DEAR SUN SPOTS: What has happened to the spring peepers? We live near a large bog which has always been very active with peepers, but we aren’t hearing them anymore. Also, we don’t see many grass frogs either. — No name, Poland Spring

ANSWER: I haven’t been hearing the peepers at my house yet either and I’m assuming the nights are still too chilly so they are snuggled in tight and biding their time.

Since you’re not hearing “your” peepers either, I wonder if something has changed in their environment where you are. Does anything in their habitat look different to you? Has their water source dissipated or gone away entirely? Sometimes new development in the area will cause fluctuation in the peeper population and cause them to move on, or perhaps a predator(s) has discovered them and had a snack. This could be the case with your grass frogs as well.

Readers, if you usually are being peeped to sleep by these little guys this time of year and aren’t hearing them as much as you remember, and if you have any answers to share, please write in.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I watched a film on Channel 10 on April 10 called “Real Voice of Maine–the towns and lakes.” Could you get me information on how to purchase this film? — Barbara, Turner

Call Maine Public Broadcasting at 330-4781 and leave a message detailing your request. If this is available, they will help you.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Is anyone aware of or do they know a company that might sell peat for heating fuel in Maine similar to what they call turf in Ireland? On a visit there I really liked the way it was being used in fireplaces and for heating purposes. — John, no town

ANSWER: Peat is milled and then mechanically dried and pressed under high pressure in a factory to form the briquette shape. Turf, by contrast, is peat which has been extracted from bogs by machine and cut into a rectangular shape before being air-dried naturally during the summer. Turf and/or dried-peat have been a primary fuel source for the people of Ireland for thousands of years.

When I was there for a visit a few years ago, I loved the peat fire burning every evening in the drawing room of the inn where I stayed. The fragrance of the sweet smoke was earthy and mossy, reminding me of being deep in the forest. At the time, I thought it was a lovely, cozy way to heat a home, or just for adding a nice ambiance. Unfortunately though, breathing in peat particles is quite unhealthy.

I don’t know of any place that sells turf or peat in Maine, but you can order it online if no Sun Spots readers come forth with an answer. Getting your turf in this manner is pricey, but if you want to treat yourself, you may want to add a few cubes of it to your fireplace logs to enjoy the aroma of Ireland or Scotland.

Amazon.com, biddymurphy.com, wayfair.com, foodireland.com, and etsy.com are all places to order it from the price of $30 to $60 for up to 12 “logs” of turf.

 

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name. We won’t use it if you ask us not to. Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].


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