Back to back warm spring days

Kay goes for a stroll on the Loop trail.
Sid and Bill try to start the lawnmower.
The game camera was aimed too high to get the legs of this lovely forest creature.
Just to the right of the broadleaf tree, and just above the distant forested hill is a bald eagle Sid captured on film.
Sid used the skinny dead tree he hauled out of the woods on the grape arbor. Looks good!
Kay and Bill discovered two trees blocking forest roads yesterday. Sid and Bill took the chain saw to clear them out of the way. Diana was working on the garden around the farmhouse.
Just the right size for firewood.

Scotch broom and other chores

Groan! Sid spotted a ton more Scotch broom growing near the clear cut. Sigh!
We checked the Doug-fir plantings before beginning the eradication work.
While Bill and I were pulling up Scotch broom, Sid came to the nearby woods to find a long skinny pole for the grapes. He saw a dead tree, pushed it over, and loaded it on the Ranger.
Get out of the way, Bianca!
After Sid returned, we stopped by to pick up a few pieces of firewood.
A curled up centipede in Sid’s hand.
Sid mulched and fertilized the apple trees near the lower field. Not an easy job!
Oregon Checkermallow.

Scotch broom, mowing and flowers

This Lomatium nudicaule (aka barestem biscuitroot) was blooming along the cow lane. Native Americans used it as a cold remedy or cough medicine. It is related to the carrot family. flower i.d.
flower i.d.
Toughleaf iris (aka Iris tenax). There are a plethora of them blooming in the lupine patch as you enter the woods from the cow lane. flower i.d.
And, of course, the ubiquitous Scotch broom.
We found a patch of Scotch broom we had never discovered before. Sigh!
In the meantime, Sid kept busy mowing (see lower field as well as the orchard area) and replacing the wood stove gasket.

Dogwood in bloom

We hoofed it up the hill near the pond entrance to find the dogwoods and the Pacific yew trees Mike the woodcutter reported seeing. Saw this beauty on our way up the hill.
At the top of the hill, we saw evidence of Mike’s hard work. The spider-looking tree is one of the many Pacific yew trees there. Who knew we had so many? It is a fairly rare tree … poisonous to nibble on any part of it, but the source of a cancer fighting drug: Taxol.
A number of beautiful Pacific dogwood trees were up on the hill as well. Truly stunning!
Western dogwood (aka red osier dogwood) is a shrub, not a tree. It is the other native dogwood in our area. This beauty is along Rock Creek, headed toward the Rock Creek trail into the woods.
Common Camas abounds in the field across the creek.
Sid, hard at work.
From Sid:
I had a friend giving up his blueberry farm , so I took three plants. It took me a good 8 hours, to dig 3 of them out drive them to the farm and replant them. About killed me, no joke.
As a reward for his hard work, sister Diana bought Sid a Mason bee house.
Sid found this good-looker in the mulch.
We THINK it is an Agrocybe praecox mushroom.

Blackberry duty and a nice compost pile

On our way to cutting back blackberries from some of the riparian plantings, we found a large wood placement that had caught a lot of debris over the winter. Good job!
Riparian plantings along Rock Creek that are always in danger of blackberries overtaking them. Of course the nettles and poison oak are coming up as well, so long pants are a must.
Bald eagle!
Believe it or not, the young tree with the yellow blossoms is a Big Leaf Maple. It is along Rock Creek, just after you cross the bridge.
A nice pile (7 yards) of chocolate fir mulch.

Forest bathing and firewood

Oregon fawn lily (erythronium oregonum) found alongside the Rock Creek trail
The woodpeckers have been having fun with this tree!
Upstream from a seldom-visited large wood placement on Rock Creek.
Downstream from the same large wood placement. It is located down a steep hill from the Rock Creek trail. We were there because Mike cut up some fallen logs nearby.
Perfect resting spot.
Bill, sitting near (or on?) a woodpile Mike cut.
I hung my game camera down here while Sid and Bill loaded the Ranger with cut wood.
Wood to the porch.
New strawberry patch.

Spring flowers

You can’t see them, but there is a honeybee nest at or near the base of the oak tree in the forefront.
Sid has been planting lots of strawberries of many types.
The tall flowers growing on the island in the pond near the Griffith Creek culvert are western or alpine coltfoot (petasites frigidus).
Pacific bleeding heart (dicentra formosa).
Bigfoot!
I think the flowers on the left may be coast toothwort aka milkmaids. The flowers on the right may be common chickweed.
Redwood sorrel.

Dead trees = food for woodpeckers

Two dead trees. Notice the cluster of cones at the top of the one to the left. Dying trees sometimes make a last ditch effort to reproduce by making lots of cones at end of life.
This dead tree has lots of conks on its bark. Internet: Fungal conks are the fruiting bodies of mycelium. Mycelium is the vegetative system of the fungi that is typically growing underground or under the bark of your tree. If you have ever dug through thick mulch that has is white strands holding pieces together, then you have seen mycelium. When found in soil or mulch, this is most likely a good thing, as it’s simply decomposing the mulch. However, if you find a visible fruiting body, or fungal conk, growing on the trunk of your tree, then your tree is infected by fungus, and not the good kind.
The other dead tree has lots of moss.
On the back of the mossy dead tree is evidence that one or more woodpeckers have been eating whatever bug/beetle is present. Habitat !!!!