July 1 – 7, 2022Vol. 24, No. 4

Moose in the Morning, Trout in the Afternoon

The Thompson family from Gardiner, with Isabella and Zoey getting a free ride up French Mountain.

by Pete Kallin

Last week was the first official week of summer, and I got to enjoy a broad variety of the outside activities this area offers. One day last week I went foraging for early season mushrooms and met up with a couple of moose in the woods on one of the 7 Lakes Alliance hiking trails. Later that day, I took a neighbor’s grandson out fishing and to check on a newly hatched loon chick. We caught a couple of bass and a nice rainbow trout along the way. Earlier in the week we had an overnight visit from my youngest grandson while his parents enjoyed some time to themselves. I took him fishing for a bit and he caught four or five nice sunfish off the dock. Later in the week I spent some time hiking French Mountain and met families hiking with their kids. I finished the week on a nice bird walk led by Julia Hanauer-Milne at 7 Lakes’ Fogg Island Preserve in Mt. Vernon, where we saw and heard a large number of species, including scarlet tanagers, kingfishers, and nesting king birds, among others.

Grandson Bayard with sunfish.

One of my neighbors called last week to see if I knew anyone with an Android phone. Her 15-year-old grandson, Jackson Schulz, from North Carolina had just arrived without his phone charger. The boy was an avid fisherman, so I took him out while his phone was charging. A few cold, windy days last week has resulted in the surface water temperature in the lake dropping from about 70°F back to the low to mid 60s. This has made the trout in Long Pond much happier, and they are staying up in the layer again. I’ve caught several this week and Jackson got a nice one while we were out that he brought back for dinner for his family.

The next day, I hiked French Mountain and met several Bear Spring campers out enjoying the hiking. They come every year and like to get out on the trails. I also met the Thompson Family from Gardiner out hiking with daughters Isabella and Zoey in back packs. Mom had Zoey and I assumed dad had Isabella. Mom said, “That’s not my husband, that’s his best friend, Rooks.” I asked if she was going to get in trouble if I her husband saw her picture in the paper out with his best friend. She laughed, and said, “No, in fact he’s the one that suggested we come hike here while he was at work.”

Moose on the loose on The Mountain.

This area offers some great outdoor recreation, whether you like to hike, bike, birdwatch, fish, sail, or paddle a canoe or kayak. Pick up a map of the local trails at Day’s Store or from the 7LA at the Maine Lakes Resource Center. The 7 Lakes Alliance is sponsoring many events that may be of interest. Check the 7LA website for details. Keep an eye on the sign in front of the building as events are being added all the time. Get on their email notification list for updates.

I encourage everyone to take advantage of the wealth of recreational opportunities this area offers. Do like they used to in “the good old days” and take a kid fishing, or on a hike, or paddling in a canoe. It’s how memories are made. Or take a parent, so they can become a kid again.

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