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DECs map of Emerald Ash Borer knows sites and danger zones

DEC's map of Emerald Ash Borer knows sites and danger zones

The Emerald Ash Borer has officially been found in NY state.  This is an invasive exotic, species that lays their eggs in the ash tree and the subsequent larva eat and destroy the trees as the insects grow and develop.  The area this insect was found is approximately 10 miles (as a bug flies) from our farm.   This is devastating news to us.  Not only because it is never good to have an invasive species take over, but because we have many mature ash trees on our property.  So now we are in the position of having to research and learn what we as landowners of forested land with ash should do given that we are in the quarantined area.

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Last week in State College we felt as though we were being teased by the grass that had melted through the snow.  Up here in Southwestern NY we had drifts above my waist.  It was so deep that if you fell into a drift you couldn’t push yourself back up because your arms couldn’t touch the ground through the snow, even the snowmobile was getting overwhelmed. However that was last week.

Yesterday was a beautiful day.  snowpocksThe sun’s warm rays beat down upon the land melting and compressing the snow.  Some dirt roads are bare of all snow and ice and on some hilltops there was even grass showing through in patches.  The acres upon acres of snow are pitted and pocked, reminding me of how the ocean waves affect the sand.  The only things that marred this landscape was where a rogue snomobiller treaspassed across the fields (this is a whole soapbox post I’ll save for another date) or where the deer, fox, and rabbits made trails from the streams to beneath apple trees getting water and then having a meal.

We were up at the new land working out fencing plans, trying to decide where would be the best places to start. We want to be sure that what we are doing is the best management practice so as to not have any grazing or farming practices that we are doing affect the watershed.  I’m thinking about contacting the soil and water people for their technical assistance on working out riparian buffers for the small (mainly seasonal) streams that run through the land. These small streams on our and everyone else’s land areSnow on the land the ones that will be flooding this week with the warmer temperatures.

I am confident that within the week we’ll see acres grass instead of acres of snow, (if only for a brief period of time before the next snows.)  If everyone can get through a quick thaw without too much flooding we will be happily on our way to spring time.