Thursday, May 13, 2010

The locals are out

Yes, the locals are out!

A forest area located off a nearby main road within 1/2 mile of our home has recently been decorated with new entry signage.

The locals like to hunt in these parts - apparently.

The snowmobile and cross country ski trail signs have all but vanished and now the hunting signs have replaced them.

This area has been a hub of activity the past few weeks with labor forces and equipment clearing the immense amounts of damaged trees from last winter's freak ice storm, which over time manages to pose a fire hazard in summer months when laying about like dried tinder kindling.

Last year, after assessing the situation, Canada's Forestry Department visited and declared our area the worst hit in all of North America from last November's icy destruction, especially all of the pine trees after sustaining such huge damages from subsequent freezing winds snapping them apart like matchsticks.

Our own property saw several trees fall to the ground with a resounding "thud" during a wind storm shortly after we moved in last December.

My mother had to brace herself when she witnessed a few fall while looking out the back windows at Christmastime. Even the locals had never seen anything like the damage last year in past years.

Fast forward to this year...

Since forestry is one of Canada's number one exports, it stands to reason that these snowmobile and hunting trails located nearby the clearing locations have now become a holding place of sorts while all await transport to lumber mills.

So many trees are piled up, row by row, all awaiting removal, and yet they are now having to share the same space where men show up in the early morning hours, having no choice but to park their vehicles next to the piles.

All are wearing either army and hunting fatigue, preparing for their day's trek on foot in the hope of shooting a few wild turkeys or possibly deer for their family freezer. Maybe a bear, a cougar or some other wild game will make an appearance as they sneak about hoping to spot their prey.

We've seen men like this in action this week, seeing them wander down deep into the trails.

These are the local hunters and likely they did this last year too only we never noticed them or the signs hung up there.

It seems natural and yet bizarre to me at the same time as this location I've poked my vehicle in to to snap these photos is also located off of a well traveled main roadway.

So close. And yet, how far away do these trails go?



Just a few "new to us" areas of interest and concern and within our local geographical location.