Personal Reflections

Hawk Hill

IN 1959, THE ELWOODS SOLD THEIR LAND TO ADRIAN AND PATRICIA (PAT) PATON and for the next 50 or more years I farmed this land. This hill intrigued me in many ways and over the years I began to develop a relationship with the land and nature. One constant that made an impression on me was that whenever I worked near it, there was at least one pair of hawks that patrolled a large area. They could see any small rodent that moved and most became a meal for the clutch of young hawks in a nest that was situated in a neighbouring clump of trees.

One evening, at dusk, as I was about to leave the field a light-coloured hawk landed on the top of the hill. I remember thinking that he may be an albino. When I returned next morning, I found the hawk dead on the hill. On close examination, I concluded that he was very old as he had almost no meat on his bones and his light colour I think was due to age. I buried him on the top of the hill. I hope his soul soars aloft and that his descendants continue to patrol the skies above the hill into eternity.

In the 1980s I decided that I would try to do something for the land as it was being damaged by wind erosion. With the help of conservation agencies, botanist Nora Stewart and others, I began seeding native vegetation on the hill. I seeded over 80 species and many have survived and flourished. I then decided to erect a stone cairn, somewhat similar to stone monuments erected on hilltops by early civilizations all over the world and to date it is over ten feet high.

My book, An Honest, Genial and Kindly Poeple, is an extension of the work I have done on the land; I leave all of this as a tribute to the land and its people. I hope future generations will treat both with the love and respect that they deserve.

If you are ever to visit Hawk Hill, I invite you to add a stone to the pile.

If you are ever to visit Hawk Hill, I invite you to add a stone to the pile.