Newspaper Archive of
Quoddy Tides
Eastport, Maine
January 26, 2018     Quoddy Tides
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January 26, 2018

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Page 26 THE QUODDY TIDES 26 January, 2018 Troublesome foods by Fred Gralenski In case you haven't noticed, animals and birds are not like us when it comes to eating. We are bombarded continually by McDonald's ads, Dr. Oz ads, stuff like Paleo diets, low-fat diets, high-carb diets and many degrees and colors of vegetari- an diets. It seems that the wild critters have none of these problems but just eat what they want. How come they are so lucky? Well, it turns out critters eat mostly what they can get, and this is not necessarily their preferred menu or what's best for them. For example, crows this time of year like garbage and have learned that good eating may be found inside a black plastic bag if they can't find enough stuff on the shore or along the road. House sparrows have long learned that a supply of food can usually be found around places that sell grain, like Home Depot, and also small farms that raise free-ranging chick- ens or cattle. These animals usually are associated with grain, and the sparrows help themselves. I remember long ago in my younger years working at a dairy farm, and each year we would fill a 40-foot high silo with chopped corn. The stalks and ears of the corn were chopped green, and the pieces were blown into the top of the silo. The resulting ensilage, preserved by fermenta- tion, was a major part of the cattle food for the winter. As the silo filled and the contents fermented and squeezed out, corn liquor formed in puddles around the site; we would often find intoxicated rats, mice and house sparrows when we came to workat the beginning of the day. Some of these animals were affected seriously, and I remember one sparrow desperately fly- ing for the doorway that missed the open- ing and had a fatal crash into the wall. Some grains under certain conditions of decay can be rendered poisonous, so if you have any questionable stuff, it's prob- ably best to toss it out. Make sure you use a crow-proof bag or container. Although this season in the Quoddy re- gion has seen a good supply of natural bird food for our wild birds, the weather has been quite erratic, and this can be det- rimental for good fruit preservation. Un- der some conditions, apples can be fermented and, although this is seldom di- rectly fatal, it can cause problems if the birds get too drunk. Birds may shift their behavior, and some birds, like the usually impeccably outfitted cedar waxwings, can appear shabby and unkempt. An inebriat- ed bird, like a person, is also more prone to mistakes and injury. The fermentation problems may appear not only in all types of apples, including crabapples and hawthornes, but apparent- ly also in mountain ash berries, chokecher- ries and some types of honeysuckles. There are other types of berries, for which I couldn't find information, that keep their fruit attached well into the win- ter that animals may eat. Some that come to mind are such plants as winterberry, Asian bittersweet - an invasive species with a patch on Little Falls road in Pem- broke - Japanese barberry and highbush cranberry. The highbush cranberry is a good sub- stitute for the regular cranberry, although the berry has a big seed pod in the center and takes more effort to process. Do the fruits of any of these plants under certain situations ever develop toxins, and could we have an opioid crisis in our critters? I don't know. Should I check with the local AA meetings? Free Annual Winter Family Fun Day Sponsored by Denny cille Snowmobilc/AtV aubl Saturday, February 17 "e from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. , Boyden's Lake Boat Launch, Perry Hot lunch, beverages, smores, bonfire, fishing derby with cash prizes, .Joker Card Fun Run at $1 per card, snowmobile soccer, scavenger hunt, obstacle course, vintage sled display and much morel Alternate venue if lake conditions unfavorable: Clubhouse on Milwaukee Road, Dennysville Snow date: February 18 LIFE: Riverside Electric Inc. 207-454-7815/207-853.4615/207- 255.3060 334No hStreet Calais, ME ENSURE PEAK PERFORMANCE Schedule your appointment with us before extreme weather hits. Wardens urge caution on lakes, ponds Game wardens are urging anyone ac- cessing Maine's lakes and ponds to exer- cise extreme caution. Following the January 18 rescue of three people from Long Pond in Southwest Harbor, at least nine more people broke through thin ice on snowmobiles in a 24-hour period. The incidents occurred in Belgrade, Denmark and Sangerville. Rain and warm temperatures deterio- rated ice conditions significantly state- wide. The recent return to cold DLLT snowshoe hike slated on February 9 On Friday, February 9, Downeast Lakes Land Trust (DLLT) Education and Out- reach Manager Colin Brown will lead an evening snowshoe hike to celebrate the Great Maine Outdoor Week. Participants should bring their own snowshoes and meet at the Grand Lake Stream Dam park- ing lot at 3:30 p.m. to carpool to the trail- head. For more information, please contact DLLT at either 796-2100 or . Hamilton Cove hike set for January 28 On Sunday, January 28, Maine Coast Heritage Trust steward Melissa Lee will host a winter twilight ski/showshoe/hike at the Hamilton Cove Preserve in Lubec from 4 to 6 p.m. Participants should bun- dle up and bring a headlamp for the two- mile round trip evening adventure. For more information, contact Lee at or 733-2412. temperatures should not relax the need for extreme caution on Maine's waterways. These latest incidents are clear indications that ice conditions are very hazardous. Accessing lakes and ponds should be avoided unless operators can be certain of ice conditions. Those not familiar with ice conditions are encouraged to contact local snowmobile clubs for ice safety informa- tion. Prowl hike to be held January 30 Downeast Lakes Land Trust (DLLT) staff will celebrate January's full moon with an "Owl Prowl" on Tuesday, January 30, at 5 p.m. Participants will meet at the Grand Lake Stream Dam parking lot for a short walk through the surrounding woods. Please dress warmly and bring sturdy footwear - snowshoes are not re- quired. For more information, please con- tact DLLT at either 796-2100 or . Winter fun day now set for February 1 7 The Cobscook Bay State Park Winter Family Fun Day originally planned for January 20 has been rescheduled, because of a lack of snow, to Saturday, February 17. A ski and snowshoe trailer will be on site for free equipment loans. Activities will include cross-country skiing, snow- shoeing, ice skating, sliding, tote sled rides and horse drawn sleigh rides. A hot lunch and warming station will be provided. Ad- mission is $1.50 for adults and youth ages 12 to 64; all others are free. I With Watson" WHY WAIT WEEKS BLOCK COULD GET YOU UP TO THE DAY YOU FILE. ADVANCE" 0% ~TEREST LO~H >>>>>>> JA N. 5 - F E B. 2 8 <<<<<<< MAJOE AN APPOINTMENT TODAY, 109 North Street, STE 1, Calais, ME 0/.619 I 207-/.5/*-3966 208 Main Street, HachJas, ME 0/*656 J 207-255-8637 *This is an-optional tax refund-related loan from Boll Federal Bank, Member FDIC; it is not your tax refund. Loans are offered in amounts of $500, $750, $1250 or $3000. Approval and loan amount based on expected refund amount, ID verification, eligibility criteria, and underwriting If approved, funds will be loaded on a prepaid card and the loan amount will be deducted from your tax refund, reducing the amount that is paid directly to you. Tax returns may be e-filed without applying for this loan. Fees for other optional products or product features may apply. Limited time offer. Available at participating locations. Not offered in Puerto Rico. HRB Maine License No.: FRAZ See for details. @2017 HRB Tax Group, Inc.