Dear Sun Spots: I have 2 questions that I hope you can answer! We have heard rumors that a Dollar Tree is going in the old Ames building in Jay, is this true? And if yes, when and where, will they be taking applications for employment?

Also, I bought 2 candles from Family Dollar last year. They are the best smelling candles I have ever had. But they no longer have the scent. I tried e-mailing the company, but got no response; maybe you can succeed. The scent is patchouli sage, it says on the bottom of the candle it is distributed by Family Dollar Stores and the candle is made in India. If you cannot find this exact candle, maybe one with the same scent by a different maker? It has to be ‘patchouli sage,’ other mixes with the patchouli just don’t smell the same. Thanks for your help. – No Name, Jay.

Answer:
Unfortunately, we also did not receive a response from Family Dollar. There are a few Web sites you can buy this particular scent from, one is Chandler Lane Handmade; the company blends its own scents from scratch. Check them out at www.chandlerlane.com.

We contacted your local Chamber of Commerce for information on the old Ames building in Jay. They thought someone at the Jay Town Office would know if a new business is moving into the building. A spokesperson from the town said there have been rumors that something is moving into the building you are referring to, but they have not been told anything either.

Dear Sun Spots: I’d like to add information on feeding hummingbirds (Ray, Livermore Falls, Sunspots Monday, July 14). Not only does red food coloring not add any nutritional value, it may in fact cause harm to hummingbirds. Red dye No. 40 is made from coal tar, a petroleum byproduct. Scientific studies have shown this dye causes a variety of harmful effects in lab animals. Although studies have not been specifically done on hummingbirds, there is some evidence of kidney failure, cancerous lesions and reproductive problems in hummingbirds.

The red coloring is not needed to attract hummingbirds. In nature, their nectar is colorless. What attracts them is the color and shape of the flowers. For home hummingbird feeding, success is a matter of having a correctly designed feeder, proper location and a regularly refreshed granulated sugar solution. It also helps to place the feeder near flowering plants that hummingbirds like, such as fuchsia, bee balm and salvia. This helps the birds find the feeder and may make them more likely to hang around longer.

Readers might be interested in learning a little about the hummingbirds. The ruby-throated hummingbird is the only hummingbird regularly seen in Maine. The male “hummer” has the iridescent red throat patch for which this species is named, while the female lacks it. This little jewel is Maine’s smallest bird. It takes about five average-sized hummingbirds to equal the weight of a single chickadee! Even so, they can flap their wings more than 60 times per second, their hearts beat 1,260 times per minute, and breathe 250 times per minute!

Ray and other readers with an interest in birds might enjoy checking out a local organization, the Stanton Bird Club. This nonprofit club is a Lewiston-Auburn-based conservation organization that offers monthly natural history programs and frequent field trips throughout the state, all for free. New members are always welcome and dues help to provide land stewardship at three beautiful sanctuaries, owned and managed by the club, in Lewiston and Monmouth. For more information call 782-5238, visit the Web site at www.stantonbirdclub.org, or e-mail questions to [email protected] – Alan, Lisbon.



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