Big Canoe Writers

Words and Wit for the Ages

When the River Ran Backwards

January 8
by Jim Smith

Abner had about 10,000 acres of the best timber land in the County and was obliged to sell some to pay his taxes. He was tighter than a bull’s ass in fly season. On this Indian Summer day I dreaded trying to deal with him but did give him enough to pay his taxes, all while he complained that I was taking unfair advantage of him. After we struck a deal and signed the timber lease, I stopped at the Last Chance Café in Springfield, Georgia for lunch. The menu never varied from a choice between two meats and a plateful of three vegetables and as much ice tea as you could drink – all topped off with the customary banana pudding.

Pete Clifton hailed me from across the dining room and invited me to join him. He had seen me with Abner and asked if I had been fishing in Abner’s pond. Read the rest of this entry »

A Botanical Epiphany or A Journey Into Nomenclature

May 5
by Jim Smith

Plants don’t know their own names and it’s a good thing they don’t care as most of them have had their names changed. Even as a boy and later as a forester I dealt with the frustrations of plant nomenclature. Now retired, I am neither forester nor botanist, but living the words Thomas Jefferson wrote to Charles Peale: “Though an old man, I am but a young gardener.” I had thought by now plant classification would have been worked out in great detail, but as a gardener and plant lover, I continue to learn and enjoy the twists and turns of taxonomy. ….read this article

Read about Jim on the Writer’s Bios Page

Hog Hunt at Hamilton Ridge

April 20
by Jim Smith

In October 1975, Peewee Bolen, a long-time friend, and I were spending a week together at Union Camp’s hunting camp, Hamilton Ridge. The camp was located on a 15,000 acre tract of land on the South Carolina side of the Savannah River. About 5,000 acres of the tract were in the Savannah River swamp. Late one afternoon, we decided to explore a point on the Savannah River that was formed by a large bend of the river.

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Rabbit Seeds

April 20
by Jim Smith

Our mother seldom overlooked an opportunity to promote felicity between my sister and me. Sister Phyllis was nine years my junior. Despite the disparate interests implied by our age difference, and my disinclination, mother often encouraged me to include her in my activities. When she was about 4 and I about 13, Phyllis accompanied me on a snowy day on what mother chose to call “a nature walk”.

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