Irene Wolf. Heartfelt sympathy and condolences are extended to her entire family. The Midcoast’s musical heritage is blessed and so rich and diverse because of the quiet, generous benevolence of the Wolfs’ philanthropy. Their gifts to the music world, here and farther afield, make life so much better for each of us, for generations – past, present and future. Young and old alike, friends and all who are so deeply appreciative of Mrs. Wolf’s legacy will have an opportunity to honor her life at a local memorial service in July. Memorial contributions may also be made to Merryspring Nature Center or Bay Chamber Concerts locally or to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

Town

The Select Board will convene a special town meeting Monday, May 24 at 5 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House to consider a Community Development Block Grant for Avena Botanicals. Also of import is a Select Board meeting for a discussion about renewing the town manager’s contract. The question arose whether or not under the new town charter it’s necessary to have a contract with the town manager beyond the initial contract and this is yet another difference of opinion over charter language.

The previous dissension over charter language and interpretation continues to rankle a number of people and the excellent letter to the editor printed in The Herald Gazette last Saturday directly quoting the charter seems to leave little doubt there is a definite problem or conflict between the charter and two currently sitting selectmen. Stay tuned on this one. Unless folks not directly involved with town government follow up, the issue may continue to be unresolved, with business as usual.

Merryspring

Yes, “Virginia,” Merryspring’s wondrous plant sale is this weekend! The members’ sale is Friday, May 21 from 4 to 6 p.m. (don’t dismay if you’re not a member; you can join that afternoon and still shop); the regular sale is Saturday, May 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This sale features classic as well as cutting-edge perennials, shrubs, herbs and vegetables (including heirloom tomatoes). Also, the Maine Daylily Society will hold its annual daylily sale and at noon on Saturday, the Maine Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society will hold its annual auction featuring Maine-bred rhododendrons. All proceeds benefit Merryspring.

Tuesday, May 25 at noon, Mark Hutchinson of University of Maine Cooperative Extension will present a talk titled “Soil Health in Plain English.” Director of the Maine Compost School and a member of the Maine Compost Team, which are internationally recognized for compost education and research programs, Mark also works with commercial vegetable and small fruit growers on soil health issues and offers programs that promote soil health through sustainable agricultural practices. For more information about Merryspring or any program, visit the Web site at merryspring.org or call 236-2239.

Books, plus

Come to the BookLovers’ Cafe Saturday, May 22 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and recommend a couple of favorites or just come to listen. Open to all, coffee, tea, and homemade baked goods are served. Thanks to Foglifters Coffee, Teas & Spices who provide beverages.

Experience a trip to the Balkans Thursday, May 27 at 7 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House with Rockport writer Patricia Colling Egan. She’ll give a talk on her recent trip to the Balkans with the Down East Singers as a member of the Rachmaninoff Choir. The talk will be illustrated with more than 100 photos taken by Gregory Shesko. For more information about the library or programs, visit rockport.lib.me.us or call 236-3642.

“Meaty” question

Saturday, May 22 at 10 a.m. Aldermere Farm will present a workshop on how grass-fed animal products have a completely different effect on health than other meats. To register for the workshop, contact Aldermere at 236-2739 or jbeach@mcht.org. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of eating Aldermere beef, you don’t know what you are missing, whether you buy directly from the farm or elsewhere.

Bay Chamber

The Odeon Spring Concert will be held Tuesday, May 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House. The concert features the Odeon Junior Ensemble, Odeon Youth Orchestra and Odeon Adult Orchestra, all under the direction of conductor Marshunda Smith. Come celebrate the culmination of their hard work and dedication over the course of the semester. The concert is free and open to the public; more information is available by calling Bay Chamber at 236-2823.

West Rockport Cemetery Association

This group will hold its annual meeting Saturday, May 29 at 8:30 a.m. at the West Rockport Fire Station. All are welcome to attend the meeting, members or not, and as a reminder, anyone can join the association any time; just pay $10 dues. Bring dues to the meeting or mail to: West Rockport Cemetery Association, P.O. Box 2011, Hope, ME 04847.

Night skies

This Saturday, May 22 just at nightfall you should be able to see Saturn (looking like a bright, golden star) just above the moon. And Wednesday, May 26, about an hour before sunrise, scan the eastern horizon with binoculars to spot Mercury.

Nature notes

The plethora of birds this spring makes our feeders look like a United “Creatures.” I could not believe on a recent morning that such diverse birds as cardinals, bluejays, phoebes, juncos, chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, mourning doves, tufted titmice, yellow finches and sparrows were gathered at various deck feeders at the same time. And the pileated woodpecker was busy at work in an old dead (I hope it was the dead one) tree. To top it off I had a couple of hummingbird “soundings” on one of the warmer days when I was working in the garden last week and those feeders are now up. It’s probably time to get the oranges out for the orioles, too. Happy days!