Meddybemps News

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Town News

Linda Baniszeski 

 

December 7 -- “A day that will live on in infamy,” said Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States in his radio address upon the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  Most are gone who heard these words from Roosevelt on the radio that day.  It is still fitting to remember all our WWII Veterans, and those thereafter, for risking their lives and those who died so that we enjoy the blessings we have today.  

Birthday blessings to Lisa Lord on December 7, and to Jason Gibson on December 8.  

It’s looking a lot like Christmas around Meddybemps.  Homes and properties are beautifully decorated with lights in the windows and on Christmas trees, and twinkling lights on fences and railings.  All around the area we are blessed to see delightful decorations as we drive on Routes 214, 191, Route 1 and in and around Calais.  

On the wildlife front here, the chickadees and blue jays are the most frequent visitors to the feeders.  Several ducks and two chipmunks, a red squirrel and a grey one continue to clean up the seeds and berries from underneath the feeder.  

Summer resident Rich Lentz was deer hunting a couple of weeks ago in The Forks area of Maine.  They saw a very large coyote chasing a deer.  The outfitter shot the attacker.  It was very large, and the outfitter thought it was a hybrid coyote/wolf.  I was intrigued by this and e-mailed our local environmental specialist, Karen Holmes, who said:   “Wow!  It does make sense.  He should take it in to wildlife officials to be checked.  In any case, coyotes here have such mixed DNA backgrounds.  They can be:  all eastern coyote; eastern coyote-gray wolf; eastern-western coyote; either coyote-red wolf or coyote-domestic dog. These combinations happened over the years.  This explains the size difference and coat color variations of coyotes. I once saw a mother coyote through a spotting scope with 4 pups and each pup looked different! They resembled different dog breeds! Astonishing! Usually these hybrids, if female, do not survive because the dog genes make them give birth in the winter months. Wild canines come into season in February/March so their litters are born in spring when hunting for food becomes easier.  My husband and I also saw a huge coyote in Massachusetts and it was so much heavier in body and I bet it was a wolf or a wolf-dog hybrid.  

A few years ago a gentleman in Meddybemps told me he saw a huge coyote walking down Route 191 in Meddybemps during a snowstorm. It left large tracks, much larger than a normal sized coyote’s. It was heading towards Cooper and he called me.  Afterwards I kept finding some very large canine tracks on the logging roads and in the woods around where I live in Cooper.  Then the animal left the area.  Later on that year someone killed a large canine about 65 miles from Cooper and brought it to Fish and Wildlife.  It was a wild female gray wolf and he shot it thinking it was a coyote.  Because he was honest and brought it in to them, they did not charge him for shooting a species illegally.  Where did it come from? Possibly crossed over from Canada just as cougars probably do.  Was it the animal that visited here for a while? Who knows!  All I can say is that it is an interesting situation here when you are aware.  As always, Karen is a fount of information.  

Scuffy reacted in fear a few weeks ago when looking into the woods when she went out late one night before bed.  At first she wagged her tail like she wanted to be friends and play with whatever she saw in the woods.  Suddenly, she seemed overcome with fear and spun around and raced to the house.  Since then I carry a powerful flashlight and shine it into the woods before I let her venture into the bushes at night.  It is not uncommon for cats and small dogs to disappear in areas where coyotes and other large predators appear.  In fact, the Lentz’s two outside cats in Pennsylvania recently disappeared, shortly after seeing a coyote in their front walkway, where they live in the middle of 20+ acres of woodland.

Please send your news to LBaniszeski@myfairpoint.net or phone 454-3719.