Why are Canada geese flying north in December?

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

My wife and I had a dear friend visit with us last week, and following many different conversations, she asked the question, “Why are Canada geese flying north in December?”

Interesting question.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, there are several possibilities, but in fall it’s likely these are family groups moving around, now that the yearlings can fly, in search of feeding grounds. Canada geese raise their young near water, where the goslings can feed and, if necessary, dive or swim away to escape predators. In late summer the adults temporarily become flightless as they molt their wing feathers. This usually takes about six weeks, during which the geese remain grounded. Once the young have learned to fly, and the parents have regained their flight, the whole family will take off from their nesting grounds to find more productive feeding areas – and this movement could be in any direction. This happens in the late summer before the massive southward migration as temperatures drop across the continent.

First and second year geese (not old enough to breed), along with those that lost nests early in the breeding season also undertake a molt migration. Individuals may move several to hundreds of miles during the late spring and summer to large bodies of water where they will be safer as they molt their wing feathers. In September and October many of these individuals will be returning from this seasonal journey, and again may be seen flying in almost any direction.

Also, bear in mind that there are increasingly large numbers of resident Canada geese across North America. These birds do not migrate at all, and so you may see them at any time of year flying in any direction. Their numbers have been growing exponentially since the mid-20th century and they have begun to be seen as nuisances in some communities.

Our friend noted that these geese were in their flight V formation, and there were three separate groups.

Johnnie St. Vrain, of Times-Call, states that what she may be seeing are geese that decided this is as far south as they needed to go. They probably came from further north in Canada. They’ll spend the night on a relatively large reservoir or lake where they feel safe. In the morning, they’ll fly out to whatever feeding grounds they have. They might be flying to a local park or to a nearby cornfield.

If their feeding ground is north of their roosting area, you’ll see them flying north in the morning, but you might miss them heading back south that evening.

Some of these winter geese fly in from neighboring states. Others fly down from the mountains to spend the season in front range cities.

Geese are pretty well adapted. They will fly only as far south as they need to make a living.

Historically, most Canada geese would migrate through this area, with very few sticking around. But agriculture, specifically the grain left in farmers’ fields, has caused geese to spend winters here.

The geese that fly north-to-south in fall are less noticeable. They fly a couple thousand feet high.

But locally, large numbers of geese will sit out on a lake. Their warmth will keep the water open. The geese might move when we’ve had really cold weather and a lot of the lakes around here ice up and become unavailable. But we have enough warm days, that if there’s enough geese hanging out, it will create holes they can stay in. Or they’ll stay on the river, but they don’t like that as much.

Our friend lives on the river in Fairfield, probably why she sees these flocks of Canada geese flying north. There are many cornfields north of Fairfield.

It may be worth paying a little more attention to see if they return at night.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

The New England Patriots have appeared in 10 Super Bowls, the most in NFL history. Name the three teams that are next with eight appearances each.

Answer can be found here.

Roland’s Trivia Question for the week of December 13, 2018

The New England Patriots have appeared in 10 Super Bowls, the most in NFL history. Name the three teams that are next with eight appearances each.


Dallas, Denver & Pittsburgh.

First time champ

Roger Files, 14, of Palermo, with his awards. (Contributed photo)

There were enough points from all the karate tournaments that were held this year for Roger Files, 14, of Palermo, to qualify for the karate state championships. Roger collected first place awards in both Kata and Kumite at the State Martial Arts Rating and Total Championships, held at the Boys and Girls Club, in Waterville, on December 1. Roger trains with Club Naha, at the Boys – Girls Club, and instructor Craig Sargent.

Roger Files is congratulated by a teammate. (Contributed photo)

Legal Notices, Week of December 13, 2018

18-A MRSA sec. 3-801

The following Personal Representatives have been appointed in the estates noted. The first publication date of this notice December 6, 2018

If you are a creditor of an estate listed below, you must present your claim within four months of the first publication date of this Notice to Creditors by filing a written statement of your claim on a proper form with the Register of Probate of this Court or by delivering or mailing to the Personal Representative listed below at the address published by his name, a written statement of the claim indicating the basis therefore, the name and address of the claimant and the amount claimed or in such other manner as the law may provide. See 18-A MRSA 3-804.

2018-229 – Estate of LILLIAM M. MERRILL, late of Anson, Me, deceased. Eddie Welch, 15 Warren Hill Road, Belgrade, Me 04917 appointed Personal Representative.

2018-326 – Estate of RICHARD I. HUNT, JR., late of Fairfield, Me deceased. David F. Hunt, 59 Nyes Corner Drive, Fairfield, Me 04937 appointed Personal Representative.

2018-328 – Estate of E. JOYCE DIPIETRO, late of Solon, Me deceased. Anna Hupper, 171 French Hill Road, Solon, Maine 04979.

2018-329 – Estate of JEFFREY P. POMERLEAU, late of Madison, Me deceased, Patricia Ouellette, 895 Beckwith Road, Cornville, Me 04976 appointed Personal Representative.

2018-330 – Estate of DAVID L. MITCHELL, late of Madison, Me deceased. Lester and Mary Tomlinson of 166 Golf Course Road, Madison, Maine 04950 appointed Co-Personal Representatives.

2018-331 – Estate of LEON EARL NASON, late of Skowhegan, Me deceased. Deanna L. Nason, 110 Bigelow Hill Road, Skowhegan, Maine 04976 appointed Personal Representative.

2018-332 – Estate of CATHY MARIE LASLOW, late of Anson, Me deceased. Sheila A. Laslow, 23 Cutler Ave., Apt 4, Hampton, NH 03842 and Michael L. Laslow, 67 Hennessey Road, Industry, Me 04938 appointed Co-Personal Representatives.

2018-333 – Estate of JOANNE P. RENDELL, late of Norridgewock, Me deceased. Carl Edward Rendell, 492 River Road, Norridgewock, Me 04957 appointed Personal Representative.

2018-335 – Estate of GAGE ARTHUR WEEKS, late of Canaan, Me 04924 deceased. Harry D. Weeks, 14 Stoney Park Drive, Canaan, Me 04924 appointed Personal Representative.

2018-336 – Estate of CATHERINE AURIEMMA, late of Fairfield, Me deceased. Lisa Auriemma, 21 Newhall Street, Fairfield, Me 04937 appointed Personal Representative.

2018-338 – Estate of GRACE M. DODDGE, late of Detroit, Me deceased. Michael A. Dodge, 950 Hartland Road, Canaan, Me 04924 appointed Personal Representative.

To be published on December 6 & 13, 2018.
Dated: December 3, 2018 /s/ Victoria Hatch, Register of Probate



Notice is hereby given by the respective petitioners that they have filed petitions for appointment of personal representatives in the following estates. These matters will be heard at 10 a.m. or as soon thereafter as they may be December 19, 2018. The requested appointments may be made on or after the hearing date if no sufficient objection be heard. This notice complies with the requirements of 18-A MRSA §3-403 and Probate Rule 4.

2018-305 – Estate of NICHOLAS R. OUELLETTE, JR., minor of Fairfield, Me. Petition for Appointment of Guardian of Minor filed by Judith A. Smith, 1 Adams Road, Fairfield, Me 04937.


2018-304 – Estate of JOHN M. OUELLETTE, minor of Fairfield, Me. Petition for Appointment of Guardian of Minor filed by Judith A. Smith 1 Adams Road, Fairfield, Me 04937.


2018-337 – Estate of CYNTHIA ANN CURRIER, adult of Skowhegan, Me. Petition for Change of Name (Adult) filed by Cynthia Ann Currier, 48 Water Street, Suite 1, Skowhegan, Me 04976 requesting her name be changed to Cynthia Ann Sinclair for reasons set forth therein.

Dated: December 3, 2018 /s/ Victoria Hatch, Register of Probate

CRITTER CHATTER: Duck Pond animal rehab center still going

by Amy Messier

Greetings fellow wildlife enthusiasts! My name is Amy. Many of you know me as the volunteer with the apron who showed up at the Wildlife Care Center, in Vassalboro, about 14 years ago and never left. This has been a very sad year for us at the Center since we lost our beloved Carleen Cote. She passed away with heart illness back on April 27 (ironically, her birthday), not long after she had decided to stop writing the monthly “Critter Chatter” articles that were enjoyed by so many.

The late Carleen Cote holds the “Spirit of America Award” presented to the Wildlife Care Center in 2015. (Contributed photo)

Her husband, Donald, and I have discovered that many people are under the impression that we are no longer in business. This could not be farther from the truth. We are still here doing what we’ve always done, which is taking in injured and orphaned wildlife mammals, young and old, healing them when possible and releasing them back to the wild. Our passion for what we do is just as strong and dynamic as it has ever been. So for those and various other reasons, I have decided to take up the pen and bring you information, anecdotes, pictures and stories from the Center.

Please also note the email address at the bottom of this article. Feel free to write with comments and questions. If there is a particular Maine wild animal that you would like more information on, you can request it and I will do my darned best to write about it. I would like the articles to be yours and ours. After all, we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for all of you. Donald, Debbie, Jeff, all of our wonderful volunteers and I thank you so very much for your past and continuing support.

I hope you will look for next month’s article. I have decided to start, where else, at the beginning – what to do when you find an animal…from the animal’s viewpoint! See you then.

Donald Cote operates the Wildlife Care Center, along with volunteer Amy Messier and other volunteers. The Center, located on Rte. 3, in Vassalboro, is a nonprofit facility, supported entirely by the Cotes’ own resources and outside donations. Call them at 445-4326, email thewildlifecenter@gmail.com or write to 1787 N. Belfast Ave., Vassalboro, ME 04989.

REVIEW POTPOURRI – Composer: Berlioz; Xmas quote from Borge; Band: Abba

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Berlioz: L’Enfance du Christ

Andre Cluytens conducts Paris Conservatory Orchestra with chorus and soloists. EMI, Recorded 1964, 2 CDs.

Hector Berlioz

André Cluytens

Composer Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) left a Christmas oratorio, the above-listed Birth of Christ and quite exceptional in its own sublime beauty. The work focuses on three episodes of the Christmas story- Herod’s dream and massacre of the innocents; the flight of Joseph, Mary and their infant into Egypt; and the hospitality provided by an Ishmaelite family in the Egyptian town of Sais.

Its vocal solos and choruses abound in melodic richness. The baritone aria, depicting the evil Herod’s dream and sung by Ernest Blanc, is an eloquent one with Berlioz’s matchless orchestral scoring. The harp and flute duet and a capella chorus; Roger Soyer’s Joseph; Victoria de los Angeles’s Mary; and Nicolai Gedda’s Narrator add up to a work that, for me, has sustained numerous rehearings throughout the years.

Andre Cluytens’s 1964 set has been nicely remastered and reissued a number of times. It is available through Amazon and its vendors at inexpensive prices .

Xmas quote from Victor Borge

Victor Borge

“Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year. “

Abba: Arrival

Polydor 2344058, LP, recorded 1976.

The quality of Abba’s songs is wide ranging, from good to sublime, as it was 40 years ago when I first heard them. Arrival is one of eight albums released before they disbanded in 1982. The marriages of the two couples comprising the group, Benny and Anni and Bjorn and Agnetha, ended becau

se of the pressures from their phenomenal worldwide popularity.

This album’s 10 songs included Dancing Queen, Money Money Money, Why Did It Have to be Me, and the title song, while the arrangements, range of musical instruments and sheer sound contributed to a major ‘70s pop classic.


FOR YOUR HEALTH – Holiday Dining: Writing Off The End Of The Year

(NAPSI)—Americans are officially abandoning attempts to be healthy until 2019, according to a new study.

A new study into the health and diets of Americans saw as many as 45 percent say they’re postponing any resolution to eat clean or lose weight until after the holiday festivities.

The research, commissioned by Herbalife Nutrition, delved into the true extent of holiday indulging and found the average person gains six pounds in holiday weight.

Just 12 percent will make it through the holidays without any weight gain at all, according to the research.

Where does all that weight gain come from?

  • Forty-four percent have eaten more than one Thanksgiving dinner in the same day and 30 percent have eaten to the point of feeling sick.
  • Four in 10 have devoured so much holiday food they’ve needed to loosen a button on their pants.
  • During the holiday season, the understandable inability to resist temptations and overindulge has also seen 55 percent break a diet for home-cooked holiday food.
  • Seventy-nine percent say they eat more sweets and treats at the end of the year—but even with this overeating, 54 percent believe they’ll be successful in staying healthy in 2019.
  • The average person will overeat on 13 separate days between Thanksgiving and the New Year.

Nutrition and health expert Dr. John Agwunobi says that holidays don’t have to throw off your healthy lifestyle. “Healthy snacking is a useful tool in combating overindulgence. Consuming protein-rich snacks before heading out to a holiday feast can help make you feel full, so that you don’t overindulge.”

Staying on track can be hard, especially if you are tackling it on your own. Dr. Agwunobi adds, “Herbalife Nutrition independent distributors have demonstrated that developing a support system of people who know your goals, strengths and weaknesses can be extremely beneficial in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially during the challenging times of the year.”

Dr. Agwunobi added, “While resolutions are a great way to kick-start a healthy year, a healthy diet is a long-term solution that you’ll want and need to practice steadily—for days, weeks and months—for lasting results.

“For best results, stick to a balanced diet that isn’t overly restrictive and combine it with consistent exercise to help achieve your healthy resolutions. You can start this holiday season simply by parking at the farthest spot from the store or mall entrance, helping you rack up extra calorie-burning steps.”

Learn More

For more facts, tips and recipes, go to www.herbalife.com.

PAGES IN TIME: The story of Killdeer Lodge – conclusion

The Killdeer Lodge at it appeared in 2017, minus the roof over the porch which collapsed several years ago. Left, the lodge as it lays following its razing in October 2018. (Photo by Bob Bennett)

With the demise of the old Killdeer Lodge recently, which over the years had fallen into disrepair, the following article represents a history of the lodge, from its inception in 1929, to the razing in 2018.

(Read part 1 here, and part 2 here)

The conclusion is a reprint from The Town Line, October 2, 1999, issue, by the late Faith Ames.

The property had been acquired by the Dillenbeck family in the 1920s when Ben Dillenbeck’s brother-in-law Earle Eli Wagner purchased 250 acres of land for his resort development dream on China Lake is described in a 1949 brochure promoting Killdeer Lodge on China Lake.

I learned that the weekly rates under the “American Plan” was $38 per person, two to a room, $35 per person two to a room in a party of ten or more, and $30 per child (if under ten years of age). Daily rates were $6.50 per person, two to a room and $5 per child (if under ten years of age.)

On the “European Plan,” no weekly rates were charged. Lodging was $2 per day, per person. Housekeeping cottages and cabins were in limited number within a three to ten-minute walk from the Killdeer Lodge and Dining Room. Some caps were located on the water’s edge, some on the hill overlooking the lake. All were completely furnished with modern conveniences.

The lodging was described as: “A rustic, two-story Sleep Lodge, accommodating 36 guests. Very comfortable twin beds. A few single rooms. Four bathrooms, two for men, two for women, with hot and cold running water. Huge, cozy fireplace, open covered porches. Recreation: Bathing on your own, with bathing beach equipped with diving float; boating, fishing; horsehoes, ball games, croquet, shuffleboard, table tennis, checkers, chess, cards, hiking trails; dancing, social get-togethers; golf and ennis nearby. Meals: Served in dining and recreation building, which is situated on ledge overlooking China Lake. Home-cooked, attractive food that “hits the right spot.” Fresh produce raised in our own garden or on nearby farms.”

A New Era

After Killdeer Lodge’s large 100-foot dining room had been damaged when 60 feet of its roof had collapsed from snow load in the winter of 1963, the remaining 40 feet had been dismantled and salvaged by Hank Dillenbeck, the son of Emilie and Ben Dillenbeck (the author of Killdeer Point’s history published in the September 18 and September 25 issues [of the Town Line, 1999].

From 1963 until 1970, the old Bragg Barn that had been converted into sleeping quarters continued to operate as a Sleep Lodge. The dining and recreation building was never rebuilt. Then, about 1971, the lodge was closed for good.

[In 1999] the lodge was the site of Maine-ly Trains, where James Ferrone had converted it to a train shop. The train store has been attractively set up and has not only trains, but train novelties, which have delighted many a customer. A look inside still bring back memories of the beautiful lodge of yesteryear.

Killdeer certainly as a long history in our area – with many cottages still dotting the shore called Killdeer Point. Through the years, as I would ride by the lodge and see guests milling about, I remember thinking, “What a lovely place.”

Restoration of the Bragg Farmhouse at Killdeer Point

In March 1980, Hank Dillenbeck restored the old Bragg farmhouse (built circa 1820) on Killdeer Point. The house had belonged to one of the three farms originally purchased for the Killdeer development in the 1920s. As far as Hank knows, it originally belonged to Deacon Nathaniel Bragg, a veteran of the War of 1812, whose grave (across from the Lodge) indicates he died in 1838.

Throughout its heyday when the lodge was in operation the house was used somewhat as sleeping quarters for the hired help, but mostly, if was used just for storage, Hank believes.

Hand had the house freed from its original granite foundation in 1980 by leveling it on huge metal beams which were drawn by hydraulic winches to a new foundation about 70 years further from the road (which had widened over the years) to achieve a better angle for the winter sun and, especially, to get the best view on the lake. After extensive authentic restoration, the house was occupied by Hank and his family in the fall of 1980. The framework interior, three cooking fireplaces plus a brick oven are all original and workable. Timbers are all hewn and pegged, and the granite foundation is original – taken from the original home site.

Its windows are copies of originals which were built circa 1810. The windows are nine over six, which means nine panes of glass are on the top and six panes are on the bottom – with just the bottom part opening. One wing, a greenhouse, and shed, all connected, were built at the same time. A garage, added in 1982, is also connected.

Landscaping, with the addition of lovely flowers, make for an attractive setting for this lovely old home. Peach, plum, pear, grape and apple trees have been added, along with a vegetable garden which provides many varieties of vegetables for their table. Both Hank Dillenbeck and his wife, Noriko, make pickles from an abundant crop.

On a clear day, from the Dillenbeck’s sitting room, one can see Sugarloaf Mountain, Mt. Blue, Saddleback and Bigelow mountains – just as Earle Eli Wagner had seen the inspiring view back in the 1920s.

Editor’s note: The lodge, located on Lakeview Drive (Rte. 202), in South China, was demolished in November 2018. According to town of China records, the property is currently owned by Maine-ly Lakefront Properties, LLC.

The Killdeer Lodge fireplace as it stands following demolition of the building in October 2018. (Photo by Bob Bennett)

Nivek Boostedt earns Eagle Scout rank

Eagle Scout Nivek Boostedt

by Ron Emery, committee member of Troop #479

Throughout its history, members of the Boy Scouts of America have provided leaders for tomorrow, prepared as good citizens, always ready to serve others. Service often occurs in small, unassuming ways – good turns and acts of kindness by individual Scouts, often unnoticed throughout their daily lives. It happens on a larger scale, too, when an Eagle Scout candidate plans and carries out his major service project. The celebration of this event was recently held at the China Baptist Church for Eagle Scout Nivek Lynn Boostedt, of Troop #479.

Friends, family members, elected officials and other scouts gathered together to honor Nivek for earning his wings – the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. The Eagle is the highest rank that Scouting bestows in the advancement program. This was an occasion for pride and joy, as well as a time of reflection. Eagle Scout Nivek Boostedt, his family, his Scout leaders, and other members of the community had labored long and faithfully, and their efforts were recognized in this special presentation.

Nivek and his family selected the Four Winds Eagle Scout Ceremony and asked other members of Troop 479 to assist him.

Scout Michael Boostedt represented the West Wind. The spirit of the West Wind represents the law of equity, your duty to country and to others; friendly, courteous, and kind are the laws that breathe of conscience.

Scoutmaster Scott Adams asked his mother to pin the Eagle medal on Nivek’s uniform. He then asked Nivek to present her with the Eagle mother’s pin. He then asked Nivek’s father to present the Eagle Scout certificate. Nivek was also asked to present to his father the Eagle lapel pin. His parents were asked to place the Eagle neckerchief around the neck of their son. Scott gave remarks about Nivek’s time in Scout Troop 479.

Committee Member Danielle Pettengill asked Eagle Scout Nivek Boostedt to advance his name on the board of Eagle rank. Assistant Scoutmaster Doug Leonard also presented awards from the troop 479 committee.

An integral component of the requirements is a service project. The candidate must develop the project, organize the materials and manpower, and supervise its completion. His project was to select a space in the China School Forest in back of the school to clear an area for an outdoor classroom. He was also asked to replace the shingled roof on the little building at the Bird Watching Station. He met with Anita Smith to coordinate the two projects. He selected the area for the classroom, marked the trees to cut, trees were cut and some of the tree stumps were used to provide the posts for the benches. He also had a seat cut into a log that was left from a previous cutting. A metal roof was placed on the little building and trees and limbs were removed near the roof to prevent damage to the roof.

He is the son of Kevin and Heather Boostedt, of South China, and he is currently working at Sam’s Club.

SOLON & BEYOND: 4-H’ers active over holidays

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, my friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club met on December 8, with Cooper Dellarma presiding. There were 20 members, three leaders and ten visitors present.

The club is doing a Christmas dinner for a family and it will be delivered on December 19.

East Madison Grange has invited three 4-H members to come and do demonstrations and talk on 4-H. This will be done in the spring.

A craft project using mason jars was done by the members. After awards, a gift enjoyed and refreshments were served.

The next meeting will be on Saturday, January 12, at 9:30 a.m., at the Solon Fire Station. Debra Kantor, extension educator will present officers training to the members.

Received the following e-mail from Linda French: We will not be moving the thrift shop and food cupboard to the location on South Main Street, in Solon, as we couldn’t come to an agreement with the owner of the property. The food cupboard will remain in operation at the old location on Pleasant Street. The hours will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the second and fourth weeks of the month. December hours will be different because of the holiday. They will be open Dec. 13 and 14, and December 20 and 21. They will be giving out the Christmas dinners on the 20 and 21. They will also be selling a few winter items and Christmas decorations starting on the December 12. Call 643-2855 for info.

Received the following SWT E-News: First a story of great achievement! Entitled My Personal War on Knotweed. You may have recently noticed a bare spot along the river at SWT’s Kennebec Banks Rest Area, This area has become overgrown with an invasive plant called Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) or Mexican Bamboo. It is very hardy, can grow to ten feet tall, and chokes off native plants. The knotweed had grown so thick and high that it was blocking the view of the river.

On April 23, 2018, Earth Day, Somerset Woods Trustees held a Volunteer Clean Up Day and a crew tackled the knotweed patch resulting in two pickup truck loads of knotweed.

Returning two weeks later, spring was in full bloom and so was the knotweed! It had grown back to knee to waist high.

My knotweed war began! I hit it with the weed whacker. But this stuff is tough and when the string hit the stalk it was like hitting a branch. I used two spools of string. The knotweed grew again and came back thicker and stronger. People would walk by, see me cutting the knotweed and they would say “oh, good luck,” or use Round-Up, kerosene, vinegar,” or ” you are never going to win.”

Looking up another weapon that can be a little more selective I dug around in a corner of my garage and found an old weed whip. It works like swinging a golf club! Once a week the war continued; don’t even think of skipping a week!

After this summer routine, success was apparent. Wild parsnip appeared and other ground plants covered the bare earth but then inexplicably, someone dug them up! But, milkweed and other flowering plants have started to return. Next year, if the knotweed returns, maybe I’ll get a goat. (This interesting story was written by SWT Trustee, Tom Hendricks.) I can relate to the story, because I was plagued with the persistent plant at my house on Ferry Street, in Solon.

There will be a bag sale Dec. 12, 14 and 15 (Hours: Wed. 10 a.m – 12:30 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.) at the Embden Neighbor to Neighbor Thrift Shop. Small bags $1 and large bags $2 The Lending Library is open when the Thrift Shop is open.

And now for Percy’s memoir: There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow. (words by O. S. Marden.)