Hi, welcome back to The Springs.
Serendipity is not only fun to say, it’s fun when it happens to you! I had a serendipitous experience last Friday when Pati and I were hiking off trail on the east side of Loew Lake. There are many, many stands of aspen clones in the Scuppernong Springs Nature Preserve and they tend to spread and dominate areas, thus we do want to keep them in check. The preferred control method is to girdle the trees and for this, you need the proper tool. I’ve heard and read that a sharpened truck spring is just the thing so it was a pleasant surprise when we stumbled upon an old rusting animal trap on a hill above Loew Lake that had the springs I needed. I sharpened up three of them with my angle grinder and tested one out at the springs yesterday. It is a little too early in the season and the bark is not quite ready to yield, but the tool performed admirably. I’ll keep testing to see when the trees are ready.
The last time out we were working at the site of the Scuppernong Spring House and I posted a short video of a gnarly old oak tree. I’m a forester wannabe at heart and on my way past the tree yesterday morning, heading to the work site, I noticed the hickory and cherry trees that were growing right up into the canopy of this classic oak; they had to go. With a tree this big it’s hard to capture the scene with pictures, but here is one before shot followed by two after.
Sunday, April 7th, we continued clearing the area between the cut-off trail and the Scuppernong River. The views from the trail south to the river and beyond are getting better and better. Looking across the river from the foundation of the old hotel you can see the thicket of buckthorn that we planned to cut.
Here is video tour of the work site before the cutting started.
Rich arrived with a heavy heart deeply concerned about his granddaughter who was born after only 24 weeks in the comfort of her mother’s womb. We hoped the hard work and fresh air would provide a respite for his worried mind.
Pati came out too and helped us pile brush after we were done cutting.
The view from the hotel site.
We really enjoy walking the trails after a hard days work savoring the fruits of our labors and imagining the results of the next step of the restoration. Here is a view from the hilltop we cleared last autumn just above the Hillside Springs.
Tired and happy Pati and I took in a beautiful, wine-soaked, sunset from the Indian Campground.
See you at The Springs!