Maya Creek is situated within 310 acres of rolling heavily wooded oak/hickory forest with a creek system running through it. The land is owned as a land trust with the intent to act as a nature preserve. Maya Creek sees itself as overseers of the nature preserve and in charge of protecting it.
There are increasingly few refuges for both animals and plants in this world, and Maya Creek is determined to preserve the diversity of all forms of life here. The Nature Conservancy audited the property and gave it a grade of A for diversity.
I found this guy under some blankets on my bed while I was cleaning up the tipi this evening. For a few seconds I was terrified until I recognized that it wasn’t something poisonous. It’s one of the black rat snakes that we see relatively often around here. They’re great for keeping the mouse population down, but less great to sleep with.
Every night I check under my covers, mainly just looking for spiders and ticks, but snakes have made it up onto the list now too. I’m hoping I won’t have bad dreams tonight…
We found this nice sized Chicken of the Woods mushroom(Laetiporus sulphureus) on a walk through the woods today. Supposedly they have a texture like chicken, we’ll cook it up tomorrow and see.
This is the first chicken we’ve found out here. We inoculated several logs with this fungus, but it hasn’t produced so far. One of our newly buried mushroom logs just started producing oyster mushrooms, which is interesting since we inoculated it with shiitake fungus. We’ll get it worked out one of these days.
It’s not fun to cut down trees, for the trees or for us. No one likes using a tool as noisy, smelly, and dangerous as a chainsaw, but this last month has been packed with tree felling and processing. We’re clearing out our construction sites for this year, and turning the trees into firewood, mushroom logs, and we’ll be milling some of the trunks into lumber.
We’re also culling some cedars, trimming them up, and peeling them for use as posts in the shed and strawbale duplex. They’re rot resistant, beautiful, and plentiful here.
In exchange for harvesting some trees we’re taking on the responsibility of protecting the other trees on the property and providing for their survival.
After a long weekend of cleaning barns and making compost piles, I woke up with a craving for eggs. Luckily we introduced 4 Mallard ducks into Mom’s pond a few years back. 4 ducks soon turned into 50, then their numbers began to shrink gradually through attrition (and the families of fox that moved in). These days we try to keep the population around 15. With 8 ducks producing eggs, there are plenty to go around if you can find them before the Great Pyrenees do.
We all took a walk back down to the Auxvasse creek that borders the property. The lowlands back there are filled with giant sycamores and a few giant oaks. We saw evidence of beavers going to work. I believe it was a cotton wood tree. We’re wondering why they chew the bark off of the trees after they cut them down. Maybe to keep them from rotting in their dam?
At the part of the Auxvasse that borders the property there’s a large rockbar. Kita loved rolling around in the sandy areas. There’re also quite a few mussel shells back there. I’m sure the beavers have been enjoying those.