Written by William Butt, reproduced from the Fortune Teller
We have come full circle since Sept. 11th, 2001 .The dread of terror is instilled even in the most brave of us. 'How did it get this far?' one might ask. Very simple - we are all used to the idea of living free, the news media brings fear. The TV's are forever reminding us of what could happen next and for that reason our way of life is all but put on hold.
With the fall wind creeping across the land we are also reminded that winter is not so far away. Every morning there is a nip in the air. It feels good at first - after a few really hot humid days - but then the reminder is there that the time of year is coming when warm clothes are a must .If you are an outdoors person you know it's time to put the gloves in your pocket to ward off cold hands that you never had when you were younger.
The fall will bring its beauty also. The leaves are changing already, taking on a new look, with some dropping to the ground and others staying for a while longer; pretty colours of red, orange and yellow make up the most colours but there are other variations of browns and bleached out greens. It all tends to give the earth a new beginning in the spring as now most of the trees and plants are going into their winter sleep.
There is still more beauty yet to come with this change. New birds will be seen from time to time as they pass through town on their way to their winter homes in the south. A little bit of food in the feeders that you use for the winter birds would be a great help to our feathered friends as they take on fuel for their long journey.
After all we want them to come back next spring don't we?
Have you ever thought of how far they go? Well, a bird watchers hand book will give you a great knowledge of their travel. The book is not all that expensive and makes for a great pass time on snowy days. It would make a nice Christmas gift and it's an insight into where our birds go. You will be happy to know that you gave them a good meal for such a long journey.
Most of the flowers that graced our lawns and gardens are fading by now but what a bloom we all had this summer. On my walks around town I noticed that almost every house had a beautiful array of colours; some in very different pots and buckets, even a pair of rubbers held some flowers that were second to none. Great ideas! Keep it up, it's worth seeing.
Grassy Patch ATV Association had a fun raiser on Saturday, September 14th, to raise funds for upgrading of the trail. We would like to thank all those who took part in this worthwhile cause. This trail is another way to get to see and enjoy Fortune Outdoors.
This is a great time of the year, the early fall, it has so much to offer the people who love the great outdoors. It's a time when most of the wild fruit and berries are just right for picking. In this part of the island we are very fortunate to have a very good crop of berries of all kinds -and not to far away that most active seniors can get to by one mode or another- to get the winter supply of fresh jam and jelly to grace the morning breakfast table for toast that's made from homemade bread that this part of the island is famous for.
The crab apple trees took a bad beating with the last heavy wind storm in this area. For the few of us who gather this sour little apple for pies or wine making, this year was a failure but then again we can't have everything our way all the time.
Another wine making fruit, the plum - the kind that we have are known as the Damson plum; this fruit never came to much this year for some unknown reason, maybe it's a cycle. When they are mixed with English black berry (a.k.a. black raspberry) they make a very nice jelly and also can be used for a very potent wine.
Partridgeberry is another nice fruit that seems to find its way to the kitchen goodies and can be made in a great variety of cakes, buns, loaves and pancakes. What treats we have growing wild here in the Fortune area!
On my partridgeberry picking trip, to the hills in over the damn road, I met people from as far away as Mount Pearl. I thought they must have stumbled on to our berry patch while they were tourists in this area but that was not the reason - they come here most every year to pick those berries!
The blueberries are starting to fall now so if you are waiting for them to get that touch of first frost to sweeten them a little more don't wait too long, the sweetness will be gone with the dropping. And your wine and jam will have to come from another source.
On my many walking trips to the country this past summer I noticed a decline in the native partridge sightings. I did not see a single family of birds in all my walks. In past years there would be always a brood or two on the barrens inside of the watershed area - will they go the same as the cod? I think over-hunting of this small game bird by too many hunters with too many hunting dogs will see a total wipe out of the species in this area.
Country walks are good this time of year, if nothing else its good for your health. The fall colours will leave a lasting memory all winter of what the fall season had for you. Hope to see you in Fortune outdoors.
On my outdoor outings of walking and berry picking the thought passed through my mind one day of whom do I meet on the walks? Who do I see berry picking? The most startling thing leaped into my mind - its all older people and seniors who walk the trails and pick berries; who takes the gun and the dog to look for ducks, rabbits, or other wild life .Are we a dying breed? Will anyone do this after we are gone? I have never seen a young person on my country trips - a few who walk the trails; this is frightening. Will the next generation grow up and know nothing of the great outdoors. Only the bit they see on some trashy video game that has captured the interest of the very young. Thank God we have a few dedicated people like the Cub Masters who take a group of young boys and try to do as much as they can to show them there is more to life than the idiot tubes of TV's and computer Monitors.
To stop and think, the first thing that comes to mind is: 'it's a different time, a different way of life.' So it may be, but my early days in life was helping out with the family needs. Looking for work at an early age gave the meaning of being responsible for part of the family. Days when you knew there was nothing to be found to work at, you packed a little lunch of bread and molasses, a favourite fruit tin for a kettle, a few precious matches wrapped in wax paper to keep them dry, a hand full of loose tea; and you were off to the barrens for a day that was going to get your jam for the winter. The rest of the week you were telling your buddies of what you saw on your outing .Everything was bigger and more plentiful than your buddies' by the time you told it a few times.
We have a few things in town to keep the children's interest that seem to be working well, like the fall fair where people of all ages compete for prizes. I might add that we attract people from all around the area, but I guess the highlight of the fair is the running of the beauty pageant, and knowing that one of our own Fortune Girls won. Of course everyone knows that the Fortune Girls are the prettiest on the Peninsula.
The Fortune ATV Assoc. had one of its fund raisers; the cold plate was on time for dinner or supper, whatever one wished. Special thanks goes to all those who bought the cold plate and to those who helped in any way to prepare it. We are beginning to see more and more walkers, hikers and bikers use the trail. That is good. The more who use and help to support the trail, the better it will become. There are plans in the making to upgrade the trail this coming summer and hopefully to create a few jobs for a student project. This will not only improve the trail but give students a little work, as well as the chance to get lots of fresh air, and meet new friends in - Fortune Outdoors.