Aaron ‘Slick’ Sweeney spent a lifetime in this country before I came along fresh from college with only a few years of packing mules under my belt. He took me buck hunting for the first time when I was about eleven. He carried a broomstick and I my heavy British Enfield .303. We saw deer, but my eye wasn’t sophisticated enough to distinguish does from bucks on the run at a distance. I never shot.
‘Button willow’ is descriptive enough to know one when you see one, and when he asked me one day in the early ’70s about the ‘button willow spring’ in a certain pasture, I knew exactly where he was talking about. He explained to me at that time that there’s almost always water enough to develop for cattle where there is a button willow tree.
It’s home to your home, wherever you may be,
It’s home to your home, to your own country,
Where the oak and the ash and the button willow tree
And the lark sings gaily in his own country.
– Glenn Ohrlin (“The Button Willow Tree”, 1989)
courtesy: The Mudcat Café