January has passed and here we are in the first weeks of February. Groundhog Day is over and he has seen his shadow and, as the old saying goes, there will be a few more weeks of winter weather. Well, the groundhog was right and it has turned real cold in our area and state.
We have to look forward to Tuesday, Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, with friendly cards from our good friends and grandchildren. The days are getting longer each day. I no longer have to put on the kitchen light when I sit down to have my morning breakfast and I can enjoy the sun shining through the kitchen windows. The birdfeeders have been full of all kinds of birds.
This morning I counted 14 blue jays eating some of the cracked corn I put out on the sidewalk. There were also six crows enjoying it too.
The large birdfeeder has been full of cardinals, sometimes three to four at a time. You can plainly see them cracking open the black sunflower seed and enjoying a good meal. The three suet feeds have also been very well attended. Right now all three suet feeders have woodpeckers on them. One has a golden-fronted woodpecker, another a Downy woodpecker and the other has a common flicker.
We also have a number of white-breasted nuthatches as well as chickadees. I also see the cardinals like a taste of some of the suet. This week we had three gray squirrels show up. I can see their tracks in the snow coming way across the field from some very old oak trees.
My friend and neighbor told me he has seen a large coyote in his field behind his house twice this week. I have not seen a wild turkey for the last three months. This is very unusual for I have had turkeys here for the last 15 years every winter. I have not seen a deer for the last four months. I also put out some strawberry jam in a container and the common flicker enjoys it with the suet.
The Cooper’s Hawk has not been around the feeders for the last two weeks and that was good news for my birds. I still have a good number of mourning doves that come twice a day to have a meal on the cracked corn I put out for them. Sometimes there will be 14 to 20 of them at one time eating on the sidewalk. They all look in fine shape this winter.
So far, this winter here on the Midcoast has been not bad for our animals.
This Valentine’s Day, we must try and share some love and kindness to our families, friends, and neighbors around us. There has been so much violence on TV and the newspaper reporting all the events. We must all pray for a change in our attitude and atonement toward each other.
Here in Maine we face the alarming cases of drug overdoses and death and the homeless people on our streets in our cities. These are trying times. Thank the good Lord and real people who care for others and offer a number of programs here in the Twin Villages.
Here in Lincoln County we have a number of towns which all work together trying to meet the needs of its local people. Here the local churches work with each other and have food banks. Here in Newcastle St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church has a program called L.C. F.I.S.H. It is a mission of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church where volunteers provide rides to Lincoln County residents in need of transportation.
The Congregational Church here in Newcastle has a new program that will offer 18 hours of weekly shelter and food at the Fellowship Hall from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. It is so nice to see and hear that our churches are stepping up to lend a helping hand in our area. It is truly satisfying to see so many churches and local organizations stepping forward to help those that are less fortunate and find themselves in need of some kind.
One never knows how an act of kindness can change another person’s outlook on life when in need. I truly believe in an old saying that has been passed down through generations of my family, “It is better to give than to receive.” The reward of a smile or a thank you can truly warm the heart and soul of a person and lets one truly sleep each evening in peace.
Have a great and healthy week and enjoy all the old Valentine’s postcards. This is my 707th Damariscotta History column. Where has the time gone?