Happy New Year!

As any reader could see, my ten days of daily walking only made it to three, but that’s OK. I’ve been out in the woods lately creating trails which is a nice combination of work and meditation. We live on 100 or so acres of mixed hardwood forest, overgrown apple orchards, pastures, hayfields, beaver ponds, and brushy areas. I have been making trails in what we call “the far pasture”, in the northwestern corner of the property. trails 2.jpg

This is a picture of an invasive shrub called bush honeysuckle, or Japanese honeysuckle. I’ve cut down many, many of these in my trail work. Our land is full of rocky hedgerows and old field stone walls.  There are also many thorn apple trees, which I do have to trim sometimes, but which are extremely useful as wildlife habitat and forage, so I work around them as much as I can. The invasive honeysuckle doesn’t provide much for wildlife, and crowds out native plants, so I go after those without compunction. Anyway they don’t stay cut down–they send up exuberant shoots from the root.  Below is my trail-making equipment: small bow saw and long-handled nippers. I sometimes bring a thermos of coffee and some cookies or a sandwich.trails 5

trails 4

There are lots of grapevines, too, which I can usually work around. I’ve seen porcupine, grouse, rabbits, squirrels, a hawk, and chickadees in my recent trail work. It’s peaceful and relaxing yet good exercise. Hopefully J and T and their new English Springer Spaniel can come up again this winter and enjoy the trails!


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