Have you been to State Representative Clint Owlett’s or Tina Pickett’s office lately, or ever? They have some wonderful publications about the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and just outdoor-oriented stuff.  It is all available free of charge to you. Of course these publications are paid for by state taxes from us.

The first publication, which I use every year, is “Common Trees of Pennsylvania.”  Did you know that we have a Cucumber Magnolia tree in Pennsylvania? I certainly did not know that fact until I walked some land on Armenia Mountain just north of Canton with a professional forester. It was at the request of a lady I know professionally in Williamsport. I think the year was 1978 or 1978. She was interested in the outdoors. So one day we drove from Williamsport to land that I hunted deer on since 1967. My Dad hunted on that land for over 40 years.

She was fascinated by the forest and fields. Later, she said that she might want to purchase this land just for hiking and observing nature. I was overjoyed since I knew that if she purchased that land, I would continue to have hunting privileges to it.

She hired a forester to assess the trees on that land and if some of them might have immediate timber value to lessen the sale price of that land. As I remember, the price was $1,000 per acre; about 42 acres. When the forester and I walked that property, he said, “This property has several Cucumber Magnolia trees on it.”

When he pointed them out, I think maybe three or four trees growing together, I was interested, but never did research the history of the tree. When I moved to Canton in l979 I sort of forgot all about that tree species.

After Matt Baker became our State Representative some years later, I visited his district office in Troy. There was that publication, “Common Trees of Pennsylvania.” 

Look for the history and interesting facts about the Cucumber Magnolia tree next time.

I have to tell you about a story I read recently in one of our daily Christian devotionals. It impacted me so much that I underlined some of the salient points. A lady took her granddaughter to lunch. 

The server approached their table apologetically. A walking cast kept her from hurrying their order.

The granddaughter, normally introverted and admittedly uncomfortable with strangers, piped up, “No need to apologize,” she said, “feel better soon.” 

The grandmother commended her granddaughter for her kindness to the server. 

The child replied, “It’s not that hard to be a decent person. You just have to think of someone else instead of yourself.”

Wow! That is the definition of GRACE.  May we all remember that each day that God gives to us.


Jim Collins is an outdoor writer for The Sunday Review. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association (1983) and the Outdoor Writers Association of America (l983). He lives in Alba, Pennsylvania with his wife, Linda Marie. You may contact him at: jimcollinsinsurance@ frontiernet.net or (570) 673-3622.