RD September 2015 Letters

“Monstrosity” assailed
RD: I wholeheartedly agree with Frank Macdonald’s views (“Never Forgotten Memorial,” July-Aug. ’15 RD) on the building of a monstrosity on one of the most beautiful sites in the Cape Breton National Park. I fail to see how this type of development falls within Parks Canada’s mandate. I would be very curious to see the agreement between the developer and Parks Canada, as well as any correspondence between the government and Parks Canada on this matter. The sponsors of this ill advised project should be boycotted.
    Keep up the good work, hopefully it’s not too late to put an end to this nonsense.
Michel Béland
New Horton,N.B.

“Spot on” about “Mother Canada”
RD: I was hoping Frank would sound even more acerbic than he did, but he’s spot on with his comments (“Never Forgotten Memorial,” July-Aug. ’15 RD). I have strongly opposed this ridiculous Mother Canada monstrosity on social media and by signing petitions. Surely to goodness the whole thing will be squashed somehow! Everything about it is wrong.
    I enjoyed reading your tribute to Stan Carew. What a huge loss for Nova Scotia and indeed all CBC radio listeners. The province feels terribly empty without him.
    Other paragraphs about the ravaging of rural economies (Eyking’s eggs, schools, farmers, and fishermen) have me wondering about the sanity of our illustrious provincial government. Many people thought the last government was bad; well, this one takes the cake! What happens to these elected people when they get to Halifax? There must be something in the water to make them all into deniers about their campaign promises. 
    While urban centres around the world are exploring ways to incorporate neighborhood gardens on unused lots, roadside verges and rooftops; while small countries like Germany and Denmark are making great headway with alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, and geo-thermal; while even the most densely populated countries such as Japan and those found in Europe retain the unique characteristics and autonomy of rural areas, Nova Scotia administrators are doing their best to depopulate entire regions such as Cape Breton and parts of the northeast. Our so-called leaders seem to want everything about this province to be centralized in Halifax. As we rural dwellers know, communities are dying, people are deeply disappointed and frustrated, and many others have left for greener pastures and prosperity elsewhere.
Marney Simmons
Mulgrave, N.S.

They growed ‘em big!
RD: Saw your tallest sunflower article in Rural Delivery, June 2015, and remembered this picture of two of our daughters with sunflowers. This was only 49 years ago, 1966 in our back yard in Kalamazoo, Mich. Wendy (age 5) sitting at eight feet, on the top, and Mary (age 3) just below at six feet. It appears that the sunflowers must be about 12 feet high. Treasured photo and thought you might enjoy seeing it.
Punch Woods
Tucson, Arizona

RD: I have sent the article recently published on fiddleheads (“Fiddlehead time,” May ’15 RD) to a pen pal in Garland, Texas. Neither she, her daughter, nor a couple of friends had seen them before. To quote, “they were amazed.”
Grace Hansen
Truro, N.S. 

Why the bright lights?
RD: I live on Tanner Ave at W. Lawrencetown Metro Halifax where new ultra-bright street lights force spinach and lettuce to seed. Nobody walks this road later than 9pm and some three vehicles drive home here later. The glaring lights out in nowhere-land seems to me a detriment to energy-saving and therefore an unnecessary contributor to the greenhouse effect. 
D. Hogan
Lawrencetown, N.S.

Hens that crow
RD: In answer to Mette Bieger’s query about crowing hens (July-Aug. ‘15 RD) I remember, as a boy when working on a mixed farm back in England in the 1950s, I came across a crowing hen while collecting eggs one morning. More than a little perplexed by this phenomena, I mentioned it to the boss at breakfast later that same morning and he rhymed off an old English adage that went (with apologies to the ladies of our more enlightened society): 
A whistling woman and a crowing hen
Is neither use to beast nor men.
    So I’m guessing there might be a few of them out there.
Andrew Lucock
St Catherines, P.E.I. 

What’s killing apple trees?
RD: What should I do about a problem with my apple trees? There are 10 of them, about four years old, and they were, all but one, looking pretty good until this year.
    Now there is what looks like some kind of rot, and little holes bored into the base of the trunks, with some orange sawdust stuff coming out, right at the ground. Two of them have leaves that are completely brown now, and the rest just have the problems at the base. There are bugs crawling at the base of some of them, earwig looking bugs, and something smaller, too.
    Any advice or help would be so welcome! I hope there’s something I can do to save them, or at least save the ones that aren’t completely brown already.
Patricia Thornley
Port Medway, N.S.

(Patricia, we have put the word out, seeking help for you and your trees, and await replies. Unfortunately, Nova Scotia no longer supports an extension advisor for rural home owners growing their own foods.  DvL)