Insects, Pumpkins, and Maine's Other Seasonal Portents
My friend, the Tattooed Novelist Mom, called me in alarm (or it may have been amusement) to report that many extra-large dragonflies have been flying lately, much higher than usual, above her place on Coleman Pond.
"Maybe you could blog about this," she suggested.
Oddly enough, I am no expert on Anisoptera, but a run at Google with "giant dragonfly maine" did yield this interesting thread on a paranormal discussion board under the heading Cryptozoology (which, for the uninitiated, refers to "the search for animals which are considered to be legendary or otherwise nonexistent by mainstream biology").
Now I am of a temperamental cast that inclines me to see omens and harbingers everywhere. So this conversation got me thinking about what other strange phenomena have been noted lately, and what these might portend for the coming autumn. Here is a brief wrap-up of my divinations.
Odd doings in the garden. My echinacea bloomed way too early. One depends on this stalwart plant to see one through late summer, but this year they'e already forming prickly seed heads. Also, my prairie cup plant grew to a solid eleven feet before flopping over in the latest Biblical downpour.
Roadside pumpkins. What is anyone doing selling pumpkins already? Yet there they are, plump and orange. And I'm told that the apples at Hope Orchards ripened two weeks earlier than usual and are approximately the size of grapefruits.
Reading: Considering these things together, it seems obvious that summer is beating a hasty retreat. Therefore winter will probably begin on October 1 and last until Mother's Day. You read it here first.
Faculty meeting runs late. Will Galloway, the director at the Watershed School where I teach — now fully accredited, folks! — runs a tight meeting. You did not hear me say "control freak." But our first sit-down of the year ran overtime by a full twelve minutes, an unprecedented lapse.
Reading: Teenagers will soon be running wild in the streets, shredding their textbooks. In the case of e-books, I suppose they will manage somehow to corrupt the data.
Writer declines free lunch on editor's tab.No description necessary, I hope.
Reading: Tradition and honor thrown to the wind; Maine literature collapses.
Wild Rufus Records set to close. Camden lost a good chunk of its soul, or what remains of it, when this funky-but-venerable establishment, founded in 1979, moved up the road to Belfast a couple of years ago. Now the current owner has announced plans to shutter the brick-and-mortar part of the operation and deal strictly online.
Reading (as per my son Matt, pictured above): "Soon we're going to be just one big suburb, where no one goes out and meets anywhere and we all just sit at home in front of our computers."
My iPhone picks up an AT&T signal in Lincolnville. The sky must be falling.
Reading: The Earth's magnetosphere is in chaos. Small shards of conductive alloy will rain from the sky.
Paul LePage speaks in public. Our favorite vanishing gubernatorial candidate emerged from an undisclosed location this week to speak with Susan Sharon of MPBN. (The surprise ends there: In the interview, the Tea Party Republican falsely claimed that the DEP had forced him to conduct a "three-month buffalo study" and to spend two more months counting black flies before allowing him to build a peat-burning power plant two decades ago. A DEP spokeswoman countered: "We went back through our files on Downeast Peat -- you know, we're talking 20 years ago. DEP did not require Downeast Peat, nor anyone else, to conduct a buffalo study or a black fly study as part of a permit requirement. We didn't do it 20 years ago and we don't do it now.")
Reading: The air will grow thick with lies from now to November. Folks with LePage yard signs won't know or care.
Fake bomb is found in Millinocket home. Police report that "the device had seven sticks of what appeared to be dynamite, a timer or clock, an alarm, and wiring."
Related: My lost umbrella is discovered. Found in the shed of a local rugmaker and rival prophet.
Reading: Fears of a fake terrorist attack are overblown, sales of existing homes will continue to stagnate, and there will be an extended period of drought.
The house once belonged to the former Millinocket police chief, BTW.
A dead bird appeared mysteriously under my desk. Surprise!
Reading: Cats will be scolded from Fort Kent to Kittery. To no avail.