04 October 2011

Monday forest photo: October 3, 2011

11:00am 10C overcast
Things are changing quickly in the woods. We've had a bit of rain the last couple of days, but that's forecast to end, followed by more sun. Last year at this time we were doing foundation repairs and it seemed the rain would never end. We still have ruts in the lawn from the heavy equipment sinking in the sodden soil. This year, we're having some drainage pipes installed to prevent the kind of yard flooding we experienced last spring and fall and the excavated soil is bone dry. We haven't been on this property long enough to know what normal is, but I suspect it's something between these extremes of wet and dry we've seen so far.

Last week, at the Tar Sands Action training session, we heard from native people who are directly affected by tar sands development in their traditional territories in the boreal forest of northern Alberta. It was incredibly moving to hear how the land, water, air, fish, and wildlife are all being poisoned by the bitumen extraction processes and how they are unable to carry on the traditional activities that had sustained them for thousands of years. I can't even imagine the connection these folks must feel to the land and the despair they must feel at the destruction of everything that underpins them. My own tenure here has been so short, and my connection to this land is merely recreational rather than essential for my survival, but I have a fresh appreciation for this tiny patch of forest and the life it supports.

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