Marsh Madness

I hope Spring is here to stay!

It’s been crazy here on the home front.  Pati, my African Queen, left for Cape Town today and I’ve been cramming for my “day in court” on Friday.  Like Ian Anderson sang: “Nothing Is Easy”.

I’ll tell you what looks easy though: two experts driving forestry mowers cutting huge swaths of buckthorn in a couple hours, that would have taken, even The Buckthorn Man,  weeks to do with a brush cutter.

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We had absolutely perfect conditions for DNR Facilities Repair Worker, Don Dane (that title doesn’t even begin to describe what Don does!) and Forestry/Wildlife Technician, Mike Spaight, to mow buckthorn at the Hartland Marsh.  This latest initiative at The Hartland Marsh, spearheaded by Kevin Thusius, property manager for the Ice Age Trail Alliance, manifested it’s first concrete result last week thanks to Paul Sandgren, Forest Superintendent Southern Unit – KMSF Lapham Peak & Glacial Drumlin Trail East, donating two full days of his best equipment and crew.  Thanks Paul!

Way back on February 27th I spent a few hours at The Marsh flagging a firebreak for the prescribed burning we hope to start in 2016.  How about this Oakitecture!

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Last week Thursday and Friday (March 5-6) , just before this blessed thaw, Don and Mike came out and hit the buckthorn hard.  They completed the firebreak, and some mowing on the uplands, on Thursday.

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And on Friday, they continued working the uplands all the way back to the hillside below the Gazebo on Cottownwood Avenue.

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I love those guys!

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Back on Monday, March 2, I was joined by Andy Buchta and Ben Johnson as we cleared glossy buckthorn from the tamarack grove on the northwest side of the Ottawa Lake Fen State Natural Area.

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Here is a panorama view taken from the middle of the fen.

Closing in around the tamaracks…

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… is a thicket of glossy buckthorn.

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It was a glorious day; our last of the season over there no doubt.

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Last Saturday, March 7, Andy and I continue clearing the buckthorn near the old marl factory wall.  Here is how it looked when I got there.

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I won’t get tired of saying it was a great day!

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We gutted the core of the last nasty buckthorn thicket on this wedge of land just west of the marl factory wall, and I think I can finish it off with one more day’s work.

I was pretty tuckered out when the sun went down.

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See you at The Springs!

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