Recent rain meant a slow-starting fire this morning, that difficulty compounded by a light breeze that didn't pick up until late morning. Once the fire got going we had plenty to load, with two chainsaws and one brushcutter running throughout the morning.
We cleared a big "sore thumb", a patch of honeysuckle growing in a grass land wanna-be. This was just west of the area we began clearing a couple years ago, the sandy dune section filled with cherry trees, honeysuckle, and bittersweet. Like every inch of ground we've reclaimed here, it was arduous It was also amazing, after 3-4 hours, how much our small group accomplished.
McClaughrey Springs Sunday October 29
Sunday was a near-clone of Saturday in terms of fire-starting. The fuel was damp and wind speed barely met our allowable minimum. Joy persevered and before long delivered a good, hot fire .
Our major task was burning the numerous piles of brush left on the ground a week ago, when the large group from Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum worked with us. The stacks were lined for a good stretch along the west bank of Mill Creek, meaning considerable dragging. Our even-smaller-than-Saturday group of volunteers was up to the task, and by 11:00 had burned the biggest portion of brush.
The remainder of the morning was cleanup, with an occasional break to enjoy the view of open woodland on both sides of the creek. Fall colors are fading fast but the higher ground to our west still offered an striking palette of golds and reds.