A new, relaxing ring tone I am trying out aroused me from sleep at 5:55. My dog and I shuffled onto the back steps for her morning constitution, and I stretched my arms into the warm air, took in the green, pink and yellow of my back yard, said to myself how queer this was and
A Cabbage White Butterfly lights on a leaf in the garden of Lois and Richard Wagner on Mountain Avenue in Lewiston Wednesday morning. Moments earlier, it was dancing in the air with another, most likely, mating. It has one of the longest seasons of any butterfly, emerging from the chrysalis in early Spring and remaining active until the first hard freeze. It was accidentally introduced to Quebec, Canada around 1860 and spread rapidly throughout North America. It associates with broccoli, cauliflower, and other cabbage family plants. It is a minor pest in the home garden and is easily controlled by an application of products containing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).
raised my arms, stretched, and shook with joy. It was that feeling of not being cold and knowing I won’t be freezing my butt off for a couple months. And I thanked God. Sorry to say, that’s about all the religion I have these days.
Cooked up an omelet for my wife, ham and cheese one for Kevin, ham cheese and fried egg on an English muffin for Isaiah and scrambled for Chris…and some cantaloupe from yesterday. Said goodbye to my wife, who is leaving for work until 9 or 10 tonight. and then drove Isaiah to school. Chris went with Ann so he wouldn’t be late. Took Kevin for his root canal and then went for a walk with my precious pup, who is now 11. Whipped out my cel phone and shot them hanging steel for the new Bates dormitories in my old neighborhood. Walking home I noticed a couple humming birds in a garden. Figured I would stop there with my macro lens and try my luck, not expecting the humming birds to cooperate. But with the colors and thousands of critters in a garden, some fill flash and patience, you’re gonna get something. There wasn’t much, but I caught a funky looking early butterfly. Finding out what it was would take some time later in the day.
But off to Durham I would go for my first assignment of the day. Figured if all else failed, I could stop at the Get & Go and ask if they heard about it. I came across the signs on a stretch of road across from the town garage. Bunch of guys having lunch. Nope said them all ceptin one. “Saw a young fella this morning in a silver pickup putting them up, but that’s all I know.” After driving out, I see just such a vehicle parked in a house just after the last sign. Investigative journalism at it’s finest. Couldn’t be that easy Of course it wasn’t. After several more barking dogs, nobody homes and a few who knew nothing, I went to my last gasp and would head back to ask at the Get & Go. Wouldn’t you know, they told me to go ask at the Get & Go. No go at the Get & Go.
Work continues on the replacement bridge that spans the Androscoggin River between Durham and Lisbon Falls. The Maine Department of Transportation project will be completed in 2016 after the old bridge is torn down. It was built in 1936.
I hadn’t seen anything promising on the way to Durham for a feature photo. We needed one as this story wouldn’t work for our local section front, so I headed back to the office through Lisbon.
No sooner had I turned onto Route 9, there was this giant turkey vulture on the side of the road, within two feet of cars whipping past, tearing into some road kill. Couldn’t believe it was so brazen. I turned around in the next driveway and hopped out just in time to shoot him flying off after he had his fill of a……raccoon?
Couple miles down the road I cross the Androscoggin where construction on the new bridge is getting along. Readers love to see big machines and construction projects, so I oblige.
I still don’t have anything good enough to anchor the local section, so I’m thinking of bagging somebody fishing, so I head to some favorite holes. I didn’t catch any, but did find a guy looking for old bottles in the Sabattus River.
Bram Hepburn checks out an old beer bottle from Bangor that he just found on the bottom of the Sabattus River in Lisbon Wednesday afternoon. “I’m from Elliot and had some errands to run in Augusta. When I travel, I throw my gear in the back of my truck and check out rivers along the way. I try to pick places that have old houses along the banks.”
Back at the office I started downloading my photos and Andrew, one of our IT guys, mosey’s over and we try to do some switching of permissions for our photo scheduler. That’s a story in itself. I have some sort of an aura about me that funks up computers. They all love me in IT, job security and such. They, along with cashiers at my banks, grocery strores and even WalMart are always saying: “I’ve never seen that before!” as their register or computer crashes, freezes, or does something weird.
While I am processing photos, reading a couple dozen emails and all that entails, some guidance to our intern, listening to Justin talk about the Ali-Liston tab….ad nauseam. Phone calls, meetings and all the planning for tomorrow, the rest of the week and beyond. It’s getting close to the time I need to leave for the Auburn Police Memorial service and Mark comes over with puppy dog eyes and tells me “somebody” thinks we should post the video I shot of the signs in Durham this morning on Facebook. I want to say I don’t have time, but it’s just quirky enough that I say what the hay, and we get a possible hit.…tune in tomorrow for more, possibly.
Police officers from the Auburn Police Department salute as taps is played by Scott Laliberte of the Maine Army National Guard’s 133rd Engineer Battalion, left, during Wednesday night’s celebration of National Police Week at the Auburn Fallen Officers Memorial on the corner of Court and Turner Streets.
I watch the Auburn Police Honor Guard try to keep in step and think how my son Ryan is just finishing his intense two week training in the Air Force to be on an elite honor guard duty that he was chosen to do for the next four months. I was sure he and the other 5 in his group would be so much better. When i told Ryan about it later in the night on the phone, he chuckled. And of course, in his typical humility, said that was no doubt true, his honor guard was like the JV compared to the USAF Honor Guard. They are just a regional unit that goes to local funerals and functions, the varsity goes to the ‘big time stuff.”
Pete Phelan thinks the other photo is better and thinks we should use it on the front page. Randy Baril just handed me a copy of the paper as I pen this, hot off the press, and I have to agree
Cherrie Bonney, wife of Auburn Police Officer Rodney “Rocky” Bonney, who was killed in the line of duty in 1981, is comforted by Auburn Police Chief Phil Crowell during Wednesday night’s ceremony to honor police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty during a ceremony at the Fallen Officers Memorial on the corner of Court and Turner Streets.
The day is finally over and I head home to an empty house, but by 9:00 everyone but Ann is home and I do some chores, eat some leftovers and call my good friend Scott to see if he is up for a bike ride. Kiss my wife goodnight as she is walking in the door and I am heading out. Scott and cruise through the streets of LA and wind up at West Pitch Park in Auburn. It’s a beautiful overlook of the city, jutting over the falls, dry as a bone now, but at times, when the river is roaring, it’s so cool to feel the platform shake with the power of the Scroggin. But now comes the part where I disappoint you with the climax that fizzles. The bust is a bust. Hope you have not been reading all this in hopes of a good cop drama, it won’t live up to the hype. Two cops come out of nowhere and shine their lights in our faces and tell us we can’t be up here at night. I don’t have any ID on me, but tell them I shot them earlier in the day at the ceremony and they look at me sideways and I see some recognition. They run our names and we come back clean. Scott heads to his Auburn abode and I cross the bridge to my home away from home on Park Street to pen this prose.
With all that went on today, it was another gone bye without having a chance to check out a tip I got a few days ago. A hand written letter with a big hand drawn in the middle of the paper with writing on it tells me to go down by the river, past his Aunt Minnies burnt out trailer, to the riverbank where there is a big hand chiseled into a big rock. His mom seen it as a kid and she thinks it was done by the indians to warn them about the falls, or something. “It’s a National Treasure.” Gotta get to that, and some other stuff, tomorrow.