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The Vinalhaven Sightings Report is organized and edited by Kirk Gentalen on behalf of Vinalhaven Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Out and about on Vinalhaven, MCHT steward Kirk Gentalen reports on what he and others have seen in their travels. Contributions of stories and photos are welcome, and can be sent to


Saturday, August 4, 2012

estonian sunset

This is not a Vinalhaven Sightings Report – August 4th, 2012
This is a reminder of upcoming events on and off island that you may want to join in on
This is brought to you strictly by me.
Which is why I get to be selfish.
All pictures are from Estonia.
“I am at my best when I am selfish”

leify and his cousin julius
got some quality dock time
Old standardsWednesday morning bird walks, - Wednesdays – august 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th. 8am skoog park. elderbirds – dates august 9th and 23rd – 8am skoog park. Contact me at for more details on the elder outings.

We got ‘em! – In case you haven’t heard, Winter Moths have made it to Vinalhaven and the prognosis is potential pretty bad for deciduous trees around the island, or at least in town (where the buggers have been found). Here’s the story as only bangor daily news can tell it, with the catchy title….”New invasive winter moth with disastrous potential found in coastal Maine

But it’s actually not bad timing (is there a good time for winter moths?) as VLT had already set up a walk & talk on Forestry: Pathogens and Pest  with Morten “Good moess gone wilde” Moesswilde for Friday August 10th at 9:30am at Skoog. With the winter moth infestation happening Morten and the VLT uppers have been able to “get” Charlene “Entomologist” Donahue, to join in on the walk. Charlene is “the most knowledgeable person in the state of Maine about winter moths” to join in on the walk to discuss what they have found in the only other infestation in the state -   - and what this means for our trees.

leif would love to be the knight
that protects the island from Winter Moths

And as if that weren’t enough they’ve added an evening talk to the program on Thursday August 9th, 7pm at the Smith-Hokanson Memorial Hall at the school.

So a recap – next thursday night, august 9th at 7pm, at the smith hokanson hall at the school, and a walk and talk on Friday morning august 10th at 9:30am . Be there or be somewhere else!

There will be more on the winter moth situation in upcoming vsr after we learn something about them at the talks.

There are plenty of walks and talks lined up around the island for the month of august and beyond – check out the calendar page at the VLT website calendar for details


And now for something completely different.  while we’re at it, let me self indulge/promote…

The never ending fungus tour rides again! (or continues riding as it has never stopped) , call it what you want. So, on a personal note I’ve got some upcoming fungus outings lined up for September and October on and off island that certainly should be fun, and could be epic. The fungus bus is coming your way! We’ll technically it’s a Subaru (almost was a van). Leif will be co-leading many of these.

September 8th – 9am-1pmGisland Farm, Falmouth.  I’m honored to team up with Maine Audubon for their fungus extravanganza at the good Gisland Farms in Falmouth. A morning of fungus watching (I’ll bring the scope!) followed by a slide show and chit chat during lunch is the plan. Here’s a link for more information and  registration for those interested…..

sure we'll look at slime molds as well!
julius really got into the chocolate tube slime spore dispersal
wish i had gotten a photo of the spores on his forehead

Sunday, September 30thVinalhaven fungus walk – part of the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend – 1pm. We’ll go to where the mushrooms are and then take it from there.  More to come on this outing.

3rd annual Downeast Fungus WeekendColumbus Day Weekend – “Hot air balloon festival” in Machias the same weekend. Fungus and hot air – they go together!

dryad's saddle anyone?
it was amazing the similarities between
maine and estonian fungus
Saturday, October 6th, 9am-Noon, MCHT’s Western Head Preserve, Cutler . Epic preserve, often loaded with fungus, should be a great walk, great views and good times. Check out the MCHT website (after Monday) to find out more info on this and other walks up and down the coast.

Sunday, October 7th, Noon – 4pm, with the Cobscook Community Learning Center (CCLC). I’m excited to be teaming up with the CCLC for a mushroom workshop that will include slide show and lots of exploration. May go beyond the 4pm closing time depending on level of interest, which is never an issue with the Washington County crowd. Here’s the link to register for this outing

Friday, October 12th, 10am-12pm – Palermo Preserve Walk (will be a fungus walk). with the Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association (SVCA).  I have led a bunch of walks with the SVCA and they all have been wonderful. Beautiful preserves, great participants, and lots of explorations and discovering. Here’s a link to the SVCA website, more information on that one to come for sure, SAVE THE DATE.

can you guess what leif wants to be for halloween?

 And final business – in all honesty – both vlt and mcht put forth a lot to support the VSR (which this is not an officially entry) and always appreciate any form of support. If you enjoy the VSR (and we hope you do – actually we don’t care if you don’t, we’ll still do them anyway) you might want to think about volunteering on the trails, lead a walk and talk, or just simply become a member of both organizations. Write on the membership form that you want to support the VSR when becoming a member and I’ll give you a free high five next time I see you. 

many fields had lapwings in them
or flying over them
it was baby bird time
this is a young Fieldfare
not to dwell on estonia - beautiful country, loads of birds (swifts and swallows galore). Loved the lapwings and storks, Fieldfare is the local Turdus, crows had grey on them, and there were wagtails were everywhere.

where babies come from

Wonderful trip - and a big happy birthday to my mom, she's the best. I wouldn't be who i am today without her. (not trying to blame her for anything). she gets credit for the good things.

estonians don't have to wait for winter
to see shrikes
wagtainls jamming (not jellying)
food into babies mouths was a common
sight in estonia

But hey, the regular VSR will return mid-month, good to be back.

We'll see you out there