We were back at Cap on consecutive Saturdays. Got a really good workout on this one, side by side with a terrific crew that built several roaring fires. Drier conditions and ample winds made fire-starting easy so we were able to focus on the dragging and burning side of the job.
I went back two days later to walk portions of the preserve, starting from our work site then crossing Visitation Prairie and looping to the north before reconnecting with the Sag Trail near the area where Bob Arentz is clearing brush. We passed through a big section cleared by the recent brush-mowing project, crossing the prairie, and visualizing what it all will look like in a few weeks as the growing season gets underway.
Hidden Pond Sunday March 10
This was Mary Busch's birthday so Jeimar ("J") brought his violin to serenade her with a musical interlude. We found a safe place to locate a fire at the bottom of a slope (a very windy day, hooray for ground-truthing!) and continued to push into the wooded area, taking out honeysuckle and multi-flora rose along the way.
Students from Stagg, Conrady, Whitney Young, and GCE Lab School graced our day with their presence and efforts, and Andrew got his first field experience herbiciding. Thanks to all of them, including first-time Palos volunteers Bryce and Francisco.
Palos Springs Potluck Sunday March 10
Like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get at a potluck. At one of ours it's a safe bet it'll be good. With a great turnout came an assortment of tasty, creative dishes; I tried mightily but could not sample everything...
The conversation was as good as the food, the sun beamed through the lodge windows, and Nguyen from Sagawau staff took us some emergent skunk cabbage (my first of the season). So there is some hope for spring...
Thanks to Nicole Pierson from FPCC Volunteer Resources for attending, to those who came early to set up and to those helping with cleanup at the end - as Julie noted on FB, all we had to do when we got home was wash some napkins, everything else was clean and only had to be put away. Special thanks also to Mike for the t-shirts he made for our group. Super job!