The Butternut Lady

January 22, 2007

Rose Fleguel of the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority showed up today to look at butternut trees. It seems she tours the country tracking down rumours of blight-resistant trees as potential breeding stock. We toured the woodlot, checking out the new seedlings and a couple of dozen trees, some healthy and some with the canker. She was quite taken with the stand of wild walnuts and claimed she had never seen anything like it. Music to a windshield rancher=s ears. Windshield ranchers? Those are the yuppie idlers who can=t get off their golf carts to do any serious work, whose chief activity and pleasure of mind is to point something out to a visitor and say, ALook at that!@ Today I was the victim. The logging guys were all excited about the bald eagle that had hovered around the woodlot all morning. While they were telling me this the massive bird gathered his feathers for another pass over our heads. That left me with some score-settling to do, so poor Rose got quite the tour. She was a good sport about it and walked the legs off me in the ankle-deep snow. Then when she got me back to my truck she had the gall to flit off into the woods for another hour or two with her GPS to plot the locations of the butternuts for inclusion on the Canadian registry. Ah, youth. They just don=t know when to tire out. I last saw her heading off to Charleston Lake for another session in another woodlot. So many butternuts, so little time.

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