• Dr. Amanda Glew

The tree elves of Hudson


PHOTO COURTESY OF DR. AMANDA GLEW

Hudson tree elves (left to right) Dr. Amanda Glew, Danielle Fisher holding Jasmina, and Tracy Gallacher brave the elements to raise funds for Le Nichoir Wild Bird Conservation Centre.

It has been 5 years since we have started a small fundraising campaign for Le Nichoir. It began when a friend of mine moved to Standstead East having purchased a lovely tree farm in the beautiful Eastern Townships. I asked her if she would consider selling us trees at a reduced price, and the difference would then go to the Nichoir. We sold 96 trees the first year. This year we sold 138.

The first year I had a new second hand truck pulling my large goose neck horse trailer- it was a standard. Unfortunately, we got lost and ended up on a farm road, necessitating us backing up- needless to say it was challenging- and ended up with my partner in crime, Tracy giggling at my ineptitude.

The second year we arrived on a beautiful day, loaded all the trees, and had our yearly drink and dinner with Connie and her husband. The following day, we were greeted with a lovely early December snowstorm. It was so beautiful. However, travelling up a long upward driveway with 3000 pounds of trees was a little daunting. I handed the keys to Daniel, who appeared much more confident to make the long upward driveway with a ninety degree turn at the top onto a main road. I was more comfortable to drive the tractor to the top of the hill, and waited for Daniel to bring the truck up - as he made the turn, I was able to push the tractor onto to the back of the trailer to help it around the corner. We made it back after a harrowing drive.

The next few years were uneventful. We were so excited in 2016, as this was the first time we were able to drop the trees for pickup at Le Nichoirs new center. What an accomplishment!

This year was special because Connie's daughter, Danielle, who has volunteered with me since a teenager, is now a colleague of mine working as a vet. So she joined us for our annual trek to help, as well as to visit her parents. We arrived on a lovely sunny day. When I became a vet, I never realized that this would lead me to driving trucks, using a chainsaw, driving a tractor. However, when I watched Danielle cut and bale the trees that needed to be done with alacrity, I realized how versatile we professionals can be.

Just before loading the trailer, Connie's husband Daniel noticed that one of our tires was completely bald. A mud flap had turned inwards and had rubbed the tire raw. This was despite us having visited a garage prior to leaving to check the tires and the pressures. We realized how fortunate we were not to have had it blown on the highway. Daniel used his tractor to raise the trailer, and we were able to change the tire and use the spare.

We had a lovely dinner, and the following morning dewormed the llama and goat, before returning to Hudson.

As we dropped the trees at the Nichoir, we laughed about all the escapades we have had over the years. We hope to do this for as many years as we can, as it provides us an ability to catch up with old friends, retain ties, and help a great local charity. Because when you think of it, it is all for the birds, as my dad used to say.... So the Hudson Tree Elves have struck again.

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