Sprucewold Column: Bountiful mushrooms, visitors and more

Mon, 09/13/2021 - 7:45am

Clearly fall is nearing; the nights are lengthening; the circle of seasons continues, as in Joni Mitchell's song “The Circle Game:” "The seasons they go round and round, the painted ponies go up and down, we're captive on the carousel of time. We can only look, behind from where we came, and go round and round in the circle game." Our Sprucewold community is already leaving for home; we more and more often hear, "see you next summer."

The birding, walking, and mushrooming were excellent this year. We have a sizeable Black Trumpet fungus (mycelium) and it fruited twice this year. We also found a large fruiting at Barrett's Park. They made an excellent Black Trumpet Risotto and we dried several in Ziplock bags to take home. Black Trumpets one of the most choice mushroom. There was even a large fruiting of a good edible I'd not seen before on our lot. These are called Green Quilt Russula. Wild turkeys returned to our lot this year; you remember Ben Franklin preferred that the wild turkey be the National Bird instead of the bald eagle.

There have been a number of interesting Sprucewold columns this summer; this will surely be one of the last. Ralph Kimball wrote a good one and commented on the younger folks moving to the cabins; often they've taken over from parents. Speaking of younger, Doug Reilly (me) celebrated his 79th birthday on the first of September. Dotty organized a champagne and cake party with about a dozen of our Sprucewold friends. A Polish friend told me many years ago, Sept. 1, 1939, was the first day of World War II, when the German Wehrmacht marched into Poland. A pure coincidence, but a significant day in history.

We've seen the impact of COVID-19 on the harbor businesses; much created by the difficulty of finding enough staff. Brown's Restaurant remained closed the entire season. Masking varied from optional to choice and to mandatory over the weeks. Fortunately, Maine and our home state New Mexico, had governors who managed the pandemic well in spite of both being among our country's poorest states.

Several weeks ago Dana and Richard Fizer, former owners of Sprucewold Lodge, came for a week and stayed in the cabin built by Jim Smyth in back of the lodge. The cabin is now owned by the Fizer's daughter. They've sold their home in Pennsylvania and now live in Rhode Island. They stopped in briefly to visit the Reillys on Sunset Road.

Melanie and Shamus Wold Martin, who own the property across from the old Pines Motel, are now here for a month; they live most of the year in London. Melanie's father worked for many years as the handyman for Sprucewold Lodge. One of his tasks was to deliver firewood to all the cabins.

If you've not visited Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and seen the five Trolls, you really should. These are incredible wooden sculptures each made with thousands of small wood pieces. All five will remain in the Garden. We've had guests from Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Arizona who came just to see them.

We expect to be in Sprucewold until the temperature drops too low and Dotty says it's time to pack up the cabin and start the drive to New Mexico. Then we will hope to see our friends in Boothbay Harbor next summer.