Big Jim Steps Up and Out

Even the Buckthorn Man looks like a shrimp next to Big Jim Davee.

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Jim is a thoughtful, compassionate, gentle giant, with a visionary streak and the energy and motivation to make his dreams come true.  Like most people who hike the Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail, Jim noticed that the boardwalk at the Hatching House Spring (just around the corner from the Hotel Spring) was falling apart and potentially hazardous.

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So he contacted Paul Sandgren and Anne Korman, the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent respectively, of the Southern Unit — Kettle Moraine State Forest, describing the situation, and they promptly delivered materials to the site we needed to repair the boardwalk.  Jim contacted The Buckthorn Man and Ben Johnson, and we setup a workday for Saturday July 26.

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Big Jim drives it home.

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We recycled all of the deck boards!

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As we evaluated how to integrate our newly constructed boardwalk with the existing boardwalks on either side, we all concluded that these boardwalks were serving no purpose.  They were sitting on hard packed, bone dry, trail with no evidence of spring water moving under them from the hillside above.  I gave Anne Korman a call, and she took a break from helping out at the triathlon taking place next store at Ottawa Lake, to come over and confirm our conclusion.  She agreed, and we re-purposed the two boardwalks at the unnamed springs, located between the Hatching House and Emerald Springs, replacing one of the decks that was completely dilapidated and adding another boardwalk over a previously uncovered wet area leading to the springs.

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Thanks for being our leader on this project Jim!  Not only did Jim step up but he is also stepping out on the biggest adventure of his life!

On Sunday July 27, 2014 I’m going to begin an ” adventure of a lifetime.” I’m going to backpack solo from Madison to St. Croix, Wisconsin along The Ice Age National Scenic Trail. My goal is to reach St. Croix by the middle of August and to join a Mobile Skills Crew with the IANST. Afterwards I’ll hike up to Duluth Minnesota and hike the Superior Trail. During the winter I will continue my adventures preferable in the South. Next year March 2015 I’m planning on hiking solo North on The Appalachian National Scenic Trail. I will cover over 2,000 miles in about 6 months. My long term goals are to obtain the title The Triple Crown, hence my email mytriplecrown.2017. The four digits represent the year I want to finish them. The triple crown is made up of The Appalachian Trail, The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, and The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. Please follow me right here on Facebook for all the latest news and updates about my journey.

Go for it Jim!

If that was all we got done yesterday, I would still categorize it as a great day, but Ben and I were determined to finish removing the huge oak beams that bisected the river just downstream from the Scuppernong Spring, and I wanted to promptly return the DNR Fisheries Team’s “jetter pump”.

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There were five beams remaining and get got after it with controlled fury.  Ben is, at least, twice as strong as The Buckthorn Man, and he single-handedly ripped a few of the beams from their moorings.  Thanks again to DNR Fisheries Technician, Steve Gospoderek, for suggesting the “jetter pump” as the right tool for the job, and to the DNR for loaning us the equipment.

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The new thalweg through this stretch of the river will become much more evident in the weeks to come.

I’m trying to catch up on the weeding at The Springs and spent last Thursday and Friday pulling Sow Thistle and Spotted Knapweed.

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Sow Thistle likes it wet and was prevalent in the areas around the Indian Spring and along the river from Scuppernong Spring down to the Hotel Spring.  The knapweed is dominant (not for long!) on the Sand Prairie.

I got my permit to move live biological control agents from the DNR and should be getting flower weevils delivered next week.  The root weevils will be arriving in August.

Thursday and Friday were mostly cloudy but yesterday Ben and I were treated to bright sunshine as we relaxed at the Marl Pit bridge after a grueling day’s effort.

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The view from the Gaging Station Bridge looking east.IMG_3490

We barely made it back to the marl pits after touring The Springs to catch the sunset.

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See you at The Springs!

8 thoughts on “Big Jim Steps Up and Out

  1. Rule #1 of camping—Actually— Rule #1 of anything in my book…”Leave a place better than you found it”
    Thanks for embodying that spirit at the Springs Jim, Ben & Paul

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  3. Hi Paul,
    I had been meaning to send you this link from Natural Areas Journal, vol 34 #1, Jan 2014, pp. 92-98, that published a study involving glyphosate and also a naturally occurring fungal plant pathogen sold as Chontrol Peat Paste and their effects on control of Rhamnus cathartica. The study found the use of both complimented each other due to seasonal variations in efficacy. You will need to get the entire article rather than just the abstract to see all of the details of the study. If you don’t have access to this journal, I have found that most authors will gladly email the article to you, especially if you tell them you are a member of a non-profit org w/o access.
    Corresponding author: rau@Winnipeg.ca; robau3@gmail.com; Phone: (204) 986-7235
    http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.3375/043.034.0110

    Best of luck to you,

    Nathan

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