By Walter Smith
The Eshque Bog Near Woodstock, Vermont….
In some places in New England, nature brings together all of the right
pieces of of habitat to create the perfect environment for the growth
and sustainability of lady slippers. Lady Slippers are considered to
be wild orchards. They are unusual and truly beautiful.
One of the problems is that a bog is really not the right environment for people to walk around to see them. That is why, several years ago the owners of this property decided to have a contractor build a walkway supported by helical piles. This would allow the public to enjoy the lady slippers, but it would keep the flowers from being trampled. The contractor decided that he would have his crew install test piles in November, and then he could prepare for the job
over the winter. He would figure out all of the materials he would need and order them in late winter, and be ready to start in the spring.
Frank D’Angelo, DANBRO’s president, asked me to drive to Vermont and assist the contractor
to install the test piles. I will tell you this bog was on top of a large hill completely exposed to the elements. During the first day it snowed four (4) inches. It was very cold, and the wind was blowing. Of course, we had a few equipment issues to deal with along the way,
which extended the work into a second day. I was frozen at the end of both days, but we did get the test piles installed. We recorded the
depths and torques and went back to the hotel to thaw out.
The next spring in Vermont, early summer in other parts of the US, weather-wise, the
crew installed the piles, and the decking, though not without a few problems
which we helped them solve. When you read the attached newspaper
articles, you will understand how significant this project is to the
enjoyment of the lady slipper flowers.
Most of my friends would tell you that they cannot believe that I
would ever be interested in flowers, but time can change all of us. I want to give credit to my wife, Jeannette, and her father, Charlie Chaffee. Charlie lived to be 95 years old in the northeast kingdom that is Vermont. When Jeannette and I went to visit him, we saw his lady slippers, and how beautiful they were. The first time I saw them I agreed that they were truly wonderful, and that is how I knew about the beauty and rarity of them when this job near Woodstock, VT started. Charlie had his own bog, and he put down wood chip walkways so that
people could enjoy the lady slippers on his property.
I encourage you, when you are in the Woodstock area in June, to visit this Bog. The lady slippers are rare and beautiful. The engineer, the contractor and Danbro helped make them accessible to everyone.
A job well done.
Walter Smith works with DANBRO Distributors and IDEAL Group from Gettysburg, PA. He is a valued member of our team, and a frequent blogger! Check back for more from him soon!