Photo: Monique Durand
Basin Manicouagan at sunset
Of all time, the forest produces in humans a mysterious attraction effect. Both enchanting and frightening, it is the carrier of a symbolic charge powerful. Our staff member went to smell the forest from here and elsewhere, imbued with meaning and dreams. Second of eight articles.
Before the afternoon, without wind. I am in the forest. Not next to the contemplate, not, IN, to drink it. At the same time as my coffee. Full sun. 15 degrees Celsius. Suffice to say a before-noon scorching hot at this latitude, on this mid-June.
Silence. Only punctured by the chirping of a tiny yellow bird, a warbler perhaps, jumping off a spruce branch to another. Diamond in the endless green. When I am very old, I will become an ornithologist, I know the full names and addresses of all the birds of the North and at what time spend the snow-white geese. It has just come to pass seven, without warning. Each time the heart I lack. With their cry recognizable among all, a reminder of spring and of the autumns that have come and gone, too quickly.
The budworm, a caterpillar that ate all the buds of the spruces that could be eaten in the south, does not appear to have migrated up here. Not yet. But also up to Manic 5, there are more single-spruce, which has preserved the green color was born. Today it is a stand of grey-brown of the dying. It took one track to ravage a continent. As it was, it is said, a single bat… I prefer to stop here. A little oublifait of the property.
A 5-star hotel in the trees
I live in a 5-star hotel among the trees. Station Uapishka, on the edge of the basin Manicouagan, 120 kilometers to the north of the complex, Manic 5, exceeded the 51st parallel. In the full boreal forest. This type of forest occupies more than one-third of the area of Québec.
A 5 stars hotel, laid down on wood, canvas roof, wood stove, no running water, one light bulb on the ceiling, a camp bed and a curtain window that fell. So much the worse for the curtain. The spruce I will read the American John Muir, the Forest in the storm, in the glow of my flashlight.
This station whose mission is both scientific, inviting researchers, geographers, geologists, and tourism, welcoming hunters, fishermen, adventurers, is situated in the monts Groulx, as the Innu call Uapishka, ” white mountains “, which are crowned with snow all year round. Their upper sides are home to a rare forest where there are concentrations of spruce forest to white spruce the most important of all the boreal forest in continental. “One has seen them, tells the story of William, with pride, more flared and the bark is smoother than black spruce. “With Jamie, his companion of hiking, he came out against the monts Groulx. The first, British, lives in Montreal. The second, Irish, lives in Vancouver. They are back at the station, both exhausted, the feet to the fire, a little disappointed. “There was still too much snow up there, it was returned back. The challenge was too great. “
The station Uapishka is co-administered by the world Reserve of the biosphere Manicouagan-Uapishka, and by the band council of the Innu of Pessamit. There is Daniel Beaulieu, the manager, and Marc-Alexandre Collard, a big guy innu 25 years of age who are learning the trade. “I have a dream to take over a day,” said the young man. I am still missing some knowledge. “Daniel taught him with kindness all aspects of the work. The day to day management of the hostel and shelters like the one I live in, the taking of reservations, the mastery of the forms of energy that animate the station, including solar, wind, electric, a little plumbing, a little mechanical. A barrage of the morning until the evening. Marc-Alexandre feels in his element among the trees. “The wood, it gives us to not’ place. “
Ce text is part of our “Outlook” section.
A little wind is rising, resulting in the echo of human voices. Not very far away, fishermen are trying to start the engine of their boat with a hint of impatience. I hear names of church. Suddenly, it roars, that’s it, they are parties on the pool huge and in the light breeze. Trout and ouananiches, beware !
Not a single tree that was not touched by the grace. “The winds bless the forests, wrote John Muir, and the forests the winds, in an alliance ineffable beauty and harmony. “Unheard-of spectacle than to witness the dance of the long spruce trees that are swaying arms raised such a cheering crowd. Tied to each other, as to protect themselves against the violence of the extreme nature in which they are grown. A show of resistance. The spruce, the white, the most stubborn and long-lasting than the black, have managed to impose despite the poverty of the soil and the harshness of the climate. “The trees do not seem to be anything to wait for, unlike men,” wrote naturalist Henry David Thoreau. They are there for. Simply. And when they are no longer there, now that they regenerate their own decomposition.
The homeland of the birds and the wind
The wind has been taken from the force and now head shots. In the delirium of the light, a few clouds are cleared. The silence, it is passed to crinkling noises intense. Crossed, this time by a loon in the voice of a coloratura, a song of water poignant, and captures the ear. The forest is the homeland of the birds and the wind.
The day declines. The sun no longer appears that from time to time, between heaps of clouds. When it is there, its rays filter through the trees. “The forest is not the opacity, says the poet, québec Hélène Dorion, but in a way that has the light working the landscape. “This is the time where flows the gold powder from between the tree trunks against the light and between the rameauxdes spruce to clear.
The crinkling noises have turned into the sound of waterfalls. Or, more prosaically, highway bandwidth. The smallest patches of forest move under the thrusts of wind. The long masts knotty sway on a rough sea, and continually growing. It’s crazy, the wind. We do not see, but that puts all of the forest canopy in a trance.
It is dark now. No moon, no stars, nothing. The wind stop. My shed wobbles on its base, wisp of canvas, pale in the middle of the giants of the trunk dark born like the flowers of the fields. “The experience of the forest takes on a terrifying night, writes the historian Paul Sztulman, the penumbra organize themselves into monstrous figures. “
I go out to see. See, this is a little reassuring. Monsters, show yourself !
As soon as the door opened, the items seem less scary, again, on a human scale, if I dare say. The waves of the basin of the Manicouagan breaking on the shore. The forest tonne as falls in the mountains. There was a hole in the net, few ! the black flies have not cleared yet. Have more kindling for the wood stove, I’ll see tomorrow. More electricity, not serious, it will return. Me through the words so simple and beautiful in the poet innu Josephine Bacon : my sisters the winds.
I love the storms. Raging outside, quiet inside.
Next Saturday : the Need of wild forest
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