Friday, April 5th, 2019

Iris Turns Seven (LaPlatte Nature Park)

For Iris’s seventh birthday, I take my goofballs to one of our favorite old stomping grounds in Shelburne, Vermont.




Iris’s first winter, I carried her all over the LaPlatte Nature Park. Those were the days!Β  Down at the river, someone had nailed a rudimentary handrail to a log. I crossed the log often, trusting the worn crampons on my old army surplus snowshoes to keep me from sliding off the log into the river as I gently touched the handrail to steady my balance, sleeping baby on my back.




The log was washed out with the spring floods, so the same someone decided he’d like to try his hand at building a suspension bridge. It was pretty good, but he got in trouble for doing so without a permit, so he had to dismantle it. I blogged about the incident on June 1st, 2014.




So the next winter, Joplin (that’s his name) built a bridge of sticks and posted a sign, “river crossing for squirrels foxes and other small mammals,” just to let people know that the bridge was NOT intended for them to use. Wink wink. Who has ever heard of needing a permit to build a squirrel bridge? I blogged about the incident on January 26, 2015.




I met Joplin the summer of 2016. He told me of his intentions to raise money and find some budding engineers to build a permissible suspension bridge. I stayed up to date with his goings-on, but did not partake in anything other than walking in the woods. The following year, he built a new small mammals bridge, as small bridges do have the habit of wandering downstream in spring floods.




We had sold the house by the time work begun on the bridge. For Iris’s seventh birthday, we visited Joplin’s suspension bridge for the first time. It is a troll bridge. I love it! I miss you sorely, LaPlatte Nature Park.



The sign reads (with some punctuation edits):

One day a troll who lived in a mountain shouted: “There’s a cow bellowing!”

Seven years later, the troll who lived across the valley answered: “Couldn’t it just as well be a bull as a cow?”

Another seven years passed before the troll in a third mountain, nearby, screamed, “If you two don’t keep quiet and stop this commotion, I’ll have to move!”

The End.


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