Saturday, April 2, 2011

Shawnee Park Climb

I got out on the first beautiful spring day of the season for recreational tree climb with some fellow TreeBuzzers.

Setting up the climbing lines.

Rebbecca doing some limbwalking.

Casey is the first one up.

Casey and Taylor enjoying the warm spring sun.

Jason and Casey hanging out in a nice bur oak.

Saved the best for last, Casey going for a ride!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Burlington, Iowa

When I was first told I was going to be working in Burlington, Iowa I did not get too excited. But, I became pleasantly surprised after spending a few weeks there. I spent the month of July, and most recently, two weeks in January in Burlington inspecting all of their trees. Burlington is located in southeast Iowa on the Mississippi River.

The biggest surprise of Burlington was the restaurants. You have to do some searching to get to the good stuff, but once you get past the fast food and typical chain restaurants there are some really good places to eat. My three favorite restaurants were the Bistro, Mister Motos Cafe, and Shokai. The Bistro was a small little french restaurant with amazing food. Mr Motos only serves pizza, but it was the best damn pizza I have ever had, and they have a great beer selection. The biggest surprise for me was Shokai, which is a sushi restaurant, they have some of the best sushi I have had. Shokai was nicknamed by my crew as the "Hidden Gem" of Burlington because it is located in a rundown strip mall on the edge of town, and they have no sign out front. If someone had not told us about Shokai we would have never found it.

Another surprise of Burlington is that it is home to the World's Crookedest Alley, Snake Alley. I could spew out some facts about Snake Alley, but it would be easier just for you to look it up on Wikipedia!

My personal favorite surprise was the discovery that Burlington is the birthplace of Aldo Leopold. I learned allot about Aldo in college and read his most famous book "A Sand County Almanac" Aldo is a naturalist, philosopher, and author. I found this plaque in his honor at the end of a dead end street overlooking the Mississippi River.

If you ever find yourself heading to Burlington, Iowa let me know and I can give you all the recommendations you need.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Over the last few years I had heard allot about the Outer Banks (OBX) in North Carolina from coworkers. Even though it sounded like a really nice place to vacation, I didn't think I would get the chance to visit because I have allot of other places higher on my list of places to visit.

A couple of weeks ago I was sent out to North Carolina for work. I had one free day, and luckily I was only about a two hour drive from OBX. So, on my Sunday off I hopped in the rental car and took a drive to the beach. I quickly discovered it was the off-season, everything was boarded up, shops were closed, and I think I was the only person on the beach that day. The blustery cold winds off the Atlantic didn't help either. I made the best of the day by taking a drive down the coast, walking along the beach, visiting a lighthouse, and snapping a few pictures of course.

After spending just a cold day on the beach in the OBX it has definitely moved up on my list of places to visit. My mom mentions from time to time that the family should all take a cruise together, but I am going to tell her that we should all rent a beach house in the OBX for a week instead.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Signs of the Seasons

"One swallow does not make a summer, but one skein of geese, cleaving in the murk of March thaw, is the spring."

-Aldo Leopold

When living in 'Da Nort' you know that seasonal changes are inevitable. Although it is not March and spring is not on its way for many more months, the geese are telling me winter is on the way. Last week I was outside with the dog and the distinct sound winter was just across the street.

There is a lake across the street from our house and it is always the last lake in our area to freeze over in the winter. Since it is the only open water around, the last waterfowl to head south use it as a place of rest. During the summer months we very rarely hear any ducks or geese on the lake, but once the temperature starts to drop the honks and quacks are bountiful. As the honking from the geese gets louder and louder it tells me winter is just around the corner.

Frozen Footsteps.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bur Oak

One time someone asked me what tree best represents me. I surprised myself by coming up with a quick response, "Bur oak, because they are big and reliable, like me!"

I was working in Missouri last month and I paid a visit to one of the largest bur oaks in the United States. It is listed in the National Register of Big Trees.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Autumn Sunset

After an extended sabbatical, I am hopefully back for awhile.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mohawk Trails

I have been working out in western Massachusetts for the last couple of weeks. Today was my day off and I wanted to do some hiking, someone had suggested Mohawk Trails State Park, so that is where I went. I hiked to the top of Todd mountain, and through some old growth forests. The weather was great, the scenery was beautiful, and the trees were big. I came across come Lady Slipper flowers at the top of Todd mountain, and an old abandoned truck on the middle of the forest.