On the North Side

We started a new chapter in the Scuppernong River Nature Trail restoration effort today as we began cutting the Buckthorn on the North side of the River.  The area is scratched out in white on the map below.  Our goal is to reopen The Lost Trail that bisects the loop trail, which I highlighted in white below.  We want to clear the area between the trail and the River.


Mark Mamerow, who was assigned as my “buddy” almost 25 years ago when I started working at Northwestern Mutual, is still keeping an eye on me.  He piled brush all day and made a great contribution.  Rich Csavoy did some piling and cutting as well.  And last, but not least, Pati came out to help pile brush and clear the “Sawmill Springs”.

Mark cleaned up the area by the bridge over the River at the Hotel Springs.

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And After…

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My before pictures on the North side of the River did not turn out, but here are a couple.

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And after…

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Lindsay and I have noticed a Spring just North of signpost #12 so we’ll call it the “Sawmill Springs”.  We began clearing this one out today.

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And after…

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This still needs a bit of work.

We noticed this permit posted on the bridge over the Scuppernong River at signpost #5.  This is where the Water Flow Gauges will be installed.


In case you were wondering, the algae bloom we reported at the Hotel Springs has completed disappeared.

Mark, Pati and I enjoyed the sunset from the Indian Campground.

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I Can See More Piles and Piles

It was cold enough to snow.  We haven’t seen any since last March and we’re poised to set a record for days without snow.  I hope we get some soon because we have a lot of brush piles to burn.  Today I continued making brush piles on the hilltop between the Scuppernong Springs and the Indian Campground.

There are some nice, new, views of the river opening up from this high spot.  Here are a couple shots looking down at Connie and Sophia standing by the Scuppernong Spring.

As the sun broke through the clouds around noon, I was treated to flock after flock of Sand Hill Cranes migrating South.  They slowed to a lazy float as they loitered high above me, discussing our work in progress at the Springs no doubt.

Good news!  The algae is receding at the Hotel Springs.  When I met DNR Water Resources Management Specialist Craig Helker on November 15th, I forgot to ask him to check out the algae but he gave this reply via email after checking out my pics:

“If you would, please keep an eye on the algae – say, over the next few months and into spring. We’ll see what happens. I’m curious if it’s a fall phenomenon, or there is something more sinister going on. I didn’t speciate it out, but it does not appear to be “rock-snot”, which was my number one fear. So, that’s a positive.”

We’ll definitely keep an eye on it and consult with Craig.

“I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles
Oh yeah”

I’ll be heading back to the Springs on Monday, November 26th to finish piling brush along the river.

Algae Bloom at the Hotel Springs

I was out working  at the Springs yesterday (poisoning phragmites and buckthorn resprouts and piling brush) and noticed that a brownish/green algae has bloomed in the Hotel Spring.  It is coating the rocks and sending up fingers of growth to the surface.  It does not have a firm structure and is slimy if you scoop up a handful.  If you know about algae, please help positively identify this algae so we can understand what to expect.

I’ve never seen algae in this spring before, but it may be a normal occurrence.  Here are a couple of resources that I looked at: Brown Algae, DiatomsWikipedia link, but I could not find and pictures that matched what we see above.