Chapter 29

August 13th, 2010

Enough BS

I'd had enough bullshit for Saturday, so I left for The Cabin on Saturday afternoon at 5pm, to get away from it all. It was even hot in Adam's Junction, despite the valleys and tall trees. My 43-acre property looked browned-out; the meadow was dry and crispy, since it hadn't rained in weeks up here.

Jenny was happy to see me. I refilled her water, dry and wet food dishes, clean-out her litter box and turned on the AC. I closed the fireplace flu so as not to lose an cool air, and turned on the ceiling fans to recirculate the air. No more fires until mid-to-late Fall and into the Winter.

I wanted to get on Bill Knaub's "list" of projects for early Fall; he's the local arborist and tree-cutter, so I called him on my cellphone. He was booked-up until September 3rd, but would

start on my 20-30 new hardwood trees, as soon as he could get out here and meet with me, to see what the project was all about and what equipment he'd need. We made the appointment for next Saturday, after I got out of work at 4:30pm. I'd planned to go up to The Cabin for Sunday, and Bill was accommodating after another small job appointment.

The pantry and larder were in excellent shape. So was the 'fridge. I unpacked my duffel bag into the oak dresser drawers, put on shorts and a t-shirt, and took Jenny (on a leash) and my AR-10 outside to sit at the extra-long picnic table, to survey which trees needed to come down. I had some red flagging tape in the Jeep, but decided to use orange fluorescent paint instead. With Jenny firmly tied to the railing, I took the AR-10 and some extra mags, and the spray can of paint, and marked 11 dead/near-dead trees too close to The Cabin. They'd go first. Tomorrow, I'd wear long pants to protect again deer ticks and go back out and mark another 12-14 dead units. Sudden Oak Death is raging though Pennsylvania, as is the Emerald Ash Borer, wiping-out whole stands of both long-aged trees. Wild White Dogwoods are dying from Anthracnose. And American Paper Bark White Birches, the kind tribal American Indians used to build canoes from, are all but gone, from the borer.

Karl & Allen's ACE Hardware Store has a nice John Deere 675B SkidSteer, plumbed with a small backhoe attachment I could rent for $35/day plus fuel, and I could easily get several guys from Adam's Junction, who were looking for work, to help me install 20-30 15gal "Princeton American Elms" to replace the downed trees. There's even a garden center, called Midland's, whose owners Bob & Karen, I'd met and told them of my plans to replace the trees. They want to order 100 of the 15gal Elm through me, since I'm the east coast distributor, and have them delivered for the same kind of replacement work, and to re-line Main Street, since all their species American Elms (Ulmus Americana) were wiped-out in the 60s, 70s & early 80s. I can help them with arranging that shipment after I get back to York on Monday, with a simple phone call.

I got back to the large front deck and picnic table, and saw where Jenny had dragged it 2ft off its mark, because she wanted to be with me in the field. After what she'd been through with a 600lb black bear, I can't take the chance anymore to let her run free, and must keep her leashed at all times. She could be attacked and killed and eaten by a black bear, wolf, fox or pack of coyotes, all of which run wild in PA. I have to keep an eye on her, and a Beowulf .50cal, or AR-15 at the ready.

I put Jenny back in The Cabin, closed it down, turned-off the AC, armed it and left for York.

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