For many years, I let nature take its course and so large swaths of my woods became practically impenetrable. And now, when I see a dead ash tree....
....I have to hack a path to it, clear around where I think the tree will fall and then burn the brush. Kind of time consuming and I'm clearing other areas to get rid of the over growth. I have trails throughout but want to clean it up. It's kind of back breaking work but I enjoy it.
One afternoon, I visit the Biological Reserve just north of Granville.
The Reserve has some of the finest examples I've ever seen on its 350 acres of Beech, Maple, Red Oak, Cherry but alas, the huge ash trees....
...have all fallen. Looking at the above image, you can see the cause. The Emerald Ash Borer, brought in on pallets from China, lays eggs in the bark. The emerging larvae travel in a serpentine path beneath the bark, feeding and cutting off water and sugars that move up and down the tree. They're damn effective at the job, unfortunately.
I pass a solar array that was installed in 2017. To be frank...
...it was highly annoying that well over 70, mature trees (yeah, I counted several times while walking by) were cut to make room for the panels.
The trail thankfully soon wanders back into the woods.
I pass an interesting stream and while most of the acreage is wooded....
....there are a couple of nice fields. A real gem of a hiking destination. Well, back to working in the woods and checking in with the grandchildren.