We have just returned from our second hitch at Fort Bowie National Historic Site! And a very successful hitch it was. Brian Doughty, the Native Plant Corps Manager, came out for a site visit for the first few days of the hitch. It was nice to have an extra hand at the campsite and in the field; and everyone really enjoyed gaining some insight and ideas from someone with so much experience and such a positive attitude!
Overall, we removed Mesquite from roughly 6 acres of land this hitch. We are mostly using loppers to remove sapplings from previously cut Mesquite Trees, but are also using chainsaws and handsaws to flush cut trees that have not been treated yet. We have really come together as a crew to work effectively for Fort Bowie, and hope that over the next two hitches we can really kick some butt out there.
On the last day of every hitch, our agency partner Larry Ludwig hikes with us out to a specific historical site and gives us a history lesson. This time around, he gave us a personalized history lesson of the Bascom Affair; an interesting story that sparked several years of war between the Chiricahua Apaches and the U.S. Military in the 1860's. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the history of Fort Bowie from someone like Larry, who has worked there for over 20 years. Below you'll find some links to the Bascom Affair, if you're so inclined...as well as some books that describe the compelling history of the land and people of Chiricahua in the 19th century.
We saw some interesting wildlife this hitch, including our first black bear! As we were driving along a dirt road to our campground, a black bear darted in front of the truck and crossed over into a wash on the other side. He was a BIG one... and moved amazingly fast. We were only about a quarter mile (if that) from our campground, so no doubt--we were on bear watch that night. Most everyone had interesting dreams in their tents that night. I'm not gonna lie... I spend a good portion of the night laying awake in my tent looking for bear shadows and listening for footsteps similar to what Bigfoot might sound like...
And last but not least, we celebrated Sarah's Very Merry Un-Birthday on this hitch. Since none of the Crew Members will get a chance to celebrate their real birthdays this season, we have decided to throw a celebration for everyone's UN-birthday. Sooooo, I picked up some costumes from the dollar store and made it Hawai'i themed...and made the birthday girl wear the costume I got her all night. Happy Un-Birthday, Sarah "Timber" Jenny Seiler!
Please enjoy some photos from our hitch, and stay tuned for more from the Saguaro Native Plant Corps Team!