We were near 107th Street and Old Country Lane, at the southern ends of Cranberry, thinning trees in an area cleared of brush by contractors a couple years back.
Not just any trees, basswood, a wet, ornery, slow-to-ignite wood that compelled us to continually add dead wood to keep them going. Think of foie gras and force-feeding ducks - that's what it resembled. (Not spoken from personal experience, we must note.)
Eventually the fires took hold, though the slow start necessitated another visit from Joe and Margaret the following day. I believe the full volunteer group will return again too, hoping it's not right away so any downed trees can dry out a bit.
Sunday March 5, McClaughrey Springs Woods
Back to the side of Mill Creek, and back to one of our preferred fuels, honeysuckle, which is so much easier to ignite and burn off. One fire at creek level, another up above, as we cut and hauled throughout the morning, clearing a big swath by quitting time.
It's amazing what this area looks like today. I recall 10-15 years ago, when very little land on either side of Mill Creek was accessible due to thickness of the brush. When we first cleared on the west side it was a revelation, and it continues now that we've crossed to the east. Awesome!
Wednesday March 8, McMahon Woods & Fen
This marks, I believe, our last day of the season with Atrium Landscape. As in past years, the donation of their service has allowed an incredible amount of tree-thinning at multiple sites. Commercial sawyers have fewer constraints than volunteers, vastly expanding what we accomplish.
We had four burn piles by 1:00 pm, big ones that burned hot aided by a brisk wind. We'll be back in this area a lot - numerous downed trees blocked brushmower access to areas of brush which will be cleared the old-fashioned way, by chainsaw, bushcutter, and hand tools. Oh yeah!