We awoke Saturday morning to forecasts of high winds and legitimate concern about burning on such a day. It turned out quite well; the "wall of brush" we've been tangling with (literally) made a great wind screen and we did fine, with no concerns about the brushpile fire getting out of hand.
With two brush-cutters and two chainsaws going we got another big chunk cleared out, and will return this Saturday for our last foray of 2021 into this terrible mess. Oh yeah!
Invasion of the Nature Snatchers, Saturday December 11
This stewardship festival was hosted by Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI) and Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC). They had a wide range of information on stewardship and invasive plants, food, a buckthorn table that was raffled off, and hikes led by FPCC ecologist Kristin Pink.
I love listening to Kristin speak about local nature because she has such a passion for it. I also learn something new and interesting each time. A big shout-out to all the volunteers, from FPCC, U of I Extension, FOTFP, Morton Arboretum, and others, who stood on an exposed hilltop for three hours, in a brisk cold wind, putting on this event.
Hidden Pond Woods Sunday December 12
Sunday was another terrific day at Hidden Pond, with a terrific group of volunteers. Twelve strong, they included Palos first-timers Justin and Mike (boyfriend and brother, respectively, of Mary from Oak Lawn) and almost first-timer Luke, brought by his father, Tom.
In early 2020 we began clearing a large patch of honeysuckle along Kean Avenue, work that stretched out due to two Covid interruptions and multiple weather problems. Sunday we finally eliminated that patch, from Woodland Drive moving north toward Christina. Now, steward Mary Busch is hoping for a prescribed burn through the cleared area to jump-start what native seed bed remains.