Blazing Buckthorn


I love lingering by a fire on a winter day, especially when it’s fueled by buckthorn!

One of the things about volunteering at The Springs that gives me the most satisfaction and joy is the opportunity to go with the flow of weather, phenology or whimsy and do exactly what I think is right for the moment. The sweetest part is becoming cognizant that I’m in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing. Sometimes it makes me burst out laughing.

Yesterday was one of those times, and a last minute adjustment to take advantage of calm north and east winds turned out to be a great choice. Dick Jenks joined me and happily suggested that our timing was good as snow was expected soon. He brought along a sawbuck he made that we plan use to cut up buckthorn logs. We are trying to work out something with the DNR to make the buckthorn available to campers at Ottawa Lake for a donation. Donations aside, I was glad to see that someone has already picked up the buckthorn logs we stacked near Hwy ZZ last week.


Our goal yesterday was to burn all the brush piles in the area near Hwy 67 marked in blue below.


We were wildly successful, and lit 61 piles, extending along the trail on both sides north of our initial target area. We started at the old hotel site and soon had all the piles there going.





Then we moved just north of the old barn site to light the next batch of fires.


The wood was dry and readily took the flame.



It was overcast and you could feel the snow coming. “I watched the fire the grew so low…”


Pati and I are taking a short vacation in Oregon; I’ll be back before the year ends.

See you at The Springs!

p.s. Consider participating in the State Natural Area Volunteer Program event on January 18th. You can sign up for notification of future events here by subscribing (SNA Volunteer topic is at the bottom of the list).

7 thoughts on “Blazing Buckthorn

  1. Hi Paul,
    Some of us from the Southeast WI Chapter of Trout Unlimited stopped by the springs on Sat. to check out your handiwork. It’s pretty impressive. We helped the DNR install some biologs in the stream to narrow the stream channel in some spots. We also used some of the buckthorn from your piles to create brush mats behind the biologs. In time this will fill in with sediment and vegetation. The stream should narrow up and much of the silt should get flushed out, leaving the natural gravel stream bottom. Keep up the good work!

  2. Pingback: Solstice Fires | Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail

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