David Treadwell

David Treadwell

“The mating habits of red squirrels would make many a maiden blush.”

Now that I have your attention, let me explain. Sometimes I come across the work of a local author, which deserves a plug. That’s especially true if the book was written to benefit an important non-profit organization. Such is the case with “Nature Notes from Maine; River Otters, Moose, Skunks & More” by Harpswell resident Ed Robinson.

Ed moved to Maine in 2007 with his wife Mary after a successful career in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and aquaculture. His assignments included stints in Mexico, Australia, Singapore and 14 years in England.

The book sprung from Ed’s service on the board of trustees of the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust. He had already written several pieces for the newsletter of the organization, and the board decided that a full book on various species and Maine-topics would prove interesting to readers and generate funds for the Land Trust.

The book combines the downhome style of Garrison Keillor with the passion for protecting the environment of Rachel Carson. Readers can learn something about everything from harbor seals to honey bees, foxes to fiddleheads, snapping turtles to seahawks. Every chapter left me in a better mood with a better insight into all things natural in Maine.

Here’ s a sampling…


“The great blue heron will not win any singing contests, with a call that is best described as a rough croak, heard during breeding or when they are disturbed. But their beauty, their grace in flight and their determined manner of fishing, often in solitude, make them well worth your time to spy.”

“Early in the 2015 lobster season my wife joined me in checking my pots. As we pulled up to the first buoy, Mary looked overboard and was surprised to see a mass of jellyfish all around us in the water, what I judged to be moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita). ‘You should write an article about jellies!’ So, here it is (why do I get myself into these things?)”

“If you have ever tried to figure out how wild turkeys think and act, you might need a strong glass of whiskey!”

George Smith, Outdoor News Editor for the Bangor Daily News, shares my enthusiasm for this book. He wrote, “The book is full of great stories about Maine’s wild animals. The stores are highly entertaining and brought back memories of my own wildlife encounters. Thee are the wild critters that make live in Maine very special.”

Superb photographs enhance the book’s impact, making it a great gift for yourself or your Maine-loving children, grandchildren or friends. As a bonus, all proceeds from the book will benefit the conservation programs of the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust. Their mission: “To preserve and protect Harpswell’s natural resources, cultural heritage and access to the outdoors through targeted conservation, responsible stewardship and education.”

Thanks, Ed Robinson, for sharing your love of Maine and your knowledge of nature with those of us who sometimes don’t fully observe, understand and appreciate this place we call home. You are a fine guide.

To purchase “Nature Notes from Maine: River Otters, Moose, Skunks & More,” go to hhltmaine.org or call (207) 721-1121.

David Treadwell, a Brunswick writer, welcomes commentary and suggestions for future “Just a Little Old” columns [email protected]

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