Sunday, February 12, 2006
Last Sunday At Twig Forest
Last Sunday, Emma and Jr. asked if we could go out to Twig Forest. It was one of those glorious blue winter days...there's only so much of wonderful winter left, so off we went.
The dirt logging road into Twiggy was a gauntlet of muddy potholes as we had just finished with 5 inches of rain the Friday before. We flew through the mud spraying it up and over the windshield, bouncing, and having a grand time.
At Twiggy, machetes were distributed and the two kids disappeared to work on a maze of trails they are cutting through the gallberry thickets. I think they have future paintball battles in mind. As on the previous visit, I could hear the ring of machete and constant laughter and teasing so I knew that they were okay.
(That last sentence probably has some child psychologist freaking out right now)
My focus was the drive into Twiggy. On a previous visit the week before BCC surgery, I had cut quite a swath through gallberry and palmetto. The goal was to find and open a simple 4WD passable trail into the property without cutting any pines as this is a working tree farm.
The gallberry bushes and the palmetto, love a pine plantation. They quickly fill in the neat open lanes between the pines if the forest is not managed actively, (remember, it's a crop in this case...not a natural forest) .
Twiggy had been left to grow before we bought it and has gall berry thickets that reach overhead. These are woven together with greenbriar and carolina jessamine. The good news is, gallberry is easy to cut. The bad news is there is a lot of it and each cut leaves a "punji" spike that could be uncomfortable if you were to trip and fall.
We stayed for a couple of hours and I almost finished the drive. There's a windblown pine to remove, a little more palmetto and then I will be out to the front of the property. I found some evidence of pine bark beetle damage, but nothing widespread. That was a reminder that I really need to contact the county forester and ask her for "I'm a new pine tree farmer, help!" advice.
I don't plan to open that last little bit until I put in a few posts and a gate to prevent "Bubba" from driving in and dumping refuse.
I may just go out there when I finish this post.
Posted by R.Powers at 10:44 AM