Forest road blockage removed and more

Yet another patch of Scotch broom located! Not to mention blackberry vines attempting to annoy our little trees.

Shane, one of our farm foresters, was out prepping two sites cleared when we had the winter blowdown. We will plant some Doug-fir seedlings this winter. The sites were too dry for Western red cedar. Bianca never misses a photo op!

A small tree fractured and fell over the Rock Creek forest trail. Lucky for us, Mike the woodcutter was going to be stopping by that afternoon.

Mike cut up the big log (aka the widow maker felled by Shane the logger a couple of months ago) and also the little one. Forest roads are unobstructed for the moment!

Back from our farm patrol, Bill and Diana spot Alex and Sid putting up siding on the Annex.

The pad for a temporary housing mobile is in place.

The cistern is ready to accept rain from the gutters.

Nice clear path behind the bushes and (gulp) in front of the honey bee house.

Sid used the dirt scoured from other projects to level the shared entry between the Annex and the farmhouse.

Sid and Sandra got all the firewood in the firewood shelter. Amazing!


New firewood location . . .

Kevin dozed a flat spot where the old root cellar used to be. That is where the firewood stash will now be placed.

The metal structure of the Shelter Logic woodshed is anchored and a gravel base put down.

Lots of wood to stack!

Alex to the rescue … he put the canvas top on the woodshed.

The mobile living quarters are being prepped.

Tank for the Annex fireplace has been placed.

Nifty little nook off of the Annex.


Kevin A. back to help!

It has been awhile since Kevin A. put his feet back on the ground (instead of in his plane) and made plans to move some dirt for us. First, he’ll level a spot for the temporary housing unit. Next, he’ll level the spot where the firewood storage will be (near where the woodpile is now).

The Loop trail didn’t require much trimming, but Bill and Diana did their best to ensure safe passage.

Sid and the Ranger are always at the ready for a rescue. Ask Diana … she knows.

Bill rests after the Loop hike. Why is he dressed as if it is winter? Don’t ask me.

Nice little bistro set for gazing out onto the landscape.

Luna is unpredictable. Sid approaches her with caution.

Bill relaxes just prior to realizing he is seated right next to the Mason bee house!


Stachys chamissonis

Stachys chamissonis is a species of flowering plant in the mint family known by the common name coastal hedgenettle. It is a perennial herb native to the west coast of North America . . .” from the internet.

While out clearing the forest roads of intruding branches and blackberries, I spotted some pretty flowers growing on a bank of Griffith Creek. Unable to identify them using my various apps, I reached out to Mike A. who immediately identified them. Thanks, Mike A.!


BSWA picnic, porch progress, and more

Sid, Sandra, Kay, Diana, and Tory attended the annual Benton Small Woodlands Association picnic. Van Decker recounted the history of the Castle Family Forest while we munched our lunches.

Sid finished mowing the field across the ditch.

Sid is doing something while Sandra arranges the new chairs.

A nice trench for the propane feed to the Annex.

Sandra’s hard work pays off!

Why do the pure white animals love the dirt best?

New steps are painted and they look fabulous. Rick will replace the porch itself next and add pavers or tiles at the base of the steps.

We have plans for a woodshed, but no time to build it this year. The canvas shelter will be moved to this location in the meantime. We are expecting 6 cords of wood. This pile is only two.

Sid is thrilled at the thought of the stacking ahead.


Hot weather and hard workers …

Master carpenter Rick at work on the front porch replacement project.

Kay, Sid and Rick test the weight-bearing strength of the new porch.

So sturdy! Painting and non-skid application next.

Kay, Diana and Sandra love the feel of a good ladder.

Having wrestled toddlers and a very strong baby (grandchildren), trimming the bushes in front of the dining room porch was easy-peasy for Diana.

A neck massage is just what the hard-working Sandra wished for.

This is the widowmaker Shane the logger cut. John the woodcutter will make a nice pile of firewood out of it.

Here is the other widowmaker Shane cut for us. He had to take two trees as the leaning tree refused to fall even after being cut.

Grampa Brent’s little garage had residual building materials that Sid and Miss TYM sought to remove. Notice the nice, straight, new downspout on the big garage/barn.

River loam delivery!

River loam about to be distributed.

And then there is mowing … always.


Widowmakers, a new graveled entry, and more …

The new forest road that bypasses the Rock Creek forest road (the one that has the hole Diana fell in ) is really nice. Sadly, there is a widowmaker on the side of it that looks determined to bonk someone on the head sometime soon. We are halting vehicle traffic on that part of the road as a precaution.

A second widowmaker is along the forest road leading to the Griffith Creek crossing.

In the meantime, the front steps to the farmhouse are rotted and the handrails as well. Rick is going to fix! It is such a blessing to have a talented carpenter on call.

Rotted steps all gone! I’m sure Bianca and the cats are bewildered!

While the bulldozer was out salvaging our windfallen logs, it paused to flatten the entry hill a bit. Then Bob, the fabulous gravel guy put down a nice gravel entry road.

No more muddy entry by the gate.

Sid did a nice job gravelling the walkway to the water pressure entry.

The propane tank for the Annex’s fireplace will go here, hidden by foliage.

Mulch (7 yards of fir sawdust) arrived today.

Not a lot of yellow plums this year, but they look nice and fat.

The space between Bill and Sid is where the temporary housing for Mama M. will go.