Mid-Winter Musings

A look at the calendar indicates that we are about half-way through winter. The afternoons are now longer. It is pretty neat how the increase in light is incremental and goes unnoticed until you realize at the end of the work day that it is not completely dark.

  • We haven’t had much snow this year and what is on the ground took awhile to get here. It would be nice to have another storm or two for the skiers and snowmobile riders.
  • Our daughter in Brooklyn and friends in Maryland have more snow on the ground than we do in Lovell. Although their snow will probably all be gone in a week or so.
  • I see people ice-fishing on the lakes and ponds and I’m thinking that it hasn’t been cold enough to go out there. I know they measure the ice thickness as they go but I hope everyone is cautious and stays safe.
  • As if on cue, the annoying big dip in the pavement on Route 5 just before the Wicked Good Store (going north) has reappeared. And once the warm weather returns, the dip disappears.
  • Ethel Hurst has returned from Florida and I am pretty sure that people were reading the Conway Daily Sun and the Bridgton News wondering what happened to her column. Welcome back!
  • It seems to me that interest around here in this year’s Super Bowl has declined sharply after last Sunday’s playoff game. It is always fun to watch the game and without your team in it, you can sit back and relax.
  • This year’s Super Bowl is in Santa Clara at the new Levi’s Stadium. I had the pleasure of watching the Ravens lose to the 49’ers there in October. What a tremendous facility–easy access via light rail and close to downtown San Jose. But it will be a busy area with all of the required security. It would be nice to see Peyton Manning win one more but the Panthers look pretty tough.
  • The Fryeburg Academy’s girls’ basketball team is having a good year so far. Tonight they host rival Lake Region who is also having a strong year. Expect a packed gym tonight!
  • Isn’t it nice that Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year. The 16th Annual Taste of Lovell, from 2pm to 4pm will be at the Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library. Appetizers, chocolate and live music. Get some unbelievable food for just $5 or $8 with all proceeds benefitting the library.

Business continues to be steady and we look forward to 2016. Don’t forget to check out KezarRealty.com if you are interested in homes or land or perhaps thinking of renting a cottage on the lake this summer.

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2016 KEZAR REALTY CALENDARS

IMG_1231Happy New Year! The 2016 edition of the Kezar Realty calendar is now available. Thanks to a printer error, the background color is a little different than intended but I think it still looks great!

I will be sending the calendars out via mail but they will also be available in the local stores as well as the Kezar Realty office. You may also send me an email at stan@fairpoint.net and I will be happy to send you one.

As always, not only is the calendar functional but it dresses up your refrigerator.

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Shop Local — Shop Lovell

 

With a little more than a week left until Christmas, avoid the hassles of traffic and rude salespeople and shoppers by going local. There are lots of local merchants, artisans and shops that would love to help you select the perfect gift.

This Holiday season, shop in Lovell! Here’s a list of shops and ideas where you not only have a great present but you are helping our local businesses!

* Lots to choose from at the HARVEST GOLD GALLERY in Center Lovell. Custom designed earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings and more. Inside their large gallery is a wide variety of American-made art work (much of it local) that will brighten every home. Bill and Lynda can be reached at 207-925-6502.Visit their website here.

* ART UNDERFOOT FLOORCLOTHS, Lovell. For centuries, floorcloths have proven to be both durable and elegant. Art Underfoot Floorcloths handcrafted works are created in Maine with tradition in mind. We spend between eight to ten hours on each piece, skillfully crafting heirloom quality art that you will enjoy having underfoot. Paula and Tom Hughes create these artistic and functional floorcloths and would be happy to discuss designing a pattern to fit your home or office. Visit the website for more details and to view a gallery of floorcloths. ART UNDERFOOT FLOORCLOTHS

*HILLTOP HANDSPUN, located in North Lovell, Maine, is owned and operated by fiber artist and designer, Lucy Rogers. Lucy enjoys creating and selling hand made yarn to hand knitters and fiber and roving to hand spinners and felters. The yarn and spinning fibers are made from alpaca, mohair, wool and angora fleeces that she hand selects from Maine and New England fiber farms. Many of her designer yarns are hand spun and a number are spun at a local mini-mill often on a fleece by fleece basis. Beautiful colors in the yarns, which are inspired by the local mountain environment, come to life during the hand dyeing process in Lucy’s kitchen. Here is a link to Lucy’s webpage where you will find yarn and kits for sale.

*LOVELL HARDWARE, located at 411 Main Street is up and running! Great selection of lumber, paint, nuts and bolts, mulch, pellets, pet and horse feed, propane and much more. Can’t beat this special offer on Gift Certificates: ‘Buy $50, get $10 free; buy $25, get $5 free’ The store is open every day. Call 925-9053 for hours.

* Get GREAT BUYS at Center Lovell’s three Antique Stores. Although winter hours are by chance and/or appointment both owners would be happy to meet you at your convenience. The WONDER STORE is owned by Peter Worrall and he can be reached at 207-925-1252. Bill Doyle, owner of DOYLE’s ANTIQUES, can be reached at his store 207-925-1279. FOUR CEDARS ANTIQUES, located at Swain Road and 5A, is owned by Shoo Hale. She would be happy to help and can be reached at 925-1017.

*HOMESTEAD ICE CREAM SHOP. Beth Armington’s store sells much more than ice cream, coffee, hot dogs and stew! She also has two floors of local artisans’ work ranging from small crafts, iron pieces and quilts. A great spot for unique gifts at affordable prices. And don’t forget that Homestead is an authorized United Parcel Service drop-off location. Stop in and visit. 207-925-9005.

*PIETREE ORCHARD. Located on the top Waterford Road in Sweden, this Orchard is a great place to shop for local produce, baked goods, flowers, jams and pizza. The ‘Pick-Your-Own’ season is over but there is lots to choose from in the store. Visit PietreeOrchards.com for more detailed information. 207-647-9419.

*How about a Gift Certificate to some local eating establishments:
1)Rosie’s Lovell Village Store. Stop in or call Rosie at 207-925-1255.
2)AJ’s Everything Store at 409 Maine Street in Stoneham. A small convenience store upfront and a nice restaurant out back. Great food at great prices! 207-928-2454.
3)The Center Lovell Market. Open on a year-round basis for great food, coffee, a bottle of wine and gasoline! Great pizzas! 925-3090-1051.
4)THE CENTER LOVELL INN. The Inn offers 10 large comfortable guestrooms each appointed with family antiques and sitting areas for relaxing and reading. A full country breakfast is served piping hot each morning. Enjoy gourmet dining in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere in the evening. The forty-seat dining room offers a crackling fire on cold winter nights. In the summer, enjoy breakfast and dinner on the screened-in wrap-around porch. In the evening enjoy the sunset over the White Mountains. Visit the website here!
5)THE OLD SACO INN. Pete and Sandi welcome you to their pub, restaurant and inn on the banks of the Old Saco River. Good food and cocktails in a friendly setting. Great access to the snowmobile trails as well! Old Saco Inn.                                                                              6)‘Best Beer Bar in America‘, EBENEZER’s PUB During winter, it is an easy snowmobile ride to their front door. The Pub’s phone number is 207-925-3200.

Still can’t figure out what to give to someone who has everything? How about a gift in their name to some of our local organizations? The Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library, Lewis Dana Hill Memorial Library, Lovell Historical Society, Brick Church for the Performing Arts, Greater Lovell Land Trust, Kezar Lake Watershed Association, Lovell’s United Church of Christ or Lovell Friends Helping Friends (winter fuel assistance for the needy)!

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!

Posted in Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library, Local Business, Lovell, Lovell Brick Church, Lovell Historical Society, Things to Do | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Lovell’s Chestnut Tree Updated

Today’s Portland Press Herald confirms the status of Lovell’s Chestnut Tree:

Chestnut tree in Lovell goes in the books as North America’s tallest

By Eric Russell Staff Writer [email protected] | @PPHEricRussell | 207-791-6344

LOVELL — The tree, tucked into the vast, pastoral woods of western Maine, is unremarkable to the casual observer and virtually indistinguishable from the hundreds around it, especially in early December when trees are naked.

But a few months ago, when University of Maine forest scientist Brian Roth was flying over the area in a small plane with one of his graduate students, the two spotted it immediately.

Reaching high off the tree’s branches were blossoms of white – the only white mass in a sea of green. It looked almost like snow from that height. It was an American chestnut.

Roth, several other scientists, forestry officials and members of the American Chestnut Foundation returned Wednesday to that site, just off Route 5 in the Oxford County town of Lovell, to take measurements and make official what was suspected this summer.

At 115 feet, it’s the tallest American chestnut tree in North America, and is second only to the tallest known specimen in the world, a 121-footer in an arboretum in Belgium.

“If this keeps growing, it will surpass that,” Roth said Wednesday near the base of the narrow tree.

The find is significant for a number of reasons. American chestnuts, which once accounted for a quarter of all trees on the East Coast, were virtually wiped out in the early to mid-20th century by a parasite accidentally brought to the United States from Asia.

Scientists estimate that there were 4 billion American chestnut trees in 1900.

Now, Roth figures there are only about 200 left in Maine – and 50 of those have been transplanted in an effort to restore the species.

‘REDWOOD OF THE EAST’

Jared Westbrook, a geneticist with the American Chestnut Foundation, said the Lovell find will be helpful in determining what types of soil and other surroundings allowed it to survive when so many others died off.

The foundation was established in 1983 by scientists who wanted to save the noble tree, which once flourished from Maine to Florida and as far west as Ohio. Arborists often refer to the American chestnut as the “Redwood of the East.”

Chestnut trees were immortalized in American literary history by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, whose 1840 poem, “The Village Blacksmith,” opened with the line: “Under a spreading chestnut-tree/The village smithy stands …” One of Longfellow’s most popular works, the poem refers to a massive chestnut that once grew near the home of a blacksmith who was Longfellow’s neighbor on Brattle Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, according to the Cambridge Historical Society.

“When the tree was cut down due to safety concerns, children of Cambridge raised money to have a chair constructed from its wood and presented it to Longfellow on his 72nd birthday,” the society says on its website. The chair is now in the Longfellow House National Historic Site on Brattle Street.

Over the last three decades, the North Carolina-based chestnut foundation has created chapters in 16 states, including Maine, and maintains a research farm in Virginia.

A NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK

In addition to cataloging and finding trees that survived the blight, the foundation has been breeding American chestnut trees with Asian chestnuts to create a parasite-resistant species that could one day thrive on its own.

The tree, which sheds its leaves each year and is a cousin to the beech, once had significant commercial value. Its wood is sturdy and straight, and was often used to build homes and furniture. The chestnuts are a bountiful source of food for wildlife and even humans, sometimes roasted over an open fire.

Lisa Thomson, president of the chestnut foundation, was among those who made the trip to Maine on Wednesday for the measuring. She hasn’t been with the foundation long, but spent nearly three decades at the Nature Conservancy.

Thomson said finds like the one Roth made are invaluable to the foundation’s mission.

The tall tree, as it turns out, is located on land that was bequeathed to the University of Maine Foundation by the family of Douglas Volk, a famous American portrait and landscape painter.

When in full bloom, the American chestnut is majestic – its leaves splayed out to reveal a bulbous bouquet of white blossoms. In fall, the long narrow leaves with their trademark “teeth” tumble to the ground. So, too, do the spiky burs that hold the chestnuts.

Roth said finding the trees are like finding a needle in a haystack.

But he also said there are likely more out there in Maine, a state that is 90 percent forest, just waiting to be found.

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Believe it or Not–Lovell has North America’s Tallest Chestnut Tree

A big thank you to my Facebook friend, Charles Cotton, for alerting me to this exciting news! I was quite surprised to learn that researchers go around flying over forests looking for things like this. Or maybe more so that they were able to identify this from the air.

Anyway, it might be time for Larry Fox and his DPW crews to have some new signs made for all of our major roads that proclaim: “Welcome to Lovell, Home of the Tallest Chestnut Tree”.

Here’s the story from Saturday’s Bangor Daily News:

Tallest chestnut tree in North America found in Maine

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2015 Gasping Gobbler Results

IMG_2493

Registration

Perfect morning for a fall outdoor event

Perfect morning for a fall outdoor event

Making their way to the start!

Making their way to the start!

Prior to the awards, the crowd enjoys some hot soups and chowder.

Prior to the awards, the crowd enjoys some hot soups and chowder.

The friendly kitchen servers!

The friendly kitchen servers!

Another fun day at the Lovell Athletic Field! Three times around the course and then hot soup, chowder and goodies at the VFW Hall. Congratulations to Parker Haynes of Eaton, NH at the best time; Janna Kurnick of Lovell was the female runner; Evan Caracciolo of Lovell was the top walker and Caleigh Crowe of Lovell won Middle of the Pack. All received turkeys donated by Hannaford’s in Bridgton.

Thanks to Kevin McDonald, track coach at the Fryeburg Academy and Mark Snow, track coach at Lake Region High School for timing and keeping track of the runners and walkers.

Here are the results:  Overall Time   Awards  Age Groups

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10th Annual Gasping Gobbler

gasping gobblerSince it seems like just yesterday that Mike Mendonca and I started this pre-Thanksgiving 5k walk and run, it is hard to believe that Saturday marks the tenth year of Lovell’s Gasping Gobbler.

Always a great morning going around the perimeter of the Lovell Athletic Field. The field is a mix of runners and walkers and young and old. And there is some good food and awards at the Lovell VFW right after the race.

The race starts at 10 am sharp. The first 50 registered entrants will receive a drawstring bag and turkeys are awarded to the top male runner, the top female runner, the top walker and to the lucky ‘middle of the pack’. Male and female age group winners receive a ribbon. Plus, lots of nice random prizes!

Please call or send an e-mail with any questions. Entry form here. All proceeds benefit the Lovell Recreation Department.

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