Sunday, August 28, 2022

Stockmal & Trombetta Work Party

 It was another warm Saturday for summer trail clearing.  This weekend it was clearing the Stockmal Trail and exploring the Trombetta Woods loop on the north side of Rt. 110.  We also cleared portions of Nichols Trail and the Willis Woods trail, so 4 trails worked on in one work party. We met at the Land Trust's Nicholdale parking lot and worked our way on the Nichols Trail over to Rt. 110.

Mark & Luis had been out earlier in the week and cut up a large blowdown that was hard to get over near the end of the Stockmal Trail.   That was really helpful because we didn't have to carry the chainsaws back there and could concentrate on the brush.

Mike cleared out along the Nicholdale parking lot with the trimming head on one of the brushcutters.   He then cleared all the way out to Trombetta and back.  Hope that his shoulder was able to recover the next day.

We worked out thru Stockmal and cleaned that up.  Then walked over to Trombetta to see the Mile-A-Minute invasive vine control project.  Means Brook was very low due to the drought.

We had a good crew of volunteers cutting; Gabby, Sam, Jeff & Brooklyn working here.  Luis & Annie had gone back and were clearing out the Willis Woods loop.

Trombetta had already gotten one cutting this year to access the MAM mess, but it had grown up again with limited foot traffic.  It's a lot clearer and easier to follow now.

Teresa was using her battery powered hedge trimmer to get as some of the barberry and other invasives.  Clearing the MAM vines before they expand all over Shelton has been a big task this Summer.

Bob was cutting and leading most of the work party.  He even made sure everybody came out of the woods at the end of the morning.

It was a hot and Sluggy Saturday (3 slugs out of 5).  I think that we were all tired and drenched when we got done.  Thanks to everybody who came out: Annie, Gabby, Jeff, Sam, Teresa, Luis, Brooklyn, Bob, Mike and Terry.  And thanks to Mark and Luis for cutting those logs earlier in the week.  These trails are clear and easy to follow; so print out a map and go exploring.   The wildflowers are in bloom at Nicholdale, and the streams are easy to cross.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Cuttin' Brush & Fixin' Fences

There was beautiful weather Saturday for the Oak Valley Trail/Silent Waters work party.  New crisp air blew in Friday and replaced the steamy heat wave that had pressed down on CT for the last two weeks.  And we got a lot of volunteers to come out!

13 of them in fact.  We were cutting back the jungle along the powerlines at Rt 108, and clearing out to Oak Valley Trail.  We split into multiple groups so some folks could replace broken fence rails along the RecPath by Silent Waters. 

Luis tried to run away when we told him how much work we had planned for him.  Actually, he's just dodging traffic.  He and a few other cleared out some of the overgrowth on the north side of Rt. 108 and the Turkey Trot Trail.

The mugwort and briars around the Oak Valley Trail kiosk were cleared out so you can see it now.  Need to add maps to the map box.

One group of volunteers cut brush along the access trail and Oak Valley Trail.  We can confirm that Graham, Susan & Brooklyn made it back in one piece.  Jeff just kept going doing the whole Oak Valley Loop.  Hopefully he made it home by nightfall.

Stan & Graham were using the hedgetrimmers to get at the grape vines and briars.  They did a good job too.

There were lots of woodland sunflowers and other wildflowers in bloom at the powerlines along the trails.  It was very scenic.  If you like wildflowers this is a good time to go for a walk out there.  

Hopefully, Eversource comes up with a really good restoration plan for their 2023 construction project so this area is restored properly.  They had been out doing soil borings the last couple of weeks in the area.

After the work party; can you find the trail now?  Stan and others should have no trouble riding or hiking the trails without getting scratched up by briars.  

Because we split up into multiple groups I didn't get any photos of the Fence Repair Squad, but they swapped out a number of broken posts by Silent Waters.  They had to cut and customize some rails over by the bridge at the dam.  Lots and lots of folks were out hiking, walking and biking the RecPath and trails this morning.

Afterwards, back at The Barn, we started recharging all the dead batteries while Mike and Bill tackled one of the most challenging problems of the day;  how to fit the drill, saw, and accessories back into the carrying case in the proper order so they could close the case.  I think they might have invented a new game for the next Trails party.

It was a fine morning to be outside.  Everything grows like wild in the summer and it's hard to keep up with it everywhere.  It's a big help when we get a good turnout of volunteers this time of the year.    Thanks to Susan, Stan, Derek, Brooklyn, Sam, Joe, Luis, Graham, Jeff, Mike, Bob, Terry and Bill.

Lots of stuff that needed work got done, these trails are clear, and everyone made it back OK, we think.  Get out and enjoy those late summer wildflowers.

The next work party is at Stockmal Trail in 2 weeks.  Check the events page for more info.