Scheduled for Cap Sauers, we switched to Willow West due to prescribed burns at the former. We had a super group of volunteers, numbering 18 to 20. Awesome! Included were first-time Palos volunteers Dennis and Eric, a scouting family from La Grange Troop 216, and Natalie, whose father and brother are past volunteers and friends..
We did cleanup at a site we worked earlier this year, cutting new brush as well as burning some logs left over from that day. It was a clear morning that started with frost and warmed quickly. What seemed like a continuous stream of sandhill cranes passed overhead - when you couldn't see them you still couldn't help but hear their calls.
Swallow Cliff Woods South Sunday March 24
We welcomed steward Jackie Majdov back after a short maternity break, continuing to remove honeysuckle from a slope above the marsh-like cluster of reed canary grass below. We were a dozen-strong this day, including John and Chris doubling up after Willow the preceding day.
We cut a lot and burned two brush piles, all of this on a morning that, 24 hours earlier, had a forecast of rain that could have shut us down. Blessedly, that rain didn't come until early afternoon.
Prescribed burns began in earnest barely two weeks ago. Forest Preserves, FOTFP, and contractor crews, with volunteer help, have been all over the county ever since. When their time comes they truly hit the ground running, helmeted, yellow-suited, carrying flappers and drip torches, busily going about their business. (Those gripping the drip torches often are seen wearing big smiles.)