Dinosaurs in Vermont

Neatly Mowed Forest

A well kept and neatly mowed forest is a sign that there may be dinosaurs nearby…

View Across North End Marsh

What first alerted me to their presence was the sound of their eating and lumbering about the mountains. Looking out across north field marsh and beaver ponds I spotted them! A pair of giant yellow brontosauruses!

Gobbling Down Trees

At least that is what we call the power line mowers. They come through every few years and mow down the trees. Some of what they had mowed down in the first photo above were thirty foot or taller trees. With those long necks and a bush hog head they chew trees right down to the base. The beavers just don’t compete in this category of wood chipping. Not even the giant beavers we’ve spotted who cut their trees off about 4′ up.

Herbivore on the Mountain

The reason they mow the power lines is that I asked them not to use herbicides. Back when we bought the farm in the 1980’s the electric company approached me about spraying under the power lines to control the brush. They went on and on about how safe the chemicals were. I asked if they were willing to drink it. After a bit of eye shifting between the two electric company representatives they admitted no, they weren’t. I said then don’t spray it on our land. I have to drink the water here, as does everyone else down hill of us. Our land is the top of the water shed leading to the Connecticut river. I’m not about to let the utility company pollute our drinking water and land just so they can save a little money. They get to use the land for their power lines (we get taxed as if it were fully developable which it obviously isn’t and we get no payments from them) but that is not public land and not utility land. All they have is a right of way. As long as I control it they won’t spray it. I don’t want to drink their herbicides.

Outdoors: 65째F/41째F Mostly Sunny Fencing paddocks
Tiny Cottage: 69째F/65째F

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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15 Responses to Dinosaurs in Vermont

  1. tree ocean says:

    Good for you! I lived downhill from a commercial "wild"blueberry field and paid $250 for a pesticide screen to discover herbicide in my 420' deep drilled well. Thus began a lot of research. The particular herbicide was highly water soluble, and once out of UV reach had a very long half life. Lucky you that you still own the property and can prevent them from spraying. I moved.

  2. Nance says:

    Good for you and yours, Walter. You put your foot down. No spray. And I would do the same but still . . . those “giant yellow brontosauruses” don’t they just make a H*ll of a mess? Aren’t they the big tree chompers that go thru, chewing and chawing and spitting?

  3. Good for you! There are ways around the wholesale use of chemicals, people just need to be willing to stick by their convictions like you are.

    Thanks for the help on the piglets earlier btw.

    The farmer we bought them from was so nerve wracked by the fact that I didn’t want to feed pig rations…that he got me scared.

    I feel better now :)


  4. Aimee says:

    Good for you.Your downstream neighbors – human and otherwise – thank you.

  5. Joshua says:

    I completely agree with you on not wanting those chemicals on your land.
    I once saw an old chemical used in the AG industry that ate through its metal container and about 4″ of concrete.
    The fed is so nice to tax you for those utilities are’nt they?
    Always seems to be that they get you wherever they can anymore.

  6. A Bay Horse says:

    Good call. I didn’t know power companies sprayed; I assumed they always mowed. I’m going to remember that now when I see those mowed areas with power lines.

    I’m surprised you don’t get any compensation for the land either. Doesn’t seem fair. But that’s good to know. We don’t have lines on our property but you never know.

  7. ChristyACB says:

    Kudos to you! I’m so impressed that you got it done and done right! Even though you do have to look at a few dinosaurs. :)

  8. EJ says:

    Could you get a legal doc that says no spray on this land regardless of who owns it? Maybe too late now… but could perhaps be used in a negotiation situation.

  9. The dinosaurs doing their mowing isn’t bad at all. It looks a little messy right after they get done but they actually help to create a varied habitat for bear, deer and other wildlife. The area under the power line grows back with grasses and berry bushes. In a year it will be quite lovely, even in a few months it will look far better than the top picture.

    Deep forest and miles of open field are actually low in bio-diversity so having some cleared areas like this is good since it creates margins where the greatest diversity exists.

    I just wish they would deliver all that great mulch to my compost pile! At least they are return it to the earth which helps to build up the soils. That is a good thing.

  10. EJ, yes, and if I were to ever sell a portion I would certainly do that.

  11. oshea12566 says:

    “Would you be willing to drink it?” Great line Walter!

  12. very good. i do not allow the power company to spray either but never thought to ask if they would drink the herbicide. that was a good one. i think i have a ‘reputation’ with them since i have been extremely ‘firm’ when they access my land.

  13. Zambini says:

    We actually had a pterodactyl (sp?) do our power lines. They came through with the little dinos (chain saws), then the big dinos (looked a lot like yours), then finally the pterrie. It was a helicopter with a large cutting arm swinging below it to knock the trees back. I actually asked them to clear since we were losing power almost daily due to their lack of care for their lines. They had actually sprayed them early on when we moved here, which only killed the tall trees so they could fall on the lines :-(

    Anyway, when the state finally forced them to do the real clearing, the herbicide people showed up with the same song and dance about how it was safe, as the chickens roamed at their feed. I only had to say no a second time for them to pull out a piece of paper to sign saying I wouldn't let them spray!!! That was easy. I did ask the dinos to cut everything in reach too, so what was left to spray??

    Besides, when we let the dinos come through, then also cut to fireplace length for us. Saves us a lot of stockpiling for the woodstove for winter.

  14. Evelyn says:

    GOOD for you Walter… THANK YOU!!!

    Unfortunatly, you can't put a permanent restriction on the land like that…. I tried w/ my house. A thing called a perpetuity restriction comes into play. I'm sure the law in not the same everywhere, but I 'was told' that there is a perpetuity issue in every state. The length of time you can put a restriction on is likely different tho.
    Don't ask me how developers of 'communities' w/ Covenants & Restrictions do it. I was told that I wasn't subdividing my property into a lot of homes, I was trying to hold back development & there by progress. I suspect that your "unreasonable" (roll eyes when saying this) desire to restrict the very safe & progressive chemicals would be viewed this way , most likely.
    But… for now & the foreseeable future, your world community should thank you. It takes a village to save a planet. :)

  15. Ellen says:

    I had no idea the power companies sprayed. I thought they were mowing. It's good info to have. Thanks.

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