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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

There Was No Partridge

I spent the morning with the Nisqually Land Trust working on the historic Van Eaton property in Eatonville.  This property borders the Mashel River and consists of the old farm barn and pond along with forest and tiers of land which run down to the river.  The Land Trust donated the historic barn and pond to the town.

Today we had a great turn-out.  A group from Edmonds Community College was with us.  These students were not traveling during the holiday break and had the option to do community service and have experiences related to their school work.  They were staying up the road at Pack Forest and had already done a full days work there.

We have visited this property several times over the last few years focusing on Scots Broom.  My partner and I were assigned the clearing where major work had been done before.  We were to scout for new growth and grab up as many as possible.

It was challenging work as the grass is well grown up and finding the green growth within the tall grass meant we did a lot of slow walking back and forth, scanning for unwanteds

My shoulders ache

As I was prowling along I found this shiny brown object.

At first glance I thought it was a mushroom of some kind but looking closely I tipped up the chewed on side..

It is a pear.  A very large very substantial pear.  Around this area I found more, some were just skins with all the flesh eaten out.

These wonderful trees ringing the opening are the remainders of the original orchard.  Most likely these moss and lichen covered pear trees are at least 100 years old.

If you look very closely at the top of that right arching branch you can see one pear hanging on.  I bet they would make great cider.

After gleaning the meadow we moved on to tackle the blackberry that has invaded the shoreline and backwater areas on the river.

Saw plenty of evidence of deer, Elk and Coyote in the meadow...

but not a single Partridge.