Use of the Forest

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

Monday, September 27, 2010

Chimney (hopefully) sealed

A few people from "plant operations" were out this morning to climb up on the roof and apply some mastic to the base of the chimney. Apparently, although the chimney was in need of tuck-pointing (which was done earlier this year), it wasn't this that was likely causing the infiltration of the water into the cabin along the face of the chimney. The old chimney structure doesn't have a method of sealing and tying into the roof, and so the only (financially feasible) option seems to have been to use a cement. Well, that cement had weathered away, allowing water to infiltrate between the chimney and the roof.

The mastic -- which was applied just like layering a cake with icing -- should last two to three years before a need for re-application or touch-up.

The two guys suggested that perhaps the masonry should be sealed as well, but let's first see how things go with mastic.

Cutting open the forest for paths

The first stage of the Saginaw Forest management plan commenced this morning, with the clearing of an area on the shore for the installation of a dock and the clearing of brush along a new path from the cabin area out to the east. Tomorrow, there will be lumber coming on-site for the dock and bridge construction. In addition, there will be a silt-fence installed along the path.

Bridge and dock construction photos to come as they both proceed.

All activity should be done by October 15, to be usable by the start of the SNRE campfire celebrations.

Well drilling

An observation well will be installed at 180' depth. A second observation well at 40' depth may also be installed next to this 180' depth well.

UPDATE: The deep well was installed at 200'.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Morning Autumn Morning

Woke up on the morning after the Mid-Autumn Festival (check it on Wikipedia) and saw the full moon.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Autumnal equinox

Rain greeted Saginaw Forest on the 2010 Autumnal Equinox. A large storm pealed out thunder at some time around 4 in the morning, and it continued to rain (on-and-off) until I fitfully got out of bed a couple hours later, when I (thought) I heard trucks pull in next to the cabin to make the turn-around to go back up the road to the new drilling site for the at-bedrock groundwater observation well.

By around 8AM, I could hear, filtering through the trees, the rig pounding in the soil sampler and the sound of the diesel engines. Heavy machinery in the forest, searching for a legacy of contamination within a landscape historicized by processes driven by agriculture, forestry, industry, and suburbanization. Saginaw Forest isn't a "wilderness forest" but is a place that - while containing aspects of the "natural" - has been firmly (and undoubtedly) bestowed a human legacy, and continues to be shaped (directly and indirectly) by human hands.

Okay. That's enough philosophizing and pontificating for today; the date of an even amount of light and dark.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Soil Ecology Class

One of Prof. Don Zak's field classes on soil ecology came out to the forest to examine the soil pits dotted around the property.





Sunday, September 19, 2010

Increasing the mowed area of lawn

With the upcoming SNRE Campfire event, I'm increasing the mowed perimeter of the front yard, pushing it back closer to the tree line. Last year I didn't do this until about one week in advance of the event, and there wasn't enough grow-back to make the newly mowed areas pleasant.

In other news, I have to figure out a way to get rid of the vole/mole problem in the area...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mowed lawn

Well... actually more like "trimmed" the lawn, keeping it on the highest setting and running over much of the semi-regularly-cut portion of the front lawn. The SNRE campfire is in a month, so I have to start mowing a little more often, in order to build up the turf a bit. It took about 30 minutes.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A walk in the woods

This evening, there was a lot of really lovely light as I went through the forest. I stopped briefly to take some photos.

Eroded hillsideEven the eroded hillside that people use to climb down to the main path looked good; high contrast really shows off those exposed roots.

Sometimes, I am reminded that I am really quite lucky living out here. Being a visual person, I really was blown away by this sublime view of all the Virginia creeper creating a verdant carpet below the pines.

Long shadows
Reaching the east-west trail, I was presented with the long shadows of the perimeter trees, their trunks fading into the dark mass of the more interior depths of the forest.


High winds

Strong winds are blowing through the forest, and the leaves are tinged with color.

I suppose that autumn is on its way. (Almost on cue, too, since it's the start of the Fall semester at U-M.)
Start of fall colors

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Management plan pre-bid meeting

This morning, there was a meeting out here in the forest with contractors who can put in bids for building the boardwalk, paths, and wee bridge that will connect the eastern path to the northern path.

The bids should be in soonish and the work should be starting in 2-3 weeks, and all of it should be done by about one month after starting.