Use of the Forest

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

Monday, June 25, 2007


* picked 5 cups black rasps. between yesterday and this morning - enough for a pie

* AGAIN we found a dead skunk at the gate. This time it was in a garbage bag. Last time it was a dead skunk on a garbage bag with 2 gloves next to it. WEIRD

* On Saturday (6/23) we ran into the woman who always has her dogs off the leash. She gave us her name.

Friday, June 22, 2007


First ripe raspberries picked 2 days ago. Mulberries have been ripe about 1.5 weeks, but they are tough to get to.

Monday, June 18, 2007


FJ was killed by a dog about 1 week ago. We found him dead in the yard. "Fatty Junior" was our friendly neighborhood groundhog. But now we have Fatty III out in the yard.

Friday, June 15, 2007


NEW ROOF completed on:

New causeway put in

* 30 min. cutting branches from causway.
* H.T. kicked out 2 swimmers at dusk - right by our new sign! - they knew nothing about 1,4 Dioxane.

PALL has decided to sell Gelman Sciences. We will go to a public meeting on Thursday about it.

Friday, June 8, 2007


60 minutes - put up a new "no swimming" sign on the north side of the lake.

We'll see if someone takes it down. - I won't be surprised if so.

Went for a walk and on the SE portion of trail that crosses driveway, we heard then saw a small owl. We did not recognize the call - it flew to a couple different branches when it noticed we had spotted it. It was only about 8-9" tall.

After referencing bird book, we see that it is either: saw-whet or Eastern screech.

UPDATE: Confirmed as saw-whet; its call does NOT sound like an Eastern screech.

Thursday, June 7, 2007


2 hours mowing.

Someone took our metal sign stake across the lake only a few days before we put it up. We will have to post it on wood instead and ope we can pound it in.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Saw a double breasted cormorant around dusk on lake.

2 hrs. mowing.
30 min. collecting GM
30 min. Put up new signs at gate and south part of prop.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


30 min. collecting picked GM.

We have decided to put GM out in the trash each week, since if composted, the seeds will survive. Gobs of it are stacked in the barn. Eventually we might burn some of it in the campfire pit.

3 hrs chainsawing downed trees across lake. Finally cleared out rest of huge mess.

Pounded in sign stake across lake.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


2 hrs pickking GM (forest behind cabin starting from "crossroad trail" and taking it all the way to behind cabin.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

5/11/05 07

We had a "Garlic mustard pull" and cookout for summersnre2007 list and faculty. We only had a total of 9, but we got some good pulling done b/t' 4:30-6:30 pm!

We hope to organize this earlier next year - there' s still tons of the stuff left everywhere. Our hope is to isolate the large seedbanks and pull outliers to the extent possible. But even in the SE corner, garlic m. has penetrated to spots in the center of the forest from the road.

Annoying encounters in the past 2 wks:
* Goth people doing a photo shoot who parked at the gate, including one guy dressed in a black suit, Easter bunny head, holding a dead canary.
* Same day, couple blocking the gate while we were out. First time this has happened. UM police and called a towtruck, but by that time, they arrived.
* Lady who was swimming last summer w/her 2 dogs - in 2 diff. days we asked her to put her dogs on a leash, but she didn't.
* Crazy guy who puts dog on a leash beside cabin then immediately takes it off + dog runs back to us. Same guy who verbally assaulted me when I first arrived.
* Couple in truck who opened gate (it was closed but unlocked) and drowve down, parked on lawn before we explained that you can't do that.

Warm sunny weather is bringing 'em out of the woodwork!

Dehumidifier is upstairs in order to quell the musty stench coming from under the drywall.

Black ants are black, dying around 1st floor.

Finding random seeds from our compost upstairs in places!! UGH.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

5/5/05 07

2 hours at Stinchfield Woods with all other caretakers for an Open House. Nice Day and pretty good turnout. C.O. led a nice walk/talk to a glacial esker.

* 2 hrs making garlic mustard signs.

* 1.5 hrs - we finally rebuilt a compost "bin" for the cabin. We built it of bricks without using mortar. So far, it's okay, but animals are able to knock off the top brick and get in . We will have to redesign.

Thursday, May 3, 2007


Saw a pair of Northern flickers which have a nest in a large cottonwood by the lake (to the right of the lawn if looking toward the lake). Their nest is quite high in a dead part of the tree. Pulled more garlic mustard on the north side of the lake, we think that we've gotten all of it up there for now. Found 20 (half free and common) morels over at Bird Hills Park today but haven't seen any here yet. B.Barnes has been out with a couple of students looking @ the white pine stand on the Northeast ridge. They found a buried 50 gallon drum that was empty and cut had caught a bunch of wood frogs. We freed the frogs and filled the barrel with soil from the soilpit (which we uncovered from back when a homeless man had turned it into his home while M.R. was caretaker). The causeway's still washed out which makes B. mad but supposedly a bigger culvert and larger stone are on the way. We're supposed to have the cabin, barn, and outhouse re-roofed this summer - it looks fine to us but we have the money for it now so it's getting done. D.LF. rocks and really cares about the properties - sure glad we have her!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Saturday, April 28, 2007


2.5 hrs. pulling garlic mustard on trail just north of causeway and cutting back rose bushes on front lawn.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


  • 1 hour putting stickers on posted signs.
  • 1 hour cutting 2 large downed trees across the lake.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


  • Spent 2 hours cutting down leaning group of trees on trail north of causeway (actually did this earlier)
  • Invasives are obvious in spring, as some of the more prevalent ones seem to leaf out first, esp:
    • Japanese barberry
    • honeysuckle
We came home yesterday to four men out in the UM rowboats fishing away! The oars stay in the barn, but they had found themselves long branches to use instead. They quickly came in and put the boats back.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Wood ducks have been around a bit, but we don't know if they've nested. I can hear a sandhill crane but cannot locate it. We saw a gaggle of them on the River Raisin near the Nature Conservancy land there.

We saw a coyote (north side of lake) last week while running, and H. swears he saw a turkey while running the other day. It didn't fly and was large breasted, so we can only [unreadable] that it was an escaped domestic turkey. It seem too urban around here for an actual wild turkey.

Sunday, April 1, 2007


Two pairs of wood ducks on the lake this morning, calling to each other through the mist. Mallards quack softly on the east end of the lake. Redwing blackbirds perch precariously on the cattails and seem curious about my presence.

Friday, March 30, 2007


Spent 3 hours each:
  •  cleaning cabin gutters + raking cabin area 
  •  picking up 3 bags of bottles and 3 bags of garbage from the property all along Liberty Rd.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

March 25, 2007

This is the first weekend that the lake has been thawed. Up until Weds. or so of this past week the surface was frozen. Temps in the 50s and 60s this first week of spring.

Several ducks have flown in for a landing, seen me, and kept going...

Winter was cold, but the heater was effective. The causeway flooded through in the melting runoff earlier this week. I suppose it will need to be fixed at some point.

Things are still quite brown and muddy. During the main meltoff and when it was particularly ice during the winter, we parked our car in the office park on Liberty.

Canada Geese have been in the area since Feb, and now we have many ducks coming through, mostly mallards. Since this past Thursday night, we've had the pleasure of hearing spring peepers and wood frogs on the wetland. We can even hear it upstairs in the cabin. Dr. K. B. has been out collecting and counting each day since then. He found 200 on Thurs and 1000 yesterday. It's amazing to me that they overwinter, frozen in the top couple inches of the ground. He's been at it here at Saginaw for 25 years, and says that this is the largest that the vernal pond has been since 1992!

Here at the lake's edge this morning, I don't see to much life. There's a tiny waterbug gliding. Small raccoon prints mark the sandy bar at the edge. I do not see any sign of "herps". Apparently Saginaw doesn't have salamanders.

Dr. B. said that usually two wood ducks make a home on the vernal pond, but he hasn't seen them this year. I've only seen mallards. We are puzzled as to why herons and other animals don't pick off the bounty of frogs in the wetland! Th herons come to the lake instead.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

2/11/07 - Lake Ice >8"

We just skied 11 laps around the perimeter of Third Sister; we guessed it's about .5 mile per lap. The EEB limnology class came (2/5) out last Monday to take some water samples. At that point, the ice was 6" thick, where the week prior it was 3". So with the temperatures as they have been, highs in the 20s and laws in the single digits and teens, it is quickly thickening.

The cabin stays fairly warm, but certainly we wear sweaters and slippers. We've closed the shutters on the East and west windows, and also the northeast porch window. This seems to help.

We've been keeping one car in the barn; so far it hasn't been a big problem to get up the driveway. But come melt time, it will be a muddy mess, no doubt.

We saw a huge great horned owl the other morning perched in a tree along the driveway.

I also had the lovely experience the other night of awakening to a squirrel pawing at my hair! It was reaching up the edge of the bed and it took me awhile to realize what was going on.

To cold for chainsaw in barn - brought it in cabin so we can start it.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


It's been a cold week until yesterday, when it hit 37°. The lake has some open spots on the ice now. Chainsawed large trees on causeway: 1 hr.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Saw 2 deer across the "creek" SE of the cabin while running around dusk ~5 pm. Also heard the Great Horned Owl.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Already 2007! Last week H. saw 2 coyotes crossing the road/driveway west of the cabin. It was just about at daybreak, when they are supposed to be active. We also cut up a downed tree over the driveway one morning last week - we had to in order to get out.

This a.m. we awoke to an iced forest - the trees are weighed down and brittle. We spent about ½ hour removing downed branches from the main driveway, but there are many others on side paths that we haven't gotten to yet.

We decided to park a car in the office park overnight in case some trees came down tonight. We also finally put H.'s car in the barn... that should make it easier to get at least 1 car out.

We went for a hike on Saturday in Stinchfield Woods - talk about a huge property! We were lucky enough to see a pileated woodpecker just after we started hiking. We heard his cry first, and kept looking until we spotted the source. We also encountered a man who had set up a tarp, started a fire, and seemed to have moved in on the outskirts of the woods.