I wondered what these weird nests were in my trees and then the local paper, (Bangor Daily News), gave me the answer.
Hairy caterpillars are appearing along Maine roads and in forests in significant numbers this year. They are known as fall webworms who construct unsightly silken nests in the branches of trees. Although unsightly, the insects aren't considered a threat to the health of the tree. It's turning out to be a busy year for fall webworms.
In other tree news: this is a picture of what I refer to as "The Jerry Tree." My parents planted a birch tree the year Jerry was born on the shores of Silver Lake. My Jerry birch tree is about the same size as the one at Silver Lake when she was about 30ish. I bet the Jerry birch tree at Silver Lake is alot bigger now. N0 offense Jerry.