Sunday, July 11, 2010


While enduring one of the Ottawa Valley summer heat waves, I can appreciate the cool shade of a deciduous tree and the rustling, rattling of leaves dancing to a random breeze. 

I enjoy the fact that Ottawa is home to the beautiful arboretum on the Central Experimental Farm.  I appreciate that there is organization of dedicated volunteers who care about The Farm.  There is also a City of Ottawa advisory committee that provides a forum for citizens on issues related to trees and forests.  I have even attended a couple of their organized tours. 

Trees play an important role throughout the novel.  Muskoka is host to many types of trees (not just pines).  One tree of significance is the pin cherry tree growing on the Fletcher's property. 

Snippet from chapter 10 (This is shortly after Matthew learns of his late wife's dalliances and the paternity of his daughters)

By the time Georgette hobbled back to the house, Sera had just finished writing her letter to Mrs. Johnson and packed up the stationery box. Her Aunt paused to kiss her on the forehead before heading upstairs to change into her house clothes.

Sera grabbed an apple from the fruit bowl on the counter and went out to the back yard. The sun had not yet set on this beautiful evening.  She secured the apple into her teeth and suctioned it securely with her lips as she climbed the dying cherry tree.  She sat on one of her favourite limbs and surveyed her small domain.  She could see more now that the tree had less leaves.  She felt bigger and exposed now that she could not hide within the green canopy.

Georgette watched her niece from the boys’ bedroom window as she changed her clothes and brushed her hair.  It had been almost a year since she had been staying with the family.  So many changes and twists in their lives.  Hopefully things would settle down soon.  She thought about moving on.  She smiled as she recalled Gio’s offer to join him in at the vineyard.  She closed her eyes and slowly ran the brush through her curly hair.  She felt a warm wave wash over her body.

Her soothing reverie was shattered by the sweet sound of Sera’s voice calling from the tree, “Hi, Daddy.  What are you going to do with that axe?”

Georgette dropped the hairbrush and leaned into the window box to see farther down the back lawn.  Matthew was walking with purpose up the path from the shop.  He headed straight for the cherry tree, looking up at his daughter.

“Oh, my God!” whispered Georgette loudly.  She tied her blouse, slipped on her flip-flop sandals and ran towards the stairs.  The tabby cat scrambled from the bedroom doorway – as if waiting for her -, ran in front of her downstairs and raced towards the back door. 

“Dammit, you cat!  Move!” she hissed and grabbed the patio door handle.  She broke a fingernail in her rush to get outside.  “Zut! Merde!”

When she finally made it to the tree, Matthew was standing underneath it, holding the large axe with both hands.  Sera was climbing down.

End snippet.


  1. This is great, T! I love the strength of the trees in the background and the threat of the axe. Sera is also an unusual name; I like it. Keep writing! S.

  2. It's Earth Day 2011! Read this creative, informative story by Franke James on the FSC logo (Forest Stewardship Council Canada) Okay.. if you don't want to READ it, you can watch the video :-)