Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Stewardship day at Labagh

Saturday was another stewardship day Saturday cutting buckthorn, this time at LaBagh Woods. The group was large and included a crew of diligent kids from Curie High. 

Most of the buckthorn was fairly small—we used loppers and hacksaws. No chainsaw crew on this site. More time consuming than the actual cutting is disentangling the brushy, thorny, spreading branches from other trees. The stuff is like velcro, catching on anything when it falls.

Maybe one day I'll actually be able to recognize buckthorn with a degree of certitude, but for now I followed the steward's spray-painted orange marks to know which tree to cut and which to leave. There are hawthorns and oaks in these woods, native flora that belongs in this ecosystem.

There is also invasive honeysuckle, which was let stand, with some reluctance, to appease the birding groups, who just want cover for their birds and so operate under different priorities from the restoration folks.

It has rained throughout January and February, but snow has barely fallen, and what has fallen hasn't stuck. On this day it was appropriately seasonally cold and the brushfire provided welcome warmth, but the  dusting of snow that came midway through the morning still disappeared almost immediately. I'm glad I snapped the picture when I did. I miss snow.

For break, the stewards grilled hotdogs on the buckthorn brushfire, and a couple called the Martons brought out delicious home-made beans and cole slaw, apparently a regular perk of volunteering at LaBagh. The students also brought marshmallows for roasting, after the work was done. 

Note: I made a correction to the name of the food-making couple. Previously I had written "Hortons." Sorry about that, Martons!


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