16 July 2013

Limb Snipping Along Happy Hollow

Following a unexpected and surprising evening shower, it was time to deal with an obvious situation on the east side of Memorial Park, in Omaha. With two suitable snipper tools in hand, there were limbs of some trees to trim along the Happy Hollow Trail.

The branches were encroaching upon the trailway, and with the rain, the moisture meant a declination which made the most problematic situations especially obvious as they hung over the way. The area of interest was from Underwood Avenue to Dodge Street.

Trees need care and attention, and it was their time, this evening. There was a particular purpose, with a specific intent.

Errant branches were removed from saplings. Unwanted invasive, i.e., trash trees were cut away within the woods adjacent to the trail.

Most importantly, overhanging limbs were trimmed to provide a clear route along the trail for walkers and bicyclists. This was a community service effort since Omaha Parks and Recreation staff have not given this situation any attention.

This was the second time this season for this sort of effort. Back in May, a slew of branches of a mulberry tree at the south end along the trail were specifically removed with an obvious intent. When wet, they hung only about five feet above the route. This was an problem that no one else would deal with. During that morning's effort, one regular walker along this way did express his thanks.

On Monday evening, July 15th, there was also gratitude expressed. One woman quipped that she had trees in her front yard needing trimming. My reply: "I don't ride my bicycle past there." She then said thanks for clearing the way for people using the trail, in so many words or less.

This effort involved arriving, trimming, throwing the debris into the adjacent woods, and leaving. This way, it may seem that nothing was done, though the scene may seem different to those who are attentive.

After this Monday evening outing, my shirt was dappled with multiple drops of water. My jeans have new stains from the mulberries which fell while cutting the limbs. However, the evening was nice and fresh, though there was no rainbow seen, which was some sort of expectation for the precipitation event with the raindrops and sunlight mixture.

It took three passes to and fro from the initial targets for removal, then onward to trim more limbs, and then to acquire another perspective and then to snip more unwanted tree branches. The trimming was done in a manner to work with the tree and not destroy its growth, but promote an alternative direction away from the right-of-way. Except for the trash trees where the intent is obliteration, as they are sprouting from what was left when they were initially snipped earlier this growing season.

During the outing the Mallards and Wood Ducks, and their young, were noticed along the creek. These days, the most effusive bird at this place is the Red-eyed Vireo, so specially expressive in the morning.

Now, when bicycling along, at least there won't be any branches whacking my head while riding along the way.

On this day, two hours were spent trimming trees along Happy Hollow Creek and picking up trash in the Carthage neighborhood. It was a good day for community service. Again. The results will be enjoyed tomorrow.