Hot day in June

Mike cut up one of the huge logs at the base of the hill.
Umbrella installed on new picnic tables.
Fire season came early. We have to carry this equipment in the Ranger now.
Bill weed whacks the grass alongside Henkle.
Storing PVC pipes.

Bianca and her friends

Bianca went visiting and had an engaging discussion with five of her best friends.
Picnic tables assembled and ready for umbrellas.
Breezeway is undergoing construction.

Gate, Nina, picnic table(s) and the location of buried well pipe.

Spot where the wood pile used to be, and a peek at the load Bill and Dee took to the dump.
Fencing project is complete. This is the big fence that can allow big truck ingress and egress.
Kay and Bill begin to assemble the picnic tables – well, table. One at a time. There are two. the tools lined up are the keepers selected yesterday.
While Bill assembles the picnic table, Kay and I head into the woods to find Tiger lilies.
Amazing progress while Kay and Diana were in the woods.
Nina and Kay. Nina here for a short break for Oregon State graduation.
See the dirt trail that extends from the lower left, across the cow lane to the fence? That is where a well water pipe (one of them) that goes from the bladder stored in the big garage to the irrigation pipe that heads down to Henkle Way is buried.
More of the dirt trail.
More of the dirt trail.
Sid, marking the buried pipe.

Woods and fields and fences

This little box insulates the pipes that lead from the well to the well bladder.
Sid, operating a saw! Gulp!
While walking the fields with Paul we ran across hidden scotch broom!
Goodbye scotch broom.
Clearing forest trails is a constant.
False brome (horrible invasive) is very visible in the field. Red alder is trying to sprout in the meadow as well. Ox eye daisy blooms are visible, too.
Bill and Diana with their shovels, creating a furrow that will allow wetland drainage to cross the forest road rather than pooling there.
Road clearing required.
Preparation for moving the pile of salvaged wood
Neighbor Doug removed the old fence and is reclaiming the strip of land between the old fence and our new fence.
Gate between our property and Doug’s.
These light colored piles are what is left after the chipper made lovely smelling cedar chips out of the brush piles that were stacked there.
New water heater fully installed. CPI rebate covered virtually all of the cost of the heater.
Moving the woodpile.
New sign in place.
Sid and Bill preparing platform to hold the firewood.
Nice!

Meadow survey with Paul (unfinished)

Diana and Paul, the renown butterfly expert. He opined on our meadows/fields and pointed out some really cool things and some things that we could see about getting under control.
On the hill that is adjacent to the cow lane, there is tall oat grass and orchard grass, both of which are exotics and neither of which is good for native species. Paul recommends mowing early in June, before these grasses go to seed. this little blue flower is flax, a native prairie species. Purple brodiaea conjesta, sometimes called a cluster-lily, is the name of the one in the upper left hand corner.
Closeup of the purple brodiaea conjesta (cluster-lily).
Heal all herb or selfheal. AKA prunella vulgaris.
Orchard grass orTall fescue. Used as animal forage, not for pristine upland prairies. California oat grass, however, is short and native and does not interfere with native plants. Lots of tall fescue on the lower field/meadow nearest the house. More prairie species found on the other side of the creek.
California oatgrass, a good prairie grass.
The lupine plants did well, but not too many Fender’s blue butterflies this year. An early period of spring drought may have hurt them.
A lovely spot of native plants on the hill near the cow lane.
Brome grass. Not good.
Oregon geranium.
Rose checker-mallow
Wild onion.
A patch of Reed canary grass, bad, bad, bad non-native grass.
Cat’s ear, a type of mariposa lily. It is related to tulips.
False brome. It is a horrible invasive grass that will choke everything out, given half a chance. We need to get rid of it in our fields/meadows. It is also present in our woods.
Oregon sunshine.
White cluster lily. Rare!
Yarrow. A native that has some medicinal value apparently.
Goldenrod or aster. Not yet in bloom.
Spike-rush, an indicator of wet ground.
Western buttercup
Tarweed. It will have yellow flowers later. “This native food produces small, nutritious seeds which can be eaten raw or lightly roasted.  We recommend using as you would a sunflower seed or sesame seed – added to dressings/sauces, salads, stir-fries, soups, etc., or used as a stand-alone topping.  The seeds impart a rich nutty flavor.” 
Owl’s clover, a relative to Indian paintbrush.
Wild onion.
Owl’s clover.
Purple vetch. It will take over, given half a chance.
Desert parsley
reed canary grass?

Seedlings grow and ditches fill

Sid and his shovel, Fat Boy, efficiently filled the trench containing well water pipe to the field faucet installed at the end of the big garage
Bianca, posing. She says, “Those skinny Borzoi got nothin’ on me!”
A beautiful Doug-fir seedling thrives next to a harvested tree stump in the area clear-cut in 2018.
Me and a thriving seedling
You can’t see all the plantings in the clear cut, but they are present and doing well.
Unknown type of yellow violet?
John, seen out of an upstairs window as he continues working on the new fence.
Mike has been busy cutting more firewood. Bill and I untarped all the piles we tarped from last year’s piles. Mike will split the cut wood once fire danger limits chain saw use in the woods.
Bianca is attempting to unstack a carefully stacked pile of wood.
Just downstream from the large culvert and the watershed road, Griffith Creek splits around a small island.

So much going on!

Doug is digging so we can place a water line from the line we put in last fall to water the trees fronting Henkle to the big garage where the bladder is.
Project halted while Sid repaired the drain lines from the rain storage tank that the well folks accidently cut.
Pre-repair photo
Kay and Diana put up a new curtain rod and sun-blocking curtains in Bopcha’s childhood room.

Plantings around the farmhouse and junk hauled

In a month there will be blooms and other festive plant life!
Scrap wood, old fencing and other debris loaded by Tim, Sid and Bill. Diana was weed-whacking.
Water drains down from the wetland and pools in the road.
Checking on a patch of riparian plantings.
Always a lot of trimming involved in keeping the forest trails clear.

Mule’s Ear

In the field on the house side of Rock Creek


Mules Ears are our native sunflowers. These cheery bold perennials make the transition of our wild flowers from spring into real summer. So named for its long leaves it forms very permanent spreading colonies in clay soils in habitat. The brilliant yellow sun flower blossoms rise up on sturdy stems directly from the ground. Each ebullient large flower is about 4″ across. Blooms appear from late April to early June. This plant usually finishes blooming just as summer drought commences. Its a memorable sight in wild meadows where it blooms simultaneously with native Rosa nutkana and Farewell to spring (Clarkia amoena var. lindleyi) and Giant blue eyed mary (Collinsia grandiflora). Wonderful cut flower and immediate and popular pollinator perennial. This plant was once very common in the Willamette Valley but civilization has immensely shrunk its native range. Good, long lived garden plant that goes summer dormant quickly after blooming has ended. The leaves turn gray and brittle and can easily be removed then. Give it a summer rest w/ little to no summer water once established. Full sun to very light shade. Water to establish its first season then none in subsequent years. Fun to grow and LONG lived. To 14″ in bloom forming a plant several feet across. Moderate deer resistance. Native to the Portland city limits.  Oregon native plant

American Tree Farm signage

Our certification sign looks (and is) quite official
I picked this mirror without scoping out, much less measuring, the room. Sorry, Kay, you have to be a six footer to see yourself!
Better and slightly more fair to the shorties in the family.