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Showing posts from March, 2012

Purge this land with...fire!

Last Sunday the Martin family took another step in securing our small homestead: we had a prescribed burn in our woodlot.  The purpose was to kill young exotics, stimulate the nutrient cycle, jump start a natural process, and frankly burn stuff.  Smokey the Bear is a great marketing tool, but he has unwittingly contributed to huge forest fires by creating the idea of a fire regime as some horrible and cruel act of nature (or man) that is to be avoided like taxes.  Perhaps moreso.  Regular burns in natural areas helps to cut down on titanic conflagrations as they burn up combustible fuel that collects regularly in forests and other ecosystems.  Additionally, fire creates a check on invasive, opportunistic species (mostly plants) that are not fire adapted.  All in all, an occasional fire is a good thing.
     The first thing the crew did was prep the area.  This is accomplished by a quick survey and then blowing or raking leaf litter in to area to be burned, creating borders that should…

The Start of Something Painful...and Joyous

Tonight, I make first reconciliation (or confession for the way backs).  I feel dread, partly of the unknown, partly of bringing things to light that crave the darkness.  I pray for courage to peel back the skin to the skull, for the pus to make its way out to be destroyed by absolution.

Late Winter Scouting Report

On a 60+(!) degree day in southeastern Michigan in mid-march I heard wood and chorus frogs already flirting.  Turkey vultures are scanning the ground (though I don't know if they migrate or not) and birdsong is definitely more varied today.  Additionally, in a small sandpit pond by my hollow, I spotted several different species of aquatic insects and...a small brown-green leech clinging to a torn leaf beneath the surface of the water.  I hope this weather is an anomaly and not the presage of a slow (relatively speaking) decline in quiet, white winters.  Screw you, sun worshippers, you'll get your days in a few weeks regardless.