Buckthorn Alley

“Thats all I can stands, I can’t stands no more!” 

 

When I visited the land that time forgot on the north end of the Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail, I reached into my backpack for a can of spinach and realized I had left it at home.

I rarely walk the section of trail marked in blue below because it is so dark, damp and uninteresting compared to the rest of the trail.

SSTrailNorthEndMap

At the end of the day yesterday, I walked this section of the trail to make sure there were no trees downed across it and review just how badly degraded it was. Here is a tour of the first hundred yards or so.

After passing through this buckthorn thicket, I thought “Thats all I can stands, I can’t stands no more!” I’m changing my priorities to focus on this section of trail. I’ve been reminded of my old hero, Popeye, by my recent diagnosis via MRI that I have torn the head of the long biceps tendon on my left arm. I got whacked there by the branch of a red oak tree that I was clearing off the trail back in October of 2012. One solution offered by the orthopedic surgeon was to sever the head of the biceps tendon completely; apparently the Creator was confused when deciding to join this muscle with the scapula and we don’t really need it. The only downside he explained was that my biceps muscle would bunch up reminiscent of Popeye The Sailor.

popeye

My rotator cuff is torn as well, but after three months of physical therapy and Feldenkrais Lessons with Pati, the pain and discomfort has subsided and I can live with it.

Yesterday morning, Rich joined me as we continued our efforts to spray the spotted knapweed on the sand prairie that covers the Indian Campground. The site listed above explains “Apply selective herbicide clopyralid during bud growth in early June for best results (48 oz per 100 gal water).” hmmm, we don’t have any clopyralid and it is only April; so our use of glyphosate at this time of the year is not the preferred technique; nevertheless, since glyphosate attacks any green plant, I’m hopeful we will see good results (we focus the spray as much as possible to reduce collateral damage).

Next, we continued the effort to control aspen around the Indian Springs girdling the rest of the clonal colony in that area.

Roberta “Berta” Roy-Montgomery joined Rich and I and we finished girdling the aspen in this bowl.

Rich and Berta had other commitments for the rest of the afternoon and I headed over to the area north of the old barn site to continue cutting buckthorn between the loop trail and Hwy 67.

This is probably as far as we’ll get in this area for now as our focus is shifting to the Buckthorn Alley.

Here are a couple of views of the area just cut. You have to walk amongst the oak, cherry and hickory trees in here to really appreciate their size and beauty.

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I couldn’t stay for the sunset but did grab these parting shots.

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See you at The Springs!

42 thoughts on “Buckthorn Alley

  1. When I was a kid and we walked that trail, we use to love the north end of the trail where it was dark and damp (My family LOVED the WHOLE trail). We made a game out of it. Since it was boggy and peaty the ground would “give” beneath your feet. We use to call it the “Bouncing Bog”. One person could bounce on it where the wood chips were and another person could feel it.
    You blog brings back such wonderful childhood memories for me! Thank you so much!!!

  2. Yah, I’ve walked that section and it is a dark, interminable alley. Her comments about the springy ground are also my experience.

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