While I was busy improving my southern defenses, the attack came from the west. And it came in a tank !
What you see above is a “donut” some interloper made in the soft, wet soil of the pine plantation, which is in the northwest corner of Roundrock. (This is about the only area in my whole forest that has decent soil.) When Seth and I were out at Roundrock Sunday on our shortleaf pine planting mission, we came upon some serious tracks among the pines.
From what we can tell, the interlopers came onto our land from across Good Neighbor Brian’s property. I expect some young fellows whose right/wrong mechanism was running on Kickapoo Joy Juice decided to go for some midnight joy riding and found themselves among my pines.
The part of Good Neighbor Brian’s land that touches my northwest corner is pretty remote, and right now it is guarded by a good-sized pond that has kept the whole area plenty soggy. Nonetheless, the interlopers must have known there was a break in the fence there to have traversed that soggy patch at all.
In addition to tearing up the good soil among the pines, they managed to run directly over one of our pines that was fenced and had two steel posts in the ground beside it. The interlopers continued across a good fraction of our property, so running over two posts didn’t seem to hurt the machine. (So the obvious question is, what kind of machine could take a hit like this and keep running?) The pine itself was snapped off and the posts were bent. This kind of damage (and one other you’ll see below) tells me the fellows were out joy riding at night and couldn’t see what they were hitting.
Except that apparently they could because, as you can see below, they did manage to steer around the next pine tree. Nicely torn up ground, but it will heal.
What won’t heal, though, is this entire tree that the bozos knocked down and ran over:
That trunk diameter is more than six inches. What kind of machine could do something like that and keep running? Some kind of construction equipment, surely, and not just your average ATV.
The interlopers had left the pine plantation and made a circuit around the nearby pond, finding a way up the side of the dam that we had conveniently cut for them a couple of weeks before. They then raced across the narrow shore on the south side of the pond before encountering that entire tree above. There was plenty of room on either side of that tree to drive around it, so what was happening? Were they too juiced to care or see? Did they want to try out one of the features on their tank?
The sky was overcast when Seth and I visited on Sunday, so the photo below doesn’t have a lot of contrast, but it shows the impression of the tracks the machine left in the mud. It certainly looks to my (untrained) eye that those are tread marks rather than tire marks. I guess a small bulldozer like a Bobcat might have been able to do this kind of damage to my woods.
Honestly, the damage wasn’t all that serious. One pine tree and one forest tree. The road is a little churned up in one place. It isn’t the damage that bothers me but the “violation.” I feel powerless when I see this kind of thing.
- The Missouri Natural Events Calendar is blank for today.
Today in Missouri history:
- The Louisiana Purchase was signed in 1803. Purchase price: $15,000,000.00.
- Delegates meet in St. Louis for the first Missouri railroad convention in 1836. Various lines are projected.
- The 1904 World’s Fair opened in St. Louis, commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase.