Old Friends, New Friends

I had the pleasure of the company of Rich Csavoy and Randy Shilling today.  Rich found out about the project via Amanda Prange, DNR Visitor Services Associate, Seed Gather and Volunteer Coordinator extraordinaire.  He practically lives next door and noticed the changes happening at the Springs.  Rich is skilled with the chain saw and brush pile making and burning and he is a hard-working man.  Welcome Rich!

Randy and I used to work together at Northwestern Mutual.  He turns wood on his lathe and when he heard that there was some Red Oak, Cherry and Hickory available, he came out and got a truckload today.  I can’t wait to see some of his handiwork.  Here are a few shots of Randy and a short interview.

Randy Schilling Interview 20121108

Meanwhile, Rich and I worked on preparing brush piles by the Indian Springs.  On November 10th, some of my old friends from Northwestern Mutual (I retired last February) are coming out to help Lindsay and I pile so Rich and I organized the chaos by starting piles.  This will make the work go much easier on Saturday.

As we finished up this area, Randy joined us and we proceeded downstream a bit along the Indian Spring outflow channel and we made 10-12 piles amongst the Gray Willow, Buckthorn and other brush I recently cut there.  We had a lot of fun!

I gathered some Water Cress for my juicer.

Sundown by the Marl Pit bridge.

Firewood, Wood for Artists and Water Cress

As Lindsay and I begin brush piling in earnest, we are reminded that there is a lot of wood at the Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail that would be better used to heat someone’s home, than simply consumed in a burning brush pile.  Lindsay burns wood to heat his home but there is no way he could use all the wood that is available.  So, I’m cautiously advertising here that there is excellent firewood available, mostly Black Locust, but some Red Oak as well.  Of course there is a ton of Buckthorn too, and I know people who have had success with this type of wood in their furnaces.

You will need to get a permit to collect firewood at the Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail from the DNR.   I have reviewed this with DNR Forester, Mike Seeger, and he was very supportive.  There is a DNR, two-track, access road that will take you very close to the wood sources.

Forest Headquarters
S91 W39091 Highway 59
Eagle, WI 53119

I mentioned in a previous post that there is an excellent assortment of Red Oak, Hickory and Cherry trees that are ready for you to take home and “turn” into works of Art.  The trees range from 8″ to 16″ in diameter and 10′ to 30′ long and all side branches have been pruned.  The artist would probably want to cut the pieces to the length desired at the site and then haul them out with a wagon, or something, to where they could be picked up via the aforementioned DNR access road.  We have one interested person so far, but again, there is a lot of wood available.

Please contact me prior to getting any wood so I can meet you out there to review the situation.

We pulled a lot of Water Cress from the Scuppernong River this past Spring and Summer.  It is impossible to completely eliminate cress unless you take extreme measures, and the cress has returned in many places along the river.  When DNR Fish Biologist Ben Heussner visited the site he reminded us that some cress is OK, and the trout like it.  With that in mind, we are not going to try to completely remove the Water Cress from the Scuppernong River.  Instead, we’ll simply make sure that it does not impede the flow of the water, as it was prior to our recent efforts, and that it does start taking over any area.

There are many places between the Scuppernong Spring and the Hotel Spring where fresh patches of Water Cress have returned.  This is young, sweet cress that would go perfectly in your salad or juicer.  I encourage you to go out and harvest some Water Cress to help us keep it under control and for your own health benefits.  You might want to wear knee high rubber boots, but there is a lot of cress available along the edge of the river.  We have cleared a path through the cattail and phragmites along the river, that is pretty dry, to make it easy to follow its course.  Please help your selves to some Water Cress!

See you at the Springs!