A row of black willow trees stands just to the west of the cabin at Roshara. John Coombes, who owned the farm before us, planted them in 1912, which makes them 103 years old. The same age as our cabin.
Black willow trees prefer low ground; stream banks and pond shores are favorite sites. But they have thrived on our sandy, high ground—they were planted as a windbreak. Oh, how important are windbreaks in this sometimes bitterly cold climate when the northwest wind comes roaring out of the northwest and the temperature sinks well below zero.
The old willows are bent and twisted; several have their tops smashed off, more have broken branches, but they continue to protect the cabin, provide summer shade, and offer a home to squirrels, rabbits, grouse and songbirds of every color and tune.
When the kids were little, they built a tree house in one of them, and put up a swing in another. Today, these old trees, like so much at Roshara, are filled with stories and memories, and are often unappreciated for the good they have done as a windbreak and much more for these many years.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Remember to appreciate that which is so often unappreciated.
January 28, 2015 7:00 p.m. Stoughton Opera House. A Farm Winter.
Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs, Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps A Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story). Also available is Jerry’s new novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
50 Division St.