Burn the Alley

We must have made over 200 brush piles in the Buckthorn Alley since late November; well, Andy Buchta made most of them.  Green and wet as they may be, now is the time to make them go away. I don’t want to look through them for 9 months to see past them. The landscape demands a clear view!

I had two opportunities this past week to light up the Buckthorn Alley and it was my great pleasure to be joined by Rich Csavoy, Dick Jenks and Ben Johnson. On Monday we started with piles right at the parking lot on Hwy ZZ.

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Rich and I prepped the piles with chainsaws and I did the lighting. Dick helped the fires burn completely by consolidating the burning piles and fanning them with the leaf blower. The snow was soft and deep, and it was an effort to move from pile to pile, but we managed to get 33 lit.

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I worked the fires until 5:30pm and used the technique we recently learned from Gary Birch of disbursing the ash piles with the leaf blower.

The sun was on it’s way to set behind a bank of clouds as I made my way up to the Indian Campground. I really appreciated and enjoyed working with Rich and Dick again!

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Yesterday, I heard the whine of Dick’s chainsaw shredding the morning stillness as I arrived around 8:30am.

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Last November, Dick suggested we save the “nice” buckthorn logs, cut them into firewood, and offer it to Ottawa Lake campers (donations to the Wisconsin DNR are welcome!)  He followed up by creating this brochure to advertise…

Free Campfire wood

and by actually doing the work.  Dick, I’ll bring that sawbuck you gave me to The Springs tomorrow!

The air was moving when I began lighting piles and I made good progress initially.  Then, I looked up and saw Ben Johnson carrying a 12′ aluminum ladder and dragging a sled full of birdhouses and tools.

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Dick split his time between cutting firewood and tending the 25 brush piles I lit, while Ben meticulously scouted sites and mounted 26 bird houses.

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At the end of the day Ben and I retraced his steps and he collected GPS data points for every birdhouse location.

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For some reason, the late afternoon light, or maybe it was mother nature herself, cast a most beautiful soft blush on the landscape.

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The sun was setting as we arrived on the Indian Campground…

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… but I wanted to watch the grand finale from the Marl Pit bridge.

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See you at The Springs!

6 thoughts on “Burn the Alley

  1. Very cool update! Glad to see all those birdhouses up! Speaking of birds, I’ve heard a few Sandhill Cranes near my house lately, so they may be showing up at the Springs very soon too!

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