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Monday, February 25, 2013

Pussy willow time

After surveying my usual pussy willow trees that have been reliably productive, I found that the summer drought has taken a toll on the trees. I was kind of in a panic mode and have been combing neighborhood for new sources. Last year I found a couple of very large and robust trees on my way back from Union city in the tiny town of Deerfield. I had previously noticed them on a trip to Deerfield to explore the site of a sawmill run by my great grandfather in the 1870's there. As Deerfield is perhaps 65-70 miles from my shop, I never thought that it would be feasible to even talk to the property owner there. The dearth of pussy willows had made me nervous enough that I made a jaunt there today, hoping I would find the property owner home and be able to work out a deal with them. Totally a long shot. On the way there I scanned the roadsides for pussywillows and only saw a few sickly ones. I made Milton's restaurant in Albany a stop for lunch on the way and was rewarded with a wonderful liver and onion lunch. When I finally arrived, I saw that one of the trees had already been trimmed and the trimmings were piled in the yard. I talked to the owner of the property and she allowed me to haul away the trimmings and agreed to let me return next week to trim the other one. That made my day. I ran through some back roads on the way back and cut a few redtwig dogwoods along some country roads and swung by Summit Lake. There were large numbers of ducks and geese there but they were way out in the middle about a half mile from shore and the glare off the ice kept me from identifying them. I did see several crazy fishermen out on the ice with their shelters and I saw a muskrat cruising the edge of the ice near the shore. The sun was strong all day and the pussywillows I stuffed into the van got a little warmup, hopefully they will emerge a little more. When I got back to the shop I got a call from a property owner whom I have been trying in vain to get a deal with for several years and he is now agreeable to letting me trim his trees, which are the best ones I have found. YEAHHH! Also, I finally saw a buzzard today!!!
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