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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Rare Sight

Yesterday was one of those beautiful Spring days.  All week the dreary rain and clouds made the weekend look unpromising.  I had land trust duties to attend to.  Cleaning up junk.

It may not sound like the way to spend a bright Spring morning but a small group got together and set to work on a heavily impacted unit with the Nisqually Land Trust , Wilcox Flats.

This parcel came to the Land trust at pennies on the pound.  Originally platted for over 40 homes, a series of floods quickly showed developers that this was a flood zone with great power.  These floods brought down river a mountain of tires and house debris.  They also wiped out a few houses already build.

You would not know such devastation happened 20 years ago.  Trees have grown up the land looks healed.  Close up,however it is a different story.

The soil has a thick layer of sand in many areas.  Sand is a trick soil to plant in this region but certain areas of planting are doing well.  Shore Pine is taking hold and growing well.  Elk, however are making sure the Shore Pines of a certain size must be worthy of growing to maturity.  Established trees about five to eight feet high are fine scratching posts.  The Elk rub them for grooming and territory marking.  Many of these trees have bark stripped off and branches broken.  Those which completely snap off will eventually return to the soil but others have a sort of bonsai look to them.

We tackled a mound that had litter at the base and pretty quickly established that the mound was largely household junk.  It looks like they had established a burn pile and a garbage pile and eventually pushed them together.

There were large number of toothbrushes and combs, cosmetics and medicine bottles.  Tons of broken bottles and left over stuff from a workshop.We could have kept going like mad archaeologists but since the mound was well covered over by soils we smoothed over the area we cleaned an will likely let nature hide the rest.

Over on a side channel of the river the  tires present a bigger challenge.  many of the tires that were left up on land have already bee cleared by several work parties.  Now tires which line the channel must be got at.

The shrubs, the fallen trees and the water all equal a challenging task.  Tires line this channel at all levels and we were able to get about a dozen taken out.  It was a trek out to the water from the staging area so folks had to run the tires through the woods on what can barely be called a trail.

Dig the tire out of the bank

Bring it back and up the fallen tree

Toss it down to me

I pick it up out of the water and roll it up the bank and down to the staging area for the woods runners.

You cannot complain about doing work like this with nice people.  Sunny day , singing birds and a fun discovery.

Beaver skull

Molars, not something you see everyday.

It is going to take a strong group from the military base to get at the tires that are in deeper water along the bank.  I suggested ropes tied to the tires which those on shore could haul in.  Chris said it was a good reason to finally get hip waders.