Yesterday the soil was finally, in some places at least, thawed enough that a shovel could be used. So I got my cart and a shovel and headed to the edge of the woods. There they were: five small white pine seedlings I had seen last fall and not one had been eaten down by deer or rabbits. I cut the thin sod around each seedling, carefully lifted them out of the ground and into the cart. Next, it was back to a part of the old hay-field where I have begun a process of slowly transforming it back to forest. I had dug holes last fall so everything was ready for the young pines. Each one fit well into the holes and I mulched them with decomposed wood chips. I’ll have to fence these baby trees from deer. Any tree not protected that way is doomed. But with two posts and length of fence around each one in a few years they will grow from six-inch seedlings to respectable saplings.