Replanting

Meet the newest member of the plant family at Captain;s Cottage.  It’s a Montauk daisy, also known as a Nippon daisy due to its Japanese heritage, that we replanted at the foot of the stairs to the down yard this week.

The plant was a gift from a neighbor on the Greenhead peninsula.  He was winnowing out his garden, which had gotten a bit overgrown, and this plant was among those to be removed.  As we stopped for a chat, he asked if we’d like to have it for replanting.  I had some trepidation about it, because I’ve never replanted a plant — but fortunately a horticulturist was visiting us and promised to guide me through every step.

It really wasn’t all that difficult.  Our garden-savvy friend first decided which part of the yard would be receptive to the plant, which isn’t an easy task in the rocky Stonington soil.  She identified a spot which gets a lot of sun then guided me through the steps, which included digging a hole about a foot deep and 18 inches wide, carefully placing the plant into the hole, filling the edges of the hole with soil and loosely packing it down, and finally watering the plant liberally, first at the time of replanting and then again the next morning.  By the third day, when a big rainstorm rolled in to give it another dousing, we were hoping the plant had began to take root and will have a chance to do a little growing before the first hard frost of the winter.

We won’t know whether the transplant operation was a success until next spring, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed. Montauk daisies form a mound, grow to a height of about three feet, and produce lots of flowers.  The plants are so hardy that you are even supposed to divide them after a few years to keep them vigorous, and thereby create two plants where there once was one — but I’m not worried about that now.  I’m just hoping the plant survives, because a thriving Montauk daisy plant would be a great addition to the down yard.

 

All The News You Need To Know

Our local newspaper in Stonington is the Island Ad-Vantages, covering all of Deer Isle and Little Deer Idle. It is printed once a week and provides all the news you need to know — and some conversation fodder, besides.

We all try to follow national and international news — to the extent our blood pressure can stand it, at least — but the news we really care about is local. Up here, that means reporting on tourism, the lobster and fishing business, development activities, and coming events. I want to know whether the local businesses and restaurants did a good trade and will be here next summer, and I’m glad to read that they did. I’m happy to learn that a food truck stationed in Deer Isle will be back, but that local labor shortage is a concern. Hey, if you are looking for a job, come to Stonington next spring! Every business is looking for help.

What’s playing at the Opera House over the next few days? Are there any good yard sales this weekend? And the local police blotter and short reports on local closed court cases are always a fruitful source of discussion topics. The latest edition of IA-V reports, for example, that one man from the area was fined $150 for “molesting silver herring gear.” What do you suppose he was doing?

A really good local newspaper, like Island Ad-Vantages, tells you a lot about your community.

Ditch Niche

Our place in Stonington features a small stream that runs along the border between our property and our neighbor’s place to the north.  Actually, “stream” is probably not an accurate description.  I think of it as a creek, but some people might view it as more of a rivulet, or even a glorified drainage ditch.  The water tumbles down the hillside to the harbor, rushing by in the winter and wet spring months and when it rains, but otherwise moving sluggishly — if at all — after a few dry days at the end of summer.

Humble thought it may be, it’s still the only watercourse I’ve ever had on a property, and I think it is pretty cool.  The neighbor’s side of the creek is littered with big, picturesque boulders, but our side was definitely lacking in the stone category.  As a result, the second part of my stone-digging project has involved rolling, flipping, or carrying the stones I’ve excavated over to the creekside, to better frame the stream.  I’ve also been working at clearing out the accumulated branches and other debris that has clogged the creek and interfered with the flow of the water.  It’s pretty clear that nobody has paid much attention to it for years.

The goal is to make the creek look more like a waterway and less like a damp spot in the yard.  It’s still a work in progress.

Name Upgrade

Just last year, it bore the straightforward but dismissively insulting name “Dump Road.” But the same impulses that caused someone to come up with “pre-owned vehicles” rather than “used cars” and to rebrand the Patagonian Toothfish into Chilean Sea Bass were brought to bear, and “Dump Road” became the considerably more upscale and environmentally friendly “Transfer Station Road.” There’s still a town dump on the road, of course, but that’s beside the point. Dump Road deserved a better name.

What Deer Isle road is next up for a new moniker? Weedfield Road, perhaps? Let’s see . . . how about Wilderness Trace? Or maybe Natural Lane?

Roots Music

Last night we visited the Burnt Cove Church Community Center to catch a performance of the Loose Cannon Jug Band.  It was a foot-stomping, knee-tapping way to end a sunny Saturday on the Labor Day weekend.

The LCJB is five musicians who play just about every traditional musical instrument you can think of:  tenor banjo, guitars, fiddle, harmonica, squeeze box, washboard, . . . and two jugs, of course.  The only thing they seemed to be missing was a spoons player.  They performed traditional songs and original creations, all in the style of early blues, bouncy gospel, and other American roots music of the ’20s and ’30s.  The songs, old and new, were terrific and often funny, and the band members all seemed to be having a great time — which meant that the audience was having a great time, too.  The audience sing-along to Mud Flat Laundromat was a highlight.

The Loose Cannon Jug Band show was one of the many offerings of the Summer Entertainment Series in Stonington.  For a small community, the Series offers an impressive array of shows — in fact, last night there was a second performance, of folk music, at the Opera House itself.  The LCJB show occurred at the Burnt Cove Church, pictured below, which is a beautiful old church turned into a performance venue, complete with pews for seating and pressed tin ceiling.  When the band launched into one of their raucous gospel numbers about sin and Satan, it was a perfect combination of sound and setting.