TREES FOR THE FUTURE

The fire a few weeks back was primarily to clear the hay meadow of the dead grass left from the year before. That meadow didn’t get cut and bailed due to wet weather throughout the haying season, and the debris on the field would make mowing this year’s hay crop difficult. I also wanted to plant a couple small groves of white spruce and balsam fir for future wildlife cover in our cold months. Clearing this debris made the tree planting easier as well.

I had recently ordered the oak lumber for the coming seasons sled making. We buy the red oak used to produce wooden toboggans and sleds early in the spring so it can air dry over summer to be ready for steaming, bending and assembling wooden sleighs in the fall.

My oldest son and his family came out the first couple of evenings to get me off to a good start planting the 2000 seedlings by hand. My grandkids also help with the firewood at our camp in the forest and also here at home. So it was well taken when my 5 year old grandson remarked that it was “nice to be planting trees instead of cutting them down for a change!” …remarkable insight I thought…
I’ve had this planting in mind for quite a few years but never seemed to get around to it. Ironically the old adage comes to mind, “the best time to plant trees is 10 years ago. The second best time is right now!”

I had a surprise visit this afternoon from two old friends that I grew up with. Hadn’t seen them for quite a few years and man I didn’t recognize them at first… they're looking good. We had a lively conversation and many good laughs in a short amount of time. They were hoping I’d join them at their cabin tonight and do some catching up. Unfortunately, Pat and I are leaving in the morning for a wedding…and I know I wouldn’t be driving home tonight after that one!

Anyway, we were talking about the fact that all three of us were just starting our social security or would be very soon, and Lucky says: “you know I never thought I’d make it to 60”. Cliffy says: “I used to think that if I made it to 60 that would be pretty good”…and then I said: “come to think of it I never thought I’d make 60 either…in fact I was nervous that whole year until I turned 61”
…makes you wonder what kind of a run we had back in the late 60’s and 70’s, eh!?!

Well now that the trees are planted and doing well with all the cool wet weather we’ve been having the last month, I’m thinking a lot about the possibility of walking in those tree’s 20 years from now… man, wouldn’t that be nice! At least I’ll enjoy the progress of their growth and the benefits for wildlife they will provide. My children and grandchildren will be out there in 20 years and it makes me happy to think about that.

Smoke rolling off of the burning field

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