Autumn at The Springs

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
― Albert Camus

I love the menu changes at The Springs and Autumn, like the other seasonings, has it’s own spicy flavors to savor. Maybe it was the weekend I spent in LA at my nephew, Danny Bobbe‘s wedding that accentuated the arrival of Fall back home. It was fun and I loved playing in the surf at El Matador beach

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…and the scene on the strip between Venice Beach and the Santa Monica pier, where Route 66 meets the Pacific.

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I squeezed in a workday at The Springs on Thursday, October 16 before leaving on a jet plane, and did some brush cutting near signpost #1 and the marl pit factory. It is impractical to try to poison every little buckthorn stub so this effort is to preserve appearances and give other plants a chance. I don’t want to look at flourishing buckthorn resprouts and seedlings until the next burn. A couple days effort with the brush cutter per year is worth it to hold the line.

Here is the area near signpost #1, where the first views of the Scuppernong River Habitat Area open up, after I did some brush cutting.

The area around the marl pit factory before cleanup.

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And after…

Pati road her bike out to meet me and, with the threat of rain, we decided to converge in Delafield and visit the Hartland Marsh on the way home. I lament leaving my work at The Marsh unfinished. Without fire in my toolbox, it seemed futile to continually repeat the brush cutting and poisoning cycle. Now, left unattended, the buckthorn is returning to dominate the understory. I’m hoping that the combination of fire and brush cutting will eventually eliminate the invasive woody species at the Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail.

I little Hartland Marsh scenery.

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I came back to The Marsh yesterday to clear this huge oak branch off the trail.

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Then I headed over to The Springs to finish piling brush on the east side of the loop trail just a bit north of the old barn site.

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I dug spotted knapweed on the sand prairie and enjoyed visiting with friends passing by. Here are some late afternoon Autumn scenes from the valley along the headwaters of the Scuppernong River.

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The spring at the old fish hatchery site.

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Sunset at the Indian Spring.

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Parting shots from the sand prairie.

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See you at The Springs!

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