Washington news

By Charlotte Henderson | Oct 06, 2017

Great things to aspire to

Gibbs Library’s presentation, “Building a Better World with Biomimicry” revealed some really good ideas that scientists have gotten from nature. For instance, the idea for Velcro fasteners came from the common burdock burr, which latches onto your jacket as you pass by. How about a “snake robot” that can slither into a collapsed building to locate a buried victim? The idea came from the way snakes propel themselves without legs. Ongoing research is seeking out the way a salamander grows a new body part if one is damaged. Mother Nature’s wisdom is fascinating! All these and more nature “mimics" were part of Chewonki Foundation’s program attended and enjoyed by about equal numbers of adults and children. Many thanks to Gibbs Library and Chewonki Foundation for this interesting and fun presentation.

“Pastor Brad” welcomed

A grateful and openhearted congregation gathered last weekend to welcome Pastor Brad Bean and his wife, Laurie, to their ministry at Washington Village Church. We join in the good wishes for the Rev. and Mrs. Bean and their mission here in Washington. Sunday services at Village Church are at 10:30 a.m.

Farmers, can you help?

The team in charge of the Gibbs Library display case exhibit is hoping to feature “Farming in Washington” this fall. If you or your favorite farmer would be willing to share an anecdote or artifact for this display, contact Gibbs Library at info@gibbslibrary.org or call Peg Hobbs at 845-2900. Peg is also hoping to compile a list of those who currently farm here in Washington. We are guessing there are quite a good number, but to find out, let us know who you are. You can send your name to the library or to this column’s email address. Thanks in advance for your help.

Pet rabies clinic coming up

There will be a rabies clinic at Washington Fire Department, 42 Old Union Road, Saturday, Oct. 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Veterinary doctor Paula Benner will administer rabies shots to dogs or cats for $15 each. Bring your pet’s most recent rabies certificate. Once your pet is vaccinated, pet owners can get their dogs licensed next door at the Town Office during the clinic hours. If you should miss this opportunity, Blake Veterinarian in Northport holds a rabies clinic each Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. at their facility at 66 Atlantic Highway, Northport. (Bring the old certificate here, too.)

Security, schmurity

Perhaps we could say all this Equifax security breach stuff is a blessing in disguise by causing a mass effort to upgrade, close loopholes and generally get smart about our online personhood. Because looking up facts can be helpful, we followed through on some of the leads we learned about. The Federal Trade Commission, consumer.ftc.gov, has a few links we didn’t see anywhere else, if you’re interested. We studied up on all the right things to do and did all of them. Still, every time the slightest thing on the computer seems unusual or different gives me the willies and anxiety sets in. This, too, will pass ... won’t it?

Foraging for fun

We attended a class last week in MSAD 40 Adult Ed called “Foraging for Wild, Edible & Medicinal Plants.” Tom Seymour, according to Village Soup, is a homeowner, gardener, forager, naturalist, Registered Maine Guide, amateur astronomer, magazine and newspaper columnist and book author. With all that, though, my main interest is his Courier column, which I read with pleasure. He talks about ways to take care of one’s yard and garden that are common sense, uncomplicated,and that I myself can do. He speaks plain English.

When we noticed he was doing this program at Adult Ed, nothing would do but to sign up. He spoke about edible plants and showed photos of them. It turns out many of the plants he discussed I recognized as “weeds” in my garden. The class was engaging, with useful information about my own garden (and much more). It also piqued an interest in learning more about these plants that until now have been ripped out of my soil with malicious intent.

Tom also spoke briefly to my concern that foraging could result in killing off the plants altogether. He explained that true foragers only take a leaf or two and leave the plant to keep growing. Big takeaway -- before anyone “forages,” they should figure out how to do it right. The class was enjoyable and useful, and my classmates were smart and fun. What’s not to like? Thanks, Adult Ed!

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