Washington news

By Charlotte Henderson | Apr 13, 2018
Photo by: Charlotte Henderson This peacefully co-existing bush – part shrub, part fir tree – got dolled up by the recent snow to say winter isn’t over until it’s over. The latest addition of about four inches of the white stuff affects the ice-out date on Washington Pond by insulating the ice from the sun.

Ice-out important to many

Tracking Maine lake “ice-out” is an annual effort that helps boaters, fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts plan outdoor activities. Combined with ice-in information, it aids conservation agencies in tracking the length of time fresh waters are under ice cover and deprived of fresh air. Knowing the effects of this limiting of oxygen on aquatic plants and animals is important for organizations like Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Maine Lakes Society, Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program and others. MVLMP, one of the USA’s top citizen scientist users, is a storehouse of scientific information for Maine lakes and invites the public to check out its website at mainevlmp.org for ice-out information and ways to get involved in this and other citizen scientist projects.

Washington Lakes Watershed Association has conducted ice-out monitoring for several years. Recent ice-out dates include: April 14, 2017; March 11, 2016; April 21, 2015; April 15, 2014; and April 8, 2012. We’d like to hear from anyone who has kept track of ice-out dates before 2012; if you have such a list, give us a call. Presently, Washington Pond is covered with “soft” ice, which is porous and unsafe. But as a harbinger of spring, ice-out won’t be long and we’ll be watching.

Anyone who wants to take a guess at the actual date of this year's ice-out can email their guess to wlwassn@gmail.com, Washington Lakes Association, the contest sponsor.

Heads up, bookish people

Gibbs Library Book Group member Kathleen Gross calls the current selection “dense and fascinating,” saying it makes a complicated subject accessible with good writing and humor. The book, "I Contain Multitudes," by Ed Yong, is subtitled "The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life" and guides us through evolution in a whole new way. Microbes, Yong says, build our bodies, enliven our immune systems, shape our identities and equip us with our abilities. For added interest, Gross also recommended a Ted Talk with the author at ted.com/speakers/ed_yong. The book group will meet Thursday, April 19, at 7 p.m. in the Bryant Room of Gibbs Library. Everyone is welcome.

Remember Family Game Night

Tomorrow evening (Friday, April 13) Gibbs Library is presenting Family Game Night for youngsters. There are two levels – one for children 10 to 18 and the other for younger siblings with a parent. There will be board games of many descriptions and a pizza snack. For more information, visit online at GibbsLibrary.org.

Also this weekend:

Music Together, Saturday, April 14, 10 to 11 a.m. at Gibbs Library. Free music and movement class for children newborn to age 6 with their families and/or caregivers, older siblings welcome!

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