1.29.2011

Trail Work

Doing trail work, especially cutting new trail, is a bit of a challenge in the work swamp. Legs, arms, and faces get scratched and punctured with alarming regularity. Sometimes you find yourself wishing you had a magic wand that could swish its way through the unbelievably thick tangles of greenbrier, grape vine, and blackberry bramble and slice through fallen tree trunks and dense stands of cane. Sadly, we are not issued magic wands ;-)

Picture-taking opportunities are scarce when your hands are full of cutting and chopping tools.  I did manage to take a few photos this week though...

I haven't had an opportunity to ID this fungus, but it was a spot of sunny color on a gray day. If you know what it is, by all means make a comment!!
 

A perky little moss caught my eye. I haven't keyed this one out yet either. It looks like a sphagnum of some sort...
 

An impressive Supple-jack vine, Berchemia scandens. I've also heard this called American rattan.  This vine was easily as big around as my calf.  I love supple-jack.  It is my favorite vine in the swamp.
 

The deer love it when we do trail work. As soon as we pass through an area they swoop in to see what we've dropped for them to munch on. For a cow, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. For a deer, the leaves are always sweeter higher up the vine.  And check out the "goggles" on the young deer in the center of the frame.  I see him quite often and he always looks worried.
 
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Next week will find me far from the swamp. It is time once again for our annual law enforcement refresher training. Instead of trail work, I'll be busy with defensive tactics, firearms and legal updates. Now doesn't that sound fun?

10 comments:

KaHolly said...

It's difficult picturing you doing the defensive tactics, being the tough 'guy'! Greats pics today.

Kyna said...

That vine is AWESOME!

swamp4me said...

People sometimes forget we are law enforcement officers in addition to being interpreters and natural resource managers. I strap on a duty belt every morning complete with firearm, handcuffs, baton, and pepper spray...it's all part of the job :)

swamp4me said...

Kyna,
Supple-jack can grow into some pretty amazing shapes. It is a very cool vine.

Woodswalker said...

Wow! That Supple-jack is impressive! I don't think it grows up here in northern NY. Is it a native of your part of the country? Nice photos.

swamp4me said...

Woodswalker,
It is native here. It is pretty much a southeastern species so I'm pretty sure it's not found in your area.

JSK said...

Great pics. I can sympathize about the blackberry and greenbrier vines. I've been repeatedly forgetting to take the secateurs with me to cut these, as well as low-hanging Chinese privet boughs back off the trail. Finally got my act together and got it done today - and our problem is not nearly as difficult as what you describe.
Guess the tools in your duty belt don't really help either. :-)

John said...

is the blackberry you mention the introduced eurasian species?

swamp4me said...

JSK, Chinese privet gives me nightmares. We have so much to get rid of, it's ridiculous!

John,
We don't have the Eurasian species. The blackberry we were cutting back is native (Rubus argutus or Florida blackberry).

John said...

lucky you, west coast Canada, where I live near an estuary, introduced blackberry is a plague. i don't doubt that you have some horrible invasive species as well. If anyone tries to introduce Eurasian blackberry destroy all plants and shoot them, not necessarily in that order. Thanks for the great blog, I follow it regularly and love your pics.