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Fortune Outdoors

Written by William Butt, reproduced from the Fortune Teller

July 2003

The summer sun looks brassy in the sky; the world's greatest heat lamp is on in full force, and, for those of us who love the suns rays, we must be very careful not to overdo it.

The yards are taking on a new look, the grass is being trimmed; the flowers are out in bloom. The perennials, that is some of them, are creeping back after a long winters sleep. It doesn't take much of the suns rays to warm mother earth before we see new life returning to the flower gardens. Most of us outdoor people get a lot of pleasure out of seeing the new sprouts pushing their way up and reaching for the sun.

Some of my friends are moving tree shrubs from one place to another to give the yard a little change. Last fall I asked them if they would give me a little piece of the very nice, sweet- smelling, scented Boys Love plant. Just a couple of days ago I got my bunch that they had prepared for me, I have them planted now and waiting for my shrubs to give off that sweet mint smell.

We are in the running this year again for the tidy town contest. Let's all do our part to make people take notice that we do care about our town.

And of course this year for the first time we are having Targa - a car race and show - coming to our town. A bit of paint here and there to brighten up the property will be a plus; they will remember the race course so let's help them remember our town as a place worth visiting. We hope they come back again and tell others about our town and us.

On my walk up the new trail I noticed that there are a few places that need repairs. The winter took its toll on the trail the earth has settled and of course we need new drainpipes across the trail. Something else caught my eye as well - people are throwing their chip bags and bar wrappers, as well as plastic bags, along the trail. It makes for an ugly sight. Birds and young rabbits can easily get caught up in this trash. Just stop to think: suppose a mother rabbit is caught up in a plastic shopping bag and can't free herself to go back in the burrow; eight or ten little babies are waiting for mothers' milk that will never come - a sad sight indeed.

We need garbage containers on the trail but they will do no good if we don't use them. Suppose it was the Easter bunny that was caught up. Would you save it? Of course you would. Think of the birds and the rabbits that also use our trails. They don't leave any garbage for us so let's not leave it for them.

How was your May twenty-forth weekend? The weather was not all that bad but how many of us braved our favourite water hole for the first swim of summer? I can remember some weekends that I did it but I was younger then and the water seemed a whole lot warmer. Age has a funny way of telling us things, but we can all still dream of the good old days when the twenty-forth of May was well spent in Fortune outdoors.

August 2003

Why are we so late this year? Everything seems to take on a slow pace; the trees are sure taking their time to come out in bloom. I was down to central Newfoundland over the weekend of the twenty first and what a surprise I got to see all the trees there out in bloom. The lilac flowers all hanging from the trees with that very nice aroma, the apple and cherry blossoms could be seen on every tree along the route of the old railway track trail. I do recall that our trees and shrubs are later blooming than in central but we have them later in the fall. I guess along the coast our temperature's are a little colder but we can't have it all can we?

The trees around my property are so late this year, the robin that is now getting ready for her second brood started to build her nest out on the top of the barbecue tank, of all places. Before she got too much done to her new dwelling we had to discourage her not to build there. She has found another site.

Again this year the people of Fortune have come out to their gardens with beautiful flowers. The shrubs are late but we know they will be just fine in another few days and by the time this is out all things will be bright and beautiful.

On my walks through the park trail I haven't seen a nesting site this year. Of course that doesn't mean that they are not there. Some of the young are showing themselves in the country ponds. Young loons are hitching rides on the backs of their parents; just to be more secure I guess when they are disturbed by trout fisherpersons as they try their luck around the pond.

Our sea trout are being harassed and hooked with jiggers along the waterfront wharfs and floating docks. They don't have a very good chance of making it up river to spawn. As they move up river the gulls are waiting at their fishing sites and can be seen from the new trail towards horse brook. I wonder what is in us to want to take the last one.

We all have some loved ones in the cemetery. Most of the gravesites are well kept by the caretakers but if you should go there to clip your grass and you see someone's plot that has not been cared for, give it a little of your time. I do and I walk away feeling good to know that I just made someone's plot look a little better. A lot of people visit cemeteries when they come home for a visit. It shows that we care and have respect for our people that have left us to go to their resting place in Fortune outdoors.

September 2003

Well the Summer Games are here and with it came many children from around the peninsula and St Pierre to compete in the sports week of the Summer Games. For some it's their first time away from home, of course lots of new friends will be made. Maybe some new boy and girl friendship will last all through the school years and beyond. What a nice way for kids of all ages to live and have fun after a hard year at school.

Lots of work for the people who organize this program, many hours of thinking and many hours of doing. The town will reap many benefits from this summer's games; our stores will sell more and the restaurants will do good as we all know kids love to eat and buy new things to take back home, a gift for mom and dad, a little keepsake as a reminder of their days at the 2003 Summer Games.

Some kids will take home medals of how well they did at the various sports that they participated in; others will leave with memories of good times and friendships that will last forever.

Our town has had a lot of improvements to the soccer pitch, ball park and the tennis court will finely get the new top it has so long waited for. It will really be a plus for the children long after the games are over.

The people of Fortune should be commended for the way they have upgraded their properties; the yards look nice now that flowers are out in bloom. It will catch the eye of the people that are visiting as well as our own town people. We have a nice town - thank you for caring.

There are too many people to thank that have given of their time freely to make this event a great one. We all know when there are games and fun time, with children visiting our town, mothers and fathers also come. Our population will grow overnight. A tremendous amount of volunteering goes into something of this magnitude.

For a lot of us the favourite pastime will soon be here as summer comes to an end. I am talking about berry picking time. It's almost as if it were planned that way - who knows maybe it was; first the bakeapple season, then the English black berry, followed by blueberries, partridge berries, and of course who can forget the fall berries, marsh and cranberries. It seems to me like we are in a great plan - our basic food needs are lotted out to us as the seasons come and go - something to think about. It's not just a happening, it's real and it is selected for us who go outdoors to get it.

Another important day in and around Fortune outdoors is Grassy Patch Day. This is an annual event for the trail fund raiser to the Grassy Patch area. I visited the event today; there were as many as 30 ATV's at any given time parked around the shelter. In the shelter there were games of chance, shoot the balloons for prizes of T-shirts, and ball caps from various sponsors. A short order cook was cooking up hot dogs and hamburgers, free to who ever wanted a snack. Games outside the tent included tug of war; the big young fellows gave it their best shot and the eastern side won. The women also tugged and the result was the same - the eastern side won. Maybe it was the smell from the cook house that kept them pulling to the east and the food. They were trying to get a women against men competition together when I left, I wonder who won?

I did not count the number of people that came out to support this special event, as this was the first registered trail on the Burin Peninsula that never got any funding from the Government. A shame because it could be one of the best walking trails anywhere. A very nice lookout, the ocean for a backdrop, sea birds of many kinds, ships going in and out of the bay; a Tourists Mecca. A little funding could do wonders to this trail. Grassy Patch Trail could be tied in with the walking trail that we already have.

I hope everyone had a great summer - I did. I did most of the things that summer has to offer and now I am looking forward to the fall season. That too has lots to offer those who love the great outdoors in and around Fortune

Fortune Teller

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