This is what a burn site looks like – typical of the kind of terrain a tree planter works in.
The planter is a guy called Don who was a film student in Ryerson, he carries ‘container stock’ and is using a pottie (potty) to put his trees in the ground.
The idea is that you take your seedling out of your planting bag – roots neatly encased in a little cardboard roll – and drop it down the red tube that Don is holding. At the bottom of the tube is a spike that is driven into the ground. The measure of a well planted tree is whether the duff (organic matter) has been kicked out of the way first. Stomping on a lever at the bottom of the pottie, the spike opens up and the seedling is dropped into the hole that the spike has made.
Don looks pretty clean so either he was bathing in the swamp near the camp or I took the picture within about five minutes of beginning work. I remember by the end of that two week contract we were totally black and nobody bathed, firstly it attracted bugs and secondly the leaches in the swamp were these huge ribbony things that would flitter through the water toward whoever was in it.
One of my jobs was flagging the land and I would be out there marking off the planting areas for the next day long after the planters had all gone back to camp. I remember one evening I was way off in some burn site and the sun had already set, it was real spooky and I was convinced that there was some creature following me – maybe it was a bear or coyote or something, but at the time I was thinking it was a Sasquatch.
I believe this burn site was somewhere near Bancroft.
It seems that there is a lot of controversy and speculation about the worth of a summer tree planting experience, I believe it did me good. I refer you to the above two pictures as evidence.
A friend of mine sent me a video on the worth of a tree planting experience.I believe there is one especially truthful part. In suggesting the worth of a tree planting experience the counter-point argument goes something like this; “In seeing your crew, you will initially wonder who let the freaks out of the circus, but after spending months in the bush with the same filthy degenerates while being shunned by the rest of society your brain will trick you into thinking that everyone looks like Brad Pitt in “Legends of the Fall”.
In many respects it is quite accurate, but I do argue the point about the ability to make money. The video suggests that in your first year you end up owing the company money, that is possible, but if you have a decent straight-up company I can’t see that happening. Reputation is important – ensure you get references from many other planters who have worked for the same company that you intend to plant for.
YOU CAN MAKE MONEY IF YOU WORK HARD, BUT AS IN LIFE YOU DON’T GET MONEY FOR FREE, YOU GOTTA WORK FOR IT!
Well, Rockwatching has been up and running for a number of years now (5 to be exact) and I believe it has contributed significantly to the interest of people like myself who like caving, rocks, the outdoors, gems and minerals in Ontario.
We are just a few short days from 2011 and I believe it’s high time we made some resolutions -all of us (you my loyal fellow bloggers as well).
So in the interests of all involved a few ground rules to follow on Rockwatching from now on
1) Lets not carry a personal vendetta onto this site which is meant to be a forum where like minded enthusiasts can interact in a positive way.
2) Lets respect each other and try not to get personal when we are frustrated.
3) Lets respect the basics of conservation and eco-minded thought.
4) Lets not assume stuff we don’t know for sure (hence the survey at the bottom of the post).
5) Lets keep in mind that this is all about enjoyment.
6) Lets keep in mind that just because the topic is on the table, every single aspect that pertains to it is not an open book.
7) Lets respect people who are not on the site, private property, reputations etc. Just because there is discussion of a site or feature does not mean permission has been granted to go there.
8) Lets not get petty, self righteous or important. Stop correcting my grammar, spelling or use of terms. I am a writer at heart and so I believe I can use the language as I please (providing it’s in good taste, or if I choose, not in good taste).
9) Lets not waste my time by having to re-direct you to one of the above rules.
I was just looking through some of my old pictures and I thought it might be good to lighten up this tree planting battle that is taking place on one of my earlier posts (July 14th 2006 – they’re still going at it) – 30 comments so far and every one is very angry at each other.
Anyway this is a sad, but not altogether unknown occurrence while tree planting. I am at the center in the white hat and red shirt and this is my crew around me. Needless to say I ditched the van while on the way back from work one evening.
We were pulled out by our muskkegger.
As for who else was there, I only remember Bruce O’field, an engineer from Queens (looks like an Arab Sheik to the left of the picture). I guess it is the tradition amongst Queen’s engineers to dye themselves purple so that is what he managed to talk us into one night after way too many beers.
I stayed at his house for a short time after the season ended and it appeared that he came from such a civilized family. I can’t imagine what went wrong that summer.
Come on Tyler, I know you profess your innocence in that comment of yours but you must be honest – were you not just a little tiny bit bad? I will admit, it must have been something that I was doing that put us in the ditch – what about you, venting? sleeptyping? Just talking trash about your employer because you weren’t a high baller?
Following the release some time ago of my book "Rockwatching; Adventures above and below Ontario", I am pleased to announce the release of my new book "Tamarindo; Crooked Times in Costa Rica". It is a story of opportunity. Edgehill Press is the publisher. (www.edgehillpress.com)