Thursday, August 26, 2010

What We Have Been Waiting For. . .

In this photo you see our first buck grazing on our seedlings .
These photos were taken from Lyn Hewey's game camera on Two Mile Plot.
All in all, after a week, Lyn saw photos of two bucks, a doe and fawn and a couple of moose.

Quite a bit of night-time browsing.

Thank you Lyn for this great contribution to our project!

We also saw Bear sign at Flat Iron Road Site, but the photo is too distasteful to show!

A Funny Kind of a Deer Repellent

What do you mean--a deer repellent? These "feeding enclosures" you see in the photos, keep the deer from eating inside of the wired enclosure. If the seedlings inside are taller and more robust than the growth outside, we hope it means that the deer and wildlife are feeding on the plants outside of the enclosure. This will be one measurement of wildlife usage.

Meet Ron Roy, Maine Guide, who has volunteered to make 8 of these enclosures for our plots.

You need approximateley a 4 ft. diameter of enclosed chicken wire secured by 3 or 4 six-foot rebars. Ron even designed a special tool to pound the rebars into the rocky ground.

In the above photo, Ron is securing the wire to the rebar with zip ties.

Manley Harriman and Belinda Mansfield, volunteer moniters, are installing thir enclosure on their adopted plot. These volunteers will check the plots every two weeks and take other measurements. They will measure how much the plants have grown, and observe any tracks and droppings of wildlife. Weather will also be noted. By keeping good records, we can figure out what worked and what didn't. Elaine Holcum has also volunteered to be a moniter.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Two Mile Plot is thriving after 10 days of growth.
In the photo above, the bow-tie shape is buckwheat, blue-green blades are oats, green blades, rye grass, and small dots, clover and timothy.
There is ample sign of deer and moose.

We are now entering the Moniter Phase of this project.

Above are seedlings at 8 days after planting on Seven Island's Flat Iron Road. Most of the time the seedlings are growing spotty--mostly flourishing in shady areas, and damp recesses. There is sparse growth on hard, sunny soil. We are noticing that the seedlings do better on the ash, as long as it is not too overly concentrated.

These seedlings are growing at 21 days on rugged Anvil Rock Site on Wagner Land. Marcia Baker, Chair of the project is scrutinizing the growth trends.

Guard dog Gretta checking out the seedlings on Anvil Rock Site.

We are noticing deer tracks of different age groups. The deer and moose like to hang around in thick concentrations of ash. Does anyone have an explanation for that?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Rangeley Seed Mix shows Spectacular Results

Don't get too excited, our food plots haven't grown that much yet. But this is what we hope it will look like.
This yield of Rangeley Seed Mix was grown in a private plot by George Poland. He sent this picture by cell phone, so it is a blurred at this size. We identified the white flowers as buckwheat and he says he recognizes the oats and the two clovers . He tells me that the deer are constantly feeding in it, and it is now thigh-high!
Great job George!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Stardate 8/5/10: Conquering Flat Iron Road

This site challenged our standard way of spreading the ash. Because of heavy rain, the ground was too wet and soft to hold the Kabota.

You recall, a couple weeks back, dump trucks hauling the ash got mired in the mud and we had no choice but to wait for a dry spell of weather. It was too risky to bring in the Kabota. So M& H Trucking was called in and assessed the situation. They volunteered this handy "little" Bobcat that hauled and leveled out 9 tons of ash in an hour and a half!


From our "inventory" of drags, we attached an old dog kennel gate to the back of Rick and Marcia Baker's ATV to ruff up the top soil for seeding.

Left to right is Tom Clough, Marcia Baker, Manley Harriman and Rick Baker discussing this new system.

Here you see Bakers' dog Mickey assisting Marcia Baker at the ATV helm. This drag was donated by Michael Warren, and it worked terrific on this site.

Special thanks to Belinda Harriman for her photography of the event.

Left to Right: Marcia Baker (driving the ATV), Rick Baker, Manley Harriman , and Tom Clough seeding. Dog guards Mickey Finn and Gretta.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August 3, Signs of Life!

After one rainless week after planting, a few seedlings are popping up on Anvil Rock Site.

Stardate Aug 3: Two more plots of Wagner's Completed!

After a week of no rain, we went to work to seed Wagner's Two Mile Plot. In our case, rain is a very good thing. To the right is Rick Baker getting the markers out to make lanes, for the volunteers to follow while seeding.

In this photo Reggie Cyr is trying the cyclone seeder for the first time. Left to right: Reggie Cyr, Rick Baker, Gregg Silloway and Tom Clough

Gregg Silloway joins the team for seeding. Below, you see Rick Baker dragging the seed bed with a l0w-tech rake behind his ATV.
This worked suprisingly well. So now we have an inventory of two rakes for different terrains: the disposable christmas tree and an old dog kennel doorgate donated by Micheal Warren.

After completing Two Mile plot, Rick & Marcia Baker, and Tom Clough seeded the control plot called the Tower site (not shown). This latter plot, of course, does not have ash spread on it, but it will be compared to the results of Two Mile.

Thanks to Gregg Silloway, Reggie Cyr and Tom Clough, who did a perfect job cranking their seed spreaders.