Use of the Forest

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

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mowed lawn

Mowed lawn
Originally uploaded by umlud
Mowed and raked the grass. Lots of grass. Lots of mowing.

About two hours later, the area with the tall grass is tan... Hopefully it will quickly grow back into green, just because that area right now it looks like a photo of grain country (taken from a plane).

(Am I just dehydrated when I say that, or do I have an active imagination when I'm physically exhausted?)

Clearing the front lawn

Under other conditions, I would normally allow the grass clippings to break down in place, but due to the massive amount of clippings - after all, I chopped it down from 4 or 5 inches down to 1 inch - and also due to the remnants of clippings from the last time I mowed the entire lawn (which cut the grass down from more than a foot - the lawn is a bit patchy. In other words, sometimes the grass clippings are just too thick to allow for a quick enough decomposition to be beneficial to the underlying grass.

What will I do with the clippings I don't really know right now. I'm drawing it onto the drive to dry out as much as possible, and I'll probably use it as mulch for other places on the property.

Discussion of Saginaw Forest plan

This morning there was a visit to Saginaw Forest to go over some options of teaching and management of the forest. In the upcoming years, I hope that there will be an increased interest in using the property for teaching a variety of courses among the various schools and departments at the university.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cabin window

Cabin window
Originally uploaded by umlud
Over the years, the windows have been painted and repainted. The latches have - therefore - become difficult to close and open due to paint buildup.

I took off a broken latch -- will replace with something later -- and cleaned off the paint buildup from the remaining latches. Now it's a lot easier to open the windows when I want to, and close them a lot more securely, too!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mowed the yard

Mowed the yard all the way down to 1". I raked up about 1/5 of the total cut grass. Lots (and lots) of cut grass that needs still needs to be cleared up, but I don't think I'll burn the rest... Burning grass is VERY smoky. Perhaps they can act as good mulch somewhere other than on the lawn (blocking the sun).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Carry water, chop wood (well, at least I only need do one of those two)

Just as one part of an old saying goes, I'm chopping wood. Thanks to the thinning project that is currently going on in the forest, there is a lot of timber that can be chopped up for the upcoming winter.

In order to chop it, though, takes some doing, especially with the hardwoods (urgh!). Luckily, I was able to take the axe into town to get it sharpened. Now it cuts the softwood easily. I think I will have to find the wedges in order to cut open the thicker pieces of hardwood, though.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Third Sister Lake in the morning after a rain

The rains from Saturday and early this morning made for a nice morning on Third Sister Lake.

On my way out of the forest, I noticed that the wind and rain forced a black maple down across the east trail, necessitating me to return to the barn, pull out one of the pole-saws, and fell that tree completely.

Since that particular tree was only fifty or so yards away from the clearing, I dragged it back in order to chop it into firewood. It currently is lying in front of the barn, looking exactly like what it is: 20-odd feet of maple tree that was dragged through the forest.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tree trimming

A tree trimming company has been hired by the School of Natural Resources and Environment to cut down the dead and leaning trees in the forest. This work will continue on and off for about three weeks. Before/after photos to come...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mowed pathways

Mowed pathways
Originally uploaded by umlud
Mowed the front lawn again today. It's amazing how quick this grass grows in. In order to minimize on the amount of mowing that I do, though, at the beginning of the summer, I chose to only mow paths through the grass. I cut most of the lawn back in mid-July, since it was getting quite thick and the grass was starting to lie down. However, by the end of this month, I think that there will be enough time for a nice height of grass to grow.

Small frogs in the grass

Small frog
Originally uploaded by umlud
I believe that this is a small wood frog. Prof. Berven of Oakland University has been studying the population dynamics of the frogs in the pond next to the caretaker's cottage for the past 20+ years. Maybe this little guy will make it into his survey next year... The populations of amphibians in the frog pond don't seem to be on the decline, and based on the number of these guys roaming around in the tall grass, I hope they won't be declining in the forest in the future.

Toad climbed into the cabin

Toad climbed into the cabin
Originally uploaded by umlud
I found another toad in the cabin. Methinks that they are climbing down the chimney... I don't think that there is a hole in the wall or something like that -- but I also placed mousetraps around the cabin to minimize the chance of an infestation of mice that might be making use of a hole that I haven't found.