It’s been a hard winter season as measured by local history, but certainly not hard by the standards of arctic explorers or those hardy folks “up north”, who endure much more severe trials. I’m lucky to have a buoyant spirit and to be motivated by desires above the comfort of the physical body, such that this has been a season of opportunity at The Springs, and not one of complaint or stagnation.
You may have noticed a few recent enhancements to the home page of this site such as the Blog Roll where I share websites that offer inspiring and informative content. The Peace Revolution Podcast is one of the most valuable resources I have found to aid in my personal growth and development and the most recent episode (linked above) features a brilliant lecture by Manly Palmer Hall.
This is the food that nourishes and sustains me through challenging times and reinforces my commitment to give my time and energy to rehabilitating the Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail. In the words of Manly P. Hall:
Man represents (more or less) a Soul Power in the material world: the power of inner consciousness, inner dedication, inner understanding and realization to transmute and transform the outer environment into an appropriate and proper place for the development of life.
…The human being is able to take over his own destiny. This is something that sets him entirely apart from every other kingdom of nature. There is no other kingdom that we know that can create a future destiny for itself by intent, that can take the rough materials of life and ensoul them with purposes beyond survival.
And so I carry on at The Springs, through thick and thin, eschewing the accumulation of additional financial “security”, and instead, gaining understanding of real value and creating wealth to share.
Last spring I notice the extent to which Black Locust was dominating the northeast part of the Scuppernong Springs Nature Preserve. The DNR initiated an effort some years ago to check the spread of this invasive tree at The Springs by girdling hundreds of black locust trees in the south section of the preserve. The wood from these standing, dead, trees is a valuable resource as firewood and many of us are actively harvesting it for that purpose. So, with the approach of spring, I decided to spend a couple days girdling black locust while it is still dormant. I didn’t get all of them and will revisit this project again next winter, as even one live tree can propagate a whole new colony.
The area I worked is marked in red below.
I began on Tuesday along Hwy ZZ and turned the corner south and began working along Hwy 67.
DNR Trail Boss, Don Dane, provided the Transline poison I applied to the girdle cuts. The conditions were challenging and I had to dilute the mix with water to keep it from turning to sludge in the cold weather.
Thursday, which was hopefully the last cold day of this winter season, I was back at it continuing where I left off on Tuesday working south all the way to the old barn site.
I pulled my sled from the parking lot on Hwy ZZ east along the north side trail (formerly known as The Buckthorn Alley) and noticed that Andy Buchta had again piled all of the brush that I cut the last time out.
Thanks Andy! When I got near the east end of the trail, I cut through the woods to set up my base of operations just below Hwy 67. There is a drainage here carrying water from the opposite side of Hwy 67 that leads down to the abandoned cranberry bog adjacent signpost #13. I had never visited this section of the property before and was impressed by the huge, open grown, oak trees that are being overtaken by the black locust colony.
The cold temperature and deep snow made it a challenge and I was pretty exhausted by the time I ran out of poison around 2:30pm. This will be a multi-year effort, I didn’t get them all, but I want to switch gears and burn as much brush as possible while conditions permit.
I took a walk around The Springs after work and was joined by Ben Johnson. Ben has built dozens of bird houses, with more to come, and we talked about where to place them as we traveled the trails.
The marl pit bridge views.
Views from the gaging station bridge.
The old barn site.
The Hotel Spring bridge.
And sundown at the Indian Campground.
See you at The Springs!