Fall burn season started the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and crews burned extensively for a full week. In some cases, like Cap Sauers, they visited a site two or three times to expand the burned area. Anyone driving through the area likely saw evidence of active burns. So great for the preserves!
I'm not sure how much area got burned but suspect they did much better than last fall, when burn season was a mere blink due to early snowfall. A tip of the hat to Forest Preserves of Cook County for their active use of fire in managing the land.
Willow Springs Woods Saturday December 2
Scheduled to work at Cap Sauers, we changed locations since a prescribed burn was taking place along Ford Road at Cap. Thank you Carolyn Faber for coming up with a good 'Plan B' and directing the work. We cut brush along 87th Street; in some areas the honeysuckle was almost impossible to walk through.
McClaughrey Springs Sunday December 3
Diana and crew worked along Mill Creek, not far from the bridge and trail coming out of Palos Woods North. Interesting observation; after we cleared brush the bridge and trail seemed much closer to our location than they did when we arrived. I guess a clear sightline made the difference.
Cap Sauers Sunday December 3
There's a lovely little wetland on the west side of Visitation Trail, below the hillside where Cap steward Bob Arentz is currently removing honeysuckle. There was a wide patch of it obscuring the view of this wetland from the trail. In September 2016 we cut and burned a portion of this thicket. In October 2017 Diana Krug cut a lot of it with the gas brushcutter.
Sunday we dragged all that cut brush across the trail and burned it on the hillside, away from the wetland. We also cut most of the remaining honeysuckle, dragged and burned that as well. Now trail users have a clear view of the wetland. Looking good!