Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A day late and a dollar short

 The Lone Dead Tree

I think that just may be my new motto, a day late and a dollar short.  No, I'm just kidding, but it is definitely true for the past couple of days and this post, sorry GSO readers!  As it is for many of you, it is the last few days of school around here, which means all sorts of picnics and graduations and field days and all kinds of fun stuff when you have three kids in three schools.  It is also the week we are preparing to open our campgrounds for the big Memorial weekend.  So, it was not a good thing when I went out to start my beloved truck yesterday on the way to three of these fun events and it would not start.
Let's say I am very thankful that I know a lot of people in this community and was comfortable just hopping in the truck with the Dad of one of Nate's friends and hoping I could find rides from there on out.  Which I did.  My friend Amanda took me from the middle school up to the elementary, a neighbor took me from there to the food pantry where I was needed to put some extra hours in, and my wonderful seventeen year old sons came and picked me up from there and delivered me back home last evening-WHEW!!!
Now, the trouble of the day really started when we headed off to work at the campgrounds (that's pretty bad after a day like that-ha!).  I have mentioned the forest mitigation project going on around our area before, and I have said that I am pretty much on the fence about it.  Mother Nature is unable to take care of things because we as humans have gotten in her way, so I was hoping that we as humans had gone in and fixed the problem.  Well, I'm pretty much off the fence now.  My campground, er, the campground that the company that I represent that represents the National Forest I mean, looks like s@%t.  Yup, I said it (sorta).

You know, I can get past the loss of the trees, as a matter of fact many of the stumps that we investigated were diseased in the middle.  I am actually surprised by the number of trees that were already dying in that forest, but had shown no outward sign.  A few of the odd things were the fact that they left some really dead trees standing, one that looked as if we could just knock it right over, hence the picture.  They are riddled with beetle holes and both were struck by lightning and have a ring from top to bottom.  We looked for nests or any other obvious reason for them to have been left, but could find none; odd.  Tom joked that it was because they had not been tagged so the workers hadn't taken them, and I'm afraid he's not too far off the mark. 

I must say that my biggest concern is wildfire.  Ironic isn't it?  They come in for fire mitigation and I think Tom and I have one hell of a campground season ahead of us to make sure our campers don't burn down our home.  I am now thinking our new motor-home may come in awful handy as we may have to move into that campground to keep the campers from dragging all of the mess that the fire crew has left just on the outskirts of the grounds, into the grounds to have their fires.  Campers tend to get their fires as big as they can, and as you can see from the pics, the wood crew has left a "tinder box" of  wood debris about a foot thick just to the west of my, I mean your, campgrounds waiting for a spark to escape into.  Directly in the direction of my ranch I might add.

Okay, okay, in about twenty to fifty years, after this mess is all cleaned up by campers and decomposed back into the soil, it will be beautiful.  Nicely thinned, and some wonderful green grassy meadow areas, hopefully the deer and elk will love it.  As we stood there debating this whole mess, and I do mean mess literally, we must have been quite engrossed in our conversation because this moose must have walked right past us.  As we were leaving we saw some cars at the entrance; when we stopped to see what they were doing they pointed her out to us!  Look closely, that is her back side in the trees there, laughing at us as she walks away...

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