November 19, 2017
Winter is a great time to explore the property as there are many areas that are hard to get to at other times of the year. You can make your way through the bush without all the underbrush and insects bothering you. And you can cross frozen water. We actually chose the house location by tramping the area in the winter.
Today was a beautiful day. Sunny, no wind and only -10C. Since I was not in a hurry to get back inside, Hanna and I went exploring, snowshoeing across the frozen beaver pond at the south end of the lake. While snowshoeing along, I happened to spy this on the frozen pond – a maple tree seed.
I was curious, how did this seed get here. Maples are not native to this area and the only maple trees I know of where planted by my parents in their yard about 2 miles away.
Investigating, I found more seeds and along the shore of the pond I found maple trees, four to six of them. What an exciting find for me. In the spring of 2016, I tapped some birch trees on the property and made birch syrup, but it is not as tasty as maple.
The trees are not in very good condition, but I am sure with a little love and pruning they will shape up well. They have some pretty interesting shapes and configurations. The trunk of the one below is almost parallel with the ground. I think the grandkids will love climbing on these trees. We a path down to the south end of the lake, but it stops before these trees. We will have to make it a priority to extend the path past them and clean them up before the spring so I can tap them.
How they got here is an interesting question. I believe my Mom planted them. The seeds from the maples on the home property often sprout, forming little trees in Mom’s flower beds, and have to be pulled out. I am thinking that my Mom took some of those seedlings, planted them here and forgot about them. This spot is where we always came for picnics and camping when we were kids. The beaver pond used to be a meadow and we would drive across the neighbors field to this meadow and camp. (All five of us kids and my Mom sleeping in the back of the station wagon. The lake is just down the hill from here and we would skip stones.) She loved the Ponderosa property and even talked about building a retirement home here. Maybe she was planning for that. By the time the trees would have gotten big, us kids would have been grown up and there were no more picnics here.
I do wish I could ask my Mom about the trees. On December 19, it will be two years since she passed away. Although I can’t verify the origin of the trees, I believe Mom planted them and will enjoy this wonderful surprise gift from her.