June 16, 2006

Of Mowing and Sore Muscles

I finally had the push I needed to get up to the mountain and get some work done: we have our first summer group next thursday! I frequently work this way I'm realizing. I love the work on the mountain but sometimes I forget that I love it. Does that make any sense? So a little push like a group of new staff from Russ's camp coming next week is just the boost I need to get things looking good.

Daisy was thrilled, the brush hog started on the first try and it wasn't that hot today. Here are some 'before' pictures.
I worked for a couple of hours in the morning until the old gas from last year ran out so I had to quit. Good thing too, at that point my arms and hands - not used to such punishment - were pretty thrashed.

I made it back up again after lunch (a minor miracle - considering email, cell phone, voice mail etc.) and finished off the parking lot, activity area, Alpine Tower, fire pit and far field. Here are the 'after' shots.
I couldn't get the weed trimmer going though, so I couldn't finish off the belay benches and lower rails of the tower. Oh well, I'll get one from maintenance next week.

I really like the different aspects of what I get to do. I mean yesterday I was working on the program manual for our experiential education program with the goal of AEE accreditation. Today I'm mowing the grass and working out weary muscles.

All this mowing has another positive benefit. As the big fast growing sumac and other brush is kept back other invasive species are creeping in that like to grow under grass and low cover. Check it out - wild strawberries are everywhere!Brian left me a book called Changes to the Land about how when Europeans came to the east coast of America they walked in the woods and remarked how the forest seemed like a park and that berries grew everywhere. They were at once betraying their own inability to understand how this eco-system functioned while not giving the native people credit for a more sophisticated understanding. It turns out that native people would set small fires to burn out brush under the canopy of the forest creating a space for invasive species like berries to literally creep in.

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