Use of the Forest

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

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Humidifier helping

Although no longer so hot, it remains relatively humid, and the dehumidifier is working to keep up. Today, I emptied out the 50-pint reservoir (6.25 gallons, 23.6 liters) that was emptied only two days ago. It keeps the interior of the cabin relatively dry and definitely mold and mildew free.

... there it goes again, cycling on.

Origin of Saginaw Forest

Looking at a Google timeline for "Saginaw Forest", I came up with the following newspaper article from The Evening Argus on February 9, 1904:
The Saginaw Forest Farm
Eighty acres of land has been given to the University of Michigan to serve the needs of the department of forestry. The gift was made by Arthur Hill, of Saginaw, agent of the university, and one of the citizens of the state most active in the lumbering operations now nearly closed by the failure of the timber supply. This land will, it is hoped, be of great assistance in studies that shall in time result in reforestering those parts of Michigan and neighboring states that cannot more profitably be devoted to other purposes. The tract is situated a little over a mile west of Ann Arbor, about half a mile from an electric railway line. It is a typical piece of the low hilly land of the drift district, and contains as geart [sic] a variety of topographical and soil conditions as could probably be found in an area of this size. Its soils vary from heavy clay to sandy gravel, and in addition to its many other good features it contains a lake of clear water, 40 or 50 feet deep and covering 12 acres.
The tract is to serve as an object lesson in forestry and is planned to provide for: --
  1. An arboretum of all useful forest trees suited to Michigan.
  2. Demonstration areas for seed bed and nursery work.
  3. Model plantation of forest trees.
  4. Special experiment in forestry, such as the various methods of propagation of special kind [sic] of timber and the raising of particular kinds of forest poduct [sic], as well as for other practical purpose.
Owing to the important part that Saginaw has had in the lumber industry, the track has been christened "The Saginaw Forest Farm." -- U. of M. News letter.
Of the four points listed above, numbers 1 and 4 are really all that can be said to be continued from this original set of "object lessons in forestry". However, it's an interesting thing to come across the (I presume) original press release for the forest.

For those interested in the mention of the electric trolley (that was established before 1904, obviously), doing another web search for "electric trolley" and "Ann Arbor", I found a link to a book, Electric Trolleys of Washtenaw County, which describes their rise (in the 1890s) and fall (in the 1920s), to be replaced by buses.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

LOTS of rain

Loads of rain fell this afternoon and evening. It -- luckily -- didn't bring down any trees along the road. I really didn't want to rev up the chainsaw while fighting against mosquitoes at the same time. ... while standing in the rain. (On the plus side, I had obtained a car jack, which will allow me to get some leverage on downed trees so that they don't pinch the blade of the saw while trying to cut through them.)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mowed grass, kayak picked up

I came back home this afternoon and mowed the grass. Hopefully, all this mowing after the rains will help "thicken" the grass so that it will be more robust for the end-of-October homecoming event. The re-seeded area is coming back S-L-O-W-L-Y... Oh well, perhaps it will get better as the rains come more frequently.

Also, this afternoon, E.W. came by to pick up his wooden sea kayak. We had a chat about various things as the mosquitoes buzzed around us, battered by the wind in order to get a blood meal. The kayak was stored in the barn for several years, and I hope that E.W. can find a place to store it.

There are also several shoots of purple loosestrife coming in around the lake... Urgh. Maybe I'll get some students to come out at the beginning of the semester.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Biting flies and purple loosestrife

The weather is perfect for all the biting flies that are buzzing around throughout the forest in the late afternoon. It makes maintenance annoyingly "piquant", and it makes me not actually want to do things outside, despite the lowered temperatures.

... and that's a bad thing, since I have noted several clumps of purple loosestrife around the lawn (near the lake) as well as in the wetland on the west side of the property. Without removing them, they will just take over the area in a few years, and -- as "lovely" as the flowers may seem to some -- their larger-picture problem (of taking over an area) far outweigh the "beauty" of their flowers. (In case it wasn't clear, I don't agree with the perception that they look nice. True, they look nicer than some other flowering plants, but they are -- to me -- far from pretty.)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Nope: fishing isn't allowed...

The other day, I met three gentlemen who were fishing in the lake. Although they had a state fishing permit, that is not adequate. I discussed these points with the men, and they were very happy to comply, moving -- presumably -- to fish at Fist and Second Sister Lakes.

There is a nice large sign on the south side of the lake that informs people that fishing is not allowed. (There is also plenty of notification of this point online, but not everyone researches things before coming out to the forest.) Just because there isn't a sign on the north side of the lake does not make it allowable there. As the sign says: No Fishing.

If you want to fish in Third Sister Lake, here is the long and the short of it: Unless you are doing sanctioned research, it is illegal, the police may be called, and you may be issued with penalties.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pulling water out of the air

Although the temperatures in the forest are a few degrees lower than at the road, the forest's very breathing means that the forest is VERY humid, and in the cabin, keeping the dehumidifier going is the only thing that allows me to sleep at night. Of course, the dehumidifier is pulling out lots and lots of water: about 5 pints/hour. Of course, this could be decreased if the cabin were made more air-tight. Ah well, at least it looks like the heat's broken.