Saturday, March 24, 2007

Whoa! We worked. No chain saws in the nature preserve so it was all ¡Manuel Labor, muchachos! The plan was to clear a trail loop near the creek, and it called for the clearing of a lot of overgrown acacia trees. Those trees are not native, so we were free to clear them out as much as possible, so that native species have more room to grow.

That's Alex at the top of the slope that leads from the school parking lot down to the preserve. He did a lot of raking, pulling out dead undergrowth.

Other students helped with pulling up dead brush and hauling. It's nice working with volunteers. Everyone is there because they want to help, so there were no slackers or whiners.

William worked very hard. He and I concentrated on hauling out the branches from where they were cutting back acacias. We dragged brush and branches back up the slope and to piles that will later be run through a chipper.

I was impressed with how much was accomplished in 3 hours. The acacia trees were dense and all the sawing was done by hand.

The trail approaches the seasonal creek, which has some water now, and then it rises again back toward the school.

Tadpoles and mosquito fish were seen in the water. During heavier rains, this area will flood.

Back and forth, we were hauling a lot of stuff and happily there were no injuries.

There was a biologist on hand to point out which species needed protection, like these buttercups and the lupine and willows.

Something else needed protecting: Everyone fell in love with this baby spring bunny that hopped out onto the trail. It was very tiny and probably lost. We tried to return it to its most likely home. I suppose he was scared, but he kept hopping out in to the open, and even spent a few minutes sitting between my boots.

I aimed my camera between my boots, where the baby bunny sat. Cute, cute.

Alex, William and I will sleep well tonight, or at least we earned a good night's sleep. I am looking forward to going back and exploring the trail again soon. This morning I felt like working in the sun, clearing brush and hauling branches, was the last thing I wanted to do. I felt entitled to a break, but I was reminded that a break is a change from the usual and that is what we enjoyed... we had a good time getting tired, dirty, working together with new friends, out in nature.

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