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Tree Planting Heat Attack

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There is a normal course of events for the start of tree planting season. You leave your home where spring is in the air, fly into central/northern British Columbia(or Ontario or wherever) and the weather is cold, wet and miserable. I have distinct memories or camping near the Nazko Reserve in Quesnel and waking up to frozen water bottles, a frozen lake and a frozen body. My -7C sleeping bag left me shivering at night and at least 2 days a season would be cancelled due to snow.

This year has been much the same, minus the cold, rain and misery(well that part is still the same). It is hot, really hot. Since the day we started the thermometer has stayed steady between 24-32C. We have literally had 3 days of rain and only one of those days saw heavy rain. The heat is unbearable most of the time and we’ve taken to freezing Gatorade bottles the night before to get some relief during the day. Our supervisor Dani has surprised us with watermelon and cans of ice cold iced tea on a few occasions. There is nothing quite like working in an open field of rocks in 30C heat and no wind to knock some sense out of you.

 

I came to a realization this season about life as a tree planter. It is interesting how social conventions just run out the door in a bush camp. One day in particular I remember 4 of us in a circle talking to each other, everyone picking their noses before heading off to eat dinner. We all share food and snacks with each other knowing that our hands are full of snot and pesticides. Can you imagine taking food from someone you just witnessed picking their nose for 5 minutes straight? We eat and talk with our mouths full, we sleep in our dirty clothes, we do not shower for days at a time and we’ll have long conversations with people while peeing in front of them. Living the good life!

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