Friday, May 21, 2021

Life between the lakes, part 47



Special Covid Pneumonia edition.

My health reprieve ten days ago was short lived, so now I am into round three of steroids to try and knock this out of my system. I have not required hospitalization but neither has it been an enjoyable ride. I am worlds better than I was a week ago. Special thanks to Aunt Carla for trips to the pharmacy, doing my laundry and being “on the ready” in every way.

Finding inspiration to write has been hard because I have been so fatigued, but my groove came back today after looking out the window and realized there are spots that remain untouched by a human footprint within walking distance of where I sleep.

A few weeks ago Jack and Needa, Jack led us off-road and on an adventure up the North Country Trail. He took us to a trail that runs along the scenic bluffs of Lake Superior. It is here we found the white pine I now call Big Betty.

Big Betty is the last of the great white pines from the Deer Park logging era. She did not feel the saw, she lived many more years until she reached the inevitable breaking point. She is all that remains of the old growth.

The circumference of Big Betty at the base is 20 feet (240 inches) the chest high circumference is 18 feet (216 inches) so based on those numbers, I have determined this tree was approximately 330-400 years old, dating its origin to the mid-1600s or earlier. 

Let that sink in.

The forest remains abundant with the newer growth trees (100-150 years) but the reason I find this tree fascinating is that for some unknown reason it was spared and possibly served as a beacon or landmark since its proximity was so close to the Deer Park Life Saving Station.

As is often the case with the hounds, our walk turned into a fun and unexpected adventure and lesson in history.

"What I would do for wisdom!" I cried out as a young man.

Evidently not much. Or so it seems.

Even on walks I follow the dog. -Jim Harrison

No comments: