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By Charlotte Henderson | Oct 08, 2020
Photo by: Charlotte Henderson Starting left, clockwise, several members including  Mildred Melgard, Bunny Stanley and Glenice Skelton counted pennies for the Grange's donation to A Place in the Woods.

Candidate forum

A moderated discussion with Maine Senate District 13 (that’s us) candidates Chloe Maxmin and Dana Dow will be available for viewing on lctv.org Thursday, Oct. 8.

Pennies by the pound

At close to 27 pounds, a plastic pretzel jar full of pennies was by far the biggest single donation collected by Evening Star Grange for the House in the Woods.

The contents, when counted, amounted to $38.86. Thank you to you-know-who. Purists may certainly challenge the math because the exact weight of every penny is debatable, since different metal formulas are used in different batches of the coins. But, impressive, no matter.

All the pennies together made for a generous donation and a lively, laughter-punctuated counting bee as Evening Star tallied up. They are joining statewide Grangers in supporting A House in the Woods, an outdoor activity oriented retreat center for veterans. This is but one of the many projects in which the Grange participates.

The Grange, officially the Patrons of Husbandry, is the oldest rural and agriculture organization in the U.S. and was formed to provide all sorts of support for education, farming, animal care, food safety, insurance and more. And, from its beginning welcomed women as equal members.

Another thing or two

2020 is being the “gift that keeps on giving” in terms of scary, cautionary alerts, heads-ups and news. If everyone doesn’t know about COVID-19 by now, give up.

But, for those of us who will be doing yard work or laboring outside here’s an addition to our ever-growing list. Be careful to avoid hairs from the brown tail caterpillar which are mixed in with grass and leaves. They can cause itchiness and other allergic symptoms if stirred up while raking, cleaning up garden plots, stacking wood or most anything.

Whatever it is on the hairs can last up to three years, for crying out loud, even when the caterpillars are long gone. So wear some clothes you can put right into the washer when you’re done, and wash skin that was exposed. The rash can be really awful if you’re sensitive to it.

Another mean little critter hoping to debut here in Maine is the spotted lanternfly. It probably comes to us via egg masses found on plants, outdoor furniture and other products shipped to us from other northeast states. Egg masses are rectangular, yellowish-brown, about one inch long found on flat surfaces. The moth-appearing insects are gray and about an inch long with black spots and red underwings.

Please report suspected sightings to bugwatch@maine.gov.

Visit with a butterfly

As I walked toward my car, I was astonished to see a butterfly walking down the driveway toward me. I watched intently wondering why the butterfly was walking. I mean, fly is right there in its name.

It did a few little hops, its wings fluttered, it kept on walking. I stooped, extended my hand and the butterfly walked right up into it. I asked it what it was doing and it fluttered again revealing a broken wing. With it still on my hand, I one-finger-pecked out a Chrome query about broken butterfly wing repair. It is a delicate operation and not always do-able. This one wasn’t. So, what to do?

With a small saucer of water in one hand and Butterfly still in the other, we went out to a sheltered spot under the hydrangea, placed the saucer and added some fresh blossoms to it. Butterfly walked down my fingers, did a couple of 360s and walked onto the saucer. I watched for quite awhile and it didn’t seem to go for the flowers or water. I went back later to see the flowers beside the saucer and Butterfly nowhere in sight. If you see a butterfly walking, say hello for me.

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