Saturday, 10 September 2016
Ellen and Tom and I met at Russian Ridge open space preserve and spent a few hours on Mindego Hill working mostly on purple star thistle (PST). We found enough to be worth our while, and enjoyed the views out over the coastal plain.
Tom and Dave on the rocks!
Around on the side of the hill is another area, more wooded, a couple of ponds, a place where there was once a house. We picked an area there to work on stinkwort, but discovered a massive growth of PST, below.
These are about as big as PST ever gets. We almost closed our eyes, turned around and left, but, well, we came here to work on PST, so … we worked on PST.
Here’s the same view an hour later. Ellen’s truck wasn’t big enough to haul away the garbage bags, so we left them for later pick-up by an open space tech.
Sunday, 11 September
Ellen has another project today, this time removing fence from the neighborhood of an old barn in Coal Creek open space preserve. As is my wont, I arrived a couple hours early, checked several miles of trails at Russian Ridge for PST, and found enough to be worth my while.
Great to watch the sun rising over the fog banks.
The sunlit hill to the right is Mindego Hill, where we were yesterday. You can see the ridge trail running across the picture to the base of the hill. The trail, and the area we worked, is roughly along the edge of the forested part, and the subsequent attack on the PST forest was to the right, in the deep shadow just below the forest.
Well, ten of us, including Ellen, a Midpen ranger, and Jordan, a Midpen employee, cleared fence. Tom was there yet again, another glutton for punishment. There is an old barn, with several wire fences around and about. The fences are impediments to the free movement of wildlife, so we’re taking out as much as we can.
Thanks, Tom, for the above picture, showing a before view. The nearground is only one bit of the fence, which pretty much surrounds the whole area.
Most of it is what they call hog fence, square wire mesh about four inches on a side. There is also some barbed wire and some tighter mesh. We also removed rotten wood posts and all of the steel posts. Hot, hard work. Our wire cutters weren’t really capable of dealing with the gauge of the fence wire, and many of the lower strands of fence were buried, some of them further anchored underground by additional barbed wire. Hot, hard work!
Here’s what the spoils looked like; by the end of the day, the piles were even a bit higher than this. I couldn’t help thinking of bed springs all day!
Last, and also least, I rescued a little friend that decided to explore our buckets just as we were getting ready to stack them and leave.