Fresh Facts: Willow Trees, Salmon Fishing in Alaska, and Fall Produce!

By September 26, 2013Newsletter

Volume 7, Week 4, September 20-21, 2013

Wow, a lot has happened in my life since I wrote this little newsletter last….Oh! You want to hear about it? Really? Okay, here goes.

Well, we have this HUGE massive, focal point, weeping willow tree at the end of our lawn. Did I mention the thing was big? Probably a hundred feet in diameter. Willows live about twenty years or so, and then the borers get ’em. A woodpecker family started a home there a few years ago and then this spring, it went the way of all the earth; it just didn’t leaf out. That put its removal on the list of stuff that needs doing when you get time, which came up a week ago Thursday. I can’t just cut it down, because it’s so big; it would destroy something whichever way it fell so I determine to take it down in fourths. I go way up and tie one end of a strap to the first forth and the other end to a tractor, that way it will fall away from me instead of back against me. I’ll tell you how I learned that another time.

Next, I have a big commercial loader that gets me up maybe thirteen feet where I set an eleven-foot ladder against the opposite side of the tree. This tree has a five foot trunk at the base. At twenty-seven feet, I’m just above the first fork. Oh, all this time my sweet wife, Carol (who writes all these great recipes each week), is lovingly explaining what a stupid idea this is, how there’s a lot of folks depending on me, there are professionals who do this kind of thing…Well, I undercut the limb a bit, start cutting until it pops a bit. Tell the guy on the tractor to put some good tension against it… He pulls the whole huge rotten tree over; snapped right off at the ground. Didn’t see that coming. What can I do but hang on and ride this sucker to the ground? YEEEEEEE HAAAAAWWW!!!

There was this brief period of time when Carol thought I was probably dead—I think I had the wind knocked out of me plus maybe a mild concussion—where my demise was a tragic loss. That lasted about ten seconds and then I went right back to just being an idiot again. I said “Alright guys, we got her down, let’s get it cut up and hauled off!” Really though, it’s been a couple weeks and I’m still kinda messed up.
My son Erik and I had already scheduled a fishing trip to Alaska for last Tuesday. Neither of us had ever been to the 49th state. There’s a local boy—friend of my little brother’s, who goes by Jimmie Jack—who runs a lodge/guide business up there now on the Kenai River. His guide Keenan knew the river (which was seven inches above flood stage by the way), and worked very hard to keep us neophytes on the salmon. While you guys were having your Sockeye delivered, we were up catching Coho or “Silvers.” Bald eagles are doing their thing, brown and black bears are scarfing up salmon with berries for dessert; most idyllic. They don’t grow any peaches up there for some reason so I guess we’ll keep farming here for now. Hey, maybe they need an AHO-AK; that would rock!

We had dinner with Uncle Norm and Aunt Jan about thirty miles downstream and then got a tour of their fishing business; wonderful family following a dream. Back home, we’re getting ready to run pomegranates with citrus not too far off. Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on; and what an exciting adventurous sweet life it is. EAT HEALTHY!!!

Author Jessica Lessard

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