A Modest Fixer-Upper

We had a little moisture move into the area over night. The air is cool and fresh and the dampness calmed the fire danger a bit. The calmness may only last a day or two but it allows us back into the woods for some more clean-up.

During one of my many breaks during the work day I noticed a habitat that was in need of a little work.Damaged spider web in the woods. Just above my head was a web lit by sunlight streaming through the trees.

It appears to have had some damage. I suspect that a fortuitous meal had managed to get stuck in the middle and the spider hauled it away to the pantry.

New webbing had been started to fix the gaping hole, but the slender tendrils are so delicate that I could not capture them with my little point-and-shoot. Looks like this humble abode will be back to good in short order.

A Story From Long Ago

Evidence of burned stump with tree growing from it.Where we are up the hill cleaning up the winter storm damage, we came across this tree that shows evidence of the fire that swept across this hillside in 1940.

The dark area you see near the lower middle of the picture shows charcoal. This was an old growth stump that had been charred as the fire went through. A seedling sprouted on one side of the old stump and began growing.

Now about 75 years old, the seedling is over 100 feet tall and all but enveloped the old, burnt stump that is nourishing its growth. On the picture, the right side of the stump is all bark from the grown seedling.

This tree will have to be cut off above the old stump in order to be felled. That means the undercut and the falling cut will be about 8 feet off the ground.

Cucumber Salad

A cucumber ready to be picked.Lots of fresh baby cucumbers peeled and sliced, just as many cherry tomatoes halved, chopped mild white onion, sour cream with a dollop of mayo makes the basis for the salad.

Add snipped chives, a bit of chopped cilantro and a dose of dill and the salad is ready to chill in fridge for an hour or two for the flavors to marry-up.

This is one of my all time favorite salad to serve on days when the temperature hovers around the 100 degree mark. I don’t seem to ever have leftovers.

Any Body Home?

We were up early to beat the heat and to open gates for a self-loading log truck to pick up a load of logs for the mill.

We had just escorted the truck out the gates and re-locked them so we could head back to the log landing to clean up around the area when we noticed a visitor had moved right in since the truck had left.

A coyote standing on the log deck in the landing.A coyote had taken up residence on what was left of the pile of logs after one load was taken away.

He sat there for several minutes watching us before slinking away up into the canyon.

Sometimes the neighbors just have to see for themselves what we are up to.

Next Round Of Berries

The Logan and Raspberries bit the dust so to speak. This heat wave has dried out any berries that were trying to mature and the producing vines dried up as well. That season is officially over.

Hedgerow of wild blackberries.The same heat that cooked the Logan and raspberries has begun turning the blackberries ripe in a hurry.

So far I’ve only found one or two ripe enough to eat without puckering. But with continued warm weather scheduled, we will have to call all neighbors, friends and family to gather as many berries as they would like.

Looks like only a day or two before we are truly in wild blackberries are ripe.

Keeping The Cows Cool

With triple digit weather this week, I have been asked about the health and welfare of our animals.

Last month as we trudged through hay season, we decided that we would not show animals at the fairs this year. The bottom line came down to Mike saying if he was going to show cows he would need to take 2 trailer-loads of critters (10 – 12) in order not make money but at least make enough to offset some of the fuel and time needed to be away from the farm, with my input saying that with the 2 of us, we are not capable of caring and handling 10 or more animals 14 hours at the fair and still coming home each day to care for the ones still here. Continue reading