A Child of Nature

Steve Brasch grew up at the Scuppernong Springs.  His mother used to drop him off there with his friends in the morning with a promise to pick them up for supper.  All day they ran wild; building forts, floating on rafts in the ponds, catching creatures, running, hiding, looking, simply being in the woods.  He never lost his love of nature and, armed with a degree, he pursued a career in forestry.  Those were the Reagan years and budgets were tight; Steve had to make some tough decisions and leave the forest behind.

Over the years Steve found opportunities to volunteer with many organizations working on land restoration and his passion for the outdoors never flagged.  He moved into the Scuppernong neighborhood and, noticing the changes taking place at the Springs, decided to get involved.  Lindsay and I really appreciated Steve’s help and camaraderie yesterday as we worked the piles on the cut-off trail.  Welcome Steve!

Here are a few pictures of the brush piles we intended to burn.  This wood was cut and piled within the last month, which is pretty fresh as brush piles go, but they contained enough dead wood that we thought we could start them.



The plan was to get the existing piles lit and then continue piling the brush we cut last week.


Despite the cold, we got warmed up fast and the layers started coming off.  Lindsay brought his leaf blower and that proved to be the difference between success and failure; there’s nothing like a jet of fresh air to kick-start a green brush pile.

We made a few new brush piles too.

IMG_0768 IMG_0769

We hope to finish clearing the buckthorn and brush between the cut-off trail and the river before spring.  The cut-off trail passes through the loveliest woodlands in the whole Scuppernong Springs Nature Preserve and it is a joyful thrill to open this area up.

See you at the Springs!

5 thoughts on “A Child of Nature

  1. That first paragraph sounds like a wish/dream I would’ve had as a kid. I couldn’t imagine being a kid and running around there all day! I do still catch creatures there when I get the chance.. snakes usually.

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