In the shadow of the Owl’s Head

Photo: Development Owl’s Head
The most beautiful view of the Cantons-de-l’est with gable on the lake Memphrémagog and mount Elephant on the left. The mountain Owl’s Head remains a well-kept secret that are about to develop in the general indifference.

On the quai de Knowlton Landing, on the shores of lake Memphremagog, in the shadow of the Owl’s Head, two fishermen tease the bass and the ouananiche, taking a beer, warmed by the caress of the sun on its decline. Bernard and Jean-Martin live, both of the township of Potton, in the Cantons-de-l’est.

Photo: Development Owl’s Head
The most beautiful view of the Cantons-de-l’est with gable on the lake Memphrémagog and mount Elephant on the left. The mountain Owl’s Head remains a well-kept secret that are about to develop in the general indifference.

Bernard. It bites not binbin. We are going to eat sardines Brunswick for dinner! (laugh)


Jean-Martin. Yeah… (silence, punctuated by the cry of the geese that fly south). Hey! It seems that the agreement is signed between the old Korman, and purchasers of Owl’s Head; my daughter-in-law works at the MRC, and the project seems to be going forward. The mountain is going to change the hand and appearance. It will remain the most beautiful view of the Cantons-de-l’est, but this is not good news for the head of the owl.


— This is good news for the village! They spoke of 500 houses at the bottom of the mountain. It is the equivalent of all Mansonville in terms of population. That means jobs, a pub to go and take our beer, a pharmacy. The mayor was quite happy!


What do you want to… One of the recreation and tourism sector to sell and the mountain is already the playground of the rich for a long time. It does not stop them from building. The promoter Gilles Belanger wants to develop over four seasons. There was nothing to do with downhill skiing only, there’s more snow in the winter, a need to broaden the offer. Pis Vermont is next, it will attract the Americans.


They have Jay Peak with its water park for that. Tell me not that this is good news for the mountain! Bélanger is very interested in the marina that comes with an Owl’s Head. I heard him say on Radio-Canada that he would not have looked at the project five minutes without the access to the lake. And he wants to use the lake, the four seasons also!

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It freezes pus before January with the global warming. They want to do another sailing club, a stopover point for boats, and I read that he thought of a hundred possible activities on the mountain. Cent! Me, after fishing, cross-country skiing and I will persist with my wife (laughs), I don’t see too what I can do.

Your happiness does not stop at the door of your garden, it depends on sources more distant and the quality of life provided by the mountains… The mountains should stay in the refuges of the sources of life, of forests, of mystery, of discovery and freedom.
Frédéric Back

A well-kept secret


— The problem, Bernard, is that Owl’s Head, it is not Orford, or Pinnacle; a few people know the mountain. Me, I have militated against the development of the Pinnacle when I lived in Abercorn. It is the outrage of the residents who has pushed the developers and the municipal administration in favor of a ski resort and a golf course.


And this is how the land Trust of Pinnacle mountain is born. At Orford, you have the national park that protects the mountain and the ski resort which is administered by the MRC with the golf. Here, at Owl’s Head, the family Worthen has ensured the protection of 94 acres of the mountain, and granted, four years ago, an easement to the nature conservancy of Canada, an NGO. Korman would have been able to opt for it or sell his 1300 acres to the MRC.


— Yeah… It would have made a lot less money than the private! Investors speak of putting $ 200 million over 10 years, and 20 million in the short term. The cottage fell into ruin, the lifts are arthritis. It was time that Korman sells.


— At the age of 87, you choose what you are leaving for an inheritance : money or a name. Me, I prefer to leave a vision. My daughter-in-law tells me that the RCM has not even thought of making an offer for Owl’s Head; the population is not sufficiently mobilised. This transaction is done in the absence of opposition. Even young people sacrent. Imagine, we made them sparkle ski tour with augmented reality.


— Should ben get out from behind their screens. You should see my grandsons. It takes bébelles, otherwise, the nature, they find it boring. We do not stop the progress JM…

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— I hope they will put a deer Pokemon too. It is sure that the trend is for spas, wave pools worse the noise. Of silence as this afternoon, here on the dock, my Bern, it’s going to become more rare than the trout at the end of your line. It will not be good for the fish, in any case. More boats, more people, more noise, more air pollution, aquatic, light, sound.


— They are talking about putting wind turbines and solar panels in the project. They want to make it carbon-neutral. The developer rolls even in the Tesla! It should be against the hunting of squirrel, hahaha.


— You’re naive. It is of fine words to paste on a project in 2017, and it helps his social acceptability. Need to see it in the concrete. I have learned to install solar panels on my house; they are made in China, and with our winters, it does not draw enough juice. If you compute the life span of the panels and the price of our electricity to “clean” — it is not produced with coal, it is not cost-effective. In addition, should the plow!

And the clapotement hubs and rims / with a rumor navy forest / Where flows an undercurrent of mares croupissantes
Alfred DesRochers, “In the shadow of Orford”

S. O. S. Owl’s Head


Bernard finishes his beer thoughtfully while Jean-Martin mulls over sending a text message to his wife.


I’ll tell him to make pasta! It bites not pantoute… (small lapping and emoticons in the heart). There will be no S. O. S. Owl’s Head, I say to you! The economy is still on the top of the ecology. But it has not even reached our targets for the protection of the territory in Quebec. It is not 10 % and it is expected to be 17 % by 2020. This is my daughter-in-law who told me.


— Ben me, I live next to the natural reserve of the Mountains-Green, 68 square miles of private land protected for life! It is quiet…


— Yes, and it is necessary to protect our jewels. My grand-father made to leave Cap-des-Rosiers when the federal government decided to build the park Forillon. It was a bad news for people from the Gaspé peninsula, but they would eventually sell to the Americans, and we would have lost the entire tip of the coastline. The nature, once it has been damaged, it is irreversible, or when it takes time. (Silence fly that flies)… And if the developers had decided to do their project next to you, in the Green mountains, you’d do what?

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— Ben there! It’s not the same! With us, the trees have the right to vote!

(My thanks to Lisette Maillé, chair of the advisory Committee on sustainable development to the MRC of Memphrémagog, to Dr. E, enverdeur of Potton, and to Mr. X, a fisherman on the dock of Knowlton Landing, for their bright and generous contributions.)

Learned in the reflection of The lake as a way to “santiago de Compostela” is tested at the start of the abbey of Saint-Benoît-du-Lac and that will make a loop of 155 kilometres through the township of Potton, Saint-Étienne-de-Bolton and Eastman. The circuit of the Abbey will be effective as soon as June 2018. For walkers in search of pretty landscapes and recollection during a period of ten days, in the shadow of Orford and Owl’s Head.

Loved this article that explains why our brains can’t conceive of climate change in the long term. The present is more tangible than the future remote, in spite of floods and forest fires, and we are not voting, taking into account of these catastrophes ” one-off “. In short, the global issue is too big for our small brains.

Noticed that National Geographic has chosen the photo of mount Owl’s Head facing to the abbey of Saint-Benoît-du-Lac for the cover ofa book devoted to Québec, to be published next spring. The author and photographer Mathieu Dupuis goes through the Beautiful Province, but the photo frontispiece is already selected.

Catherine and Liliane remain in confidence

My guilty pleasure these days? They are French, secretaries perruquées drafting of the Petit Journal (Canal +) and performed by Alex Lutz and Bruno Sanches. I love them, especially when they express themselves on international news, Kim Jong-un, the women who pass their driving licence in saudi Arabia or the region of Catalonia. They solve complex problems in less than two minutes in their clips-confidences. Marc Labrèche for lovers verve of paris.