John Harrigan: It's about hunting, women, and Stone Wall to Nowhere

JOHN HARRIGAN September 14. 2013 9:13PM

If you eat meat, where does it come from? Out of the sky? Well, yes, given that all that we are and know about comes from the sun. So, too, does the energy to wonder about it all.

There is a thread here.

An article in Fish and Game's Wildlife Journal caught my eye. It was about a girl from Wentworth getting her first deer with a bow and her second with a rifle. Her name is Jessica Toomey. She wrote a fine piece in the Journal. Her dad taught her how to hunt, and her mom knows how to take care of what they bring home.

The anti-everything crowd tries to tell us that such women are brainwashed. What a put-down of the so-called "weaker sex" and a suggestion that they can be so easily swayed.

Nothing new under the sun.


All that I know about the cosmos is that I'm definitely on the sidelines. I'll try to be a good steward for the land that I can control, and I'll try to leave it in better shape for the next idiot who wants to work the land and thinks that it really matters. It's a tall order when you're out there fixing fence in a bitter early fall squall.

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A woman who works at LaPerle's IGA in Colebrook had a thought about a rock. This perhaps stemmed from an earlier piece about a stone that I'd picked up from a load of gravel delivered to my back barnyard that certainly displayed signs of being worked by the hand of man, dating to around 15,000 years. Her rock had striations (scour marks) and several protuberances and was of a type that I could not identify.

I'm no hard-rock geologist, but this was some piece of rock. It came from the east side of Dixville Notch, one of several places where post-glacial Lake Colebrook flowed out at several 1,800-foot levels.Wonders to this woman, who has all that young women have to deal with, for being curious. She had kept this rock for me to see. So much has happened to the landscape. What shaped this land we live in? I had to learn it on my own, as she is trying to do.

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Finally, the Stone Wall to Nowhere.

Look, I'm no neolithic every-stone-formation-has-meaning quasi-historian. Yet I've come across some pretty strange things in my day.

Rudy Shatney and I were hunting around the north-west side of Hedgehog Nubble, a hard-rock imposition that had survived the scrape of the last glacier. It was, and still is, a bit of landscape on the east side of Deadwater Stream.

Shatney and I once missed a mighty fine buck there. "I heard him snort," I said before he (the buck, not Shatney) jumped off into oblivion. "Did not, you should have punched a hole in him," Shatney said. As always, he was right. I had missed the window of opportunity.

To the east, there was the old Thayer Holden opening. To the north, nothing. One of my fond sayings is that the territory had never felt the plough or the moo of a cow.

Yet there it was, a stone wall to nowhere, smack in the middle of an extensive hardwood stand, far from any road or clearing, always in my youth referred to as "an opening."

In the years since I first wrote about this, I've received some pretty strange letters, Druids and all. But I'm always open to this kind of thing, so please write.

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(Caveat: I'm besieged by mail. I've always pledged to get back to readers, on the premise that if they care enough to write, I should care enough to write back. But it might take awhile, so don't give up.

Please include your town and basic contact information. I would never make this public, but it's crucial for asking questions, getting feedback and ascertaining facts, and without those things, I waste my time.)

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Regarding Northern Pass' recent response to my writing in a whole bunch of weekly papers and, in this age-old newspaper, the New Hampshire Sunday News, my 39th year here and counting, on this Northern Pass social and geographical issue: You cannot dance around the facts.

There is no need in New Hampshire for more power. We export almost 80 percent as much power as we use. Northern Pass is a private venture for private gain.

We are simply in the way. Whether buried or not, a power line for others' use will result in a 40-mile gash across the North Country's landscape, the only thing we have left.

John Harrigan's address is Box 39, Colebrook NH 03576. His email is

John Harrigan

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