|Climbing to the top of The Peak, a local topographic high point|
Washington's exploit was fabricated by an itinerant preacher and Washington groupie named Mason Locke Weems who published a book called The Life and Memorable Actions of George Washington in 1800. In the fifth edition (published in 1806), Weems inserted the story about Washington's vandalism to demonstrate the future president's forthright and honest nature. In reality, very little is known of Washington's early life, and historians are sure this story (among many of Weems' others) has no basis in reality.
Though the day was cold, the sky was bright blue and sunny. The three hikers and I were accompanied on our walk by a forestry consultant named Joe who has been clearing invasive vegetation from one of our older woodlands in preparation for restocking the forest with new native trees this spring. It was a convivial group, and the small size allowed us to interact frequently.
|Hiker Judy examining the bark of a native black cherry|
|Forestry consultant Joe and hiker Karen atop The Peak with a bird cherry|
|Consulting forest restoration expert Joe and the hikers looking at invasive vines in the forest canopy|