Next generation Shiver River crew explores forest trails

Julius, Jessica, Bianca and Sid exchange greetings.
Griffith Creek crossing is easy now that the water flow is so low.
Road gravel pile is already depleted, thanks to Sid’s hard work.
Jess examines debris from the clear cut adjacent to our property.
If you look closely, you will see a giant Bald Faced Hornet nest in the upper right quadrant of this photo!

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Family, Bridge, Loop Trail

The Shiver River workforce at its very best!
Sister KC inspects Shiver River while riding on a very cool Harley.
The Loop Trail encroached on our neighbor’s property for a short stretch, so when they harvested this month, they reclaimed their property and the Loop Trail is no longer a loop. Here you see Bill and Sid at one dead end of the trail.
Looking at our neighbor’s project from one dead end of the Loop Trail.

The logging from our neighbor has driven lots of wildlife our way. Bianca was so tired of chasing the extra coyotes that she chose to watch the bridge repair from a shady spot. Notice to the right of the photo, the piles of rock that will fill the ditch. It is the big stuff, so the water will continue to flow, but Sid won’t risk life and limb and Ranger and tractor by falling into a deep ditch.
Merle is a master at plucking boulders out of the dump truck and strategically placing them on the banks of Rock Creek.
These are the piles of rock along the ditch prior to their being distributed evenly by a giant machine (rather than old folks with shovels!).
Ahhhh….rock nicely distributed.
So macho.
We had two truckloads of forest road repair rock delivered. One to be dumped at the entry to the Rock Creek trail, and one to be dumped near the Griffith Creek viaduct. In order for the dump truck to deliver the latter, it had to be able to access a forest road from the Watershed Road. That meant getting the requisite permission (which we did) and moving the giant logs blocking access. In this picture you see Sid attaching the winch cable to the bigger of the two logs.
The smaller log was so rotten that Bill had no trouble cutting it up and moving it by manpower.
This small log that was blocking the way farther down the forest road was a much tougher challenge.
This is the rock pile near the entry to the Rock Creek trail. As you can see, the grade of rock is smaller than what was used to fill the ditch.

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Rocks of all sizes – bridge work prep begins

This morning, Merle of Mid Pacific Enterprises, Inc. delivered the boulders you see in this photo. They will be used to stabilize the banks of Rock Creek and thus save our bridge. The actual work will not begin quite yet.
No dang coyote is going to claim these boulders as long as Bianca has a say.
This load of 3-4″ open crushed rock will be used for a couple of purposes: (1) to maintain the forest road called the Rock Creek trail (because it follows Rock Creek from its beginning in the field across the bridge from the farmhouse); .(2) to fill a portion of a ditch that runs from the dog corral down toward the creek. Both uses need to allow water to run through the rock rather than be dammed up by it. Crushed rock comes in different grades depending on the percentage of “fines” in the mix. Fines are any bits of rock smaller than the size indicated. So for 3-4 inch rock, for instance, fines would mean anything less than 3-4 inch all the way down to dust. 3-4 inch minus will not drain as well as 3-4 inch open. 

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Walking through the woods

We got the parts, now Sid the mechanic is making repairs to the riding mower. If you think the photo makes it look confusing, you are in the majority.
Rock Creek is very, very low.
Lots of great stream complexity is revealed now that the water is so low.
The riparian plantings down off the Rock Creek trail are thriving.
Scotch broom! In the clear cut!
We cut some blackberries away from our little Doug-fir, but mostly the little trees are doing well.
There is an obstruction at the end of the trail leading from the Rock Creek trail to the clear cut. We may end up leaving it because it covers a part of the trail that is super wet, even in this dry weather. It is a bad place to drive the Ranger as a result.
Can you see the water?
As you can see from my boot, even walking across the wet spot is a mess!

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Big forest road barrier safely removed

Sid is mowing the lower field.
Let me make it clear right off the the bat. NONE of these animals helped with the chores.
This big dead maple (?) tree fell, wedged itself in a live Doug-fir and generally prevented vehicle traffic on the Rock Creek forest trail.

Firewood!!!

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Repairs made, wood stacked, obstruction removed, flowers enjoyed and habitat restoration and timber management tour attended

Sandra made a neat pile of the remaining firewood before she departed for Philly
Mower repair by Sid. I dare you to spot the break!
Loop trail obstruction removed
There are some beautiful foxgloves near the Griffith Creek pond. They are an invasive, apparently, but I can’t bear to remove them.
Columbine
Bill and I participated in a tour of Jim and Ed Mer….’s 1000 acre tree farm (Oak Basin TF). I fell in love with their signage.
Near the top of one of the  Coburg Hills, a range of foothills of the western Cascade Range of Lane and Linn counties. The view of the south Willamette Valley is amazing (especially if there weren’t some fire smoke drifting in).
The brothers built a one-room hunting (?) cabin near the top.
Jim M. shows us the Spirit Tree, a historical sacred place for the Callipooya. It is likely more than 500 years old.

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Looking for firewood

Mike, our firewood guy, was out last weekend cutting firewood. He chastised us for not finding a pile he cut last year! So we went looking today to make sure we never missed another pile.
I think we found the missing pile on top of this hill. I guess we will roll the wood down.
Mike sent this picture. We never found this pile. Sid? Do you know where it is?
Mike’s photo. He mowed a nice path down to Rock Creek.
Pacific bleeding heart
Foxglove
Columbine
Columbine and bleeding heart near the Griffith Creek pond where Bill saw two fish!
Go Beavs! One of Sandra’s plantings.
Did we forget to tell you the quarter panel on our riding tractor separated when it got caught on some fencing. Our able mechanic, Sid, is confident he can stabilize it.

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The bees are buzzing, the flowers blooming…

They are hard to spot in this photo, but the Italian honeybees love their new home.
I’m not sure you can run the video, but it shows a lot of activity!
Sandra, with neighborly help from Doug, has made this massive Doug-fir stump a lovely focal point.
The Tory wedding gardens are in great shape, thanks to Sandra.

Sid has the entry looking good.

Random seedlings keep trying to take over the meadow.
The pale white flowers are Peacock larkspur.
Sigh. the fight against Scotch broom never ends.
The side trail that leads up toward the clear cut plantings and the Watershed Road (just before entering the woods to follow the Creek trail) is littered with fallen logs. Time for the chain saw brigade.

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