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The Hawthorn

The Hawthorn
Fall 2015

Celebrate Winter at Merryspring Wassail
Friends young and old are invited to celebrate the end of the year (and a particularly good
apple year) and ring in the solstice at Merryspring’s first Winter Wassail on Saturday, December 19 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
While Merryspring is taking a break from its annual Holiday Bazaar this year, we still want
to share some joy and seasonal fun with our members and friends. This Winter Wassail will
be a free community event open to all who want to share good tidings and celebrate the
The word Wassail comes from an old Anglo-Saxon toast meaning “be in good health.” Typical Wassail activities include drinking wassail, visiting apple orchards, singing songs, and
reciting poems to ensure another
productive year. With hundreds of
Wassail! wassail! all over the town,
ancient apple trees growing at MerOur toast it is white and our ale it is brown;
ryspring, what could be a better location for a Wassail?
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree;

With the wassailing bowl, we'll drink unto thee.

This free program will start at 2 p.m.
with special activities for children,
— from the traditional Gloucestershire Wassail carol dating
including a reading by Liza Gardner
back to the Middle Ages
Walsh from her new book, “Where
Do Fairies Go When It Snows?” Other
activities will include making pinecone bird feeders, creating holly crowns, playing traditional games, and roasting chestnuts over an open fire. Throughout the day, there will be
small campfires outside and hot (non-alcoholic) wassail inside to keep everybody warm.

2:00 – 3:30
 Pinecone birdfeeders
 Holly crowns
 Wassail traditional games
 Campfires are started
 Roasting chestnuts
2:30 – 3:00
 Liza Gardner Walsh reads from
her new book “Where do Fairies
Go When it Snows?”
3:30 – 5:00
 Lighting of the bonfire
 Singers, dancers, performances
All Day
 Campfires
 Hot wassail

Around 3:30, the Wassail celebration will light up outside with a bonfire, around which singers, dancers, and other local performers will
entertain the crowd. Everybody is encouraged to join the celebration by singing along, dancing, or sharing other talents. We hope you
will be able to join us for this exciting event.

Old Apple tree, old apple tree;


We've come to wassail thee;
To bear and to bow apples enow;
Hats full, caps full, three bushel bags full;
Barn floors full and a little heap under the stairs.
—from the the Apple Orchard Wassailing at Carhampton, near

Wassail (from the Old Norse "ves heil” and Old English “was hail”) is a beverage of hot mulled cider, traditionally drunk as an integral part of wassailing, a medieval
southern English ritual intended to ensure a good cider apple harvest the following year. It is often associated with the Yuletide celebration, with participants drinking from a large communal “wassailing” bowl. The name wassail comes from the salute 'waes hail', first used as a simple greeting. The later Danish-speaking inhabitants of England turned "was hail,“ and the reply "drink hail,” into a drinking formula adopted widely by the indigenous population of England.
— from Wikipedia

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The Hawthorn

Nature Center
P.O. Box 893, Camden, ME 04843
Tel: (207) 236-2239
Fax: (207) 230-0663

What’s That Hanging in the
Red Oak Tree?

Mission Statement
Merryspring’s mission is to practice,
teach, and advocate sound principles
of ecology, conservation, and horticulture in order to protect our
natural environment and to provide
natural landscapes and cultivated
areas for public enjoyment.

Adult winter moth

Fall 2015

Inside this issue:
Winter Wassail


Winter Moths


Grants Awarded


Park Improvements


Six Decades Ago


2015 Education Recap


2016 Events Calendar


Young Volunteers


Volunteer Party


Kitchen Tour Recap


Merryspring Reservations


Hours of Operation
The park is open free of charge from
dawn to dusk every day of the year.
Our offices and library are open
Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m.
to 2 p.m., or by appointment.

Winter moth trap

Winter moth larva

Membership Levels

Recent visitors may notice a strange yellow cylinder
hanging in the small red oak behind the Ross Center.
No it’s not a bird feeder. It is actually a trap for Winter
$100– 249
Winter Moth (Operophthera brumata) is an invasive
species that came to coastal Maine in 2011 after being
introduced to North America from Europe in the 1930s.
The winter moth gets its name from its unusual habit
$5,000 or more
of entering its adult stage and flying in winter. Winter
Keeping in Touch
moths are commonly seen around porch lights and on
You can sign up for our eUpdates at the sides of doors and windows in the middle of to receive the
ter, when few other species are present.
latest news on programs and events.
The moth is particularly destructive during its larval
Or you can visit Merryspring’s Facebook page, where you can check on
phase. As a caterpillar, the insect feeds on deciduous
upcoming events. Please go to
trees and shrubs in early spring. It’s common to find on oak, maple, apples, and even blueberry. In
2015, Maine Forest Service surveys detected winter
Board of Trustees
moth defoliation all along the Maine coast, from KitRay Andresen, President
tery to Rockland.
Glenn Jenks, Vice President
The trap hanging at Merryspring is one of two DepartRichard Ailes, Treasurer
Karin Rector, Secretary
ment of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry moniKathleen Kull
tor traps in the immediate Camden-Rockport area. AnSarah Rheault
other can be found at the Harkness Preserve in RockSusan Shaw
port. The trap lures adult male moths by mimicking
Jeannine Smith
pheromones released by the flightless females. It will
Matthew Speno
be monitored throughout the winter by DACF.
Concerned Mainers can get involved too. Maine DACF
Toni Goodridge, Managing Director
has set up an online survey to report winter moth
Brett Willard, Program Director
sightings, along with instructions for how to look for
Cindy Gerry, Garden Manager
them. Moth reports can be made to Maine DACF at
Bart Wood, Senior Advisor or by
©2015—All Rights Reserved
phone at 207-287-2431.


Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)

Merryspring Receives
Two $1,000 Awards
Merryspring President Ray
Andresen is shown accepting a
$1,000 check from United MidCoast Charities board member
David Alling (left) during the
2015 UMCC Grant Awards Presentation on September 30. The
$1,000 is dedicated to continuing
to provide and expand Merryspring's educational outreach
programs. The Nature Center
also received a $1,000 award
from the Camden Rotary Club in
October for support of the Summer Ecology Camps that Merryspring co-sponsors with the
Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District.

The Hawthorn

Fall 2015

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Making Improvements to Your
Nature Center
On your next visit to Merryspring, be sure to check out the
new entrance sign that welcomes everyone to the Nature
Center. The sign and kiosk were installed this summer, replacing several small, outdated, and unattractive signs.
That welcoming sign is just one of several physical improvements made to your Nature Center this year. Earlier in the
year, we moved the Children’s Garden to a new location behind the Rose Garden, giving it a larger space with room to
expand. In November, we replaced the old, weather-beaten
shingles on the Hexagon and Rose Cottage
with new, architectural-grade asphalt shingles
guaranteed to last at least another 25 years.
The new roofs and entrance sign were made
possible through a generous donation from the
Kendel H. Kennedy Fund of the Ethel & W.
George Kennedy Family Foundation.
In addition, we have begun transforming the
Rose Cottage into a learning center for young
children attending Summer Ecology Camp or
other programs at Merryspring. Used primarily
in the past as a storage shed, the Rose Cottage
was cleaned out this fall and hooked up to the
greenhouse via an underground electric line.
Our goal for 2016 is to transform the inside of the Rose Cottage by painting
colorful murals, installing window screens, and adding small tables, chairs,
shelving, new lighting, and a supply cabinet.
Another significant improvement this year was the installation of a granite
bench overlooking the vernal pool, along with a new interpretive sign, all made
possible by donations from the Kyle Family.
Looking ahead, we hope to make additional improvements to our greenhouse,
cultivated gardens, woodland trails, and the Kitty Todd Arboretum. Stay tuned.

Looking Back Six Decades
The aerial photos below show what our property looked like 60 years ago when it was used as a lumber yard by previous
owners and how the landscape changed after the 66 acres were acquired by Merryspring in 1974.

The Hawthorn

Fall 2015

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Merryspring Completes Another
Active Year of Nature Education &
Community Outreach
During this past year Merryspring conducted or participated in about 75
nature education programs and community outreach events that drew
approximately 2,000 attendees, some of them coming to the Nature Center for the very first time.
The scope and variety of these educational programs and outreach
events was truly remarkable. They included a total of 36 lectures in our
ever-popular Tuesday Talk series, presentations that covered a range of
subjects from “Maine’s Sea Vegetables” to “Gardening with Mosses,”
from “The Science of Hibernation” to “Tending the Perennial Garden,”
from “Designing and Using Root Cellars” to “Maine Beer from Plant to

Worm Bin Harvesting Workshop

Merryspring also conducted 11 Weekend Workshops and 3 Evening Workshops. Some of our more popular workshops were
the Vernal Pools Workshop, the Worm Bin Workshop, and the Bird Walk with Glenn Jenks.
In addition, Merryspring held six Free Family Programs, including the always magical Fall Fairy Festival, and once again
worked with Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District to co-sponsor a week-long Summer Ecology Camp at the Nature Center.
On top of all this, Merryspring reached out to various
youth organizations in the mid-coast community, conducting a variety of special events at Merryspring or
other sites. These outreach events included a Winter
Walk with Youthlinks, an Ice and Snow Workshop at the
Coastal Children’s Museum, a Tree Identification Field
Trip with Children’s House Montessori School, a Partners
for Enrichment – Winter Tracking Session at Appleton
Village School, and partnering with Lincolnville Central
School’s 4th grade and The Farnsworth Museum for the
Farnsworth’s Stories of the Land and its People Student
Art Program.
Birdwatching with Glenn Jenks

Maine Beer from Plant to Pint with David Carlson

Fairy Festival

The Hawthorn

Fall 2015

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2 0 1 6 Ev e n t s C a l e n d a r
January 19

Seismic Sounds of the Earth — JT Bullitt

January 26

Ruffed Grouse in Maine — Erik Blomberg

February 2

Cultivating Mushrooms & North Spore — Jon Carver

February 9

Winter Birding — Don Reimer

February 16

Gardens & Wildlife as Biological Control — Noah Perlut

March 23

Biodynamic Farming at Hope’s Edge — Tom Griffin

March 1

The Snails Around Us — Ken Hotopp

March 8

Starting a Garden from Scratch — Sharon Turner

March 15

New Plants for 2016 — Hammon Buck

March 22

Planting & Pruning Fruit Trees — Renae Moran

March 29

Bald Eagles in Maine — Chris DeSorbo

Winter Walk
December 12, 11 a.m.
Explore the woods to find interesting natural features, winter wildlife and more with Brett Willard.
Free for all.

Maple Sugaring for Beginners

April 4

How to Make and Use Apple Cider — Bob & Mia Sewell

April 12

Artificial Light & Natural Darkness — Jane Brox

April 19

Putting the Dead to Work: Deep Time & Biodiversity — Jacquelyn Gill

April 26

Food Power: Turning Farm & Food Waste Into Energy — Sarah Wintle

May 3

Organic Garden Pest & Disease Control — Eric Sideman

May 10

Bugs of Monhegan — Amy Campbell

May 17

Sharks of Maine — James Sulikowski

May 24

Bee Hive Opening — Holly & David Edwards

May 31

Tending the Perennial Garden in Early June — Wendy Andresen

June 7

Ecotextiles — Amelia Poole

June 14

To Be Announced
All Tuesday Talks begin at 12 noon and generally last about one hour.

Garden Kickstart!
April 23, 10 a.m.—12 p.m.
Learn to start vegetables and flowers indoors from seed. Garden Manager Cindy
Gerry will discuss timing, watering, temperature, soil, common problems that
may arise and ways to solve them. This
workshop will take place in Merryspring’s

January 23, 10 a.m.—12 p.m.
Learn all the basics including
placement, equipment, running
lines, and boiling sap with Carrie
and VJ from Frontier Maple.

Creating with Seaweed
February 27, 10 a.m.—12 p.m.
Learn to identify local seaweed
species, their uses for human and
animal food, as well as for skin and
hair care. Create a seaweed-rich
product to take home with Carly
Weinberg. 15 person limit.

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The Hawthorn

Fall 2015

Young Volunteers Make It Happen
Older volunteers have always been a mainstay at Merryspring, but this
year we received a sizable amount of volunteer help from youth and
children from the mid-coast area. In fact, we were the beneficiary of
more than 250 volunteer hours from various youth organizations in
Young volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 200, Trekkers, Wayfinder
School, the Student Council at Camden Hills Regional High School, and
Merryspring’s own summer youth programs lent their time and talents
to improving the park this year. Some of the many tasks these young
volunteers completed involved cleaning up and monitoring perimeter
trail #1, starting seeds and transplanting them into the mixed border
garden, spreading chips in the new children’s garden and the winter
garden, cleaning up and winterizing the rose garden, organizing tools
and cleaning the garage, planting and managing the children’s garden,
clearing trails in the Kitty Todd Arboretum, pulling and storing dahlia
bulbs, organizing plant sale materials, and much, much more.
As Merryspring continues to reach beyond its park borders, we welcome these young volunteers as a vital part of our operation. We couldn’t do it without them, and we look forward
to more youthful collaboration, learning, and leadership opportunities in 2016.

Volunteer Appreciation Party
In what has become an annual ritual, Merryspring held a Volunteer Appreciation Party on Friday, October 2 to thank all of
our wonderful volunteers. There were lots of tasty treats and beverages, lots of raffle prizes, and (thankfully) just a few short
speeches. A special slide presentation of volunteers at work played silently on the screen inside the Ross Center throughout
the celebration. If you would like to join our volunteer ranks, please call us at 236-2239.

The Hawthorn

Fall 2015

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Kitchen Tour Attracted 600
Attendees in 2015
Approximately 600 people attended the 2015 Kitchen Tour on August 5,
making Merryspring’s annual summer fundraiser another memorable,
scrumptious success.
This year’s Tour-goers were able to visit eight beautiful homes, six in Camden and two in Rockport, where they had the opportunity to look at the
latest in kitchen designs and sample gourmet treats prepared by local chefs
and caterers. In all, this popular summertime event raised more than
$23,000 for Merryspring, once again making it our biggest and most successful fundraiser of the year.
While it lasts just one day, the Kitchen Tour takes months of preparation and perseverance to pull it all together, and for that we
are truly indebted to our 2015 Tour Committee of Ray Andresen, Toni Goodridge, Dorothea Graham, Kathie Kull, Edie Kyle,
Jeannine Smith, and Mary Waltz. We are also very grateful to Charlie Graham and Paula Armentrout for the special assistance they
gave us before the Tour, and to the dozens of volunteers who helped park cars, check tickets, guide guests, and do so many other
tasks on Tour Day.
Merryspring would also like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of this year’s tour, especially the local homeowners
who opened their doors and to the local chefs who provided the culinary delights for our tour attendees.
Our deepest gratitude goes to these gracious homeowners,
without whom there would have been no tour: Meredith Mendelson & Nick Battista, Diane & Keith Blizzard, Karen & Dick
Cease, Heather & Jason Hearst, Karen Miller & Bud Hillman, Ry
Hills & Tom Kiley, Holly & Lance Limoges, and Lauria & David

Search Begins for Next Year’s Kitchens

We’re already starting to look for local homes to be featured on
the 2016 Kitchen Tour, which will take place on Wednesday, August 3. If you would like to nominate your kitchen, or know of
A round of thanks also goes to the talented chefs and staff from someone who has recently built a new house or remodeled an
40 Paper, Bixby Bars, Blue Sky Cantina, Cappy's Chowder House, older kitchen, please call the Merryspring office (236-2239) or
send an email to We’re also looking for
Comida Latin Kitchen, Eclipse & The Speakeasy, FOG Bar & Café,
some new Committee members, so if you’d like to help work on
Highlands Coffee House, Inn at Sunrise Point, Laugh Loud/Smile
setting up next year’s Kitchen Tour, please contact Merryspring
Big Cupcakes, Laura Cabot Catering, Maine Street Meats, Market
right away.

Basket, Susan Boivin of MSAD 28, and Waterfront Restaurant.

We would also like to express our deepest appreciation to EBS Style Solutions for once again being the sponsor of this event and
for hosting Fiore Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars and local author Nancy Harmon Jenkins.
Thanks also to Stonewall Kitchen, Francine Bistro, Shepherd’s Pie, and Surroundings for providing raffle prizes for the Kitchen Tour.
Finally, Merryspring would like to thank the many businesses, designers, craftspeople, and friends who contributed financial support for the Tour, including: Barnes Custom Window Treatments, Bench Dogs, Inc., Brown Appliance & Mattress, Inc., Carol A.
Witham Advanced Health & Fitness, Chatfield Design, Christian H. Fasoldt, Architect, Cold Mountain Builders, Cornerstone Kitchens, Dave's Appliance, Inc., David C. Olivas DDS, Distinctive Tile & Design, Dominic Paul Mercadante Architecture, Fixtures Designer
Plumbing Showroom, Freshwater Stone, Heartwood Millworks Company, Houses & Cottages Architectural Design, Interiors by Janis
Stone, Kelsey's Appliance & Sleep Center, Inc., Lee Schneller Fine Gardens, Leslie Curtis Designs, Limoges Builders, Lorraine Streat,
Margo Moore, Inc., Mike Rich Design, Morningstar Stone and Tile, Neumann Fine Arts, New View Studio, North Atlantic Painting
Co., Paul Cavalli & Jack McKenney, Peter T. Gross Architects, P.A., PHI Home Designs, Pine Ridge Carpentry, Rock Coast Plumbing &
Heating, Inc., Rockport Granite, Rockport Steel, Scholz & Barclay Architecture, Silverio - Architecture + Design, Smith & May, Inc. Hearth & Patio Showroom, The Good Table, and TREEKEEPERS LLC - Johnson's Arboriculture.

Snowshoeing at Merryspring 2015

P.O. Box 893
Camden, ME 04843

Reserve Merryspring for Your Event
Remember to think of Merryspring when you or your friends
are planning a wedding, memorial service, meeting, or party.
Conveniently located near Route 1 in Camden and Rockport,
Merryspring offers a secluded, quiet location for your event.
Stunning gardens and an outdoor hexagon are perfect for
small ceremonies. A well-tended lawn bordered by flower
beds filled with spectacular color from June through September will accommodate a tent for up to 200 guests. And the
meeting room inside the Ross Center can accommodate up
to 50 people.