CacheCrazy.Com: A Walk In The Woods

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Walk In The Woods

Well I'm told that Spring is on its way and one way I know this is that each year the members of the Susquehanna Forest Landowners Association (SCFLOA) take a spring woods walk. This past Saturday was a beautiful day for a walk in the woods. Not only was it sunny, but it was not raining, snowing, or even windy out. It was a perfect day.

Our group met together at Well Pad 49, which is on the property of Doug Sheldon. He is one of the board directors for SCFLOA. We would be walking his property learning about wildlife, trees, pipelines, and gas wells. We normally have a nice size group for these events, but this year we were blown out of the water with people.

People came from all over the place to take a walk and learn what they could. We had about 70 people show up. WOW!! What a great turn out. We started the morning by having coffee and donuts along with some instructions. Since we had so many people we were going to divide into four groups and walk our stations through the woods.

                          Rich Fritsky (PA Game Commission Biologist)

The first station I went to was all about wildlife. Rich Fritsky from the PA Game Commission was our speaker. He talked about different wildlife that comes to the edges of pipeline right-of-ways and how these pipelines can be a benefit to them. Deer will come out into these open areas to feed while some birds may tend to remain deeper in the woods.  He also talked on how to hinge cut a tree to make it possible for animals to get to the leaves while they browse.

                       QDMA Picture of a hinge cut tree

When you make a hinge cut on a tree some of the bark is left attached at the hinge, which allows the tree to continue to grow and provide green leaves as food for the wildlife.



We then moved on to the next station at the far end of the pipeline. Sandy and Jared were our speakers. They touched on seeding the pipeline and making sure there was no erosion by the rain that will ultimately hit the hillside. They use a mesh that has two layers of material with hay in between that helps slow the water down. They also use water brakes that help slow it down too.   We then learned about the Pig Launcher that is used to clean out the pipeline before they send the gas through.

                         Pig Launcher
They put a special tool in the pipeline and then send gas behind it to push it along. The tool can be cleaning as it goes along, or it can be taking measurements and all sorts of other data. (My son was disappointed that it did not really launch pigs.)

Our third station was on trees and what we can do to help ensure a healthy woods after you've had it timbered or even a fire. As we were walking along one of our guides noticed a set of foot prints in the snow and asked us if we knew what had made them. Some people knew and some didn't. They turned out to be Fisher tracks.

Fisher are really starting to make a comeback in our area. They are feisty little animals and they love to eat porcupines and red squirrels.


                        Bob Hobbes (Forester)

                         Jim Kessler (Past SCFLOA President and Forester)

We finally made it to our next stop and then talked about how to protect your woods if you have had it timbered. You can place a 4 foot high section of chicken wire in a 15 foot circle and that will keep out the deer. Then what's inside can grow undisturbed. We also learned about different types of tress such as maple, Red Oak, Birch, and many others.

From there we went to the Jackson Methodist Church for our lunch. It was fantastic. We had all types of sandwiches, soups, chips and drinks. The ladies there did a wonderful job.

And of course who better to eat all of those pies than me. Each of these pies were homemade  and they tasted great. All in all I it was a great day. I learned lots about pipeline right of ways, trees, and woodlands.

If you haven't been on a woods walk lately I suggest you take one. It doesn't matter whether your walking in the woods looking for a Geocache, or whether you're just out enjoying life... Make the best of it and be sure to take someone with you.


Kevin Bloodhounded said...

I love Thursday morning thanks to you Rob, thanks. Great informative article and super pictures! I really like the picture of the church gals and all the good eats! Another Thirsty Thursday and another great walk in the woods. Thanks for bringing us along.

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