Springtime comes over these hills like a conquering army of pale green. The American Beech are blooming their pointy blossoms that will soon morph into their spear-like leaves. The soft maples are struggling beneath the canopy of dominating white pines. And the cherry trees, with their flakey dark brown bark, have returned for one more summer. They, however, do not appear so healthy and sturdy as a tree should. The cherry tree recovers the land following logging, but then becomes shaded away by the fast growing towering white pine. The sandy soil is not a safe haven for any tree except the most resourceful and adaptive. The gnarled and twisted of the cherry trees will yield some fine winter warmth upon the hour of their demise. But their lofty and straightened brothers may be destined for other greatness. A paddle maker at Long Lake uses cherry wood to craft his fine canoe and kayak paddles. There may be a place in his workshop for our noble cherry tree. May the second coming of our flakey cherry trees beatify the hands of a wilderness paddler and propel him safely to his homeport.