Michael arrived at 09.00 as promised and Sean and I helped Michael load up the wheelbarrow with the necessary tools,juice and bags.The day promised fair so we were hopeful we would accomplish what we set out to do: move east on blue and remove the hanging Ash - Joe joined us briefly to make sure we were doing the work;then on to the river side where after some discussion we decided to leave the fallen cluster for another day and a bigger saw.Walkers just go around the obstacle.
We moved along the river bank cutting,then moving the branches and logs to the side.Hanging branches were lassoed and pulled down thanks to the expertise of Janis our tree climber.We had a short break round eleven and then back to work.The sun was higher now and encouraged our effort.We had one jam on the saw but the teamwork saw the problem solved in time with no detriment to either the saw or the cutter.
Three o clock and we were at the fallen Beech above,straddling the two tracks of the zig-zag.Michael gave some time to determine the best approach and then proceeded to cut sections,clearing the track here and below without compromising the root which is still on the bank.We were'hanging' for eats by now so we made our way to the Trailhead for a welcome break and lunch and chat on how well everything went and settle on one other day to finish the job.Thanks to all involved,Coillte & Kevin,Michael,Sean,Janis and Joe,our guardian angel.Resting today,tomorrow is another day.
What a day!Sun from early morn till evening and even yet as the angelus bell rings out from St.Mary's.The images below give a taste.
Two Buzzards circled just after 11am and again from 1245 to after one,calling each to the other as they described wide circles gliding in the blue sky above.The two were adult males.Where the other two seen on previous days have gone to is anyone's guess,but mine is that they are now a pair and are nest building.Time will tell.
Coillte personnel will be on site WEDNESDAY all day,dealing with the fallen trees on the river track so walkers are asked to avoid this walk on that day.Red and white tape will be blocking the access to the walk so please take heed of same and use the Green and Blue walks/tracks.
The walk on Saturday went well with an intimate group of seven in attendance.I was by far the oldest while the youngest,Lucy was but six.What she lacked in years was more than compensated for with her enthusiasm, knowledge and avid curiosity for all things natural.
Andrew of the Woodland League was also a keen participant and contributor and my thanks goes out to one and all for their participation and contribution,interest and enthusiasm,knowledge and expertise.I,for one am the richer for the experience.
As you can see above nest building has begun on site and not every nest is of this size.
Upturned trees are everywhere in evidence,mostly off-track thankfully, these affording a chance to examine close-up roots,trunks and branches as well as glorious fungi such as the yellow in the photo above.Enjoy the experience.
As next week promises good this is a great time to get out and about at the Rock to see the havoc wreaked by wind and rain and storm of the recent past while affording opportunity to see close up the sap rising and the early Spring.Go for it.Bring the binoculars and a glass for close-ups as well as the phone camera or other.
This week is National Tree Week and next Saturday,the 8th there will be a walk at the Rock for all interested.Meet at the Trailhead at 15.00.The walk will be of two hours .Parking at the Trailhead.Please follow the guides to make for easier parking for everyone - thank you.
Lots of activities happening at the Museum from 13.00 as well as a talk by Andrew St.Leger of the Woodland League - see the link under Menu Bar.
You can also make your way from the Museum at 14.30,take the road to Marlfield or simply follow the convoy!
Those going on the walk should wear stout boots or shoes or wellies,you can pick a stick from the woodland floor,take a camera or phone,water and a snack.
The past few weeks have brought floods,mud,flotsam,high winds wreaking havoc on many trees,particularly on the riverside track.We have cut a 'gateway' through these to make for an obstacle course walking adventure!Not to be missed.Bear in mind that the title of Andrew's walk and talk is 'Storm Trees'.
The scene a few days ago at the Trailhead after the arrival of the stone.Towards the weekend the stone was spread and pounded.There is a possibility a skim of tar and stone will be laid in the next week or so making the Trailhead an attractive and inviting place to stop before taking in a walk at the Rock.
Now that we have Tus workers with us,Sean at the moment with three more shortly to follow we will be able to do more and a first step will be to paint the fence and use it to advertise the group as well as the website.
Here is the scene after the stone was spread.Once the finish is applied we won't know ourselves!Thanks to all concerned for the work to date.
Coillte have indicated they will appoint a contractor to cut and remove the numerous fallen and broken trees on the riverside and on the approaches - that is great news for us as there is no way we could tackle the problem on our own.
Nest building has begun on site so if you direct your eyes skyward on your next walk you may well catch both large and small birds feverishly at work,while it's a few weeks yet before the leaves make that impossible.
More and more flowers are beginning to show and my next blog will have some that are in flower.Roll on the spring!
author artist activist