Monday, April 26, 2010

Blazing the trail

Sunday, we gathered up a crew of friends, interns, one kitten, a small child, Grandma and 2 dogs to mark the property boundary for the Scarborough Land Conservation Trust, who owns this beautiful piece of preserved land. This was a project John and I had been looking forward to. We love to walk in these woods and a whole day spent wandering around, with friends and family, searching for trees that have been marked for blazing, and finding treasurers all along the way was a blissful treat.

This is the mark we searched for on trees along the boundary. The trees get marked by the forester and then are left to heal before getting blazed with the bright paint.

The common colors for blazing are red and orange, and we used red. A thick paint, with a strong smell, meant to last through the elements.

Sometimes, the trees were strung with a bright tape, helping to keep us on track and signify which trees needed a blaze.

Sometimes, we would find the remnants of the former boundary marker, old barbed wire fencing. This stuff is a miserable occurrence. Its a calf grabber, a pants ripper, a dog scraper, and a real heinous hazard for the chain saw. Blazing the boundary is helpful to know where to look for barbed wire in order to avoid it.

The project of blazing the boundary was not smooth sailing. There is no trail and there was a fairly developed understory in some areas. Additionally, there was great variation in the terrain of the land. Those of us with boots and without found our socks wet by the end. We were feeling well skilled at bush-wacking by the end of the day.

The biggest thrill was the variety of wildlife we found along the way... little toads

Fairy houses....

The old rock wall boundary marking the Cumberland/York County line and dividing Scarborough from Buxton.

The largest tree we've seen yet on the property, growing right on the county line.

And little snakes.... It was a wonderful day, a project completed and a head full of wonder at all there is to see beyond the fields that capture most of our attention. We were struck with the possibilities for future trail systems on the property, particularly one that goes around the circumference of the property. Maybe there will be another Eagle Scout willing to contribute some trail building to the community in the near future.....anyone....anyone?

Finally, we ended the day with a dinner of pesto grilled chicken, broccoli raab from the greenhouse, chocolate torte with strawberry-rhubarb sauce and ice cream in celebration of Samantha's (our intern) 25th Birthday! Happy quarter century Samantha!

To close, please join us on Saturday, May 1st from 2-4 for a May Day celebration. We'll dance the May Pole and bless the fields and open the farm for a tour. Bring your family and friends and help us encourage fertility in the fields.

Blessings on the meal,

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