Rhonda's morning class. Pretty stiff this morning, seemed to make me feel a bit better.
Inspired by Dennis, a set of pull-ups and a set of dips on the rings. 10-4. I used to be good at dips, but I've done very few since my last shoulder surgery, and this definitely felt dangerous. That particular game may be over.
Running30:13  2.65 mi (11:24 / mi) +100m10:12 / mi slept:7.0 weight:159.8lbs shoes: 2014 Hoka Stinsons
Getting late, so just something to keep my hand in. Had an AOWN moment on the first loop, stung by an apparent yellow jacket on the elbow. Never saw him. Wondered if he was an outlier or if I would get nailed again when I went by there. But emerged unscathed the next time.
cycling47:56 11.52 mi (4:10 / mi) +64m4:05 / mi ahr:141 max:238 slept:5.25 weight:161.4lbs
From Pleasant Valley out on Hogback a bit, and then back again, with Zack. Small window of time between when his houseguest Brian left and when Zack himself was heading down to Poughkeepsie this afternoon.
Went out far enough to see where our old friend Dale lives or lived. Dale was our first heavy equipment guy, did a lot of work around here back in '94-'95. After a while, we came to understand that Dale was getting a lot of on the job training, and we began calling this place the contractors' school. Haven't seen him since about '97 or '98, pretty sure. He was a friend of our old gardening guru Roxanne, and that is how we met Roxanne, another interesting character. Roxanne was a wonderful gardener, very sunny disposition, seven kids whom she brought around quite a bit. One of the older ones, Ben, did a lot of work around here, too, when he was in his late teens or so. Roxanne could hoe like nobody I ever saw, even more remarkable in that she only had one arm. And through Roxanne we met Steve, another wonderful character. Steve did a lot of stonework for us. Enormously strong but gentle fellow. Haven't seen any of these guys in quite a while. Rhonda had word that Steve was doing some work for one of our neighbors. He'd be a good one to run into again. Last time I was over at his house, some 9 years ago or so, he was raising a fawn that had been orphaned near his house when the doe was hit by a car. Had the fawn penned up in his kitchen. It was not a permanent arrangement, but certainly unusual.
Anyway, Dale lives or lived on a piece of property he got from his parents on Hogback Rd. Had a mountain in the backyard, and Dale decided he would convert the mountain into a nice flat yard, and sell the sand and gravel. Permits? He didn't need no stinking permits. Instead he had a stream of trucks coming in and out, and the noise and dust and traffic was a bit much for the neighbors to bear. He did get a lot of cease and desist orders from the town, and eventually folks got angry enough with him that not only did they stop him, but they basically stopped him from doing any kind of landscaping at all, and nobody in town would hire him to do backhoe work again. Last I knew he was driving a truck. Things have grown up enough that you can't quite get the scope of the thing from the road, but it was quite a sight back in the day.
Had a very nice walk today with a guy named Dennis from Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to talk about New England cottontail habitat. As it is a small world, this guy's wife was Zack's first grade teacher, sent along her greetings. Along on the walk were a fellow named Roger whom I have known off and on for about 12 or 15 years, active in the Barkhamsted Land Trust, which is not saying too much because it is a very small Land Trust, and lastly a forester named Jeremy who is under contract to DEEP for some of their stuff, but also has his own consulting forestry business.
The purpose of it all was to show them early successional habitat that we have here at Ratlum and to look at other places on the property that might be good candidates for a clear cut, maybe some growing back to forest in early succession, some being maintained as open field; and looking at land belonging to the Barkhamsted Land Trust adjacent to mine, where they have some interest in doing the same. Partly this sort of project would be paid for by harvesting saw timber, and there may be some grant money as well.
It was a wide ranging talk and a wide ranging walk. Started at 10 and we were out until 2. They were really happy with the clearcuts I have and how they have grown up, the paths through them, the feed plot that Steve is putting in at the top of the smaller clear cut, the trail system, the marshes. Dennis gave me the name of a possible beaver trapper. I've been looking for one for several years, eager to thin the beaver horde out at the Big Down Marsh, or at least the ones who cause trouble at the Little Down Marsh. I could certainly see the utility in a wildlife habitat project over on the hill beyond the little down marsh, and extending up onto Barkhamsted LT property across the woods road.
In the course of events we found a couple of the stones marking the town line, relics of 200 years ago. I had found them several years ago, but kind of lost track of some of them. Glad to find them again. Also found a few pins.
So we'll talk some more. Dennis is going to bring a wildlife biologist back next time. Maybe there will be a project in this.
Hike1:22:42 3.77 mi (21:56 / mi) +182m19:05 / mi ahr:89 max:195
Another really pleasing hike at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller with Rhonda Mike and Cindy. Came in from the opposite side this time. Got to see their latest logging operation. Really impressive. They did a substantial thinning, left little slash, and that cut down quite low, no visible erosion, well maintained roads. Saw a very nice forwarder. Nice to be going through on a Sunday and watching without getting in their way.
cycling1:00:51 11.75 mi (5:11 / mi) +421m4:40 / mi ahr:128 max:230
Around the neighborhood after the long drive home.