Memories From A Big Storm

This is part 1 of a 2 part story about the events of Southern Oregon in the last year and my participation in REALOregon¬† sesion #2, located in Roseburg…

Less than a year ago, February 2019, Southern Oregon had a tremendous snow storm. It was the first time I remember hearing about a Bomb Cyclone from weather forecasters. The news made it sound like it was a terrible winter storm that hit the areas of the Willamette Valley and going as far south as the southern border of the state with the most damaging winds with heavy snowfall in the lower half of the state. The event was expected to last just 24 four hours before sending a chilling cold to settle into the area that would freeze all snow and moisture where it lay. Continue reading

Not Mean, But Damage Anyway

Please visit the new site SchmidlinAngusFarms for the whole story with pictures. I will continue to post on this site as long as possible but I am nearing my data limit and time is slipping away.

Our herd sire, Prowler has been keeping company with the main herd of cows on the far side of the river. He is a rather gentle critter, he is not one to go around the periphery to contain his harem. He does not bellow or snort to get attention, he tends to hang out in the middle of the herd rather than lead or follow. Although we never turn our backs to any bull (rule number one), Prowler has never raised any concerns about working with the herd while he is in their midst. So the damage that was incurred the other day surprised us. Continue reading

The Path In

A bulldozer inside an area of forest that was damagedWhere the Caterpillar is sitting is the spot where the end of the neighbor’s clear cut from several years ago met up with our property line. It is also the spot where tangles of big leaf maple, vine maple, wild cherry and tall fir trees intermingle in our disaster zone.

An experienced logging bulldozer operator, which Mike definitely is, can make a surprising entrance into the forest. He was able to maneuver around at a tiptoe pace to bury a couple of old growth stumps that are too big to dig out, remove a couple of trees that are pole quality and get to the heart of the damage area. The reason he buried the stumps with piles of dirt is because it creates a soft berm for the trees he will be falling. He can usually save the tree at full length by using this technique. Continue reading

A Fortunate Wind

Forecasters had been gearing up all week for a comma shaped depression that was forming in the Pacific Ocean and moving toward the Pacific Northwest. A wind storm was brewing and headed our way.

Typically the coast line gets the brunt of storms and they quickly peter out as nature slams into the Coast Range mountains. This storm was predicted to cut a wide swath from Southern Oregon into Washington State and cause high wind damage far into the Cascade Mountains. Continue reading

The Walk Looks Different

A walk through the woods looks very different from when the logging operation started. Slowly, the areas that were so damaged with the helter-skelter broken trees tangled with each other are getting cleaned out.

A logger looking over a cut area.It is at this point where we spend  much of our time looking up, judging the health and thinned spacing of each tree that is left standing. Groupings of trees assist each other to remain standing and if we thin the trees too much the wind we experience at the top of this ridge would flatten them all.

By looking up from the areas that needed cleared out, we can see damage that was hidden earlier by the thick canopy, and we have also found a couple of spots where there has been evidence of root rot (the disease that can spread from tree to tree through the roots).

Our logging crew has been exceptional in their quest to get our forest back to a more healthy state. They walk the areas each day before and after work, they take time to address our issues and ask questions so intentions are clear.

Yammering On

I have been concerned about how I have been describing the harsh winter weather we had. I have heard other farmers, loggers, neighbors and city folk talking about the same winter I had, and they agree that it was a tough season but they don’t talk about the amount of damage that is noticeable around here.

Until I went to a meeting of our local chapter of the Oregon Small Woodland Association (for you jokesters, this means private woodland owners not small landowners). There is a yearly gathering  held to see first-hand how a neighbor is working their tract of timberland. It is a jam-packed day of tours through the woods with professionals like Foresters, Naturalists, Arborists and Conservationists. Continue reading

A Request For Help Continued

Continued from June 1 post…

When the downed trees blocked our path, we took off on foot to walk the last leg before we could get to our woods. We had a choice at this point to walk up a fairly steep hill through Weyerhauser trees to get to the back side of our property, or to walk on the logging road with a more comfortable grade but more downed trees to step through and around. We picked walking the road to get a little closer to our woods before stepping off into the forest. Continue reading

A Request For Help

 

This past winter sure did quite a bit of damage in our forests around the area. The months of heavy rain caused landslides and softened the footings for the trees. An extremely heavy snow fall broke tops off of some trees and laid some trees right over from the weight, the root-ball lifted right out of the ground because of the amount of rain. Then the quick and dangerous windstorm we had trees toppling and tops broken out and strewn across the woods. Continue reading

Yes They Were That Close

Looking out my front room window, just beyond my garden, a herd of 22 elk grazed and played in one of the fields Mike had just coated with lime.

A herd of elk just beyond the garden space.In the foreground you can see my young fruit trees and some of the elk were eyeing the green grass around my trees.

I had to have a stern talk with my farm dogs, they had not made a single noise all morning with this herd encroaching so close to the house. The dogs have the job to alert us of intruders and this herd could cause major damage to the trees, strawberries, cane berries and all the other plants that have new spring growth. If the herd bounced through the garden area, the footy prints would not only leave big impressions, but would chew up the turf I have growing as a cover crop to maintain healthy soil.

Mike came to the rescue and scared the herd off for now. I’m sure the neighbors are a little miffed about that.