Use of the Forest

Public use of Saginaw Forest is encouraged. Rules for the public's use include (but are not limited to):

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Flowers and Power Tools: Not necessarily in combination.

Last week, something totally wonderful happened.

Penstemon digitalis appeared. In my "yard." Right there. As I made abundantly clear in the last post, I get pretty geeked about flowers. I wasn't expecting this one so it's given me the giddies through and through. If you happen to walk through my front yard meadow, check around the edges for this beauty and take a peak inside the corolla tube--the stamens are curled around the inside, almost like a floral ribcage. It's totally neat.

If any species of lobelia pops up anywhere, at any point this season, I might just poop my pants.

I took advantage of the raininess this week to get all of the power tools in prime working order. The chainsaw blades are sharpened. The lawnmower is getting treated to a full tune-up. In the meantime, I'll be doing the same 'ol same 'ol: chopping honeysuckle and buckthorn (emphasis on the berm road), and walking about looking for trouble.

"I must have flowers, always, and always." --Claude Monet

Thursday, June 5, 2014

So. Flowers.

As you might expect from a Landscape Architecture student, I love flowers.

Love them.

So it has been a lot of fun to see what's popping up month after month. June is a joy because one of my favorite native wildflowers, Columbine, begins it's annual display of awesome. I don't know if you've ever taken the opportunity to look at it up close, but it's such an amazing little piece of architecture. Dual colored; long, graceful nectar spurs; the crazy cluster of stamens...Aquilegia canadensis, you always steal my heart. The best of the Ranunculaceae!

Geranium and False Solomon's Seal are on their way out. Spring Beauty came and went in the blink of an eye. The days spent cooing over the little white flowers of Blood Root have passed, and with it my interest in painting red lines all over my face with the plant's colored latex.

I can't wait to see what comes next.

A flower you will see in abundance right now is Dame's Rocket. Please feel free to pull it up--it is invasive and we want it out of here!

Yesterday I cleared a tree, sharpened tools, and mowed. Today I pull Dame's Rocket. See you out there!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Last week was b.u.s.y. After doing some honeysuckle/garlic mustard removal early in the week, the weather hit--and didn't stop. The saturated soil brought down trees left and right, to the point where I lost count of how many I cleared and how many I had to go. On Saturday, I was up early to clear a big one before my volunteer work day. When nobody showed at 9, I was disheartened--but at 10:30 I scored two very able-bodied hard workers!

Since there were only three of us, I scrapped the original workday plan of clearing the shrubs along the berm in favor of pulling garlic mustard. We did good work--a lovely and productive morning. Thank you, Diane and Gayle, for the four bags worth of weeds!

I have a bit more tree clearing to do--what was left was "low priority," and I needed a break. Weather is beautiful now, though. Hopefully it will stay that way for when I get home from work!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Too many.

Four trees fell yesterday.


3 of them are cleared. Please bare with me on the fourth, I'm tired from the prior 3 and I have to go to my other jobs, too! I cleared some of it (a big multi-brancher), so it's not quite the disaster area that it was originally.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Some surprises aren't pleasant.

After looking down and realizing that during your struggle with a honeysuckle branch, you stepped on a fresh, juicy animal carcass. 

I missed the bigger part of yesterday's nasty weather here in A2. I was in Novi at the time. Just caught the tail end of it in the evening. After the rain and thunder passed, the woods were a beauty. The sky was a splash of clouds and color, fog rose up around the house, and drips played a little concert under the trees. This morning was also lovely. Our hour hike felt too short, and the work of pulling and cutting and dragging felt like no chore. I took the opportunity to just work around the house today, pulling garlic mustard and cutting honeysuckle and buckthorn. There are few good things one can say about garlic mustard, but it is at the very least easy to pull.

Hope everybody stops by to enjoy the beauty before the next rain.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Ah. Sunshine and silliness.

Guess who calls DPS whenever you're parked anywhere at the (well-signed) front gate to have your butt ticketed?

Yeah. This girl.

The weather is getting nice, so naturally people lose the ability to decipher signage.

Wait, is that how it goes?

Also, stop trying to hide your fishing pole behind your back! I can see it!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May, beautiful May.

Good morning.

And another beautiful one it is.

Currently just finished breakfast, with a husky sleeping peacefully on the couch. We got up at our standard early hour for working and walking. My task for this morning (and tomorrow as well) was raking sections of the trail that have all but disappeared under thick layers of leaf litter. I know it sounds odd, but I think it's a good idea. The little offshoot of path along the west side of the lake has appeared almost hidden, and other sections have turned into water slides where the leaves have compacted into thick, smooth sheets.

I like spreading out my work over the week, putting in an hour before going to work in the morning, rather than bunching everything together on the weekends. Next week I intend to tackle some ambitious invasive removal, but I'll talk more about that another time.

Lately I've had a nasty habit of misplacing items of necessity, but today I found my DW-40 and was able to fix the completely jammed lock on the barn. Finally.