In Pieces: 2010

photo of tree branch cut in sections

In Pieces

Time for the annual trail cleanup on the Panhandle Trail in Collier, the trail I use most often since it’s so close. I know especially this section of trail because I’ll stop there on my way to or from other places and have a short walk in the peace and quiet of the valley, walking the smooth trail or moving off into the woods or following Robinson Run. I’ve studied and photographed and sketched and painted, identified wildflowers and birds, found interesting rocks and fossils all along this trail. Even just a quick visit will free my mind, an afternoon brings that transcendant experience that only nature can give me and so much inspiration that I’ve come away with a whole exhibit’s worth of ideas.

This spring it was more than picking up litter and patching and raking the crushed limestone surface—many downed trees and broken limbs lined the trail, including partially bent trees or branches which had fallen over in the snow but were left hanging, still partially attached. Anything unstable had to come down so that later in the year it wouldn’t come down in a summer storm and possibly injure a trail user, or simply come down of its own accord unexpectedly. Once we began I looked up and down the area we were working and realized the extent of what we needed to do…we’ll be out there a few more times before we’re done!

But we’ll have plenty of wood for the bonfires we have at events along the trail, and others who joined us had plenty too. The brush piles we left in the woods and the damaged trees we left standing will allow for new habitat, and the tree canopy along the trail will simply rearrange as the remaining trees grow fuller to fill the space left open.

I’ve been scheduling these images to post around midnight, but when I’ve set them up the past few days I forgot to actually hit “schedule”, so they’ve been sitting as drafts on the blog. I never realized! So “today” there are three photos.

I’ve written before about the Panhandle Trail, and you can choose it in the category drop-down list or use the search box at the top of the right column to collect other images. You can also visit the Panhandle Trail’s website.

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