This was our first tree-thinning day of the season, in the recently-cleared bittersweet tangle I've been writing about over the past few months. We had three honkin' big fires and an energetic group loading them. Huge thanks to Kathy Bruch of Atrium Landscape for her generous donation of the chainsaw crew that cut on this day, and will continue to do so over the next eight weeks or so. They make an enormous difference!
The follow-up brush-mowing project at McMahon has now begun; I saw Joe's car parked yesterday and dropped in for a look. Our detested wall of brush has been pushed way, way back now, something that should delight anyone who's joined one of our vine-wrestling matches since last October. It's quite the sight to see.
Hidden Pond Woods Sunday January 9
The previous night's freezing rain left a veneer of ice everywhere. It was our good fortune that local public works crews had most roads safely drivable by morning, and once we gingerly tiptoed onto the prairie we were in good shape.
We cleared a big patch of brush just above the west edge of the prairie, on a slope that offered shelter from the still-brisk wind. It was our good fortune (again) that the warmest part of the day was morning, with temperatures dropping steadily throughout the day. And our further good fortune that this super group of eight volunteers braved conditions and joined us on this morn, including first-time Palos volunteer Stephen.
Kathy and Joy got a fire going pretty quickly, given the sheen of ice on all the fuel, and it burned hot right up to quitting time. Good day, good times.