These pictures were taken in June of 2010, in our third camp of the season, near Bragg Creek, Alberta.

Setting up the First Aid room in camp.

Some of Nate's crew, working on the mess tent during setup.

Putting the satellite internet dish up.

Working on the grey water pit for kitchen run-off.

Katie on her first real rain day. It had all been snow up to this point.

Jenny & Greg.


When you've been wearing soaked clothing in the rain all day, it's easiest to strip before getting into the trucks for the drive home.

Early in the morning, an hour before the planters start to get up.

Getting ready for a camp meeting before work.

Wilson, getting ready to run the first load of trees into the block. I was glad that he had the chain saw, since we had to cut about fifteen trees off the quad trail.

The Bergen post office. Not only do they have a great jerky store, but they have a pretty unique post office. No washrooms in-store though, just an outhouse.

Piles of cardboard boxes at the Water Valley Forest Nursery. As you'll see from the next several photos, I took a quick tour of the nursery while I was picking up a load of trees.

Bundling trees. They come onto the conveyor, one person pulls out any sub-spec trees, and then they get placed into piles of five. These piles of five keep rolling down the conveyor, and a couple of people grab the groups and hand-wrap the bundles once they have fifteen or twenty trees (depending on the box).

Water Valley Forest Nursery holds about 1.1 million trees when it is full. Here, you can see that each tree is grown in a styofoam container to create the plug shape.

That's a lot of trees. It would take my entire camp about two full weeks to plant the full nursery load of trees.

Here is a close-up that lets you see individual trees growing in the styrofoam containers.

Wrapping a bundle of trees.

Grabbing groups of trees off the conveyor belt, five trees at a time.

Empty boxes, waiting to get filled.

Pulling seedlings out of the styrofoam blocks.

The nursery is starting to look more empty now that a lot of the trees have been boxed.

Empty styrofoam boxes, which have already had the trees pulled out of them.

Trees coming down the conveyor toward the packing crew.

Ray, the nursery owner, working on quality control. You can see a pile of culls on the table that he has removed from the production line.

Back to planting life. Here we have Sean unloading a quad.

Getting ready for another early-morning camp meeting. We do these once or twice per shift, depending on how much information I have to give out. Planters don't really like the ten or fifteen minute delay on the mornings that we have meetings, but they definitely like to know what's going on with quality feedback, production progress, and plans for upcoming days.

On my way out to a new block.

The road to the top of the block was covered in blowdown, so I had to do a lot of chainsaw work. It seems that the amount of time that I've been using my chainsaw has been increasing quickly in the past several years.

Made it to the top of the block. It was quite a view.

That's Wilson, my new foreman this year. Don't ask what he's doing.

One of the blocks being logged across the valley.

One of our blocks. You can see one of the crew trucks near the bottom right corner.

Katie & Susie, working on their piece.

A mouse that I found in a garbage box at the cache.

"Do you have a quad with wings that could move some boxes up that hill?"

Part of another block.

Bagging up.

Is that steam, or clouds?

Clouds often float by, beside us or below us.

Katie, who has just finished a box.

Kyler, bagging up.


The block is done. Relaxing for a couple minutes before we move on.

Trees on the hillside across the valley. It's interesting to see the layout of the different species here. The dark green are all pine (I think), and the light green are all trembling aspen. I'm guessing that the aspen are growing in the moister areas on the hillside.

Jordan, showing off his MTA University t-shirt.



The contract is almost over.

Aaron, helping Sean change a quad tire.

Jenny, thinking about the next contract.