In a flash. They move so quickly to clear the trails that I saw more and more of their work, but no trace of them. They started to take on a mythical quality.
But in August I happened upon them while they cleared a giant beech tree from the path.
I introduced myself to Robert (Bobby) Rutkowski, Gilbert Shupe, Sherwood Hall, and Kevin Freeman (from left to right in the photo).
Freeman had just returned from almost two weeks of fighting fires in California. There is a fifth member, Mike Papa, who had to leave earlier in the morning. They are responsible for trees on all National Park Service property throughout the District, not just Rock Creek Park.
Rock Creek Park Ranger Bill Yeaman tells me NPS has lost quite a few old trees this season due to all the rain. And this tree, he roughly estimated, was around 150 years old.