I know that doesn't sound like much work, but hopefully the photos will help explain a bit more.
The trees we are to clean around are the nesting trees of the endangered cockaded woodpecker. I have explained before how these woodpeckers peck at the tree and make the resin/sap run...which is HIGHLY flammable. So, ALL of these particular trees on the area of the refuge that is in the controlled burn area for this season have to have all the debris cleaned out away from them at least 6' away from the base of the tree.
The debris can include other small trees that have come up since the last burn, lots and lots of damn grapevines and pine needles, dead grasses, leaves, etc. Anything that could fuel the fire has to be removed....even the bark of the tree from where it was burned before!! We use a large leaf blower on the bark and boy does that work. You don't remove all the bark, just what will blow off.
The photo above is a before shot of one of the trees.
This is what the area looked like when we were almost finished with this tree. Lot of work for a bird!!! AND there are a LOT of trees to do this to!!
If you look carefully, you can see a ring of debris that we hacked, pulled and raked away from this tree. And we did 5 today...and we were very tired....but I had one more job I wanted to get done today.
It should be a very easy job as it just involved painting the handicap stencil on 5 parking spots. But we were pooped and tired and sore (our backs were really screaming)
But, we got that done by Dan standing on the stencil and me bent over with a 3" paint roller with handicap blue paint. I almost dreaded standing up to move to the next spot.
Then we had to wait for the paint to dry on the stencil so we could put it back in the truck bed...I decided to take a bit of a break...or maybe I should say cat nap???
Notice the dirty neck??? THAT was from all the dust and debris from that big leaf blower!!
This photo is going to be my entry photo for the SEXIEST VOLUNTEER FOR THE FEDERAL FISH AND WILDLIFE DIVISION OF THE U.S. GOVT. Think I stand a chance??!!!
That cute jump suit I have on is actually a flight suit, but I'M using it when I have to paint!