Windows, path clearing, and the tour preceding the MRWC annual meeting

Sid is building the frame necessary for window installation.
Nice job, Sid!
Bill and Diana toured Duffy Creek riparian plantings on Belnap property.
Steve the fish biologist led the discussion as did Kathleen from the Marys River Watershed Council.
Fish passage culvert on Duffy Creek.
Visited the clear cut today. Most of the seedlings look good.
Clear cut area
This skinny log fell across the road we will be walking on the tour.
Weed whacking and otherwise clearing a trail to riparian plantings and a Rock Creek big wood placement we will be visiting on the tour.

KC at the farm

Sid hurries to assemble his new tool chest before KC arrives.
Sisters and bro all in one place!
Diana and Sid with videographer Pat. On September 4, he videoed an interview with us and toured the farm in preparation for the video he is making for each of the Small Woodland Owner of the year nominees.
KC, Pat and Sid.

Molly and Noah come to help

Bill and Noah in the Ranger, loaded with path-making tools.
Sid, Molly, Noah and Bill find ways to make crossing Griffith Creek on foot possible.
Looking for long and substantial fallen limbs to mark a trail to the Griffith Creek channel created by the large log placements.
Molly, raking the forest floor.
Where’s Molly?

Windows, firewood and turkeys

Sid takes delivery of the windows that will be installed (by Sid and ???) in the big garage.
Clearing the woodland trails is darn near a full time job.
Clearing the road of turkeys is much easier!
Two or three Ranger loads every day we are in the woods may seem slow going, but as the tale of the turtle and the hare teaches us ….
The pile is growing!

Turkeys, a Yew tree and firewood

A raft of turkeys on and near the bridge.
Bianca sends them flying and squawking to safety!
Our yew tree. Here’s a few facts copied off the internet:

Taxus brevifolia, commonly known as the Pacific Yew or Western Yew is part of the Taxaceae family.  
   Let’s start with Yew’s dark side.  Once called the “graveyard tree” in England (Stewart, 2009) the Yew has a reputation for sudden death in both people and livestock.  There are even some reports of ancient yews being uprooted with bones intertwined in their roots (Stewart, 2009).  Every part of the tree is poisonous excluding the red arils, although these still contain a poisonous seed. Children are highly susceptible to poisoning due to the enticing berries and livestock and pets have had a bleak history with yew.  Once used for suicide during war times even food and drink vessels made from the wood of the yew could poison those who ate from them (Stewart, 2009).  This historically deadly tree owes its fame to an alkaloid, specifically Taxine.  This phytochemical is stored in almost every part of the tree but its red, juicy arils, and is the yews main form of defense (Bryan, 2011).  Being that trees can’t move when they are attacked they have to be creative in their defense mechanisms.  Although Taxine is deadly Yew also has another chemical up its sleeve, Taxane. 

So how did the Yew go from deadly to medicinal? In 1962 the US National Cancer Institute collected plant specimens all over the country to test for any useful cancer treatment properties.  The bark of T. brevifolia was found to have taxanes, a diterpene, which contains paclitaxel.  This discovery was significant because paclitaxel has chemical properties that, when in the body of an animal, disrupt mitosis and acts as an antitumor treatment (Abal, 2003).  Once it was found that Yew bark was a source of this new anticancer drug there was a rush to collect as much as possible putting the trees in danger of extinction.  Push-back from environmental groups who feared losing these trees helped drive the pharmaceutical industry to create a synthetic version of the phytochemical (biologically active chemicals in plants).  With the discovery of endophytic fungi growing with Yew trees and producing paclitaxel some relief may come to the trees, though this is still a relatively new discovery (Somjaipeng, 2016).  Taxol has not yet been entirely synthesized and the trees remain one of the best sources of Paclitaxel.  Scientists are searching Taxus species around the world for more taxanes that may contain similar properties similar to Paclitaxel as starting materials for synthesis (Sun, 2015).  Taxol, the partially synthesized drug derived from paclitaxel, has now made its way into mainstream treatment of breast and ovarian cancers.  This treatment is due to the interactions between Taxol and the way our cells divide. 
Sid, Bill and I began slowiy moving firewood from where Mike cut it to the landing on the loop trail.
First we moved the pallets we recently acquired to the landing.
Then the hard work of loading cut wood onto the Ranger.

Scotch broom again?! Visit to Lane County’s tree farmer of the year nominee’s place.

Hard to believe, but as Bill and I were prepping for the September tour of Shiver River, we spotted Scotch broom growing in a spot we had completely denuded of the pesky weed last spring!
Keeping the loop trail free of obstacles.
More Scotch broom. Grrrrr….
Keeping it real.
This is the view of the Rock Creek large wood placement that will be on the tour.
Smoky and I are getting ready to go on the Whitewater Tree Farm Tour (Lane County nominee for Oregon Tree Farmer of the Year.
About 40-45 folks came on the tour.
Owner had spent his life logging and working for mills as a log buyer. He is now an international consultant having visited logging operations in Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, Australia, New Zealand and some of the Baltic countries. Wow!
Looking for (and finding) evidence of laminated root rot.

Pre-tour planning, preparation and more

See how closely St. John’s wort looks like Tansy Ragwort?
St. John’s wort.
Sid’s foot and the stair nose he hand crafted! He is putting laminate flooring in the room above the garage.
Scott, Diana, Dave (Sid and Bill, too) met at the farm on July 25, 2019 to plan the tour of the farm’s forests in conjunction with its designation as Benton County’s 2019 nomination for Tree Farmer of the Year.
Scott pauses during the pre-tour planning walk.
Dave contemplates.
Dave log walking.
The day after plotting the path the tour will take, Sid, Bill and Diana start the arduous process of clearing obstructions. A first effort — more to come.
Bill rearranges the rocks in Griffith Creek to make crossing on foot easier.