Some MWM friends recently sent me a talk they gave to the Oregon Board of Forestry, and included in that text was this poem from Bob Mealey, who was an active woodland owner in Oregon. I have heard this poem several times over the years, but it is really nice to be able to sit here and read it.
This is a wonderful glimpse into the heart and mind of a woodland owner, and into our forestry legacy and commitment here in Oregon.
When You're So Old
by Robert H. Mealey 1910-2007
Mr. Ponderosa, Friend and Mentor
My friends quite often ask of me,
Why does an old man plant a tree?
It grows so slow it will not pay,
A profit for him anyway.
Then why in storm and winter cold,
Do you plant a tree when you're so old?
The answer seems hard to define,
When muscles ache and they are mine!
But I just cannot stand to see,
A place where there should be a tree.
So that in part as years unfold,
Is why I plant when I'm so old.
I know that animals, bugs and things,
Love trees and so do such as go on wings.
So creatures wild that benefit,
Is one more reason I can't quit,
From planting trees while I can hold,
My planting hoe though I'm so old.
They say that those retired from labor,
Should fish and play and talk to neighbor.
They say also that folks in leisure,
Should do the things that give them pleasure.
And so the thought on which I'm sold,
I'll plant a tree though I'm so old.
As times goes on my trees will grow,
So tall and clean and row on row.
The furry folk will have a home.
The birds can nest and kids can roam.
And all of this as I have told,
I planted trees though I'm so old.
And then there is my family,
Young folks who will follow me.
I'd like to leave them with some land,
Stocked with trees and looking grand.
These gifts I value more than gold,
So I'll plant a tree though I'm so old.
And taxes too for schools and roads,
With jobs and lumber for abodes.
I won't see these things, I won't be here,
But in my mind it’s very clear.
The words of some who could be polled,
Might thank a man who is so old.
Man should be proud of what's his own,
And how he's managed what he's grown.
But management must be begun,
By planting seedlings one by one.
And so my pride I shall uphold,
I'll plant some trees though I'm so old.
So when my friends ask of me,
Why does an old man plant a tree?
Perhaps the lines above explain,
How aching back and limbs in pain,
May by commitment be controlled,
To plant a tree though I'm so old.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Join us for a special WOWnet event December 15th on OSU's Corvallis campus.
The Works Project Act instituted by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1930’s employed many artists to provide beautiful and practical additions to public works. Aimee Spencer Gorham, nationally known for her skill in wood marquetry was employed by
the WPA in Oregon. Her decorative wood work can be found at Timberline Lodge, in the Portland Public Schools and at Oregon State University.
Art conservator Nina Olsson will talk about Aimee Gorham and her work from an historical perspective. A demonstration of wood marquetry by Michael McCallister using this technique which he currently employs will also be feature. (http://www.boxhaven.com) Also, we will view examples of Aimee’s work in the College of Forestry Building at OSU.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Our next session will be held December 2nd at the Clackamas Community College, from 9am - 12pm. Click on the image for more information.
Learn how to use Google Earth, Oregon Explorer, and Web Soil Survey to explore your property from your desktop. You will create and take home property maps with aerial photography, soil data, topography, fish and wildlife information, and more. These tools are useful if you need to write or update your management plan, or otherwise need to make decisions regarding your forest management.
Pre-registration is required as space is limited to 23, please RSVP to Chrissy at (541) 766-3556 or email Chrissy.Lucas@oregonstate.edu. Please include your name, address, and other contact information.