Sunday, January 17, 2010

Do deer fences really work?

Saturday was busy. I stopped at the dump to drop some stuff off. The dumpkeepers didn't have any more rusty tools saved for us, but I asked them to put aside any rock bars, rakes, or shovels that come in that they think can be recycled. If anybody from Trails is going there soon see if they have anything for us. The picks that Pete picked up (no pun intended) work fine.

I later visited Eklund Native Species Garden & Dominick Trail yesterday on Oak Valley Road. I was there to scope out the best way to take down the remainder of a leaning oak tree that was shading the garden. The oak tree is leaning toward the deer fence & it's a little tricky to take down without hitting the fence.

You can see the tracks where they are milling around outside the fence after walking down the driveway & then walking around the perimeter of the garden on the outside of the fence. They were even using the lower bypass trail around the garden, as were most of the people and dog walkers. The gates were a little sticky with the snow, but folks were keeping them closed - which is good. A lot of trails volunteers put in some hard work installing the fence and preparing Eklund last Spring & they can see that the fence is working fine so far.

There were a number of animal tracks around on Dominick Trail in this area. Visit the Eklund Garden Blog for more photos & guesses as to which animal goes with which track. Winter is a great time to take kids outside to hunt for wildlife.

Animal Tracks of New England by Sheldon, et al is a handy reference. It's only about $7 and its a small book that fits nicely inside a coat pocket.

The Parks & Rec crew has continued creating their own weight in woodchips clearing for the Bark Park at the White House on Nells Rock Road this week. They have left the pear trees alone, but still have to take down the big dead tree by the parking area. Hopefully there's some screening left between the Recreation Path and the Bark Park fence. We still need to have a meeting with the Mayor, Aldermen & everybody involved so that this key parcel in the Shelton Lakes Greenway is managed properly, but if the Bark Park is done properly it should be a good addition.

Here's a view of the clearing toward our Red Barn & the White House. This would make a great location for a Nature Center, or a Shelton Lakes Greenway Center some day. This would be similar to what Trumbull is now experiencing on their Housatonic Rail Trail project. Trumbull is in the process of buying a historic house on Tait Road that were serve as a Greenway Center. The Shelton Lakes Recreation Path has gotten a lot more use this year due to the recent improvements & as peoples use increases so does the need for facilities like parking, phones, bathrooms, and water fountains. Which is why all the different things talked about for the greenway need to be planned and coordinated so they work out well with each other.

Some of us on the Trails Committee have joked about a nice brew pub as a tourist attraction. Perhaps take Fido to the Bark Park & have a Shelton Lakes Lager on the porch?

And while I was out getting a new rope to help take down that oak tree at Eklund I saw this little baby in the front yard of the Newtown Power Equipment. They carry a wider range of rope, tools, and tree equipment than some of the local dealers. Wouldn't this compact tractor make a nice addition to the Shelton Trails Committee Tool Arsenal? I could see Bill on this all day puttering around in the woods. Hmmm, maybe we could put it in our next grant application......


  1. I'm surprised you didn't call upon Luis and Richard, the tree felling experts, to help you aim the tree away from the fence!

  2. Funny that you should mention FBN (Fly By Night) Tree Service, Inc.. I was going to see if anyone wanted to try to take down the rest of the twin oak later this week.

  3. I stopped by there today. I see what you mean about the precarious position as it leans slightly toward the fence. We'll need lotsa rope!
    Tuesday morning and Thursday are out for me, Tuesday afternoon would be ideal, but there are other choices. You should also put in a hint on an email to the Committee folks.