Tue, 01/18/2022 - 6:00pm

Again, the island news is of the bird, the Steller’s Sea Eagle. It has continued to remain in the area, with folks often gathered on the Southport Bridge and on the property that previously was Ship Ahoy Motel. Great pictures have appeared in my email and on Facebook, both of the eagle in flight and nestled among tall tree branches. A kind gentleman adjusted his telescope on the bridge to allow me to see the bird. What fun to have such excitement during the bitterly cold weather and the continuing pandemic.

Discussion continues about plans for the school grounds. Six of us met at the Southport Town Hall last Thursday, Val Gamage and Emily Hurd by phone and Andie Elwell, Lisa Clarke, Pam Baldwin, Sarah Sherman, and I in person. Lisa Clarke, as the Southport school principal, had asked the children for their ideas for upgrades to the grounds around the school. They answered with a list of 14 ideas, all of which were very reasonable and not highly expensive, such as bridges over wet areas, better boundary lines, a climbing rope, better benches or chairs by the pond, different swings in the wood. Perhaps in the spring a volunteer work group could accomplish most of them, with a little reward such as a cookout.

It appears work has begun to resurrect the pond on the property for skating. Two volunteers will attend the selectmen’s meeting on Wednesday evening to learn more of their intent and timing. Lisa Clarke noted that the children love to play in the woods, splashing about in the mud, but that some safety concerns should be resolved beginning, perhaps, with learning the source of the water, and whether it can be drained and filled or whether covering the water in some form with bridges or steppingstones or a platform would be a better solution. Some money remains ($5673.47) from the amount raised last summer and donated since that time, and a contract remains with the architect who has already drawn some preliminary plans for the property, so perhaps he can investigate the best solution to the wooded wet area. Discussions and work will continue.

Last Sunday at least one family was skating on Sawyers Pond, and discussion at the meeting noted above relayed that people had also been skating during our previous very cold weather. I hope they know how to test the ice before venturing forth. With the school pond the yellow flag, erected, I think, by Gerry Gamage, was always the sign that the ice was safe.

Our fire department was called out for a false alarm early Friday evening because the sunset was so brilliant that it looked like those blazing fires we have seen from out west. Thanks goodness it was simply beauty.

A bit of an abrupt ending here, but wind and rain are so ferocious that I decided to submit this column as is before the power goes out. Hope you all remain safe.