Monday, October 17, 2005

Biggest White Bur Oak (1975)

While driving home from watching the salmon jump in Port Hope (I stress the word "the", as in one) my father started to spin a tale about a record setting tree that used to be in the area. Taking him up on the story, I side-tracked our return trip and headed south from Mather's Corners in search this mythical monster.

Well we found it, however, it was in rather poor condition. Turns out it had been hit by lightning twice and even though it had pretty much passed on to forest heaven it was still an incredible sight to see. There was a plaque on it declaring it to be the largest White Bur Oak in the Otonabee region back in the year 1975. High praise indeed.

We pulled up and all of us (except my wife, who was sleeping) hopped out of the van to get a closer look. Between us and the tree there was a steel farmers gate topped with the wire from an electric fence. You guessed it, ZAP! My oldest daughter got zapped good (btw, she claims that Opa told her it was off). And at the exact same time as Sara was running back towards the van, my wife was barrelling out of it shouting something about closing the doors and a bee.

Well as it turned out, in our haste to see if we could all hug this tree and completely encircle it we forgot to shut ALL the van doors. Normally not a biggie, but as luck would have it there was a rather large and out of control collection of bee hives nearby. Sorry mommy. Needless to say, after calming the crowd, I snapped some quick pics, shooed out a dozen bees, and headed back down the road. Fun.

As luck would have it, I coincidentally snapped this pic only moments after Sara was zapped by the electric fence. Talk about luck!!

Look how small everyone looks against this bad boy...

Here's a quick pic I took of the bee hives. Not sure what's up with the barrels other then to create mass bee hysteria.

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