Hunched Old Jack Pine

THIS HUNCHED OLD JACK PINE has greeted every dawn here on Fawn Island for—well, for a long time. Not much left of it now, as a summer storm took its top a couple of years ago. Only a few gnarled boughs still retain their greenery. But the little tree holds firmly to its place on the bedrock as it has for decades, overlooking the wide lake, gazing down the Voyageurs’ Highway. I like to gaze with it, especially in the quiet early morning hours. On morns like this, when the lake is wrapped in blankets of fog, it is even possible to see glimpses of the old North canoes within the mists, red-tipped paddles flashing, and to hear the echoes of old chansons upon the quickening breeze.

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