It's Easter Sunday in Saginaw Forest, and after returning from brunch in town, I decided to do a project: clearing out some of the brambles that are slowly overtaking the area east of the campfire. While the brambles do provide a nice source of berries during the summer, I'm not the only one enjoying them. Birds like to get in there and eat the berries, and poop the seeds out elsewhere in the forest. This has led to brambles cropping up throughout the forest, like weeds. While I don't think that I will be able to halt the expansion of the brambles in other parts of the forest, I know that I can stop them here in the front of the cabin. Therefore, I chose to remove brambles at this time only from a smallish triangle of land that is right next to the path that leads out to PALL. It was full of brambles and one largish rose, and since the path to PALL is also the path used by SNRE students during the annual campfire celebration, I felt that it would be good to get rid of any prickly things that could snag on students' clothes as they enter and egress from the property. (How about that: a nice pat on my back.)
These brambles were also in a rather sunny part of the yard, and so if I were to choose to plant some vegetables, they might be best planted in that area -- in the light, but with some sort of fencing to keep out the dogs and groundhogs. (As for the squirrels, I doubt that much of anything can keep them out.)
After about an hour's work, I had removed all of the above-ground brambles and cut back the rose. I also uncovered a lot of dead wood that could be used to help burn all of the brambles that I pulled. I'll have to go over the area with a rake to get the rest of the small debris, and a hoe or tiller to pull up the root systems if I want to plant there. We'll see, though.
While doing my rounds (there is a definite up-tick in the number of visitors this weekend), I brought my camera along to photograph the dead deer remains that are near the front gate. Kind of sickening, but it's all natural decay. And it's proof of a sort that I get deer in the forest on occasion. What killed it though and how long it's been there I don't know. I only know that I saw it after the snows had melted, but it could have been a casualty that walked onto the property during hunting season.
Use of the Forest
Public use of Saginaw Forest is encouraged. Rules for the public's use include (but are not limited to):
- No parking in front of the access gate.
- Public use hours are from 6am to 6pm only; no camping on the site!
- No vehicles or bicycles are permitted on the site except those for approved research and teaching use (bike parking available at the main gate).
- Dogs with owners are welcome to visit, but they must be on a leash. (Also see here.)
- Dog owners must carry out all pet waste; please bring your own doggie bag to do so.
- No cutting or collecting of plant material; no hunting or harming vertebrates (this includes no fishing).
- No smoking.