Our neighbor whose boundaries encircle the farm, The Nature Conservancy, is continuing their ecological restoration and monitoring efforts. This spring Kelsey Copes-Gerbitz headed a survey of Nelson’s checkermallow (Sidalcea nelsoniana), a plant listed on the Federal and State Threatened Species List.
Wild turkey couple up by the barn and then out on the homestead.
Snow in the early morning
A bald eagle flies over the house. The kestrel and the marsh hawk are out almost every day. Flocks of yellow finches around the house flying from the watercress pond to the birch tree. Resident blue jays play with the cats. Flocks of swifts or small swallows flying around the house into the oaks from one side to the other making beautiful patterns as they fly together and the lights catches on the tilt of their wings. Frogs loudly singing, singing loudly.
Heavy frost and high fog.
Crow and a kestrel side by side on the telephone wire. The crow and the kestrel then side by side in the oak tree top.
Cloudy spots of sun. 45 f mist in the mountains
Marsh hawk flying over wetlands. Two roughed skinned newts walking in mowed path. Three otters playing in muddy creek stopped under the bridge to have a long look up at us.
Cloudy fog in the mountains. A soft mist falling.
A male and female marsh hawks are flying over the fields. The male
doesn’t stay long and the female lands in the path and eats bugs out of the grass like a chicken.
Elk up on hillside hanging out under the cloudy skies. 3 females.
2:00pm – 25 elk out grazing and laying around. Marsh hawk scanning wetlands.
Foggy 40 f
A big brown hawk flies over the lawn. Lots of birds at the very top of
the birch tree. One in particular seems to be keeping watch sending out a
signal every 10 sec. 20 or more tiny birds flutter between the birch and
Huge flocks of migrating birds, maybe in the thousands. Too far know what kind and
flying up over the ridge. Elk out in clearing in front of the old tree house.
Sunny day. Two female marsh hawks dancing in soaring circles in the sky.
The one above let out it’s distinct whistled screech.
I attended a model forest tour at Zena Timber in Rickreal sponsored by the Forest Stewards Guild. The land owners and managers put on a well organized event. Their philosophy and manaement efforts were a great leap forward from a clear-cut and plant tree farm for creating and maintaining natural habitat. Their goal to maintain 30% hardwoods in their conifer stands adds much to the diversity of the landscape. The management plan for their forest requires that all heavy equipment stay on a system of permanent skid trail. Logs are cable winched to the trail, then skidded to the landing. This is more labor intensive but intended to reduce soil compaction and damage to subterranean life.
Questions were raised that were relevant to the management of the. Gahr Farm forest. The question is, in the Willamette Valley region with little summer rain, is soil damage from operating a crawler tractor in the forest ,in mid to late summer, a meaningful problem? There are numerous advantages in moving the machine to the log over winching in addition to efficiency. The end of the log is pulled up causing less soil rutting than winching. In a mixed stand with wide canopy hardwoods directional falling toward the skid trail is more problematic than in a conifer stand. The crawler tractor can take multi-directional route to avoid damage to other trees. Soil disturbance from a crawler tractor can aid in tree seed germination and regeneration.