If you ever have the chance to attend a log roll out, I would suggest that you jump on the offer. Every time I attend a session I learn new things and come away from the gathering stymied at the knowledge, common sense, errors, and issues that surround the logging industry.
This log roll out was at the Stimpson Mill in Clastskanie. Before we got to examine the logs, we had a brief safety lesson. Less than 24 hours before the tour, the mill was shut down due to the saws hitting metal in-bedded in the log they were cutting through. The saw itself was irreparably damaged and it was only by very quick action on the part of the operator that the mill was able to mitigate damages only to the saw itself and the broken saw did not become bits of hot, flying shards of sharp metal. If metal of any kind is found in a log, the whole log is taken out of the mill instantly and no part of it can be milled. One small piece of metal could be dangerous and the mill will not take the chance that there may be other bits of metal in the log. The demonstration showed lag screws, wire, electrical insulators, nails and bullets in-bedded in wood and stressed the danger. Continue reading
We had tried to make it up the hill into the forest driving the Gator via the back road, this is the old skid road we have to get up the hill. It is much steeper and more narrow than the road we have been using. The thought was that there would be low vegetation like grass, vines of wild blackberries and dog fennel, growing on this seldom used road would help with traction.
Mike had the Gator in low gear and in 4-wheel drive as he began up the road but ran into trouble of the first switchback, he could not get enough traction to propel the vehicle both up and around the tight turn. It took a 12-point turn in order to get the Gator facing downhill to make it down the short trek to the bottom.
Our loggers have both the Barko machine and the large shovel stuck up here while the roads dry out enough to move them back downhill. Luckily the crew has projects on other properties that they can work on while this site is on mud delay.
Since we have been stuck on the lower end of the property, we have noticed that the pastures have started to green up from our series of thunderstorms over the last week. The herd is enjoying the fresh greens since this is most likely the last growing spurt of the summer.
The last few warm days has certainly helped to dry the farm out a bit. The loggers have been chomping at the bit hoping to get the pole truck in for a load of long logs but it has just been too slippery on the slopes that lead in and out of the property, the landing where the logs are neatly decked and the edges of the river crossing.
With all the rain, the river had risen as the excess moisture flowed into the stream but has once again receded to acceptable levels for crossing. Of course I forgot to snap a pic while the river was high so here is a picture of what the river looked like before our 2-1/2 inches of rain in two days, the river doubled in size, and is now back to looking serene just like this photo! (You just have to use your imagination on this one). Continue reading
It’s a mad scramble this time of year to keep up with all the goodies from the garden. The dehydrator has been running non-stop with apple slices and the last of the plums.
Now the peppers are coming on strong and we did up a bunch of them into stuffed peppers, I did forget to take a pic before diving in to the creation. These are a yellow bell rather than the usual green bell peppers that most people use. I like to grow the yellows because when I dry them the results make it easy to tell the mild bell from the little bit hotter Serrano pepper that I also like to dehydrate. I don’t like surprises in the amount of heat I am adding to a pot of stew and finding out way too late that I will be the only one eating the dinner. Continue reading
The rain showers have put a hold on every task in the woods. Sunday had a good shower that we really needed, Monday brought several showers and a downpour around 3pm that gave us a full inch of rain in one hour, Tuesday ended up with a few hard showers between absolutely stunning bright sunlight. Continue reading
Sunday afternoon Mike and I were working on the mess on the top of the hill that is our property line, barb wire fence line and wind-ravaged, fallen and broken trees that litter the ridge line. He cut through a few fallen wild cherry trees and was going to pull them out of the way when strands of barb wire ended up wound up in and around the tracks of the logging bulldozer.
With him inching the dozer forward and backward while I tugged at the broken strands, we were able to free the dozer to once again attack the criss-cross tangle of trees and fencing. Continue reading
The thinning project has ramped up. Instead of just Mark Weller running the massive Barko harvester, he now has his younger brother Craig Weller assisting with the logging shovel.
Mark fells the trees as he tiptoes his machine through the thick stand to remove the ones that are dead, broken and damaged, or growing too close to the rest of the trees. As he falls each tree he uses the long arm on the Barko to shlep the full length tree up the hill and out of his way while he goes in search of the next one needing to be cut. Craig uses the long arm on his shovel to grab the tree, which still has the branches on the top half, to a temporary deck on ground that is more level than where the cutting is taking place. Continue reading