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Stories From the Leopold ShackSand County Revisited$
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Estella B. Leopold

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190463229

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190463229.001.0001

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Three (p.73) Spring
Stories From the Leopold Shack

Estella B. Leopold

Oxford University Press

Spring always seemed to begin for us with spring break, when we had a whole week to be at the Shack and do the planting together. Spring is such a special time, with the buds bursting and the early flowers opening. Ever since we started planting in the spring of 1936, we always looked forward to the project, though it meant a fair amount of work, and we always had such a marvelous time. The preparations each year were considerable. Mother and Dad would sit at the dining room table in Madison with a list and plan what kind of meals we might like to have up there and what supplies would be needed. Dad would order in advance thousands of pines from the Conservation District. He ordered at least two-year-old seedlings, usually at least two thousand white pines and two thousand reds for a season, and sometimes more. As soon as we arrived at the Shack we would prepare the slurry of red clay and water (as described earlier), dip the roots of each bundle of pines in the clay to protect them, and dig a short ditch “to spud them in” (as Dad called it). The ditch was in the shade west of the Shack so the pines seedlings would not dry out. During the drive up our car was usually jam-packed with gear, and Gus or Flicky the dog. To keep things organized, we used the old chuck boxes Dad had used to lash to his packhorse when he worked in New Mexico. We generally stopped in Baraboo for a twenty-five-pound block of ice so we could keep our vittles cool. If Starker joined us he brought his little roadster to help carry the gear. We also looked forward to the guests sometimes invited to help us plant. Daddy’s sister, Marie Leopold Lord of Burlington, Iowa, fit right in. She was lots of fun, and a great botanist with a special interest in ferns. One year our visitor was a forester Dad had met in Germany, Adelbert Ebner, who was a jolly fellow perhaps fifty years of age, and quite a musician.

Keywords:   Canadian geese, Meat Rock, apple trees, barred owls, cow’s horn, graduate students, harrier hawks, migrations, ornithology, prairie chickens

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