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Trevor Green

"LOOKING BACK"

Trevor GreenFirst Settlers: So far as I can recall from a lifetime spent in the area, I would suggest that the first settler would have been Wm. A.Robertson -- Grandfather of the present Robertson brothers,  Bill and Ted, who are my contemporaries.  Wm. Robertson is reported to have first viewed Cowichan Lake from the summit of Mount Waterloo, north-west of the Koksilah River system in the early l870's.  (It is a tradition that every fifty years, members of the family assemble at Mt. Waterloo, in tribute to their adventurous ancestor.)  The Robertson property extended from the estuary of the river at Bear Lake, towards the south up the river valley, and originally encompassed a vast acreage.


 In l887-'88, Henry March appeared on the scene, having hiked up the winding 'bush road' from Duncan, and arrived at my Father's log cabin late in the evening of a wet November day.  There, he was made welcome, and thus began a life-long friendship between the two early Pioneers.  The next day, Mr. March obtained the use of a boat, probably from the 'Riverside Inn', and explored a part of the lakeshore, eventually deciding to take up land, and settle to the west of Sutton Creek.  The saga of the March family is a fascinating one, in which, over many decades, much of the area of wilderness and great stumps was transformed through patient and endless toil into a prosperous and well-managed farm.  The Marches were truly Pioneers, and were known for the hospitality, and their generous 'sharing' with others, who arrived later, to what must have seemed a formidable and a desolate wilderness.


Around l887 to l895, there was an influx of adventurous spirits to Vancouver Island and to the Cowichan Valley, and several were the properties pre-empted along the lakeshore.  A rough wagon road from the village, on the north terminated where Dr. & Mrs. Stoker owned a large log house beyond Marble Bay, where, for many years, they spent the summer months before returning to their permanent home on Quamichan Lake for the winters.  (This fine property was deeded to the University of Victoria by the late Mrs. Jeanne Suzanne Simpson.)


East of Marble Bay, "Abernethy Farm" was settled by one James Abernethy; -- a two-story log house was built, as well as a barn and outbuildings, and a small greenhouse.  In addition there was a fine and productive orchard, and the cleared acreage was soon transformed into hayfields.  After the death of Abernethy, and of a subsequent owner, (W.E. Oliver, a Victoria lawyer) the property was bought by Col. & Mrs. J.H. Boyd in l929, and at this time, is still jointly by their three daughters.


At the turn of the century, the North Shore Road ended at the North Arm, where Robert Aubrey Meade, a legendary 'Remittance Man' had established his fine property.  Over the years, he had built a small house, a fine barn or stable for his cattle, and had planted a large orchard, and several ornamental trees and shrubs.  His was indeed a lonely life, and occasionally, he would, as 'they' say, go on a 'bender', and spend several successive weeks in Duncan, at the Tzouhalem or Quamichan hotels, within range of the Bar, and its way of escape from a life of solitude.  Then he would return to his lonely outpost, where perhaps two or three months might elapse without human contact.


In a small cabin, on the east shore of Bear Lake, another pioneer, one Henry Glaisyer, had put down roots, so to say, though his tenure there was brief, and his death a tragic one.  He had been invited to spend Christmas Day at the March Farm, and since there was no connecting trail through the forest in those times, the only contact was by water.  The records state that the winter weather was unusually severe, with extreme cold and fierce winds, but Glaisyer was expected on Christmas Day, and there was no way of notifying the Marches that he had changed his plans.  Therefore, he started out in his canoe, or row-boat, which overturned before he had left Bear Lake; somehow, he managed to reach the shore, but the struggle through snow and dense brush back to his unheated cabin was an exhausting ordeal.  When, two days later, Henry March paddled down the lake to investigate, he discovered Glaisyer's body huddled in the cabin, a victim of what today is termed 'hypothermia'.


Adjacent to the Wm. Robertson property was yet another 'out-post', owned by an Irishman, Charles Bailey, by name.  In due course, a two-story log house was erected near the lake, in addition to a large log barn, which at time of writing, is still standing, though in a ruinous condition.  Here again, an orchard was planted, and a few trees may still be seen.  Bailey raised beef cattle commercially, and several successful 'cattle drives' were organized over the years to transport his stock to auction at Duncan.  Before he returned to his native Ireland, the property was sold to a real-estate firm, and eventually was subdivided.


The eastern portion of the estate was bought, in l9l3, by the Lawrence Ashburnhams, of East Sussex, England, in partnership with a Mrs. Marjorie Farrer, and her two children; they had planned to develop a hunting and fishing lodge on the lakeshore, and other  shareholders in England had invested funds in this endeavour.  A fine large house was built near the lake, and a successful future seemed to beckon, but with the advent of World War One (l9l4-l9l8) adverse conditions resulted; several of the neighbours on the lakeshore enlisted in the forces, funds from the Homeland were curtailed and finally, the plans for 'a country lodge in a sportsman’s Paradise' were abandoned.  Eventually, the large house was destroyed by fire, the Ashburnhams and Mrs. Farrer and her son and daughter moved away, and now, the name of 'Ashburnham's Beach' is the sole remaining link with the family.


To the west of the former Bailey estate lived a bachelor of Scottish descent, named Gordon Archibald.  Again, the usual lifestyle of the early settler was evident -- the patient clearing of an acre or so of forest, the building of a small house, the raising of chickens, the planting of an orchard and garden.  Many years ago, the Archibald property was purchased by Western Forest Industries, of Honeymoon Bay, and the attractive cottage was used as a 'Guest-house'.


Still further west were two more clearings on the lakeshore; one owned by a man named Donaldson, the other by Charles Baylor.  They arrived here in the late l800's, but remained for only a few years.  Some years ago, one could find traces of a fence-line and fruit trees at the Donaldson property, but now, recent logging has destroyed all evidences.


There was one more house and property to the west of Bear Lake, and this was owned by one J.R. Green, a prosperous and successful Victoria lawyer.  His wife was widely-known in Canadian musical circles as a brilliant concert pianist, 'Gertrude Huntly Green'.   The Greens at first lived in a stone house close to the lake, but later, a frame house was constructed nearer to the winding road leading to the March farm.  J.R. Green could not be classed as a 'pioneer', for he arrived on the scene sometime between l9l2 and l9l5, and the property was occupied only during the summer time.  Years later, it became a part of the Western Forest Products.     To the east of the Cowichan Lake Research Station, along the lake trail, a faint path, scarcely visible to the visitor, angles up the steep bank to the right.  Here, prior to l920, stood a small cabin in which lived 'Doc.' Terrian, a prospector and trapper.  'Doc's' property was clearly visible, at that time, from across the lake at the Stoker's, since the entire ridge had been logged and burned over some years previously.  He planted a few fruit trees, and successfully grew strawberries, which he sold to his few neighbours.  His mining ventures may not have been spectacular, but at one time he and Henry March prospected for copper deposits in the Robertson Valley.  Some years after his death, the cabin burned down when the wife of a tenant, while preparing jam from the ancestral strawberries, permitted the woodstove to overheat, igniting the tinder-dry roof.  Decades later, in the encroaching forest, I came upon traces of a straggling wire fence, bits of shattered glass, and rusted metal, and one gnarled pear tree.


It seems natural enough, in the far distant past, that the fate of many of the old pioneer dwellings should be destruction by fire.  Such was the fate of the Lengneck residence, east of the Firetrail, on the lakeshore.  Captain Lengneck and his wife arrived from Germany in the early l900's, built a fine house, and established an impressive garden, suffering many privations and indignities during World War I.  Funds in Germany were 'frozen', and it was beneath the dignity of the Captain (or 'Count', as he was sometimes called) to look for work.  Thus the burden of 'carrying on' fell to Mrs. Lengneck, who contrived to 'take in sewing' -- and to live as frugally as possible.  The total loss of all possessions in the fire was a cruel blow, but generous contributions from the neighbours and the several logging companies permitted them to build a small cabin in which to live out their few remaining years.


Another legendary pioneer family -- the Wardropers -- arrived at the lake in the l890's, to settle at 'Wardroper Bay', some distance west of Youbou.  Why Captain Wardroper, his wife, and his sister, Edith, elected to choose such isolation, when they might have settled at Duncan, is hard to understand.  I have yet to visit the site where they settled, but intend to do so before too much time elapses.  When Edith became the wife of Henry March, her brother and sister-in-law returned to England, or so I understand.  No one living at the Lake at present is familiar with the name of Wardroper, so that any attempt at research seems hopeless.

This effort, then, sums up my submission of the Early Settlers at Cowichan Lake, in the vicinity of the CLRS.  A few more names of village residents come to mind -- Stelly and Geiger (of the Riverside Hotel), the Ken Gillespies, Edmund Grant and Captain Dick, Mrs. Keast, Col. Haggard, the Robert Beeches, the Scholeys and Lomases.


Indian History
CLRS, Mesachie Unit, was used as a summer meeting place for the Cowichan and Nootka peoples.  Also, to a lesser extent, the Pacheenat people, who came up the Gordon River, and the Nitinat people visited.  Primarily Cowichan band territory. This area was very important as a meeting place, and for fishing.  They also hunted water fowl using nets held up by long poles (ducks and geese).  The north side of the lake (N. Arm) was used for hunting deer, elk, bear and smaller animals.  Fishing was for trout and steelhead.  Used area from May to September. Use of this area resulted in many intermarriages between the peoples.  This use was for many years up to the l860's or slightly later, when Robert Brown's expedition came through.

North Arm Forest
I regret to say that there is very little that I can offer concerning the 'background' of the North Arm Forest, other than to say that after the 'original' logging of the virgin forest, plans for a 'subdivision', or 'village' resulted in the surveying of prospective streets and roadways from the present North Shore Road down to the lakeshore in the vicinity of Spring Beach.  These survey lines were clearly visible in my young days, but gradually faded away into the invasive growth of the 'Second Forest'.  And then, by l9l2-l3, the fallacy of a village being centered there was obvious, for at 'the Foot' of the lake, there were the two flourishing hotels -- the 'Riverside' and the 'Lakeside', and the new railway station, as well as 'Scholey's General Store'. Robert Aubrey Meade's property was well-developed soon after l900, and I expect that traces of the old orchard may be seen, to the north of the 'Spring Beach' picnic site.


In the mid-'30's, the northern portion of the North Arm waterfront had been bought by a Mr. & Mrs. Carl Swanson, --respected Scandinavian pioneers -- they developed what was known as 'Sunset Park', erecting several comfortable cabins, for seasonal visitors, and for permanent occupants.  Mr. Swanson piped water down from Meade's Mountain, for domestic use, and also, with great ingenuity, installed a small 'Pelton Wheel' to generate electricity for his buildings; this venture worked fairly efficiently, I believe, except at certain seasons of the year -- high water in spring freshets, and drought in the hot summer months, which made it difficult to maintain a constant pressure for the generator.     I can recall very clearly that during my many hikes to the summit of Bald Mountain, years ago, that on the left side of the trail that leads -- as a roadway now -- from the gate at the UVIC property to the Scout Camp, one could see a series of neat beds, located on an up-hill slope to the south, in which had been planted small Douglas-firs, in orderly rows.  These beds had high wooden sides made from lxl2 planks, and fine wire-netting protected the small trees from browsing of deer.  I never did know who had planted them there, but it was long before l929, when the 'Forestry Station' was operating across the lake.
   

The first residents at the North Arm, after the death of Meade, were the Emil Starkes; they were German, and came to the Island from Chicago or Detroit, and were indeed model residents, winning many friends by their hospitality as well as by their exemplary  standards.  (Here, I must include a delightful memoir of a remark of Mr. Starke, when, on a dreary wet and dark winter's day, I had called in to deliver his groceries from the store at 'The Foot', where I worked for many years.  Everything seemed to have gone wrong for both of us on this occasion; Mrs. Starke was in bed with a cold, Mr. Starke had 'flu, I was soaking wet, after having had twice to change a wheel on the truck, and further rains or even snow were predicted.  In summing up all these miseries, Mr. Starke heaved a great sigh, and observed, 'Ach, my poor Mister Green, Life is a stetty strudgel' -- and how right he was!!
   

My personal knowledge of the native american population during my 'early days', is, I fear, painfully limited, and is based on vague legends or reminiscences from my Father and my Aunt, (Miss A.E. Green) who was hostess at the first Riverside Inn around l885 or '86.  At that time, the Indians did not live permanently at the Lake, but came during the spring and summer to cut Cedars for their canoes, and in the Fall to net or spear salmon in the vicinity of Skutz Falls.  There was, however, a reservation located on the North Shore slightly west of the present pumping station -- (above the BCFP Weir) and there, several families camped from time to time.  According to my Aunt, there was a sort of Native graveyard or cemetery high up on the hill, north of the lakeshore, and here, she remembered a small child -- a poor crippled dwarfish boy -- having been interred; despite his physical limitations, he was greatly beloved by the clan, and there was general mourning at the time of his death.  (This cemetery is in use at present, and is reached from the 'Indian Hill Road' -- I believe that the present graves represent the members of the Livingstone family, who appeared on the local scene, coming from Washington, in the mid‑30's, and took up residence on the reservation, which continues west along the shore as far as the Mainland property.)
   

Another Native family that I do recall were the 'Pappenbergers' -- (not a very Native surname!) they lived for some years on the south shore of the lake, near the present log-dump, along the railway grade to the west of the local Museum.  They had 'family' living on Saltspring Island, whom they visited occasionally.  Mr.Pappenberger worked in some capacity in the woods, (in the logging game) and Mrs. Pappenberger was highly skilled in knitting Indian sweaters and socks.  The second and third generations, named 'Monti', still reside in and about the village.
   

When referring to the Natives, Henry March and his son, Charles, always regarded them as 'sneaky' -- they may have believed in 'Indian Giving' -- that is, offering gifts, but expecting that these gifts were to be returned before long, but they were not above latching on to what they could find, and these items they refused to return.  Thus, when it was necessary for the March's to make their weekly trip by canoe from their farm to the village, they saw to it that there was always someone left on the premises to keep watch, in case a stealthy approach might be made by water from McKenzie Point, where a summer encampment was located.  It was there, I was told, that a 'cache' of Indian pottery -- bowls and rough plates -- was found when the area was logged, but unfortunately, nearly all of the items were damaged or destroyed by the Cat, or the logs being dragged across the site.  I believe that Ed. Roberts may have found arrowheads there -- certainly, one was found close to the 'residence', and some months ago, I was shown one that appeared  on the beach across the lake, at the UVIC property.  Many years ago, a sort of 'Tomahawk' or stone Hammer was discovered on the South Shore Road, in the village, during excavations.
   

During the early days at the Lake, my Father knew some of the local Natives, and he and they shared a mutual respect and regard.  One of them, Billy Thorne by name, was of some importance regarding the group at Duncan, and was a noted river guide, making the annual trips downstream from the lake, with tourists, on countless occasions.  (Somehow, I always had the distinct feeling that Billy Thorne felt sorry for my Father, because he thought that the two Green sons had 'turned out so poorly', but perhaps I misjudge him.)     I remember when, years ago, at the Skultz, seeing several small cabins, roofed with long strips of cedar bark, close to the river below the falls -- these had been used over the years by the Natives when they came for the fall salmon runs, but have long since disappeared needless to add.  In the account of the Brown expedition upstream in l864, he mentions a number of other shacks across the river, as well as further down stream towards Sahtlam, but they had vanished long before my youthful days.  Once long ago, a poor old Indian woman came to our door, accompanied by a small child -- a grand daughter, no doubt, they had beautifully woven baskets for sale, and both looked exhausted in the blistering heat of an August afternoon; regrettably, at that time, we were far too 'impoverished' to be able to make a purchase from among the fine selection.     Fred Olson, who owns the former Lengneck property east of the Firetrail, told me that his brother, years ago, illegally 'removed' a small island in the river directly opposite the Firehall Plaza in the village; -- his wife was the daughter of the local 'Cop', so that may have been why there was no legal 'action' over the  incident.  Anyway, far down in the depths of the island appeared an amazing network of narrow poles or pegs, denoting a sort of salmon trap, he thought.  In many of the creeks, years ago, where they entered the river, there were native 'fishtraps' of a sort -- rows and rows of stakes driven into the led of the creek, so that once the salmon, entering the creek estuary had passed through the passages, they could not escape -- there was one of these in the creek that flows through my property, but now no trace remains.      Mention has been made in the Brown account, I believe, of deep pits or holes dug by the natives in or near an animal trail, and carefully concealed by a sort of network of limbs or saplings, and then covered with moss or twigs, and in these, an unwary deer or small bear might fall, but my Father sometimes mentioned them.     I sincerely wish that I could add more of value to these early memoirs -- I was born at least 20 years too late -- but perhaps in the research that I hope to be able to do before the end of the summer, in the 'Leader' files at the Duncan Museum, I may come upon interesting items that might shed a light upon the days when the Indians came annually to the Lake, as well as research concerning the lives and times of the first settlers.
   

Trevor GreenMy first contact with the 'Station', apart from occasional visits as an 'interested Native', after the road had been cut through to Mesachie Village, would have been in the fall of l963.  I had left the employ of Gordon's Stores somewhat hastily, for what I felt -- and still feel!! -- to have been the best of reasons, and therefore was looking for a job -- any sort of job -- for what with a family of three to provide for, and 'nothing coming in' but Unemployment Insurance, the situation might well have become a bit dicey.  Also, at the age of 52, one was less in demand than he might have been twenty years previously.

I had put in an application at the Duncan Nursery, but was told by the Superintendent that chances were pretty slim, and that I might do better at the CLRS at the Lake.  I knew the 'Manager', (Ed. Roberts) fairly well, and called in for a chat, and he was as always, most kind and friendly.  A few weeks later, he phoned me to say that there would be 'part time work' for a few days or weeks, and that this might 'lead to something better', which was good news indeed.  So I turned up one warm day in late October, and spent my first day at a rather mundane task of pulling nails out of boards, for the 'extension' to the original office had just been completed.  (In other words, the office where Ian and Henning have their desks, the 'Lab.' where the seeds are extracted, had been recently added to the rest of the building, -- where the stairs are now --, and there was a lot of tidying and straightening up to be done.)  I did not feel that it was in the least 'lowering' nor 'demeaning' to be poking out near the big Pine tree, --then a smallish Pine tree -- hauling nails out of bits of 2x4 or shiplap; it was wonderful to be out in the fresh autumn air rather than toiling away indoors at Gordon's Stores, week after week, month after month, year after year, and the friendship established with the Bruinsma brothers, -- Tom and Ado -- and with the cook, 'Lee', down at camp, proved to be an added dividend as time passed on.     Ed Roberts, my Boss, was indeed a most dedicated member of the Forest Service, and seldom, if ever, were his standards lowered.  Everything that could be salvaged was salvaged, everything that could be used again, or in some other way, was used; thus, for the first few days, not only were the nails removed from the lumber, but any nail that could be hammered into some form of straightness was accordingly dealt with.  (But I did not allow myself to wonder if this procedure was idiotic, but was glad to be working at anything that might lead to some sort of permanence.)

I do recall one awful day, in November, perhaps, when I began to wonder if perhaps I might have made a terrible mistake in throwing in my lot with the Forest Service, and that was on a day of cold rain and a high wind, when my footwear leaked, and my rain-gear offered little protection.  I recall that Ed, Svend Anderson, Tom Bruinsma and I walked out to the Seed Trees -- a group of first-growth Douglas-firs in the vicinity of Map l4, I would say -- where one of them had blown over in the wind, and had smashed up a fence of sorts nearby.  My feet were soaked, my hands were cold, it was barely November, and I was, if anything, older than Ed Roberts, so I had reason to doubt if I could weather such storms.  But in the end, my confidence was restored, and from that time on, until my retirement in l977, there was no reason to look back in doubt, and I still continue to regard my term with the Forest Service as a most happy and rewarding period in my long life.

The 'part time job' slowly petered out as winter approached, but at least, by now, my name was 'on the list' so to say, and it was with much pleasure and enthusiasm that I learned from Ed. Roberts that, if I so wished, I could return to work on February l0, l964, with every prospect of permanent employment.  At that time, the  'Soil Shed' was under construction, (the present 'workshop' to the west of the present Office) and extra pairs of hands were more than welcome.  The 'Super' was one, Bill Campbell, who lived down at camp in what was termed the 'Surveyor's Cabin', between the Cookhouse and Bunkhouse.

Work at the new Soil Shed continued until February 25th, when One Rolf Helenius appeared on the scene to construct a new Plastic Greenhouse, to ultimately be used to raise young stock that was to be grown in a series of long beds where the Lath House now stands, and down past the Research Greenhouse, to the fence on the left as one approaches the entrance gate.  The new Plastic Greenhouse was slowly assembled down opposite the Cookhouse, and there, towards the end of February, there was not one gleam of sunshine from the south, and now and again, Rolf and I found it extremely cold, so much so that the Cookhouse proved a haven from the elements, and Lee's fund of 'Stories', and his largesse with coffee and cookies a lifesaver.    When at last, the plastic Greenhouse was transported by four of the staff, one lifting each corner, and carrying it up to the relative position of Greenhouse One, it really did not prove to be the marvel that we had hoped for.  Being of light construction, it  must needs be tightly lashed down to the ground, and even then, a strong west wind caused it to tremble and almost 'lift' now and again.  Also, in the heat of summer, it could not be sufficiently cooled down, even with the wide doors opened at each end, so that I believe I am right in saying that it really did not justify its existence.  I think it did have a new plastic 'skin' during its second year of usage, but I believe that by the third year, it had been dismantled, and stored away in a remote spot.

It was about this time that I first met Alan Orr-Ewing; Ed had told me enough to understand that he was indeed a 'Force to Be Reckoned with', and that he 'Did not Suffer Fools Gladly', as they say.  Once I was asked by Ed to clean up the gravel area in front of the two cabins near the lakeshore, 'because Dr. Orr-Ewing won't like to see all these twigs and dead limbs around here', and when I had done what I thought was a fair job, Ed, who came to inspect, remarked, 'Yes, Trevor, you've made a nice job here, but Dr. Orr-Ewing won't like to see all these old fir-cones lying around here, so see what you can do with them'.  Then next day, after his careful inspection, he told me -- 'Yes, that's good job, but, you know, Dr. Orr-Ewing won't like to see all those fir-needles lying about -- perhaps you might try to clean them up abit'.  Well, that is an illustration of Ed's ideas of perfection!, which at times was far from easy to emulate!

On March lst, Ingemar Karlsson appeared on the scene, looking abit done-in after the exhausting flight from Sweden.  He was introduced to the various staff members, and took up residence in what later I was encouraged to term 'The Mesachie Hilton', and as the weeks passed, we came to know each other better.  And as our various paths seemed to cross, it was finally suggested that we should work together whenever possible, in order that he might possibly increase his already-more-than-adequate vocabulary, and that I might somehow get a better perspective of the ins and outs of Forestry Practices.  (I think that I gained far more than did Ingemar, since his usage of the English Language was beyond reproach, whereas I had much to absorb about the vast realm of dendrology and related topics.  Be that as it may, a firm friendship was established -- one of the many rare dividends acquired from my long stint at the Station; one of the more interesting details was to learn the rudiments of Tree-Grafting, under all conditions of weather, from finger-numbing cold to blistering heat; under the first conditions, it was indeed a temptation to turn our backs on the work at the Area and beat a quick retreat down to the cookhouse, to share Lee's welcome hospitality, and when, up 'Nineteen Creek', where a new Clone Bank was under development, and sometimes the mosquitoes or black flies were a torment, one was only too glad to seek shade or the haven of the creek-bank.  Ingemar and Alan Orr-Ewing, and Chris Heaman and Dudley Prideaux were fine 'teachers' at that time, and I like to believe that I did manage to pick up a few skills along the pleasant pathway.

Meanwhile, back at the Station, the new seed beds proliferated along the fence line, and sometimes there were occasions when I spend several successive days working there, in company with Tom Bruinsma, Gus Johnson, 'Red' Rendle and Mr. Art LovettEd Roberts seemed to be whirling about in all directions, careful and troubled about a great many things.  I soon came to love being out on the 'Area', grafting or helping with the related skills, so that somehow and imperceptibly, it became a sort of second and dearly-loved home.  Always there seemed to be many birds, an interesting display  of native shrubs and trees, and always and ever the serene views of the lake and of the surrounding hills, sometimes embellished by wondrous cloud effects.  Yes, it was a memorable and delightful interlude, and though it arrived abit late in my 'career', it was valued all the more!

That first spring and summer, work was done on a large Clone Bank up at Gordon River, grafting onto 'natural' rootstock on a steep hillside overlooking what I believe is 'Hawk Creek', that flows into the Gordon close to the Camp, which still flourished in the year of l965.  Again, an interesting drive out over the 'divide' to Gordon River, and good exercise to scramble over logs and stumps to reach our large Clone Bank.  And during the latter part of April, the area west of Maps l & 2 was planted with rootstock, as a base for yet future Clone Banks.  Here, the slope was to the north, (down to the lakeshore) and the soil was dry and somewhat stony, but good for our native trees to take root.  The new seed beds, as I recall, were eight in number, and much dedicated labor went into their construction.  They were built of l0x2 cedar planking, and sloped to the south, the front and back 'walls' being kept parallel, so to say, with metal rods that fitted into eyebolts, front and rear.  The watering was accomplished by utilizing one of the fire pumps, stationed down at the lakeshore, to supply pressure to the beds, through narrow copper tubing, with fine nozzles at regular intervals.  These beds were covered with fine screens, which, during the winters, were replaced by sturdy glass sash.  And the soil in the beds, needless to add, was screened, and raked and firmed and smoothed times without number.  As weekly germination count was performed by Ingemar or his current deputy and rigid checks were made for cutworms or mice.  I remember one length 'test', when a sort of 'Mockup' of a bed had been made, and a replica of the  irrigation system had been set up, to determine that each and every row of seedlings should receive exactly the same amount of water.     I see by my Journal that when the Clone Bank up at Gordon River had been completed, over 2000 grafts had been done, and a fair majority of them had 'taken'.

One of the more 'cosmetic' jobs that I was permitted to do was to weed carefully around the 'Exotics', which were truly Alan Orr-Ewing's pride and joy.  Each of them must needs have a sort or ring-around-a rosy of weed-free soil about it, and adjacent 'wildlings' or tall weeds must be removed as well.  This privilege I was accorded year after year, and it seemed to me that almost all of the poor stunted trees grew very little, if at all.  But they were indeed a sort of conversation piece, and sooner or later, each and every visitor was taken to view them.  Once a group of Japanese Foresters came to the Station, and Alan was most anxious to learn from them just how our Exotics might best be encouraged to 'produce'.  But the Japanese were extremely vague -- they seemed to know that somewhere, on a remote and high plateau these types of trees did grow, but they had never seen them actually, so they could not offer any counsel as to what ought to be done for them.     The first grafts at the Station, done outdoors on rootstock, were covered with small plastic bags, tightly fitted, and over that, 'shade bags' were also applied.  Later, this involved careful checking, to see that the 'rubber gums', as Ingemar termed them, were not too tight.  Later still, the plastic bags were removed, but the shade bags remained longer.During the late Spring, Alan had charge of a small seed-bed down at the Duncan Nursery, in which young Douglas fir had been previously planted; this necessitated weekly visits, to weed, fertilize, water  and cultivate.  Usually, Ingemar and I attended to this, but eventually the young trees were brought up to the Station, but I fail to recall just where they may have been planted.  And when, as sometimes occurred, one or more of the larger trees in the Clone Bank died from root rot, there was great dedication in removing every shred of root, and every vestige of stump, all of which were taken off to the 'Burn Pile'.  Gradually, this vigilance was relaxed, and the stumps, cut as close to the ground as possible, were treated with a mixture of bleach and some strange bluish-colored compound.  No doubt the first 'control' was the better one, but it took far too long to haul out every inch of root from the sometimes stony ground.
   
Once, I went out with Alan and Ingemar to see, for the first time, the notorious 'Tree l9', in the second-growth forest beyond Hillcrest; I was so much impressed that I felt it worthy of a poem, squeezed into the form of a Sonnet!  (What Fools we Mortals Be! -- but it seemed to me that this odd and grotesque tree was somehow endowed with an aura of Evil, which reminded me of one of the Shakespearean plays, in which an Evil Human Nature had been embodied in a tree!!)

Another of my provincial skills that came into play during the summer was the ability to 'swing a scythe'; years before, my Father had instructed me in the Art -- and it is an Art -- so that Ingemar and I paired off, now and again, feeling, as he remarked, like peasants -- but I highly approve of the 'Peasant Type', and would  far prefer to be one, than to be, let us say, a refined 'Office Worker'.  Much of what a scythe can do depends on what one hopes to cut -- bracken and coarse grass fall beneath the blade, easily, but soft, limp grasses are more of a challenge, and there were few of those on the Station. I have come upon detailed notes for mid-September, of forays out to the Clone Bank in the Lens Creek Valley, where we went to cut out heavy brush, and examine the grafts done some time ago; here, there had already been sharp frosts that had done some damage to the grafts, in this strange area of diverse microclimates.  On one occasion, we sat on a huge stump for our lunch, and Ingemar estimated this tree to have been 746 years old when felled, and still living at that time!

During late September, and the first week of October, there developed another full-time project -- that of hauling soil from the Robertson Valley to build up the structure of the future transplant beds, to the west of the seed beds, and this involved the hiring of extra trucks, and using the 'Big Truck' -- an 'International' --belonging to the Forest Service, and driven most of the time by Tom Bruinsma or Ed Roberts himself.  I have formed a very dim view of any 'International' vehicles; -- it seemed to me that they were cheaply constructed in the first place, and were constantly giving trouble, or just 'Breaking down' at regular intervals.  (The only small virtue I approved of was the fuse box arrangement -- a most convenient system, where all the many fuses were located within the glove compartment.)  Almost every day of 'Operation Top Soil' included one or more delays because of 'Breakdowns' of one sort or another, which afforded me ample time at my part of the operation --that of raking endlessly at the freshly dumped soil, to free it of roots, limbs, large boulders and similar debris.

This extensive area, a year ago, had been 'ditched' deeply, from south to north, and in these deep trenches a complicated system of drain tiles had been laid -- some of the tiles were hexagon, and made of some sort of terra-cotta colored material, others were the gray cement type, and later, when the full complement of soil had been spread to the prerequisite depth, the 'system' did seem to 'work' fairly efficiently.  Eventually, however, some of the tiles were cracked or broken in some way -- too heavy of loads being hauled above them, and at last the drains, or most of them, did not 'work' very well.

Following the completion of 'Operation Top Soil', there was much cutting and trimming to be done at the new Gordon River Clone Bank, and Ingemar, Svend Anderson and I spent many a pleasant day there, appreciating the splendid Indian Summer Weather, until the job was finished.  Towards the end of the month, about ll00 rootstock wear brought up from the Duncan Nursery, to be planted out on the Area for future Clone Banks.

Then, on wet days, or when there seemed to be little of importance to be done outdoors, I was kept busy in the newly completed soil shed, painting cedar boards with cupricide for the extra seedbeds to be constructed in the forthcoming Spring.  And now and again, long sessions in the Lab, sorting out and discarding, when necessary, countless muslin bags that had been in use earlier to protect the grafts in the Clone Banks.  In re-reading my voluminous entries for the winter of l964-l965, I see in retrospect that it was indeed a 'hard' one; day after day  of fresh snow, frost and ice over and over again, treacherous driving at all times, many full days of shoveling at the Station, where a crew of 'extra' help arrived from Duncan to shovel off the many roofs.  A daily routine -- and sometimes, a twice or thrice daily routine, at and around the seed-beds, consisted of carefully removing the steadily falling and wet snow from the glass screens that protected the 8 seed-beds, when it was only too easy to crack the large panes of glass.  And when the aisles or alleyways between the beds became filled with heavy packed snow, then one required a wheel-barrow to haul it away to some common dumping-ground, when, eventually, even these great mounds must needs be scraped away with the blade of the 'cat' to make more room for extra snow!  Over and over again, the 'phone lines were out', despite Ed's daily routine of 'tapping the wires' with a long and a slender pole, and once or twice, arriving to work of a morning could be hazardous when the power lines were down, due to a falling sapling, and a 'hot wire' lurked beneath the freshly-fallen snow!  (At times, I grew to hate the wretched stuff, every flake of it, every shovelful, every truck-load, yet one could not but be moved by the wonder and beauty of the marvelously magical 'effects' that one saw, on every side.)  Then, too, careful attention must needs be paid to our small plot at the Duncan Nursery, and its precarious fences, but there, of course the total snowfall was less.

But at long, long last, this memorable winter drew to a close --the days lengthened, the sunshine became stronger, and work progresses at the Station, as Spring made its stealthy approach to the Cowichan Valley.  More seed-beds were planned, and an elaborate system of drain tiles were installed to the south of each individual bed.  Also a system of ventilators was devised, by cutting out a  section of the heavy cedar planking at intervals along the high North wall of each bed; these must needs be covered with fine wire mesh to deter not rabbits, (there were none in those days) but rather mice or small birds that might pull up or damage the tiny seedlings.  (It should be noted, likewise, that then, only Douglas fir was being 'dealt with' in terms of experiment and propagation, so that this is why I continue to view each and every Douglas fir individually, where other species, (Abies, Spruce, Hemlock, and Cedar) still remain 'en masse', so to say!


In February/65, the first jaunt out to the area since December l6, due to the snows, very few of the Rootstocks had suffered in the least due to the weight of the melting snows, but of the grafts, 2/3 or even 3/4 of them had been very badly damaged, a great many had snapped off, or were bent and twisted to an alarming degree!  Some of these scattered scions were gathered up, and placed in damp moss in the cooler, to await subsequent re-grafting, and I should note, as well, that this spring was the first occasion when Spruce seed was sown; despite my earlier statement!

I noticed that during the early spring of l965, that 'lifting' of young stock grown in the first lot of seed beds was accomplished with the help of Bertha Eklund, she being the first woman employee at the Station.  (Ed Roberts was convinced that because of the presence of a Female only ruin and calamity could follow -- much as the crew of a Pirate Ship, centuries ago, were similarly convinced -- but in this he was proved wrong, for Bertha was a dedicated worker, without one lazy bone in her body.)  The little trees that were 'lifted' were taken down to the cold storage shed at the Duncan Nursery, for our 'unit' did not arrive here until some years later.     And at about the same time, the crosses that Alan Orr-Ewing had established at Duncan were lifted as well, stored in the same place, to later be brought here to the Station, and planted out in the area, but just where, I cannot now say.  And this, I would say, was the last occasion when use was made of the planting areas at the Duncan Nursery.
   

During these early Spring days, much of my time was spent out on the Area, removing 'wildlings' of all types, in the various Clone Banks, and also in other spots that in time will be planted.  And one fine March morning, I set forth for the '19 Creek' Clone Bank, to assess the damage caused by the heavy wet snow over the past weeks.  Fortunately, the damage was very slight -- perhaps the protection of the taller 'wildlings' contributed to this.     In March, Ingemar returned to the Station from his several months in Sweden -- he seemed most happy to be back at the Station again, and now, I know, feels that BC is 'Home', rather than the former 'Homeland' of Scandinavia.  Ten 'new' seedbeds were constructed near to the four 'original' ones, and they, too, were fitted out with the heavy glass 'sashes', as well as the much lighter fiberglass 'shade screens'.  The soil mix for these new beds was hauled from Butler Brothers, on the Duncan Highway, and consisted of a mixture of fine peat, sand and fertilizers, to be later dumped into the beds, and raked over and over again, and watered, in order to 'settle' the new soil.  And at about the same time, the small 'Rototiller' was put to use on the Transplant Area, where much further raking over and over again, was needed to remove the larger rocks, bits of root and rotted limbs that still come to the surface.  There was a drive, as well, to remove any and all trees from the Clone Banks that appeared to be dying from Rootrot,  'fomes' Alan Orr-Ewing believes, in this case.  Some of these victims were l0-years old, and at least 20 feet in height, but were not immune to the insidious attacks of this fungus disease.  In every instance, every vestige of stump and roots were taken out --by hand, I might add -- to be burned as soon as possible.
Herewith a note relating to planting conditions at the Transplant Area on April 2, l965; -- 'Today we reveled in warm sun, bird song and the wonderful play of light and shadow across the landscape.  We also groveled and wallowed in mud of varying textures, from thick gumbo to watery paste, 'we' being Richard Higgs, Ingemar and myself.  The planting program is at a standstill until the formidable job of draining of water out of the topsoil is accomplished.  As a result of our labors, the area is crisscrossed with little trenches, running in all directions, each filled with puddles or trickles of muddy water.  But the general effect of a sodden sponge remains!
Later, when a small forest of little trees had been planted, it seemed necessary to protect them with sturdy frames made of poles, and draped with coarse sacking, to provide the necessary shade during the intense heat of the mid-summer months.

In early June, logging of part of the 'Area' had been started, and as the weather became very warm indeed, from time to time, there arose the question of controlling various slash fires.  Herewith a notation of the proceedings -- 'upon our return from the Clone Bank at Gordon River, we were informed by Cathy Roberts that the fire was near to the Clone Banks, and that we should go there at once with shovels, so we drove out to the area.  There, in a billow of smoke and dust and cinders, we saw Ed racing about like a Whirling Dervish, or like Loki, the God of Fire.  Tom, Bob Bowden-Green and  another man were there, too, all more or less amused by Ed's dedication and his surges of 'efficiency', always most exasperating at times such as this.  Ingemar was sent back to the Cookhouse for dinner, I was put in charge of a portable pump which sucked stagnant water from a near pond, Ed raced hither and yon with a hose.  It was all ludicrous, but sad to see the lovely forest of alder, maple and small conifers slashed and mutilated -- a dusty, blackened wasteland.'

On the morning of June 5, I arrived to work at 5 a.m., to engage in starting a fire in a gigantic pile of stumps and old logs and brush that had been piled close to Map l, as one descends the slope to the east of Map 7.  This burning project continued for much of June, and I was called in now and then to assist, until it became necessary to haul out the scythes, with which to cut down bracken and tall grasses out in the Clone Banks with Ingemar -- far more to my liking than guarding the great piles of brush and logs and stumps in the 'Operation Controlled Burning', as it was termed.

Then in July, several days were spent out at the '19 Creek' Clone Bank, pruning back the overgrown branches of the rootstocks, and affixing new metal labels to the various rows of clones.  (On July 30, the thermometer reached a high of 99 degrees F. in the shade!!)  And as a contrast to the present-day efficiency of the irrigation system, I should mention that during this heat-spell, some of Alan Orr-Ewings precious Inbreds must needs be watered by hand, the water being fetched in cans from the lakeshore, in the vicinity of Map 4!!

About this time, a complicated system of drainage tiles was laid underneath the Transplant Area -- to the west of the present cedar hedge, I would guess; these tiles were placed parallel to the gravel road leading out to the Area, to catch and direct the water from the eight rows of drains that ran north and south along the transplant section, and that had been laid in some weeks ago.  For some years subsequently, this system seemed to 'work' fairly well, but latterly, due to breaking of many of the tiles, and settling of the ground, it became far less effective, I feel sure.  (Ed. Roberts was always most particular and dedicated in the matter of laying out the drainage lines -- gravel of a certain degree of coarseness was laid first, the tiles placed closely together, with a protective strip of old linoleum or heavy tar-paper over each 'join', then a different texture of gravel shoveled in, before the soil was spread over the top by the bull-dozer!  With Malice Toward None, I must add that Ed. kept a repository -- many repositories -- of such items as old linoleum, masses of old newspapers, and many plastic jars and bottles, in case someday they 'might come in handy'.)  A comment on this exercise reads 'It is a colossal job, but there are 6 of us, so it should progress -- Needless to say, the elaborate system of 'levels' for the drainage of each ditch, as recorded by the survey group, do not seem to be compatible at all with existing conditions -- that is, theory and practice are widely diverse, but still, the water must go somewhere, and so long as it is off the Area, it really doesn't matter in which direction it flows!


Later in August, several trips were made again to Gordon River, to prune and 'check' the many grafts that had been 'done' there during the spring.  And during the Fall, every Friday, Ingemar conducted a sort of 'Dormancy Check' in the seedbeds, and in the Transplants, to see which of the crosses were noticeably  'slowing down', and which were still flushing, depending, seemingly, upon the current weather patterns, of hot days as opposed to dull, cooler and rainy days and nights.

During September, another project was started -- that of loosening the soil in the future Transplant beds, where the tile drains had been laid -- A machine from Duncan, 'the Ripper' was brought in, and operated by a Danish lad, to break up the compacted subsoil, and to assist the drainage of the area, before a vast quantity of peat is to be applied.  Also, many of the young seedlings in the seed beds had grown to alarming heights, to that the protective 'snowfencing' must needs be lifted higher, to give the terminal branches more freedom.

Herewith a brief account of the first day of 'Operation Peatmoss' at the Station, on Sept. 28, l965.  'This was the first day of Operation Peatmoss', and like each and all of these Operational Days, all did not go smoothly.  Upon arrival at the Station, Jim and I were detailed to proceed instantly to the House of March, to fetch Charlie, his manure spreader, his farm tractor and loader, so that work could begin without delay.  This was the only aspect of the overall plan that worked without a hitch, for after perhaps an hour of trundling the manure spreader up and down the field, with peat moss spewing forth in lumps and clouds, a fragile bolt broke, and work abruptly ceased.  Another bolt was installed, and that one lasted perhaps two minutes.  Again, a long hiatus, while Ingemar searched through Ed's inner sanctum for extra bits and pieces.  At last, work resumed, and all went well until noon, when an essential bearing burned out due to excessive friction, and again a halt ensued.  After lunch, Ingemar and I set off for Duncan, to bring back another bearing for Charlie’s machine.  Thereafter, all went smoothly.'

The next day, work consisted of applying the rest of the peat, with the addition of commercial fertilizer, and alternately picking off rocks, roots, twigs, bits of decayed stumps, and so forth, from the topsoil.  Then the spring-tooth harrows were hitched up, and a splendid job was made of stirring up the surface, working the peat and fertilizer well into the soil.  What with the combined effects of topsoil, subsoil tile-drainage, peat, epsom salts, agricultural lime, potassium, sulphate of aluminum and nitrate, trees of incredible girth and height should grow in this Elysian Field.  But again, only time will tell!!

During the first weeks of October, yet another project was initiated -- that of building a large protective 'cover' of tall poles, culled from the forest where now the Greenhouses stand, to be erected over the large transplant area.  (A severe winter, with much snow, is anticipated, and therefore, with this framework of poles, on which parallel rows of snow-fencing will be lashed down, the young trees should be safely covered from the assaults of wind and snow.)  This job took us some time to complete, but we felt confident that it would survive the worst of the winter weather.     Then, there was some fall grafting to be done, but only when the weather allowed -- steady rain made it impossible to undertake this project now and then.  And later, the first Red Cedar Hedge was planted -- perhaps fifty yards to the west of the present one.  (There were 93 trees in the hedge, I recall, and I planted nearly all of them, convinced, pessimistically, that all the ones planted by me would surely die, but, as it happened, all flourished, making in time, a fine and impressive hedge.)

One memorable day for me was in the first week of November, when with Chris Heaman, I drove out to Nitnat Camp, at the head of the lake, to help with the selection of the 5 best Plus Trees in a l30-acre stand, that was shortly to be logged.  This was truly a magnificent forest -- one of the most memorable that I have ever seen, and the following day, I had the privilege of a second visit there, to stand beneath the selected trees, to gather up the scions that Chris and one 'Ray' Pakisaar, from the C-Z operations, at Nanaimo, managed to shoot off from the topmost crown of the tree in question, but the light was poor on this particular day, and by 4 p.m. it was too dark and too wet for us to continue.  In retrospect, I really doubt that I will, in the time remaining to me, see such a splendid forest again -- certainly never in the Cowichan Valley.     Towards the end of the month, a test site was planned in the Shawnigan area -- it is really located close to Sooke Lake, but one reaches it from the access road at the east end of Shawnigan Lake.  First of all, the area was 'staked out' first, and the actual planting was arranged to take place later.  Next came another test site far up the Chemainus Valley, west of Copper Canyon, which had been a favorite haunt of mine in more youthful days.  This was a smaller area than the one we had staked at Sooke Lake, and it was in far steeper terrain, with a fine view of the Chemainus Valley as far west as Mt. Whymper.  Another test site was closer to home, at or near Loup Creek, in the vicinity of Gordon River, and yet another site was out at Port Renfrew, on the San Juan River.  It seemed a wise procedure to get these sites all 'staked out', in advance of the first snowfalls, and to delay the actual planting until early spring.
   

But by Christmas time, the weather had attacked us with a vengeance, and my records read, day after day -- 'more snow overnight' -- 'again it has snowed' -- 'it snowed again overnight' -- 'added snow overnight' -- and, December 3lst -- 'more snow overnight', and by then, a full-time exercise in 'Operation Snow Removal' -- when not only did one work non-stop at the Station, with shovels and brooms, to keep the seed-beds clear of the heavy weight of wet, sodden snow on the glass screens, but on the many roofs at the Home Front as well!!

Winter of l965‑66, Herewith, for emphasis, quotes from my entries for the month of January, to include a sinister warning that given the pertinent weather factors, All This Could Happen Again, though I would not wish it for my worst enemy!
   

Jan. lst. New Year's Day.  More and more snow, it is becoming almost an Evil force, its power and its threat is daily more evident.  After lunch, I drove to the Station to clear the snow from the seed beds -- this I had done yesterday, but Alan, with reason, advises constant vigilance.  It is discouraging work, because there is nowhere to 'put' the snow until Ed. can clear off a large area with the Cat, after which we can employ wheelbarrows, which would help.  But the persistence of the snow leaves one no time to catch up, so to speak -- the same areas have to be cleared over and over again.

Jan. 3rd. Poor Ed. is overwhelmed with worry, work and responsibility -- however, a sort of pattern of work emerged as the day progressed.  Two young lads arrived on the scene, and were set to work shoveling roofs; Ingemar and I began shoveling the Soilshed roof, later aided by Svend Anderson, who, with Bob Bowden-Green, turned up from Victoria about l0:l5   It took us  nearly all day to clear off the great roof -- after which we began on the seed beds, the glass frames of which are once again buried from view.  It is endless work, hard work, and what is worse, frustrating work, for there is nowhere to shovel the snow away --every spadeful has to be hoisted high up to an ever-increasing pile, and all the while, it continues to drift down relentlessly from overhead.
   

Jan. 4th. From 6 to 7:30 a.m. are the Zero Hours these days -- the relentlessly falling snow, the eerie gray light, the trees, the tall and the short -- draped and blanketed in white, creaking and swaying in the wind.  It seems ominous and threatening to a degree, -- David Bruinsma and I set off for work as usual, but found 3 trees across the powerline and over the road between Doug. Ceees and the Station, with ed. on the far side, waiting to intercept us, or at least, to caution us of the danger of electrocution!  I found Ingemar looking rather the worse for having had no breakfast, and having spent the night in the Soil shed, where there was at least a measure of warmth!  We began removing snow from the transplant beds, deeming the glass frames safe for one day, and worked at this heavy chore until noon, helped by Svend, who arrived from town about l0:30, reporting deteriorating conditions en route!  Later in the day, we returned to the seed beds, and started to lift the snow from the glass -- so far, no damage has resulted, but the alleyways are so tightly packed with snow, and it is hard to maneuver a shovel in any direction.  The power came on again at 4 p.m., a blessing for the poor Roberts family who were without light or heat from l a.m. on.
   

Jan. 5th. At least 6 inches of new snow, and more to continue according to the weather report.  But a milder trend is forecast for the evening, and rain is supposed to fall.  However, snow continued to fall in increasing amounts -- in fact, it came as near to a blizzard as anyone could wish, with a stiff east wind swaying the dangerously-weighted trees, and sweeping the snow into clouds until late afternoon, when fine rain began to fall.
   

Jan. 6th. Upon arrival at the Station, Jim and I found that the power and phone lines were down again, a small tree having fallen across them at 7 p.m. last night, leaving Svend, Ingemar and the unfortunate Roberts family somewhat at a loss.  But Jim and Ed. started operations, the electricians arrived from Mesachie, and by ll:30, all was restored.  Ingemar took the precaution of placing 2 large pails of snow in the Deep Freeze cabinet, to keep the temperature from rising to the detriment of the pollen stored within.  Later, he and Svend managed to struggle out on foot to the Area -- the Cat was more than incapable of moving through the 4 to 5 foot drifts of snow to see what might be done for the grafts.  They returned soon after l2:00 to report serious damage to them, many are snapped off, and as many more cracked and twisted under the enormous pressure of the settling snow above them.  So after a hasty call to Victoria, we three started off to the area to effect rescue where possible.  To walk the short distance took almost 25 minutes of wallowing through the deep snow, wading along a stream bed, where, in short piles of logs and stumps in the ravine, and finally across to the gravel pit.  It was sad and sobering to see so complete a repetition of the damage of a year ago.  The snow, as it settles, is an enormous weight, which tears down against the little trees, snapping off, or cracking the scions, and in some cases,  tearing away the lateral branches as well.  We dug out and freed as many as we could, but it is slow and painstaking work -- so easy to add to the damage by a careless slip of a shovel.
   

Jan. 7th. Mild and damp today, and the snow is at least flattening down.  Soon after arrival at the Station, Svend, Ingemar and I started across the snowy waste to the Clone Bank, to continue rescuing what grafts are still buried under the snow.  As we trailed across to the Area, in single file, lurching and slipping from side to side, I thought of Napoleon's Army, in Retreat from Moscow, crossing the Pripet Marshes!  We were joined on the way by Chris Heaman and Bob Hattie, from Victoria, and our melancholy work of exhumation began.  It was most depressing to see our poor little scions, some feeble enough in the beginning, others which had made a brave start and tolerable growth, bent, twisted, cracked or broken completely off.  It is anything but easy to dig out a small tree, less than 2 feet in height, from heavy packed snow 3 or 4 feet deep, without injury.  At 4:l0, the Army returned to Headquarters, soaked and tired, and discouraged -- at least there was great discouragement for those of us who have laboured long and diligently over the Grafting Program and its many problems and frustrations.

January 11th. Began the slow work of repairing, as far as we could the damage out at the Clone Bank, splinting and tying and waxing where necessary, and also re-grafting some of the scions that had not dried out too much since they were recovered from the deep snow.  Two days later, it was much colder, and over and over again, Svend and Ingemar would have to halt from their painstaking work to slap their arms and hands together, to restore circulation.  We found that those grafts that had been made two years ago were quite undamaged, which was not reassuring.

In late January, several trips were made to the Gordon River Clone Banks, to check for pollen buds and 'females' on some of the grafts -- it was disheartening to see the damage caused -- not by the snow so much as browsing by the deer -- now and again, we found Red Cedars stripped completely bare by the hungry creatures.     In early February, the 'bud counting' began; it was interesting, we thought, that up at Gordon River, and at Nineteen Creek, we found very little pollen or female buds, but out at the Robertson Valley, near Dimple Lake, there was an abundant crop of both.  This was odd, since this Clone Bank and the one at Gordon River had been established in the same year -- could this have been due to the fertile soil in the Robertson Valley?
   

On 'Ground Hog Day', Ingemar and I were out in the Robertson Valley, searching on what was termed 'Area l' for the grafted trees, which were few.  Quote:  'It was fantastic to see the colossal stumps and sections of fallen logs looming up out of the fog; one thought at once of a huge cemetery, silent and empty, with its complement of tombs and mausoleums here and there . . .'.
   

During much of February, further construction of another lot of seed beds was undertaken, and they were located at the north end of the present big lawn.  And a complement of 64 screens were constructed on a 'jig', to be placed over these new beds after the seeding was over.  Then a sort of portable tent was created, to be used when 'lifting' the small trees from the seed beds, so that adverse weather need not be a problem.  And later still, several 'tests' were run to try to decide which of several types of 'fog nozzles' were best suited for the irrigation of the seed beds.  Then came the lifting of the 20,000 odd seedlings from the seed beds, when Bertha Eklund and Annie Padjen were called in as 'extra help',  and a most efficient pair they proved to be.  These seedlings were divided into 4 replications, and then stored in the Freezers at the Duncan Nursery, until future planting, in April.
   

In early March, the planting of a new test site at Port Renfrew was started.  This site overlooks the San Juan River, and the gravel road that leads out to Shawnigan Lake -- there are two sites, actually, and both are located on steep, south-facing slopes.     Later, in mid-March, we planted the site at the Sooke Lake Watershed, this operation taking less than two weeks to complete.  Next followed the Loup Creek site, far up the headwaters of the Gordon River; this had been burned over perhaps a year ago, and proved therefore to be one of the 'dirtiest' sites in which we planted.
   

Next on the agenda came the staking and planting of the area facing directly across to Bald Mountain - west of Map 2, I gather.  About this time, I was informed by Alan O-E that I was to be appointed as Assistant Nurseryman No. l, at a slight increase in salary, which was most gratifying, I felt.
   

By mid-April, the emphasis seemed to be on planting the test site at Copper Canyon, in the Chemainus Valley area.  This, as I recall, was a north-facing site, and a steep one, but since it had been slash-burned last fall, it was not too difficult to plant.  (I note that on the way home, the first day, we stopped at the Red Rooster for dinner, and fared well from a lavish menu, to the tune of $l.95!! per person.)  This planting took us about four days to finish, and then it was back to the Area, and to planting the young trees -- my part in this program consisted of rototilling up and down, and then across, and removing the bits of sticks, roots, slabs of bark, and rocks that proved to be extrinsic obstacles here and there.
   

In the second growth forest, where the Greenhouses now stand, there was much thinning to be done, and all suitable long and uniform Firs, Hemlocks and Cedars are being taken out to be used as poles and supports and posts for the protecting snow-fencing that is to cover the various groups of transplants to provide shade, before the heat of the forthcoming summer is upon us.
   

On April 29, we had come to the end of the 'outplanting' -- a total of 20,000 trees, and the new forest of small green sprouts looks verdant and orderly.
   

The first several weeks of May were devoted to building the colossal 'Shade Frame' over the vast area of Transplants.  It is 7.5 feet in height, and will run the full length and breadth of the area.
   

During late April and the first weeks of May, l966, work continued on the huge shade frame, over the recent 'transplants', and for the most part, progress was slow indeed.  All the material come from the dense second-growth forest south of the Greenhouses, and must needs be carried across to the location, one pole at a time; hauling them up onto the 7.5 foot level of the top of the frame was heavy work also, as was the rolling out and stapling down of the snow-fencing.  But all being well, it will provide shade during the summer months, and protection against the slings and arrows of next winter, however violent they may prove to be -- .  (There is a note to the effect that after having put down another water-line to the transplant beds, we now have no less than l2 sprinklers in operation!!)  I note, on May l3, 'We were summoned by Ingemar to assist with hooking up the water-line to the seed-beds, where the sowing was finished by Monday.  This involved wrenches, fog-nozzles, bushings small wood blocks to fit under the copper tubing, and much running about on the part of Ed. who insisted on each l2-foot  section of pipe being flushed out with water before connecting, lest there be stray spider-webs, cocoons, etc. therein.  However, at last, the water was turned on, and it was gratifying to see a mist-like nebula arise above each bed.'

The shelter above the transplants, which I have chosen to name 'The Alkazar' was finished today, and next comes the job of unrolling innumerable rolls of snow-fencing to form a 'shade-roof' -- we are glad to have this assignment completed at long last!  Because of the height of the structure, it has been necessary to load several bundles of fencing into the Pickup, and then drive up to the end of each 'row', and then lever each roll up to the 'top', on two sloping poles -- heavy and time-consuming work.

Following this, there was a fertilizing program out on the area -- whitish pellets of what was termed 'Nitroprills' were scattered in a wide circle around the base of most of the trees -- grafted trees and rootstocks; this fertilizer seems to 'dissolve' or melt away soon after application, and it must produce results, to judge by the circle of weeds, grass or bracken that surround each tree a few weeks thereafter.  And then deep ditches for drainage must needs be scooped out on the east and west sides of 'The Alkazar', and these in turn were filled with a straight row of tiles, to be covered with coarse gravel.
   

Inspection of the various 'test sites' were made in late May and during early June; at Copper Canyon and at Loup Creek, the severe and late frost had done very little damage, but deer browsing, and even a grouse at Loup Creek had left their mark, and not for the better, need one say!    Sundry activities during the month of June included brush-cutting in and around the Nineteen Creek Clone Bank, applying cutworm bait to the seedbeds, and attending to the problem of 'overgrowth' in the Clone Banks out on the Area.  There had been great excitement earlier in the year when it was discovered that one or two of the 'Exotics', out at Map 3, on its south portions, had produced pollen and female buds for the first time:  Alan was most anxious to try a series of Crosses, but in this experiment he was foiled by the sudden and severe late frosts, that had frizzled the females away, and the pollen buds as well -- some of us are beginning to feel that the Exotics and their ultimate futures are little better than Object Lessons in Futility!  (This most unseasonably frost has had strange results -- very seldom have I seen bracken fern, alder and maple growth and that of the thimbleberry seared and shrivelled by frost, as is the clover, the grasses and the fireweed!
   

In preparation for what might prove to be another 'hard winter', Ed. Roberts had decreed -- as well he might -- that many of the second-growth trees along the power lien must be taken out, so for several days, this provided a clean-up job of limbs and lengths of trunks; which Ed. explained should be laid in hollow spots, out of view of the public gaze!
   

Much time this month was spent out on the area, scything down heavy brush and bracken from the planted areas, and towards the end of the month, Ingemar and I drove down to the Clone Bank at the Victoria Watershed (Sooke Lake) to assess the frost damage, and to clear out invasive brush from the rows of young trees.  The damage by frost was severe, we were dismayed to find, but otherwise, the little trees have made sturdy growth.  Later in the month, a trip up to the Loup Creek site was equally distressing, to find that grouse and deer have made severe inroads to what we had hoped would be a most exemplary test site -- one cannot 'win them all', as they say, but we have not done very well at 'winning' anything this year, what with weather, insect damage and that of other predators!
   

During the months of July and August, much time was spent in 'Weeding' out on the Area, where my native skills with the art of using a scythe have proved most helpful.  With me was a young lad from Victoria, named Terry Phipps, and he has proved to be an apt pupil with the scythe, too.  We use a sturdy 'brush blade' when attacking the abundant growth of young alder and willow or cottonwood along the roadsides, but for coarse grass and daisies in between the rows of young trees, the 'Austrian' blade, which is far lighter and thinner is preferred.  We have our respective opinions about the 'snaths', or 'handles' to which the blade is attached --certainly, the aluminum blades are far lighter to use, but unless one wears cotton gloves, hands and fingers soon become very black --the wooden 'snaths' are far heavier, but are sturdier, for in time, the metal in the aluminum shaths crystallizes, and will snap when least expected.
   

Meanwhile, back in the vicinity of the transplant beds, work continues on establishing the tile drains, and on the newly acquired plot, to the west (east of where the Crossfit greenhouse is now located) topsoil is being brought in, and much raking and levelling and picking off of rocks, limbs, bits of root and bark continues on.  And then, there is the daily watering of the seed beds, and survival and germination checks, and also, out on the clonebanks, the removal of the 'rubber gums', as Ingemar terms them, that were used at the time of initial grafting.
   

And now and again, there is further clearing of land in the direction of Bear Lake, with two Cats lumbering to and fro, filling the 'low spots' with soil, and taking down the higher mounds hither and yon, and piling up huge mounds of roots, stumps, bits of logs and boulders for subsequent burning later in the fall.     A rugged machine, called a 'Cone Shaker' was acquired from the Duncan Nursery, and was set up in the Soil Shed, and seems to work with due efficiency, but since it operates with a bilateral movement, as well as 'up and down', the vibration is excessive, and it has therefore been bolted down to the cement floor to provide a firmer foundation.  Ingemar conducts a 'dormancy check' every Friday afternoon, to see to what extent the seedlings and some of the small 'transplants' may be slowing down, but so far, there has been little to observe in this area.
   

One lengthy job for me, towards the end of the month, was to remove and to clean all l92 nozzles from the 4 original seed beds --the soon became clogged with sludge and sediment from the lake, since the pump is located close to the shore, rather than out in deeper water, where there would be less obstruction.  (I notice, over and over again, in my entries, the phrase 'luckily, we encountered no wasp's nests', which indicates that 20-odd years ago, they were far more numerous than nowadays.)  Here is another pertinent entry, of August l7:  -- 'Ingemar implied that tomorrow, we would be on the area, taking levels of the various ditches and drains that need to be lowered -- Alan is all for hiring a ditch-digger from the village, but Ed. is adamant, and insists that the work should be done with the bulldozer and dynamite; -- it will be interesting to speculate upon who wins out -- Personally, I'm betting on Alan O-E '
   

There has been much emphasis in removing all the young alders that are spreading around the many seed beds at this time -- they are as numerous as dandelions invading a newly-planted lawn, and each and every one must go, even if no more than two inches in height.
   

On September l0th, at the Station, there was a busy day for me, and for most of the staff, for the previous night, at ll:30 p.m. a delegation of over 50 foresters, including the Deputy Minister, arrived on the scene, to be given a thorough tour of the premises.  Consequently, I was 'on deck' at the Cookhouse by 6:l5 a.m., to help prepare breakfast and wait on table, and later, help with the washing and drying of huge piles of dishes and cutlery, after which preparations for lunch were forthcoming, while Lee (the Cook) made no less than 11 lemon pies for dessert.  One young lady was included in this gathering, and seemed to be able to 'cope' among such an overwhelming predominance of males.  After lunch, the group were shown over the nursery, and at 2:30 were back again for a coffee-break, before their departure, by two busses and many cars, back to the city.  It was a new experience for me to be cooped up hour after hour in the cookhouse, rather than enjoying the freedom of sunshine and fresh air out on the area, but it was in no way unpleasant, I learned.
   

(Subsequently, Ingemar told me that a Swedish friend, who was with the group, informed him that in Calgary, where he is working for the Forest Service, the fog-nozzle system of watering seed beds has now been abandoned, for it does not provide an even coverage of water for the special types of crosses with which they are experimenting, so that they have returned to the old-fashioned way of hand watering.  Also, a Professor from Berkeley, (Calif.) had  been heard to say that our transplants are far superior to any others grown on the Pacific Coast -- most gratifying, in all respects!)
   

Two of the staff -- Bob Hattie and Ken Bradley -- have been called in to assist at 'advising' as to the clearing and 'laying-out' of the Kiwanis Camp, at Ramsay's Point, where buildings are shortly to be constructed; much alder will be logged off, and an access road built up the steep hill from the lakeshore, to unite with the one that leads out from the village to Lakeview Park.
   

Ingemar has noted that overgrowth among the various Clone Banks out on the area is regrettably on the increase -- and there is little to be done other than his special technique of making three vertical slashes across the 'point of union', where the original graft was made, but even this operation does little more than extend the life-span of the endangered scion by a few short years.     As the fine fall weather continued, I was engaged in splitting up a vast pile of cedar posts into smaller stakes, to be used in laying out our new test site at Kennedy Lake -- with a sharp axe and 'good material' one can accomplish a lot in a day.  Meanwhile, Ed and Jim have been burning up great heaps of stumps, roots and logs left over from last year. (A coworker left recently for a few days holidays, and before departing, had made up an impressive list of duties for Jim to see to.  I was shown this list, and the first item on the agenda was 'Feed cats and stroke them'! -- I submit this for its humor, and not really with intent to be malicious!!)
   

Later in the month, an all-out effort was made to brace and to strengthen the great 'shade-frame', now covering the transplants on the transplant area -- we do not expect a repetition of last winter's heavy snowfall, but our watchword is 'Be Prepared' -- no doubt a good one!  Also, a certain Plus Tree, growing across the river below Skutz Falls seemed to have borne an abundant cone crop, so one fine afternoon, Chris Heaman asked me to go with him to collect them -- we found the tree without difficulty -- it is upstream from the estuary of Bear Creek, and seemed to be the perfect Plus-Tree type.  Herewith my observations on this occasion.  'My role in the campaign was to stand beneath the tree, marking the cones as they fell, then plunging through the cover of brush and salal to retrieve them.  (I debated eating my large apple then and there, but wisely refrained -- apple, tree, and weapon reminded me of a certain episode in the career of Wm. Tell.)  Chris fired a bewildering number of rounds of ammo. with little or no result; now and then a tiny twig would float earthward, and sometimes a shower of dried needles would rustle down.  When the cones did fall, it was anything but easy to locate them in the tangle of ground cover.  At last, at long, long last, we had gathered over 50 cones, from some of which the seeds had already fallen, much to the disgust of Chris, and so we started back to the vehicle, Chris with his rifle, I with the burlap bag of cones.'
   

Towards the end of the month, several days were spent in applying topsoil, in terms of peat, mixed with lime, nitroprills, Epsom salts, sulphate of Ammonia and of Potassium to the transplant beds.  For this operation, Mr. March, from Honeymoon Bay, appeared with his tractor and manure-spreader, and did a most excellent job of work.
    

During the early part of October, more grafting was done out on the Area, and attempts were made to stake, for winter protection, many of the young trees previously grafted, to prevent the same damage that had occurred last winter.  Also, I was kept busy, from time to time, in constructing extra ditches, to steer surface water away from the seed beds.  On October l7, Ingemar received the sad news of the sudden death of his young son in Sweden; -- he departed for home the next morning, and expected to be absent for several weeks.  On October 20, we noticed that the first snows of the season were far down on the hills, and it had become far cooler, even at High Noon.
   

Much late fall grafting is being done by Svend and one Terry Phipps, with scions from Gordon River, and Nineteen Creek and elsewhere.  Also, I have noted the passing of one Bill Campbell, who had been ailing for some long while -- he had been present when I first joined forces with the Forest Service, and had been in charge of the construction of the Soil Shed.  Ingemar returned to the scene in early November, and plans were made for a foray over to Squamish to start on a new test site, departing from here on November 8th.  A total of over 3000 cedar stakes were taken on this occasion, and the locale was far up the Squamish River on a steep slope.  A second site was located far up the Mamquam River, at a somewhat lower level, where for the first time I saw a Cinder Cone, testifying to the volcanic origins of this part of the Squamish area.  It was a most interesting assignment to work out at these remote test sites -- it took all of two weeks to finish the staking of them, and all being well, the subsequent planting of them will take place in the spring.
   

Towards the end of November, another test site was laid out in the vicinity of Stave Lake -- this was in a gloomy burned-off area to the north of Hatzic Lake, reached by following, for the first few miles, Sylvester Road.  It rained incessantly during the staking out of this plot, and due to the prevailing shades of black that surrounded us, it was no longer possible to see what we were trying to do much after 3:l5 p.m. (I have described the locale in terms of a very large canvas, painted in two distinct shades of black --'coal-black' and 'off-black', with the darkest shades of navy blue or deep purple as a contrast.)
   

On November 28, we set off for another location, in the vicinity of Kennedy Lake, where the 'Lost Shoe Creek' road turns to the right from the West Coast Highway to Tofino.  This at least was a flat area, as was the alternate plot beside Kennedy Lake.  It rained constantly -- that is to add, at no time was there not some form of precipitation descending from overhead, but at least, it was not cold.
   

Following this, a second area was staked out at the Victoria Watershed, (Sooke Lake) and after that, we set forth for a major project at Gold River; at that particular time, the highway was far from completed, and very rough in spots.  The little 'Instant Town' was just emerging from the birth pangs, so to say, and presented an interesting spectacle; it seemed totally incongruous to come upon a modern complex after having driven for many miles through the most outre of 'boondocks' -- to see such impressive structures as 'The Gold Crest Apartments', and the 'Gold River Inn' erected in such a wilderness.  (Herewith a comment on one slight impasse that occurred when we sought to fill with gas for the pickup truck.  'We stopped at the Gold River Motors to fill with gas, and when Ingemar asked politely if there were another filling-station where his credit card might be honoured, the proprietor rejoined -- 'There sure as Hell ain't, Bud, so what're you going to do about it?' -- there was only one thing to do, of course, and that was to pay for the gas out of Ingemar's pocket.)
   

As was the usual procedure, a second plot was established not far from the first, but on a lower level -- the soil seemed fairly good, and I recall that there seemed to be less competition from the usual matted impenetrable network of hemlock roots.
   

Then, shortly before Christmas, there was a final test site established out at the Victoria Watershed again, in the vicinity of Rithet's Creek -- this is generally known as 'The Lake District', and nearby to our planting site were Goldstream, Lubbe and Butchard Lakes.  It was interesting and beautiful country, and from time to time, the Victoria Waterboard sees fit to continue with the policy of selective logging, and subsequent replanting of the denuded areas.


    This, then, is the resume of the years of Our Lord, 1965 and 1966.

1967 - 69
The first few days of January, 1967, were spent in giving the Office precincts a thorough cleaning and polishing treatment --floors to be scrubbed, waxed and polished, walls to be washed down, and windows to be similarly treated; Ingemar's Office, too, underwent the same treatment the next day.  Then there was the floor of the Lab to be washed and waxed, and countless labels to be scrubbed, and more walls and windows to be dealt with. Later, the Soil Shed, as well, must needs be cleaned and scrubbed; -- the standards imposed by Ed are lofty ones, for sure, and much time is involved before my efforts are rewarded by his words of praise. A number of scions were brought in from the Robertson Valley by Ingemar and Chris Heaman, to be stored here in the cooler for later grafting.
   

On January 9th, the first expedition up-Island was organized to 'stake out' a planting site at Sayward, close to the Eve River.  The Planting Crew consisted of Ingemar, one Murray Bischler, and myself, and we made our headquarters at the Salmon River Hotel, which had but little to recommend it, or so we felt.  (Herewith an account of our first night there, lest others believe it to be a Luxurious Retreat, nineteen years later!!)
   

'I fear that first impressions were unfavourable; an excessively drunken couple fumbled together on a couch in the lounge, there was no one at the desk, nor was there a bell to ring, but at long last our host emerged from the Beer Parlor, a monstrously fat man, who seemed sullen and morose, and was determined that we should all "Double Up" in one room, despite the fact that Ingemar had booked 2 rooms several days before.  At last, he pushed two keys in front of us, and we ascended the shabby carpeted stairway to inspect our quarters.  The room shared by Murray and me had dazzling pink plastered walls and ceiling, where a large section of thin plaster had fallen away; one window-pane was cracked, there were no blinds at the windows, and a dearth of hot water in the bathroom.  Ingemar's room had similar shortcomings, including a certain spot in the floor, that creaked loudly under the slightest pressure.  The dinner downstairs in the dining room left little to be desired, and the premises seemed to be immaculately clean.  From the adjacent cocktail bar we had stray glimpses of the elephantine manager, who appeared physically incapable of producing the faintest smile.     Our chief ordeal still confronted us, for as the evening progressed, the pandemonium and revelry in the Beer Parlor below us increased; -- loud voices, coarse laughter, the braying of the Juke-Box, the tramp of heavy feet outside in the corridor made sleep impossible, and later, far later, 3 inebriated youths burst into the room next door, and the paper-thin walls were no protection, for every word, every loud laugh, every breath was plainly audible.  They continued carousing about until nearly 4 a.m., when they indulged in tranquilizers to subdue themselves, while I prayed that all three might triple the dose in error, but by 6:30, they began again, talking, guffawing, and stamping about -- Truly, a 'Night to Remember!'
   

Our test site was about l3 miles out from Kelsey Bay -- a south-west exposure, and fairly level ground for the most part.  It took us two days and a bit to complete the staking, after which we returned to the Station, where all had gone smoothly in our absence.     Next came more staking out on the Area, where further rootstock planting was to take place, near to the 478 replications, and later on, on what is now Maps 3, 4, 5, 27, &, A, B, C.  As time allowed, holes were dug in these areas for subsequent planting of the Provenances. Then, towards the end of the month, came the 'lifting' from the transplant areas, and the sorting and bundling of the young trees into two replications for outplantings.
   

Lost Shoe Creek, on the west coast, between Uculet and Tofino was our next planting site, and although the area was a tangle of hemlock roots and stumps, the weather was agreeable, and the ground not too compacted; -- we stayed at the Thornton Motel, where the accommodation was beyond reproach, and the assignment was over by  January 29th.  We have noticed how much milder the weather patterns seem to be out at the west coast, the only snow that we encountered was lying at higher levels in the Sutton Pass, above Kennedy Lake.
   

Our second assignment at Uculet was at Kennedy Lake, off the 'Sand River Road', and here, the water table was far higher than it had been when we had 'staked out' the test site before Christmas.  Again, a quote: --'The recent phenomenal and unceasing rains had rendered the ground impossibly heavy, and the stickly gummy soil, if such it can be termed, was anything but easy to work.  It stuck relentlessly to shovel and mattock -- it adhered like molasses, to boots and gloves and tool-handles.  Some of the holes that were dug filled at once with water, or a liquefaction of mud.  In these, we endeavoured to effect a sort of solidity by adding shovels full of duff, and a pittance of less sodden earth to make a sort of paste.  In other marshy spots, we had to build small islands from the weltering ooze.  And added to this was the frustration of networks of cable-like hemlock-roots around every stump, as well as deep deposits of 'duff', and old rotten logs to be dug through in the hope of discovering Mineral Soil far beneath.'
   

Ingemar had engaged the services of one John Stelling, from Tofino, to help us with this planting, and he proved to be a worth-while 'investment'.  But on the second day, after a night of rain, there were frustrations aplenty.  John Stelling had been asked to bring another helper with him -- perhaps he had little choice in his selection -- but his companion, turned out to be worse than a dead-loss.  Herewith another quote: --'Soon after, we were introduced by Ingemar,  I grasped his proffered hand in what I assumed to be a friendly grip, but there was a squeal of pain and protest -- "Ouch!, that's my sore hand!  I hurt it logging last week", -- I murmured apologies, and returned to work, while Ingemar gave a demonstration of just how the holes should be made.  Murray, John Stelling and I continued our planting.  Some minutes later, after 3 test-holes had been prepared, Ingemar joined us, and we tried to dig suitable holes in a wallow of water and mud, and to plant the trees in the approved fashion.  Presently there came a shout -- "Hey, anyone got an extra pair of gloves?"  No one had, and no one cared.  Rain began to fall again, and the prospects of any improvement in the weather seemed bleak indeed.  Long minutes passed, than another protest -- "Ouch, I got a bunch of dirt in my eye from the shovel!" -- but I fear we were too far away and too occupied to express concern.  He rubbed and scrubbed at his eye for a long, long time, and at last continued to dig feebly at his 3rd hole.  The rest of us labored in silence except for the squelch of mud and the gurgle of water.  And then, a despairing voice -- "Say, if it's all right with you, I'm going home -- this takes the cake."  And when John Stelling expostulated, 'Going home?  But how? -- it's 32 miles!'  His friend said bravely, "Walk, that's how!"  He had been with us perhaps one hour, he had prepared three holes, and at least, 400 holes were needed for the day's quota.  Ingemar murmured some commiserating phrases, whereupon he took his departure, 'unwept, unnoticed, and unsung.'
   

Work at the Test sites continued during early February, and on the 7th we began the planting at Rithet's Creek, in the Victoria Watershed.  For the most part, the weather was favorable, and apart from the presence of much coarse flinty rock, and a lack of good planting soil, the work went smoothly enough.  Our second planting area was closer to the Humpback Reservoir, so that we drove thence via the Malahat, rather than using the Shawnigan-Sooke Lake roads.   On our first day there, (Feb. l4) we encountered snow, and a piercingly cold wind blew in from the Straight of Juan de Fuca.  As a result of this, we could not continue with our planting program until Feb. 20th, finishing the assignment by the next day.
   

Then followed the 'lifting' of the trees to be planted at the Gold River areas, for which we departed on the 27th, making our headquarters -- pro -- at the 'Gold River Inn', -- (the only headquarters available at that time)--.
   

Our planting area was about l3 miles north and west of Gold River, and an overnight fall of light snow, as well as thick deposits of 'duff', and an abundance of the cord-like tangles of hemlock roots hampered our style to some degree.  I note here -- 'He -- (a casual passer-by) -- endorsed the plan for deep-planting, so that the tap-root is firmly embedded in mineral soil; this, we sincerely try to follow, but work is slow when one digs down from 2 to 3 feet in black duff, before reaching soil of any sort, only to find that the nearest supply of available mineral soil may be perhaps 30 feet away."
   

Perhaps a casual word concerning the impressions of the 'Gold River Inn' might not come amiss, if only to illustrate the 'life and times' of the Cowichan Lake Research Planting Crew in the Year of our Lord, l967; -- this, of course, should be deleted from the final script.  'A word about the staff, or rather, the waitresses.  We are usually attended on by Cindy or Diane, both reasonably immaculate in black dresses or uniforms, and white lace aprons.  I have --cruelly, perhaps -- nick-named Cindy 'the Mona Lisa without the Smile' -- she is young, has a classic profile, perhaps, - a chignon effect of smooth dark hair, and an inscrutably reserved expression -- almost an 'astringent' expression.  She 'minces' when she walks, but the smile we have yet to see.  There is no friendly greeting, no "Good morning, how're you guys doin'", which we have learned to expect from Diane.  I do not consider Cindy especially efficient --she confuses our orders, and never asks our pleasure, but this could be forgiven if there were even for a fleeting instant, a touch, a trace even, of the warmth of humanity and goodwill towards men.  Diane is another cup of tea.  She is dark, and her coiffure is an upswept affair of frizzed curls, to supply the effect of added height, for she is not tall.  Her complexion verges on the swarthy, with heavily blackened eyebrows, and glittering narrowed black eyes, surrounded by murky wells of eye-shadow.  Her voice is a little coarse, her speech common, but she knows that the way to a man's heart lies in the lavish portions of jam and marmalade and the extra cup of coffee that she places before us.  --(Any of you guys like more coffee?  Say, where are youse working at, anyways?  I thought maybe you was out fishin' or somep'n.  Plantin' trees, eh?  Oh, Jeez!)  How much more to be preferred -- the earthly touch -- than the prim, sterile services of Cindy -- no jam, no marmalade, extra coffee only for the asking, no conversation.
   

But for the rest of the staff, particularly the men in the lobby, one can regard them as only assembly-line products, brainwashed and trained to only one standard, that of a sort of controlled and mercenary efficiency, from which all trace of human contact and warmth and sincerity has vanished.  One tires, or I tire, of the endless taped music, which begins at 7 a.m., and continues without cessation till 9 or l0 p.m.; the faded daffodils and carnations are an affront to the eye, and to the soul, and at times one is aware of the pretensions and the 'phoniness' of 'The Gold River Inn'.
   

We had finished this assignment by March 4th, and next came the lifting of the trees for the Adam River planting.  March 6 found us comfortably settled at 'Woodlands Lodge', a short distance out of Kelsey Bay, which we found most delightful -- a total contrast to both the 'Salmon River Inn', and the 'Gold River Inn'; how much can be said in praise of the quiet, hospitable retreat, where the 'old-fashioned' standards and customs prevail.  Our plot was about 11 miles out of Kelsey Bay -- there was an abundance of good available soil, nor were the many hemlock roots any worse than those we had dealt with on previous testsites.
   

On March 8th, we were visited by a severe snowstorm, and a viciously freezing wind, which had a disastrous effect on our progress -- when hands, fingers, and feet are frozen, everything comes to a slowdown, and the warmth and comfort of the heated cab of the pickup is a blessed haven, until the storm is over.  And one is sustained by the thought of the dinner that awaits at 'Woodlands Lodge', and the restoring hot shower, and other creature comforts. Our commitment here ended on March 11th; apart from the snow shoes and the resultant cold, it had been one of the most pleasant outings to date. Beautiful and interesting country, and intriguing to learn a little about the early history of the area from our host and hostess at 'Woodlands Lodge'.
   

Between this planting and the next, we were occupied at the Station in 'lifting' from the seed beds and the transplants for the next outplantings, such as Mamquam, Bonanza Lake, and Squamish, or Mission, but occasional falls of snow on the mainland have delayed our departures.  But on March 20th, we set forth for Mission, and the next day were working out at our Test site, which I see I have referred to in these terms.  'When we came to our planting area, it  was as black, as hideous, as gloomy and dismal, as forbidding as anything one might ever see.  On the steep slopes around and above us there was snow, and we could hear power saws  and the rumble and thunder of logging and gravel trucks, passing and re-passing on the winding gravel roads.  Our first task was to carry tools, stakes and one bag of trees across the wilderness of blackened logs and stumps over to the staked area, and then began the Herculean effort of planting.  Every possible drawback, plus a few added ones, were present.  There were innumerable blackened Hemlock stumps and hundreds of rotten logs in all stages of disintegration; there were rocks and boulders, and the duff varied in depth from a few inches to several feet.  The mineral soil was indeed hard to come by, and as often as not concealed rocks the size of footballs.  And everywhere, there was water -- surface water and subterranean springs.  Holes, hastily dug, soon began to ooze with water.  Where rivulets and freshets rushed from steep slopes, we tried to construct levees or islands and always, eternally, the mud and gumbo stuck like glue to shovel, mattock, to planting bag, to boots, to rubber pants, to hands, to gloves, to everything, and the rain varied from a steady drizzle to a steadier shower, and at intervals, a cold wind lashed and rummaged about us.'  (At the end of this first day, we had planted but 400 trees, but all things considered, we did not feel this to be too bad a record!)
   

On our second day, I have observed -- 'It was hard to be cheerful while planting -- there were so many 'ifs'; if there were no roots, if the duff were less thick, if the soil were more available, if there were no ponds nor streams, and above all, if it would only stop raining for an hour ----!'  As we neared the end of our assignment, the wind lashed at us furiously -- four times my  hard hat blew off, generally into a pool of slimy ooze, and the rain, too, was relentless.'
   

Our next location was to be at Mamquam, south of Squamish, where we were domiciles at the Chieftain Hotel, where we had registered several times previously.  Since this was approaching the end of the month, the weather was improving daily, and even in the high mountains above the Mamquam, much of the snow had melted.  Ingemar had required an extra helper to assist with this venture, so, with the recommendation of a fellow-forester, from one of the logging offices, we 'acquired' Bill, who claimed experience with the art of treeplanting.  He proved to be an energetic worker, too, but his background -- social and otherwise -- was not quite what we were accustomed to, I would say.  (He referred now and again to his 'terms' in the 'pen' --; the first time, he had been locked up for l0 days, with a $50. fine, but the second offense called for 30 days detention, and a fine of $l25.  (Both offenses were 'contributing to Juvenile Delinquency by supplying liquor to Minors'. Bill was casual about revealing this shameful 'past' , as one might discuss the weather.
   

On his third day, a rather odd situation developed, which is worth mentioning, I feel:  Ingemar and Fred de Vries had started off early that morning to call for Bill at his somewhat dilapidated abode, north of Squamish, and they overtook young Brian and me as we set forth for the planting site.  Upon arrival, I saw Ingemar and Fred emerge from the pickup, but not so Bill, who lay slouched in the front seat, his head resting against the door in profound slumber.  (From here on, I quote).  'After a moment's inspection, I realized that this was not Bill at all, but a 'substitute', or should one say, an 'impostor'.  This man had lank black  stringy hair, also, he wore glasses.  Had he 'done away' with Bill, and did he plan to 'do away' with all of us?  The situation was presently explained by Ingemar, who reported that Bill had left the night before for Vancouver, and had engaged his friend, to work in his place.  It seemed he was far from sober, and had slept all the way, quite oblivious to the swaying, the jolting, and the shaking, but seemed prepared to give a good account of himself.
   

My work of putting in the 'end stakes' took me some distance off, so that it was with some surprise that later on, I saw a slouching form draped across the tailgate of the Mercury, drinking coffee (I presume) from a thermos; at first, I thought it must be my coffee that was being consumed, but I tried to think more charitable thoughts -- 'His need is surely greater than mine' -- 'There but for the Grace of God go I'.  But to my relief, a short time later, I saw our latest incumbent lurching and swaying down the road, lunch pail in hand, with at least a 10-mile jaunt before him.
   

Later, Ingemar and the other lads reported that the decline and fall of the man had been very swift; he was hopelessly drunk, and could scarcely walk, but somehow had managed to navigate down the steep blackened log that served as a bridge from the road level to the rough ground below.  Here, he had been handed tools and trees, whereupon he ran, or lurched, down another long and sloping log, from which he fell, heavily, and sprawled face down, in the duff.  When he recovered, Ingemar showed him exactly how to dig the holes for planting, and how best to chop out the thick, tough hemlock roots.  With great deliberation he dug three holes, all of which failed to come to standard; these had to be re-dug, after which he remarked, 'I can't take this work -- I'm going home'.  Then he inquired which way he should go, since he had slept all the way  in the vehicle, then toiled laboriously up to the road, and was seen no more.  Oddly enough, the boys and Ingemar noticed at once that he was attired in Bill's costume -- the blue denim trousers, with the red stripe, the derelict black coat, the checked shirt and the caulked boots.  It was really with a sense of relief we saw him go, for in his present state, he was a major responsibility.  'Feet of Clay' -- indeed, yes.'
   

In early April, we set forth yet again for the planting area at Bonanza Lake, and this involved the ferry journey from Kelsey Bay north to Beaver Cove -- almost a four-hour journey, I recall.  Here, we stayed at the C-Z camp, at Kokish, where accommodation in the bunkhouse left little, if anything, to be desired.  The daily schedule was efficient -- in the lunch-room at 6:l5, where we made up our noon-day meals from a wide choice of offerings, and into the dining-room for 6:45 breakfast.  Our test site was about l5 miles away, over a very rough gravel road, but it is interesting and challenging country, I would say.  Here, it was a case of laying out our site, since we had been unable to do so during the winter months, but as soon as this was completed, the trees were ready to be planted.  We found the soil very limited, but the depth of the duff was remarkable -- thus, it was a very slow process to do a really good and conscientious job of putting in the crosses.     Our second replication was further along, and at a lower level, where the duff was even deeper, and the soil more hard to locate.  But we finished the assignment by April 11th, when we made our departure from Kokish, travelling back to Kelsey Bay on the 'Island Princess', in a glorious flood of sunshine.
   

Following these activities, there came some days of transplanting seedlings out on the area; at this, Annie Padjen, Bertha Eklund, Fred de Vries and I all labored, under the supervision of Ingemar and Alan Orr-Ewing. During the months of May and June, work around the Station continued smoothly -- much preparation of new areas, blasting out of stumps along the access road, bonfires when weather-patterns permitted, endless raking, weeding and watering of seedbeds and transplants.  The acquisition of a small 'Rototiller' was a step forward, except in cases where the little machine simply could not handle the work demanded of it, when mattocks, shovels an rakes were called in to service.  On account of the limitations of the 'nozzles', used over the seed beds, sometimes the watering had to be done by hand -- a slow process when compared to the efficiency of the present systems.
   

Those appearing from time to time on various projects included Ken Bradley, usually involved with thinning projects over widely-separated areas, Keith Hamblett, Svend Anderson, and of course, Chris Heaman, who, not unlike Ed Roberts, always appeared to be whirling about at breakneck speed.  Daily checks were made at the seedbeds for mouse or cutworm damage, and a mixture of oats, peas and vetches was planted on some of the newly-turned ground to provide 'texture' for next years' crops.  Once or twice, the irrigation lines were extended westward from the 'nursery', by adding extra pipe and two oscillating sprinklers, but even so, there was much left to be desired in terms of a good watering-system.     On June l6, I note that there was a visit from Alan O-E; he was anxious to do a 'germination count' of his second-generation inbreds, and was interested by what he discovered there; -- ('Since many of the seedlings we counted were what Alan terms 'Second Generation Inbreds', there were some strange results -- several were plainly Albino, with reddish, transparent stems and white or yellowish needles; these cannot live for long, since they cannot produce chlorophyll -- others are definitely 'twins' -- a second  smaller seedling grows out of the stem of the emergent leader, almost like a 'branchlet', and one oddball had but one large thick needle, standing erect, like a continuation of the stem.  How interesting it will be to follow their development.'
   

In general, Ingemar is pleased with the Germination Count, as the results are most gratifying -- 90 - l00% in most cases.  It is a slow process, however, for beside each germinant, a tooth-pick is thrust into the soil, I craning over the back of the seedbed in question, and Ingemar crouched on the ground at the 'low' side.  Now and again, we run out of toothpicks, which means a hasty dash to the village to replenish our supply.
   

Occasional jaunts were made up to the Gordon River and Lens Creek Clone Banks, to cut out expendable grafts, or others that had not 'taken'.  Now and again, liquid fertilizer was applied to the contents of the seedbeds, and the transplants, which must needs be copiously watered afterwards by hand to minimize the chance of burning them.  Many, very many, were the wheelbarrows of rocks, coarse stones, bits of roots and bark that were carted away from the vicinity of the rows of seedbeds, and these were dumped behind the present site of Greenhouse l, at that time a dense forest of second-growth.
   

In early July, there was a serious condition of 'Damping Off' in the seedbeds, as well as a type of Botrytis Infection, both difficult to control, causing Ingemar and Alan O-E much concern.  Apart from regular spraying with 'Arosan', there seems little to be done to effect a control, however.  Later on, a Dr. Bloomberg was summoned, from Victoria, to express his opinion; when he at last appeared, he spent a very long time poring over the seedbeds, and at last expressed his findings, (which we already knew!!), by informing us that the trouble was indeed a type of 'grey mold', or Botrytis, and that apart from the applications of 'Arosan', and fumigating the seedbeds next spring, there was nothing else to be done, pro tem.     Later in the month, the 'green crop' of legumes was cut down with the scythes, and plowed under, after a fashion, with the rototiller, and then, for sometime, the routine was out on the area, scything up and down the various Clone Banks.  There was, at this time, what we referred to as 'The Hardwood Arboretum', located where Maps l5A & l5B show on the present-day maps.  In this plot grew some Oaks and Ash trees, (European Oaks, I should add) some Chestnuts, a group of Abies procera, and a few 'Cunninghamei', that resembled small Monkey Puzzle Trees.  Over the years, they seemed to have been given very little attention, and were later removed, all but the Maple grove from the Chartwell Estate, in Kent, and the adjacent planting of what I believe I was told were 'Chilean Beeches'.
   

Then there followed a 'weeding program' down at the Victoria Watershed (Sooke Lake), where the dormancy check was made by Ingemar.  Back at the Station, the fog-nozzles over the seedbeds have given trouble, for very few of them seem to deliver the same amount of 'fog', and the slightest obstruction to the pressure --such as a trace of slime or a grain of sand down at the intake -- can upset the irrigation patterns, but with the installing of new 'wide-angle' nozzles, shipped out from Philadelphia, there may be improved results.  Out on the area, where a few particular grafts have suffered from the prolonged drought, watering is a laborious business -- one must struggle under the fence, and scoop water from the lake with a watering can -- a slow process indeed.
   

The Botrytis has been increasing, it seems, and as a preventive measure, ventilators have been incorporated into the high north-'wall' of each seedbed, which may provide a better circulation of air, to help to control the problems.
   

'Weeding', in terms of scything, was done, also, at the Loup Creek Clone Bank, in the Gordon River area during early August.  There, the trees planted there almost two years ago had done extremely well; I have termed it a 'Clone Bank', but not so -- it is actually one of Alan's 'Testsites', and one of the better ones, I would say.
   

During mid-August, due to the unremitting heat, the entire area was declared out of bounds, and no one is permitted to go there without special permission.  It has been one of the hottest and driest of summers on record over a great many years, it would seem.
   

Towards the end of the month, there was extensive preparation for sterilizing a great mound of soil at the transplant area; Svend Anderson and I were delegated to do this, and it was a very slow process.  When the great mound of soil had been raked out to a uniform depth, the whole area must be covered over with plastic, in which l500 holes had been poked at l0" intervals.  And into each hole must be poured l/2 teaspoon of 'Verlox' -- no more, and no less.  Then following this, the plastic must be removed, the whole great mass raked over to distribute the chemical, and the plastic  replaced, to contain the deadly fumes.  (We wore goggles and respirators during this exercise, nor was it in any way cheering to be bombarded by Ed's prophecies of Doom and Gloom -- he was convinced that if one allowed one-half drop of 'Verlox' to touch the skin, or breathe one whiff of the chemical, he would be rendered sterile for life, if indeed he lived!!)  But somehow, strange as it seemed, all went well, nor did Svend and I appear to suffer any serious ill effects.
   

Dormancy checks are conducted each week now, and the usual trends show -- some crosses 'slowing down' more quickly than others, then, for some inscrutable reason, certain dormant subjects will suddenly flush for a second time!
   

During the month of September 1967, the usual maintenance routine continued at the Station -- much weeding of seedbeds and the transplant area, and at one point, the spreading of the sterilized soil in strategic spots.  This involved the diesel powered tractor from the Koksilah Nursery, along with the 'ripper', and a manure spreader to aid and assist in the project.  The next day, Mr. March, from the Bay, appeared with his Front-end Loader, and for once, all seemed to progress smoothly.  The weekly dormancy checks continued, too, and sporadic slashing down of brush and tall grasses as time allowed.  In spare moments, I was delegated to select cedar stakes, from a huge pile, to be 'planted' out at the new Clone Banks, so that, after appropriate tying, the grafts would not be subject to the rigours of the previous winter.  Now and then, a foray out to some of the Test Sites here in the valley, and up-Island were made, to record the height measurements of the young trees -- in most cases, they had made good growth, and there seemed little evidence of mortality, nor damage from severe browsing.
   

One of my seasonal jobs is to rip out any traces of Broom on the area, and during my time at the Station, I have located the principal sources of the wretched invader.  It is of great importance to root them out before they produce seed in early summer, but this year, we have been too late for this precaution.  Alan O-E is vigilant concerning the removal of any trees that have packed up from root-rot -- every vestige of trunk, limb, twig and root must be removed, and hauled away to the Hillcrest garbage dump for prompt burning, since so far, we have no 'burn-pile' of our own on the Station.
   

During October, a fall grafting program was introduced, and Svend Anderson and his assistant brought in scions from McKay Creek, (on the north shore of the lake) and also from the Adam River area.  Now and then, when time permits, there have been deer-slaying expeditions out on the area, for they are damaging some of the young root-stock or the scions, which is worse, but generally, it is an exercise in futility.
   

Another test site was chosen in the Nitinat Valley, but it was in a very steep area, and it is felt that perhaps Alan would not approve of it.  Towards the end of the month, the weekly dormancy checks seemed a bit uncalled for, since so many of the young trees were no longer showing signs of future flushing.  And towards the end of the month, two men arrived on the scene with a new 'Howard Rotovator' to demonstrate for us, and it was with immense satisfaction that we learned that the purchase would be 'approved' by the Purchasing Commission in Victoria.  Even Ed was obliged to agree that it would be a vast improvement over the feeble little Rototiller.
   

A second testsite was laid out in the vicinity of Port Renfrew -- east of the village, and just off the Renfrew-Shawnigan Road, overlooking the San Juan River.  (As I had anticipated, Alan had ruled out the choice of an area up the Nitinat Valley, so a day was spent in pulling out all the stakes that had been previously planted there.)  And just before the end of the month, we 'laid out' yet another testsite, on the Taylor River, to the west of Sproat Lake.  This exercise took us three days, during which the weather was most pleasant.
   

Next came yet another Test site, this time back in the vicinity of Long Beach -- we stayed at the Maquinna Hotel, in Tofino, and our planting area was on the Grice Bay Road, where a recent slash fire had blackened everything that we touched; weather was a mixed bag, for one day, we worked stripped to the waist in warm sunshine, yet the next morning, heavy rains descended and continued most of the day.
   

Near the middle of the month, we staked out another plot in the Lens Creek Valley, high above the Fleet River -- this was a favourable area in which to work -- fairly level, with few rock out-croppings to impede our progress.
   

Then there came yet another 'posting' at Gold River, where we set out two more 'replications' on the Oktwanch River, and taking into consideration the lateness of the season, we were indeed lucky with the weather.
   

Here is a quote from the entry of November 27, 'We drove out to the area to discuss a new plan of action formulated by Alan; --this, it seems, is a complete 'volte-face' in routine, for it seems that, due to the prevalence and increase of overgrowth on the area, the practice of grafting is about to be relinquished.  Therefore, hundreds and hundreds of ungrafted rootstock are to be pulled up and thrown away at random.  Alan has already yanked out several hundreds, and there they lie, with their roots exposed to wind and weather, in untidy and neglected heaps.  It seems sacrilege, to say the very least, to destroy these poor trees, planted several years ago with tender loving care, and nurtured through phases of drought and heavy precipitation.  It seems senseless that so much work and effort should go for nothing, but Ingemar, who feels similarly distressed about this edict, explains that all these phases and experiments are 'expendable', and one must expect them to be discarded at a moment's notice.'
   

This plan, then, influenced my labors for several weeks --hundreds upon hundreds of fine young rootstock must be hauled out en masse, the stakes hauled out as well, and later, the little corpses were piled along the roadsides on the area, to be later heaped into one huge central pile for burning.  (The stakes, too, were carried out to the roadside, to be later returned to the stake pile for future use.)  Then, for the last few weeks of December, there was much emphasis on making dedicated preparations for the forthcoming winter -- vast numbers of grafts out on the area were staked and tied securely, and back in the nursery, the fibre-glass screens over the seedbeds were each covered with plastic, over which was laid two rows of snowfencing, tightly nailed down at each end of the beds, to give extra protection from high gales and deep snow.  The wooden 'plugs', to provide ventilation on the high side of each bed must be replaced, as well, as a prevention against drafts.
   

Many 'deer stalking expeditions' were organized this month, for the light falls of snow soon showed us how many of the creatures were inside the fence, but generally, our efforts went unrewarded.     During January (l968), most of the work at the Station consisted of weeding out brush on the area, and burning up small heaps of rubbish and discarded rootstocks and trees that had been wiped out with rootrot.  Then, there were occasional deer-stalking parties, when several of us would be involved, and once in a while these were successful.
   

Heavy snow fell on January 9th, and again, power and phone lines were out.  But on the l2th, a calamity occurred that is worthy of comment:  'Ingemar, pausing for a moment to straighten up from his shovelling of snow at the seedbeds said suddenly, "Trevor, look there", and pointed to the west.  I followed his gaze for a few seconds, noting nothing amiss, when all at once I became aware of a  blankness, a sort of vacuum where the great shelter over the transplants had stood -- for lo! and behold -- in the twinkling of an eye, it had fallen completely flat over the l0 or l2 thousand young trees beneath!  We ran -- if one can be said to run -- across the sloping terrain through over two feet of snow to inspect the wreckage -- and in all truth, it was a sorry sight.  In falling, the great structure had veered to the north and to the east, so that some of the young trees were exposed and undamaged, so far as we could see, but by far the greater number were hidden from view by quantities of snow-ladden lath fencing.  At this point, there was nothing we could do but seek to exonerate ourselves from blame, which was not difficult.  We could not, in any case, have shovelled the snow-fencing clear without throwing the snow down on the trees below, which would have damaged them no end, and it was not possible, at the time of construction, to plant the posts in more deeply.  If the snow had been fine and light and dry, it would not have collapsed -- if it had not rained the night before, the soil would have been far less spongey and firmer, but one can always be wiser after the event!
   

It was decided to keep the disaster a secret for a few days --why ruin the weekend of Alan and Chris unnecessarily?  But on Monday began 'Operation Cleanup' -- it took several days of careful cutting up of the long poles that supported the snow-fencing overhead, but once this was all cleared away, it was surprising and encouraging to find how little damage had really been done to the trees, and how short a time elapsed before they managed to straighten up once again.  There had been some damage, too, to the glass screens over the seedbeds -- we had hoped that the protection of the snow-fencing over them would have been a safety-factor, but the weight of over  two feet of heavy wet snow is incredible, and many of the glass screens had sagged and cracked in consequence.  Eventually, the long poles that had been employed on the great shade frame had been cut into smaller sections, and were piled at the side of the road, and it was felt that the young trees would weather the rest of the winter without protection, which did prove to be the case.
   

Later in the month, the annual evaluation of the 'Sex Buds' out on the various clonebanks was carried on -- a trifle early, perhaps, but if the weather conditions are favorable, and the light is good, the female buds show up distinctly, and the pollen buds are always easier to locate, we have found.
   

Heavy rains had raised the lake level more than somewhat, and the road access bridge over 'Mesachie Creek' was very nearly under water.  (Quote, from Jan. 23rd) 'Strange statements persist, however; Ed and Ingemar do not believe that the lake was higher than a year ago, yet the John Coleman family had to flee their dwelling, and certainly the road to the Douglas Creek home was under water.  How can this be?'
   

By the end of the month, it was decided to 'wipe out' the early Clone Bank out at Lens Creek, in the Robertson Valley, partly because of the great distance to drive to work there, as well as owing too much browsing by deer, and anyway, we have nearly the same 'clones' now established here at the Station.  Then, the 'plastic tent' must needs have a new 'skin' applied to it -- after a hot summer, and much buffeting by winds and stray snow-storms, the plastic seldom lasts more than one season, we find.
   

During early February, plans were discussed for a new and far more reliable irrigation system; -- one of the members of the Victoria staff, (Pat Chew) appeared on the scene one day, and he and Ingemar went over the complex situation in full detail.  Later in the month, the women -- Bertha and Annie, -- returned to assist with the 'lifting' of the 2-year old trees in the transplant beds for subsequent planting-out at Kennedy Lake, and elsewhere.  Once the frost was out of the ground, this work went smoothly, -- Bertha was adept at counting out the trees into bundles of 50, and culling expertly, so that only the superior types would be saved.
   

The first of the outplantings was done at Kennedy, and the next, on February 26, out at Port Renfrew, at the testsite on the San Juan River -- this last plot was planted by Ingemar and Blair Haggit (from New Zealand), who had joined the 'Forces' in early January.  For the last two days of this operation, I was included in the crew, to set up the 'End Stakes', and to hammer them firmly into the rough ground, and then, to put up the 'Signs' along the top and bottom of the site, warning the Public to refrain from tampering with the young trees.
   

Following this exercise, there was the Fleet River site to be planted -- this lies to the left of a very steep access road that follows the main branch of the Robertson River, to the point where it is separated from the Fleet Valley by a rough 'divide' in the terrain; at this time, Pacific Logging was operating in that particular area; weather was not of the best at this time, and due to heavy falls of snow, the job was delayed somewhat. Meanwhile, the new waterlines were being installed from the lake up to the nursery, to be connected eventually to a new pump, all of which was a most necessary step in the right direction, I would say.     We finished with the Fleet River project on March 20th -- for once, we were working on fairly level ground, but recent erosion and the resultant new creek-beds had made the planting less easy.     During early August, there was carried out a careful and detailed evaluation of all the trees in the Clone Banks; extruding rootstock branches must needs be cut back, each union inspected for overgrowth, any threat of rootrot carefully examined.  The results of all this were recorded for future reference.  (My part in this exercise was to scythe down tall grass and fern around each trunk, during which the faithful 'Tennenbaum' blade of the scythe finally fractured, to be replaced with the heavier 'brush blade'.)  It took us several days before this routine came to an end.
   

At this time, a new Machine was brought down by low-bed truck from Nanaimo, to be given a trial run at the Station -- this was named a 'Girette' -- a sort of mobile ladder, capable of trundling over the ground at about 2 m.p.h., and lifting the operator about 25 feet into the air, turning or pivoting from side to side so that he could pick cones, tie on pollination bags, or check for buds, controlling all functions from his lofty perch.  It is equipped with a three-point suspension, however, and certainly is not 'safe' unless in use on very level ground.  This would, of course, involve a great deal of stump removal, and the exorbitant cost of the unit is another consideration.  And no doubt for much of the year, it must needs be stored away in the toolshed when not actually in use.  It seems, therefore, that it will not be a top priority on our 'Purchase list'.
   

Around this time, a visit from Dr. Bloomberg established the fact that the 'trouble' in the seedbeds was not caused by fungus after all, but by the soil sterilant we had used had not totally evaporated, so that the chemical reaction proved too much for the root systems of the little trees.  He suggested frequent waterings and applications of 'Captan', which we had been doing in any case.     (Note, August 6th; 'At 4 p.m., we heard a resounding and extended blast on the Mill whistle at Hillcrest; this was believed to be a sort of 'parting knell' for 50 employees who were being 'laid off' -- each day, the village and the enterprise dies a little more')
   

By mid-August, a manure-spreader was sent up from Duncan, in order to apply ten loads of peat to the new transplant beds, that will be used by next spring -- a Ford tractor and 'Bucket Loader' arrived as well, but no sooner than the Spreader had been filled with sterilized soil, and attached to the tractor, than a 'breakdown' resulted, and the whole operation ground to a halt.  The next day, repairs were effected by the two 'operators' from Duncan, and at last the trouble was a thing of the past.  The 'Girette', too, was brought back from its trail run on the Area, and was returned to Vancouver, on its low-bed truck.
   

When 'Operation Manure-Spreader' was concluded, there was further sterilization of the soil to be carried out.  Blair Haggit, (from New Zealand) and I, used two heavy 'Fumiguns', filled with 'Vorlex', for this purpose, applying a 'shot' of the chemicals at intervals along the 200 foot 'chain' for even coverage.  'Vorlex' has a bitter and penetrating smell, and is lethal if swallowed, so we were satisfied when the job was completed.
   

The first of the annual 'Dormancy Tests' was done on August l5, but only a few of the young trees showed signs of 'slowing down'.  Another rigorous job was that of scything all along the outside of the perimeter fence -- this had not been done previously, and much of the heavy brush was fast getting out of control.  And about the same time, some of the ditches out on the area were being deepened -- it is important to get rid of as much of the 'surface water' that is so evident there, after the first heavy rains of the fall season.     (August 2lst; Note:  At the Station, I found considerable activity surrounding the appearance of the 3l European students who were to be given a 'tour' of the Station, involving Alan O-E, Ken Bradley and Ingemar; Blair and I saw a glimpse of the group, as they came on foot from the cookhouse to the Station, and all European nations were well-represented, I would say.  Alan reported that there was one lone Chinese, who had somehow been left over from last year, as he termed it.  There was an odd -- and also sad --reflection on our times relating to the Russian aggression in Czechoslovakia in the last day or so -- the one forestry student from Czechoslovakia was completely shattered by the tragic events, and remained all day at the Bunkhouse, lying on his bed, plunged in deep gloom and depression; whereas two Poles (one of the aggressive nations in the melee) were noticeably ostracized by the rest of the party, and two Russian students, who had originally been invited to make up the complete picture of Internationalism, had not come at all!!  Strange, indeed, the intrigue, the mystery and confusion that lie behind the one word, 'politics'.)
   

Blair and I spent some time in working at the new white-painted 'End Stakes' to be used out in the Clone Banks; first of all, they must needs be cut to identical lengths, then dipped in Cupricide, and then painted white, before being planted at each end of the various clones, before the new labels are affixed thereto.
   

Then, from time to time, I assisted Alan O-E in extracting seed from the hundreds of cones that were brought in from the area and elsewhere; for the most part, we used the cone-extractor, but occasionally, when the seeds were reluctant to come loose, we used a sharp knife to gouge them away from the protective cone-scales.     At intervals, Ingemar and Blair Haggit set forth for Up-Island to check on the various test-sites, in terms of survival and general progress -- most of them they found most encouraging -- a few 'moribunds' here and there, and also some browsing, which is of course, to be expected.  Later, they 'did' the sites at Mamquam, Squamish, Bonanza Lake and up at Loup Creek, near Gordon River.     Several large loads of cedar stakes were brought down from Campbell River by Ed. Roberts and his helper, for use on our Area; (at this time, we were not making up our 'own' stakes, and these had been produced by the 'prisoners' at Snowden Forestry Camp; many hours were spent here at the Station in sorting them out in various sizes, deleting those that were inferior, pointing vast numbers of the more sturdy ones -- good work for fine October days, when it was too fine for indoor work, such as cleaning up the offices and the 'labs', washing and polishing floors and cleaning windows, which was more suitable work for wet days -- This was followed, from time to time, by intervals of tying the young grafts to their adjacent stakes with surveyor's tape, to insure against troubles caused by heavy wet or melting snow during the forthcoming winter.

November, l968
Early this month, a 'cutting bed' was established, to see what might be done with Df scions, taken from lower limbs of certain Plus trees, in terms of an 'experiment'.  Fine gravel was brought up from the beach, and in this were laid the heating cables, and above them came a two-inch layer of fine clean sand.  Then on this were placed a number of 'flats', filled with soil composed of equal parts of sand, peat-moss and Perlite, and finally covered over with black plastic.
   

During this time, there was a thinning project out on the area, for Alan had decreed that some of the well-established grafts must needs be deleted from the Clone Banks; -- most of these were good-sized trees, and when felled, must needs be hauled out to a bonfire pile behind the 'Land Rover', which always performed most efficiently when used for such purposes.  (For what it may be worth, the first fall of snow on the hills was observed on Nov. 7th).
   

Chris Heaman organized the planting of the 'Cutting-bed', planting scions taken from Plus trees from the Nineteen Creek Clone Bank, after which a sort of 'tent' of polyethylene was placed over the whole structure to provide a 'controlled temperature', -- the location of this project was close up against the north wall of the Office building, away from direct sunlight.  The scions that Chris had selected with great care were immersed in a hormone solution for a space of 24 hours, to encourage root formation.
   

Towards the end of the month, Ingemar and Blair set off to lay out yet another testsite near Royston, I believe, and during their absence, I worked by myself on the area, starting a 'stem-pruning' project.  Then Alan O-E had found that many of the small trees recently put into the transplant area were almost engulfed in mud, which the rains had plastered against the stems -- so we applied large amounts of dry peat around each small victim, which was expected to correct this situation to some degree.
   

Towards the end of the month, some time was spent out on the Area, in staking the l966 and l967 grafts, and when weather permitted, there were height measurements to be taken in that vicinity.  Then in early December, two or more days were spent out at the clonebank near Port Renfrew, where rampant brush must be controlled, and a mass of old logs and limbs cleared away from a particular section where the previous slash-burning had not been too successful.  And after particularly heavy rains, out on the area, low-lying spots must needs be drained with  shallow or deep ditches in order to prevent saturation of the new clonebanks.  Snow fell early in the month, but did not stop the tying of the grafts; -- there were several abortive deer-hunts, too, at this time.     On December 11th, Cliff (the general Handyman) and I set forth in the big 'International' for Roberts Lake, north of Campbell River, to bring back a load of Cedar 4x4's for the Station, that seemed to be one of the 'products' available from the Snowden Prison Camp.  Here, there is a small logging-show, and a sawmill, and the lumber produced is used by the Government for fences, bridges, etc.  The men (prisoners) are paid about 50 per day for their work, and to judge from the most attractive surroundings, one would feel this to be the ideal spot for 'rehabilitation' among the young offenders.
   

The next day, most of the time was spent in cutting the 4x4's into 3 foot lengths, to be used for end-stakes.  Snow arrived in full force by December 22, with the usual vexations -- power lines down in to the Station, the seedbeds to be shovelled off, water and slush streaming everywhere.  On the night of December 30th, temperatures fell to 5% above Zero, and at the Station, the lake resembled a huge cauldron of boiling water, for clouds and drifts of icy vapor were poised over it -- this I have noticed on other rare occasions, and it must be seen to be believed!  Next day, it was impossible to drive out to the village on 'Greendale Road', so I started for the Station on foot, but was given a lift as far as Mesachie, where Blair, coming to meet me in the Land Rover, had become stuck at the side of the road.  Eventually, with the help of Ed. Roberts, in the big 'International', with snow chains attached, we extricated the Land Rover, and the rest of the day was spent in painting cedar stakes in the Soil Shed.  Blair drove me home at 4:30, stayed with us for a late afternoon tea-session, then made his farewells and his departure for Victoria, from whence he will start on his return journey to the Homeland.  And thus, l968 drew to its appointed end!

January l969
The adverse weather conditions governed our activities at the Station for the first half of the month; intense cold and subsequent falls of snow kept me employed mostly in the Soil Shed, painting or dipping the new cedar stakes, and when that job was completed, there followed much scrubbing of floors, walls and even ceilings in the Office building.  (Anent these operations, Ed, for some odd reason, does not 'believe' in using "Windex", nor any other commercial cleansing products -- one should use pure water, to which pure Ammonia has been added, and then, one should never use paper towels when good, old-fashioned newspaper is on hand, for the ink on the newsprint does a far better job than new-fangled 'Paper Towels' could ever do!!  (Well, this may be so, but it does not tend to speed up the task of cleaning windows, so far as I can see!)     At intervals, there were the usual complications of power failures, trails and roads blocked by deep drifts of snow, telephone lines down, a crew from Youbou employed to shovel off the Bunkhouse roof, -- all a part of a rather severe Cowichan Winter.  'We managed to reach the Station without incident, the 'Austin' tottering feebly up anything resembling a hill the chief hazard is not so much that cars are being driven too quickly, but that great walls and seracs of snow on both sides of the highway completely obscure from view anyone who might be entering from a side-street or road -- Thus, extreme caution is essential.  Ingemar and I began our day by finishing the snow-clearing on the Soil Shed roof, using a rope to haul ourselves up to the gable when we had shovelled one side free.  This was one of the 'bad' days from the viewpoint of weather, for it snowed heavily and intermittently, but heavily enough to pile up several more inches during the day.  The snow, I have noticed, sometimes can be 'heard' as it falls -- and today I listened in fascination to the sibilant whisper as the large flakes fell on my jacket -- an insidious whisper, as if to say, "Ah -- but you do not know what we, in our  millions can do; how we can fill in all your trails and bury your roofs again -- and we will!  Listen to us at work!!"  And I looked and listened and hated them, each and all.'
   

By mid-month, the snow had reached a depth of over 4' on the level, which meant constant clearing off at the seedbeds, for even with the protection of a double 'layer' of snow-fencing, the weight of the snow, as it melts, is considerable.  The snow, this year, seems to be of a special consistency -- it sticks and clings like glue to everything on which it falls -- sometimes, as it descends, each flake resembles a snippet of plastic.  I have been lucky in being allowed to use the Land Rover in driving to and from work, since neither my 'Austin' nor the 'Sunbeam' are reliable in this sort of snow situation.  Skis or snow-shoes are again mandatory in order to get out to the area -- the big International, even with chains, is useless at this time.  In the Village, there is no more funding for salt in snow-removal, so that some of the streets are littered with sand or just plain dirt.
   

Shortly before Christmas Day, the Cookhouse was closed, and Lee departed for Victoria -- he returned on January 20th, when I wrote --'Before noon, Lee arrived from town, and I delivered the three boxes of meat, eggs, etc. to the Cookhouse thereafter, a Cookhouse now strangely Arctic in appearance, with huge mounds and drifts of snow, in some places on a level with the windows.  Lee was somewhat subdued -- we are all either subdued or seething with rebellion about the weather!'    

January 23rd.  'Ed appealed to Ingemar and to me to help him with what, in effect, seems a somewhat senseless project.  This consisted of building and maintaining several little bonfires, over and above the intake pipe from the lake, which is connected to the irrigation pumping system.  This system is intended for Fire Protection at all times of the year, and the idea is not without merit.  But since no one, not even such savants as George Warrack, Richard M. Spilsbury and the Deputy Minister of Forests can foretell precisely when a fire may break out on the premises, and since in near-zero weather the suction pipe to the lake is frozen solid, it seemed, and seems inane to spend an hour or more to persuade half-a-dozen feeble little fires to waste their heat on the frigid air, when, apart from a brief 'testing period', the pump will not be used in any case.  But even if one thinks such things, one doesn't say them, so I plodded up and down from toolshed to lakeshore, with pails of sawdust, tins of fuel oil, newspaper and matches, and in due course, the six little fires gave a pathetic illusion of cheer, and the black, oily smoke that they produced perfumed the air for a time.  Later, with a blow-torch and by wading out several yards from shore, I managed to thaw the remaining section of pipe, where it is poised above the water.  Then at last, Ed started the big pump, and before many seconds had passed, water surged through the pipe in gratifying volumes.  But to what avail!  There were no burning buildings, Mrs. Roberts, Catherine and their three cats were not trapped, screaming for help in the second floor of the residence, the surrounding forest was not in flames, so after a short interval, Ed turned off the pump, and I am certain that in less than two hours, the pipe which I had painstakingly thawed, ever obedient to the dictates of King Winter, was safely frozen again.'
   

January 28th.  'I worked at sorting bags in the morning, except for an hour or so, when I helped Ed with his frozen intake pipe from the lake.  This time, we had eight little fires burning, in addition to the blow torch, which was not too effective.  I noticed at one point, with amazement, that the film of stove oil that appeared on the water as I worked formed a light scum, or layer, which froze in the icy wind before my very eyes!  At long last, the pipe was thawed, and the water began to lift, only to be pumped back to the lake by a discharge pipe, the only possible way of using the water until a fire on the premises presents us with an opportunity to 'go into action'.
   

Later this day, Ingemar and I conducted an expedition to the area, muffled up to our eyes like Siberian muzhiks (?), he on skis, and I on snowshoes, to search for 'female buds' -- a very poor show this year, little else but vegetative buds, so far as we could see. 

January 29th saw a repetition of previous activities -- a pipe-thawing exercise again, and another safari to the clonebanks, where we found little or nothing in the way of buds.
   

The long-deferred thaw began in early February, and for some days driving was a misery -- there was little that we could do at the Station, at least, out of doors.  But the annual 'Property List' must needs be made out for the redoubtable Miss Goward, and that can take many an hour, when, as is often the case, the properties that we have on hand do most certainly not correspond with those that we are supposed to have!!  Herewith a note on my opinions of Travel on Snowshoes.  ---'I cannot see the thrill, nor perhaps the tinge of romance that is reputedly connected with travel per snowshoe; Perhaps in the Arctic winter, with the Aurora Borealis crackling overhead, and the distant howl of wolves, then yes, but not, definitely not, on the area, where each slow step is a supreme effort, where one's feet slide and slip in the harness, where the snow sticks like clay to the wretched contraptions.'
   

Then there followed 'Operation Rescue -- the process of releasing from their snowy prison the hundreds of small grafts of last year.  This involved travelling up and down the vaguely distinguishable rows of faint mounds or igloos of hard-packed snow, and very carefully probing with a trowel until one found an imprisoned branch or scion.  In some cases, there had been no damage, but many times one came upon a poor small graft, bent or twisted, or worse still, completely snapped off.     In early February, there was a series of sharp frosts, so that I was able to cross over to the Area without the doubtful benefit of the snowshoes.  The entire area resembles some huge icy wasteland in the Arctic tundra, with here and there faint igloo-shaped mounds of snow, indicating that beneath is a poor imprisoned graft.  Here again, immense care is needed to extricate each brittle scion, for they are easily damaged by the careless slip of the trowel that we use for 'probing'.  Another fall of snow brought this project to an end, when again, the processes of thawing out the intake pipe from the lake with a 'flame thrower' seemed to be considered No. l Priority.  (I suppose that Ed is right in this matter -- perhaps the pipe might crack or fracture if it were not thawed out now and then, but it seems a lot of work for almost no 'result', I feel.)
   

Much time was spent later on, it binding up the shattered scions, with tape and narrow wooden 'splints', in order that some of them may 'heal' satisfactorily, and in time, grow into fairly decent trees, in spite of these reversals.  This year will be an exception in the controlled pollination program, for there are so few buds to be seen in the Clone Banks -- so few that it seems scarcely worthwhile to bother to try to count them.
   

By early March, we had started on the 'lifting' of the seedlings in the seed-beds, before which many hours had been spent in clearing away the deep mounds of snow surrounding them, in order to thaw the frozen soil more quickly.
   

Then, towards the end of March, new soil-mix was brought up from Butler Brothers, in Duncan, to replenish the seed beds that were emptied of their quota of seedlings.  The First Outplantings on the Area this year were located on Map 27, and later on Maps 54 and 55, where Alan  wished to establish a 'Test Site' for crosses on Home Ground, so to say --.  Here, two trees were planted beside each stake, so that later on, the weaker one might be removed.
   

On April, we started planting the next Test Site, at North-west Bay, beyond Parksville, perhaps l2 miles to the south of the Island Highway --here, there were still a few patches of snow, but it was a relatively 'good' site, having twice been slash-burned, so that brush and Hemlock roots were not too much of a problem.  Also, the available soil was plentiful, and the area was mostly level.
   

And towards the end of the month, at the Station, there was a project of thinning out trees in the 478 'Replications' to be dealt with.  (Alan O-E felt that they must needs be spaced more freely, so that every second one should be removed from the scene.)  After the felling of each tree, the stump must needs be painted with a borax solution, to prevent the spread of 'fomes', one of the many types of 'Root-Rot'.     The 29th of April saw the planting crew up at Royston, east of Courtenay, planting on a site that still was half-buried in snow, but our first day of work there convinced Alan and Ingemar that we must needs delay the further planting for a few more weeks -- many of the stakes that had been set in there were still beneath the snow-level!  So as a result, it was back to planting at the Nursery, and at the same time, erecting the protective 'frames', supporting snow-fencing, to provide shade during the middle of summer, and to add further protection against heavy snows in winter.  Alan is very concerned about the current spraying of the log-booms out on the lake against insect damage -- he feels strongly that a prevailing wind could easily spray the lethal chemicals over the water to his test-sites, and worse, to the rows of Inbreds, but he is powerless to halt the operations.  Fertilizing with 'Nitroprills' is also the order of the day at present.
   

May 5th, l969, I had the honor of 'sponsoring' Ingemar when he appeared at the Courthouse in Duncan to go through the processes of becoming a 'New Canadian', along with his Scandinavian friend, Andy Erickson, a carpenter, who has done good work now and then around the Station.  Needless to add, Ingemar passed through the ritual with flying colors, and later, we and various other 'applicants' were offered rather mediocre sherry and cake in recognition of the exalted status of the recent graduates.
   

The planting of the new 'Test Site', near the road to Cumberland, from Royston, went along smoothly -- the weather became remarkably warm for the time of year, and the snow melted almost before our eyes.  (Herewith some notes dealing with a situation that cannot be unknown to the vast fraternity of Tree Planters over the years, which may be worth recounting.  'After a truly wretched night, I awoke around 6 a.m.  I say 'awoke' from force of habit, for I truly believe that I did not sleep for more than an hour.  For one thing, the room was unbearably stuffy, even when I contrived to shut off the heat; then the window refused to open as it should -- (In the 'good old days' of sliding windows and heavy sash-weights, one could, if all else failed, prop open a reluctant window with a book or even a beer bottle -- but nowadays, when a flimsy crank constructed of some inferior metal -- plastic, perhaps? - refuses to work at all, one is frustrated indeed.)  Then there was the traffic, which surged past the hotel at regular intervals throughout the night, consisting mainly of transport trucks on their way to Campbell River, I suppose, since the truck-route bypasses the business section of town.  Each time one of these behemoths thundered past, the hotel fairly shook, and I shook too, with ill-suppressed fury and frustration.  Never have I come so near to hating my fellow-man, and fellow-woman, for in addition to the uproar of the trucks and cars below in the street, their came loud voices and guffawa from the inmates of the Beer-Parlor, located below us, which did not close until midnight.  Nothing is more shattering to the ear, and to the mind, than the female voice, rendered coarse by over-indulgence in spirituous liquors and tobacco, braying forth upon the midnight air with foghorn volume -- "Yuh, yuh, -- Well, I gotta go now, sure, sure, sure, see yuh t'morra, naw, naw, lemme go, I gotta go now.  Yuh, yuh....".  And every male escort of such ladies as the above, seemed to possess a car that refused to start, or that must be roared and roared for several minutes before departure.  Yes, I truly hated humanity, singularly and en masse, and longed for the peace and relative quiet of the banks of the Cowichan, or the citrus groves of Scottsdale, with rustling leaves and the wondrous utterances of the mocking-birds in the moonlight.  I did think of escape, I did think of dragging a blanket or tow out to the Land Rover, and driving out to some secluded spot near a lonely beach, but I did not act'.
   

The intensely hot weather by mid-May made it urgent to assemble the sprinkling system far earlier than was usual -- many more 'rain bird' sprinklers were added, and the water lines extended further and further up the slope to the transplant beds, to give the young trees -- all Df, needless to say -- a better chance to survive the heat.  Much careful preparation of the seedbeds was carried out at this time -- adding more peat, raking and re-raking, smoothing and re-smoothing, removing every vestige of coarse gravel and small rocks, and stray bits of old bark or shreds of wood, in order to assist good germination.
   

Chris was disappointed with the results of the 'cutting experiment' that had been started last fall; -- the total survival has been poor, and though some have 'calloused' well, no trace of root growth is evident.     Great care had been taken to insure that the sprinkling of the seedbeds does not result in 'over-wet spots', so that a system of metal eave-troughs beneath some of the overhead 'rainbirds' has been set up,  and for once, seems to work efficiently.  The seeding of the l0 or more beds was finished by the end of the month, efficiently handled by Bertha Eklund, Annie Padjen, and one Grace Waugh, from Mesachie Village.     Germination counts were conducted from time to time at the seedbeds, and every so often, I worked out on the area, 'weeding' with the fine new 'Austrian' scythe blades.  On June 9th, one John Vivian, from Vancouver, came to join the task force, and seemed very pleased to be working here, having first visited the Station earlier in the year, when some University group had made a tour of the premises.  Sporadic germination counts were most encouraging, often over 90% among some of the crosses, and I was amazed to find that some of the seed lots taken from moribund trees out on the Area -- trees afflicted with 'Overgrowth' -- had given excellent results in terms of germination.
   

June l6th, we started on 'early shift' at the Station, due to the intense heat, arriving at work by 6:00 a.m., and leaving at 3 p.m.  Towards the end of the month, a sinister attack of some type of fungus occurred in many of the seedbeds -- it is believed to be due to a lack of air-circulation -- or rather, it is encouraged by this, and so efforts were directed in improving these conditions by removing the fibreglass screens over the external vents, and taking away the 'center board' from each bed.  With the boards removed, fine wire netting was stapled over the gaps, to discourage the invasions by cats or small birds.  We have noticed, during these germination counts, that the seedlings endowed with 'Green Stems' seem less able to resist the fungous infection -- those with the 'Red Stems' appear to be more resistant, it would seem.  Several days later, it was decided that Bed 4 -- the worst afflicted -- should be 'drenched' with Arasan, as a last-minute stand against the lethal fungus.     By now, the 'Rototiller' has been equipped with a cutting-bar, so that it may be used out among the Clone Banks with some effect, but in reality it is too light for such exertions, and the least encounter with heavy growth, or with a small stone, brings it to a sudden halt.  We also possess a 'Brush Cutter', and that is effective, too, but again, it is not really designed for the cutting of coarse grasses nor bracken, which only the old-fashioned scythes seem to control.
   

Throughout the month of July, the entire time seemed to be spent out on the area; -- there was much scything of long grasses to be done, and considerable hacking down of the heavier types of bushes and brush.  Two young fellows from Sweden, whom Ingemar had met, were enlisted to help with this work, and though they were unacquainted with the mysteries of scything, they quickly learned, experiencing the usual aching backs and strained muscles for the first few days.  The tentative threats of fires on the area were considered from all angles, and Ingemar has 'divided' the area into smaller sections in terms of 'Priority'; he states that the total acreage represents an investment of over $250,000 dollars, but that some of the many clones are more valuable than others, and therefore require closer protection should a fire, or fires, occur.
  

August (l969), maintenance at the Station consisted mostly of 'weeding' out on the area, and also more top-soil and peat was added to the transplant area.  This necessitated using two manure spreaders, and a front-end loader, as well as a powerful 'cultivator', brought up from the Duncan nursery.  My part in the proceedings may have seemed inconsequential, but, I am sure necessary --it was chiefly raking out the new topsoil as it was applied, so that there would be no lumps nor clods of peat, nor any suggestion of small rocks or bits of limbs or bark scraps.
   

When this project was finished, then came the fumigating of the new ground -- a complex business, since the chemical -- 'Vorlex', in this case, must needs be applied at intervals of one foot, with cumbersome gadgets called 'fumiguns'.  John Vivian and I operated these weapons, and it took us one morning and an afternoon, including 'rolling' the ground with a 'home-made' roller, devised by Ingemar, to indicate the areas that we had treated.  'Vorlex' is indeed a toxic chemical -- we did not use 'respirators', but when the fumiguns must needs be refilled, unless we were careful, the operator would choke and gasp from the fumes, and any part of the skin, touched with the vapor, would smart and burn for some time after.
   

I have as yet made no mention of the odd transition of Mesachie Lake that has taken place in the past few days -- (quote) --!  A week ago, all looked exactly as usual.  However, on Monday of this week, I noticed while driving home, that the lake had become, overnight, as it were, a sickly shade of green -- not just a small corner, but the entire surface.  No one to whom I have spoken seems to have an answer other  than vague references to 'chemical changes', and inversions of temperature due to the recent hot weather, or even to a subterranean upheaval; anyhow, the whole situation is most odd, and must be really seen to be believed.'     Once again, it is time for the weekly 'dormancy counts', but this year, there are fewer plots to be dealt with.  Now that the Hillcrest Garbage dump no longer exists, as such, any refuse material that must be disposed of must be taken to the Lake Cowichan dump, several miles away.     During late September, most of the effort at the Station consisted of working out on the Area, putting in new 'End Stakes' where needed, and also planting stakes of varying lengths beside the grafts, which must be 'tied' before the first snows arrive -- we have had more than enough losses already from the damage done by wet and heavy snows and sharp  frosts, as the thaw starts, during the past two winters.  Survival checks and dormancy counts are rituals, as well, and one afternoon, I was out with Alan Orr-Ewing at the Lens Creek Clone Bank, to work at height measurements, which are necessary in continuing with certain records or 'studies'.
   

Detailed checks were done to the Clone Banks at Loup Creek and at Port Renfrew in early October, to include replacing of takes where needed, and completing height measurements as well.
   

Similar activities prevailed at the Chemainus plot, which had been planted four years ago, and which has progressed very well, I would say -- And following this, several days were devoted to the same work at the Sooke Lake and Rithet's Creek testsites, and later on, at the Goldstream Watershed plot, which had been planted more recently, I recall.  Some days later on, Alan and I concluded the work at the Lens Creek plot -- it was remarkable to find that some of the trees, planted years ago, were well over 30' in height, but others actually less than 2'!! -- due to the strange inversions in the particular Microclimate, where frosts have been recorded every month in the year!! (Quote) -- 'During the latter part of the afternoon, we were working in a section where the brown bracken was already fallen to the ground --by rain, wind, and frost, I suppose -- and we could see, here and there, the huge, monolithic silver-grey stumps, some still clothed in fire-scarred bark, of the 'Old' primeval forest that once grew in the Lens Valley.  How I wish I had seen the forest then, but in those days, it was very difficult to travel that far afield, except on foot, or else by knowing 'the Right People', and thus securing a ride on a speeder or a 'Locie'.  Still, these great stumps remain as a sort of monument to what was once, and to what could have been one of the most impressive parks in Canada.'
   

Later in the month, the Test Sites on the mainland -- at Stave Lake, for example, were inspected and 'checked' for survival by Ingemar and John Vivian, while most of my time was devoted to tying the countless grafts out on the area, in preparation for winter days.  And several ditches in the vicinity, that do not seem to speed the surface water on its way must needs be deepened, where at all possible.  (Once the clones establish strong root systems this will not be so necessary, as the 'systems' will assist in absorbing what now might be termed just 'puddles' on the ground.)
   

(It is perhaps noteworthy here to mention that on October 3l, Ingemar announced his marriage to Theresa, who teaches at Nanaimo, and will continue to do so, while he commutes daily from there, until later they manage to set up a domicile closer to Duncan.)

 

November 1969

Ingemar and John Vivian left early in the month for the mainland, to continue checking more of the test sites --- and for me, there were chores out on the area, such as clearing away all the litter of "wildlings" that had been removed during the past weeks, and deepening ditches that had proved to be far too shallow, and collecting and sorting out discarded cedar stakes.  Then, with the return of John Vivian, there was "winterizing" of the seed beds to attend to, applying first of all, a long strip of polyethylene over the glass screens, then laying out several 4x4's on which to support the long roll of snow fencing, which needs to be wired tightly down at each end of the beds, to prevent wind damage.  During this procedure, there were two visits from Barbara Davis, to pictures of some of the seed beds and the individual types of small Inbreds for Alan Orr Ewing;  the first lot of pictures taken by Barbara were a total washout, or so Alan felt,  and in order to prepare for her next visit, much fine peat must need be spread around and about the subject trees.
           

A jaunt was made out to the test site at Port Renfrew, to assess the growth and general well-being of the plot, and also at the Fleet River site...where all was in very good order, we felt.
           

Then it was necessary to construct a sort of plastic 'cocoon', or tent, to protect the planting of Eucalyptus, that had been successfully raised in one of the seed-beds; having no greenhouse at this time, no other system seemed possible to protect them from winter frosts.  By the time this construction was completed, each of the small but vibrant trees seemed almost hermetically sealed in, for the winter months, and we wondered in what condition they would be revealed when they were released to the light of day on some warm April or May morning.
           

In early December, we had three days of work at the Goldstream Watershed--a 'cleaning-up job', of removal of brush, small alders, tall grasses and wild raspberries from between the rows of trees in the test site. (Herewith a quote from December 4th---'For the rest of the day, John and I worked at the 'cutting-bed' at which Chris and I laboured a year ago.  So far as I can judge, the 'experiment' has proved to be a complete and utter failure.  Of the thousands of cuttings prepared a year last November, less that 50 have produced roots (and a dozen of them had died!), many in flats have died also and hundreds more have simply stood still--in a sort of 'suspended animation'; they are still green, and have produced a callous at the cut-end--but no trace whatever of new growth).  Anyway, it kept us occupied nearly all day to go through the 16 flats, rejecting the dead and moribund, replacing the hundreds of 'dormant' ones, and putting into plastic pots the painfully few that had made roots.
           

At this time, each day begins with a deer stalking routing, chiefly in the vicinity of the 'Big Swamp', where the creatures take refuge----we had tramped many a mile through wet brush and swamp until on Dec 10th, one doe was finally shot.
           

John Vivian and I have spent some days in 'staking out' a new planting area--a large one, this time, and once the 'frame' was established, with the guidance of Ingemar, the 'filling-in' went along smoothly, despite the intermittent rain storms.  (This is the large plot to the west of the Transplant beds, as one turns down to the lakeshore, on the right, or off to the left, past the Yellow-cedar Hedging Orchard, and is fully as large as any of our test sites up-Island, or over on the Mainland)  Map 7, this would be.

by Trevor Green

Editors Note: I sadly was unable to include Trevor Green's story in it's completed form, this was due to data storage issues on the site.