An unexpected gift

Today my daughter and her husband - let's call them, in the spirit of the blog, Mr and Mrs Squirrel from up yonder near Boulder Creek - came over with sandwiches for lunch, and an offer to work the afternoon on some task around the property, while I tapped away in my office, it being a WFH day. My mind danced with the possibilities. We took a stroll about the property after lunch and decided the redwood grove area behind my dad's cottage needed help the most:

It's hard to describe the lay of the land here. The blown-out white areas in the upper right are the road, with the driveway curling up and to the right of the grove. The corral is down to the left, and this grove rises in a hump between the corral and the road/driveway. Hence it has nice banks where I see a lot of ferns and grasses, soap root, and such like.

The redwoods in this area range from zero up to about 100 years old. No stumps of old giants. An occasional individual tree that's bigger. Way down the hill behind our house, down the north slope, we did find a huge old stump, and a disused logging road.

One adviser told me the grove should be thinned, and another said that it should not. You'd think the larger redwoods would do better without competition from weak saplings growing in their shade, but I'm not sure. They could be like overcrowded seedlings, on a slightly different scale.

But lately, I've been bewailing all the debris that has fallen in the recent - and not so recent - storms. For fire safety it's important, of course, to keep the wooded areas close to the house free of undergrowth, for the most part, which is just fuel for wildfires, and especially to eliminate fuel ladders: flammable material such as vines growing from the ground up into the tree branches, that might spread the fire into to the canopy. Also it's just not very pretty.

So - they set to with a will. They piled the fallen branches and bigger twigs in the corral, ready for the next time the chipper is by. And half way through the afternoon, they paused to consider the state of the grove.

What we need here is a....

Neat little woodland path! They did such a great job!

Thanks, guys!


Carol said…
What a beautiful grove! Nice work!!
Such hard-working squirrels!
Christine said…
So cute! It's nice to have squirrels that don't spend all their time planting things in the wrong places!
Very nice of the Squirrels to help! Maybe we need to recruit some squirrels of our own. Our redwood grove behind the house is also looking a little shabby after this winter. One more task on my to-do list this spring.

We don't thin our groves. I tend to find most of our more mature groves don't have many young saplings beneath them growing in the dense shade.
Noelle said…
I love the new path. One of my favorite places to visit are the redwood forests of California :-)
Gail said…
Yippee for helpful and terrific grown up kids! The path looks wonderful and it was done in the blink of an eye! gail