Men at work

The clearcut is covered in fern.
On our tour of forest roads, looking for downed branches and trees, we found a nearly hidden cache of … Scotch broom!
Narrowleaf wyethia (yellow flower) aka narrowleaf mule’s ears.
Hard to see, but there are a ton of mule’s ears to the left of the tree.
Foxglove (digitalis purpurea) is highly poisonous when ingested by humans or livestock.

Misc. deeds on a lovely day

Buckets of rock from the Bark Place.
The rock filled a hole or two Bianca dug.
This is the inside of the mower where two belts operate the mowing blades. One of the belts came off and Sid discovered it was almost completely torn in half. The other one was only slightly damaged. We picked a replacement up and Sid somehow figured how to wind it all back together.
See that insect? We thought it might be the killer bee from Washington, but it wasn’t. In fact, it is not a bee at all. It is a robber or assassin fly (laphria vulfur). They lurk near bees nests and prey on the innocent little bees! Awful!
We found a new place for the game camera.
Pacific ninebark, a native shrub.
Bianca went to a lot of trouble to roll in cow dung only to have her master give her a bath. Sad!

Fish count preparations

Griffith Creek crosses the Creek trail just ahead. To the right is a plastic container that holds the batteries that the fish researchers will use to count fish this Saturday. This survey is part of the ODFW Aquatic Inventories Project: Created in 1990, the Aquatic Inventories Project is a statewide freshwater and estuarine research program.  The project assesses aquatic habitat, conducts fish presence/absence surveys, monitors fish populations, establishes salmonid watershed prioritization, monitors habitat restoration projects, and reconstructs historical salmonid life history.  
The wires from the batteries lead onto a trail that ultimately reaches Rock Creek.
Sid follows the wires. Bill and I follow.
Bill makes it look easy, but this log was HARD to get over!
Two parallel lines are formed by the electrical wires.
I think the fish are stunned and counted. Hopefully they recover quickly. Otherwise it will be trout for lunch!
Sid continues to mow.
As does Bill.

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.