Winter Chore Interrupted

While out beating the brush in the back of the 6 acre field looking for a missing calf the other day, I came across evidence of beaver in the area. We know they are around because of the many, many piles of sticks we find that have the bark chewed off but do not know where or how they survive since the landscape is not conducive for habitat. The smaller streams around our farm are not meandering and have steep banks, the river is quite swift and subject to wide swings of water levels, we don’t see a much lodge or dam building from beaver, yet somehow they are here.

During the winter time, we do see some larger trees being chewed on. A couple of years ago I had an old apple tree several hundred feet from the river that the beavers were nibbling on. After painting the bottom three feet of the tree with house paint they left the tree alone. (Mike still gives me a bad time about it because he says they leave it alone because I used pink paint rather than white paint like most people use. What can I say? I had pink paint left over from some craft project so I used pink paint…)

Anyway, while I was out in the brushy area along the riparian zone, I saw a good sized tree that the beaver had been working on to fall. The beaver had almost chewed through the base when he got interrupted. Our winter has been very mild and the river levels have not had super wild swings of levels as in some years so it is a mystery why this winter chore got abandoned before it was completed.

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I am delighted to announce that the new book by MaryJane Nordgren, Nandria’s War, is available to the public and can be purchased through my website, SchmidlinAngusFarms.com!

Last Week This Week

Remember the stories last week about the Washington County and Columbia County Small Woodland Associations and their dueling/competing plant sales happening at the same time?

Marilyn had the fun and pleasure of working in St. Helens with the event taking place outside in the worst plant sale weather in the history of the event (she had a blast, by the way, her co-workers and the customers made the day fun). But the driving snow and wet pavement had everyone bundled up in winter garb.

I worked the Hillsboro sale where I watched from inside a wall of windows as fits and starts of snow  that swirled furiously between bouts. Both counties worried that the weather would deter the plant people that flock to these sales each year. Both counties were surprised by the attendance numbers and the support of the respective communities.

And now for this week… Of course it stands to reason that after each of us working at a plant sale last week, the story today is of us now planting the seedlings that we each brought home. Mike got to enjoy the job of helping to plant the seedlings we had brought home.

It began along the riparian zone of the river where Mike had bulldozed a path gouging out invasive blackberry plants. We are trying to establish trees in this area before the blackberries try to take back over their ground and are using about fifteen varieties of seedlings in the hope that some will stretch up before the berries encroach too thickly.

Then we moved to the hillside that had the small acreage that was cleared of timber last year and filled in Douglas fir and Western Red Cedar seedlings in spots that were thinly planted in February.

Since mrssusanschmidlin.wordpress.com is nearly out of data, the complete story can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. I encourage you to check it out, get your information in on the FOLLOW button spot, and get every story in full color. I would be grateful if you did want to do any cyber shopping to use my links on the stories on that site. By using my links, I get credit for directing people to shop and may make a small commission without any cost to you! Your support helps support the website to be available for the daily stories. Thank you for supporting SchmidlinAngusFarms.com

I am delighted to announce that the new book by MaryJane Nordgren, Nandria’s War, is available to the public and can be purchased through my website, SchmidlinAngusFarms.com!

A Race With The Weather

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I may have bitten off more than I can chew. This last trip to the nursery for the riparian seedlings tempted me to get a full pickup load of plants since the last batch had went into the ground so quickly. Continue reading

Second Pickup Load Of Seedlings

We are now on our second pickup load of seedlings for the riparian zone along the river. We have been concentrating on the four areas where Mike had used the bulldozer to eradicate (if only for a short time until they start growing again) those huge patches of invasive blackberries have now been replanted with a mixture of willow, cedar, white fir, hemlock and a few of other species that like ‘wet feet’. That means these seedlings are close enough to the river that and surface water to have moist ground all year long and sometimes may be underwater during flooding or prolonged rainy spells.

The rest of this load of mostly Douglas fir with a few other varieties prefer not to be in the wettest areas and they will be planted around the established alder trees that are nearing the end of their natural life span and on those higher banks of the river. The sandy soil drains quickly in these areas and their root will not stay submerged for extended periods.

With the last pickup load I had both Mike and Marilyn as full time helpers. Mike packed the trees into the area to be planting while Marilyn and I had to hustle to keep up with the flow of seedlings headed our way.

For this load, helpers came from farther away. It was a wonderful treat to get to visit with friends while we are digging and planting, with the sun shining on a glorious fall day.

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Take Thee To The Riparian

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My readers are the best! A while ago, I had mentioned that November 1 was the beginning of the dormant season and that I was planning on doing some seedling planting. I was gently reminded that although I talked about the plan, no story of actual planting was getting posted. I appreciate the nudge, so here is the story that I almost forgot. Continue reading

Dog On Duty

While we were busy with the riparian seedlings, the dogs had time to snoop around. Butler and Jackson enjoyed the sunny weather to scout around the understory of large cedar and Douglas Fir trees that line the river and they splashed around at the edge of the water line.

When I took a break from planted and looked around to see what they were up to, I found that Butler had tired himself out and decided he was due for some quiet time.

Black and white dog gaurding seedlings.He stationed himself right in the middle of the riparian planting in a brilliant spot of sunlight. He appeared to be on guard duty white he took his breather from the more strenuous job of scouting out the local critters that could damage our tender trees.

The day of planting went well and I did go back and straighten the leaning seedling after I looked at the picture and realized the problem.