Working off T-day dinner is an annual ritual, and we did it with a focused assault on honeysuckle a short jog off the yellow trail at Spears. We only numbered ten or so but cleared a decent patch along a small ditch, and burned two brush piles in the course of the morning.
Sign of the season; frequent flights of sandhill cranes overhead.
Second sign of the season; prescribed burns at McMahon and elsewhere. Saturday was day one of fall burns (see photos below).
Swallow Cliff Woods Saturday November 25
This was the first of steward John O'Lear's 'dormant-season' workdays, which take place at the west side of the preserve, near Cherry Hill Woods picnic grove and prairie. We cut a large stack of viburnum to be burned on another day.
Brookfield Woods Adventure, Sunday November 26
With all the activity we have in Palos, I don't get out of the area often. This was a chance to work again with Iza Redlinski, former Stewardship Aide and one of the many great people found in the Cook County restoration community.
Usually in Palos we work far from the road and the picnic groves. Not so here; we were right at the intersection of 1st Avenue and 26th St., a steady stream of cars passing by on the road, runners and cyclists on the asphalt path. The target area was a thicket of buckthorn that got pushed way back by quitting time.
Should I mention that Iza served some delicious mushroom barley soup, while burn boss Liz added baked sweet potatoes to the post-workday meal? Fun time!
Capped off the adventure with a tire blowing out on 119th Street in Palos Park on the drive home. Must be the first time in 12 years I've changed a tire on the car because I could not find the scissors jack. Very clever, these Subaru designers. And the little roller skate wheel they give for a spare still had ample pressure!