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Once in a Lifetime Wood

Posted by on Feb 15, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

This winter has been made unique in the Mt. Richmond Forest by the remarkable wood that we have spent the winter milling. For many years there has been, hidden away in a corner of the forest, a large pile of easily overlooked, large, strangely shaped, old cedar logs. At the end of a logging project in the mid ’90’s these salvaged logs ended up homeless because their dimensions were too odd to be acceptable to the sawmill which purchased their breatren – so they were left, but not forgotten. From the pile we have been able to mill both miserably rotten, good for not much boards, but also some beautiful, clear, very tight grained wood. It has been a once in a lifetime experience that will not be forgotten. As spring comes around the corner, we are nearly finished, the wood is happily drying in the solar kiln, and will be looking for a good home by early summer. Any...

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What the Owls Tell Us

Posted by on Feb 15, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

On the evenings of March 1 and 3, we continued our adventures in trying to learn more about the owls in the Hyla Woods forests, and what their presence, absence, and distribution might tell us about the forests. Building on our experimental efforts a year earlier, in our second year we developed and followed a more scientific approach to the sampling, following as set route with set stations, and using a mix of listening and calling (by voice and recorder). With the help of able volunteers, led by Char Corkran, we successfully covered all areas in both the Timber and Mt. Richmond Forests. Results included a single saw whet owl at Timber and a mix of saw whet, northern pygmy, and screech owls at Mt. Richmond. Special thanks to Char Corkran, Christie Galen, Marc Carrel, Larry Johnson, Meghan Young, Emilie Blevins, and Laura Guderyahn for their important help walking and listening until late in the night. Puzzler Question: If we had heard a northern spotted owl should we consider that a success of a failure? Good news or bad? This is a theoretical question, of course, though we are actively working to get a “safe harbor” agreement so that the arrival of a NSO in the ‘hood would be nothing but good news. Stay...

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Fish Count!

Posted by on Feb 15, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Saturday December 17th saw a lively, diverse, and enthusiastic gang of over 100 people gatherered on a beautiful, clear, cold day to watch and celebrate the return of coho to the forest and the turning of the midwinter season. Highlights included – the fish, of course; a wide range of explorations and conversations in the forest, a marking of the disappearance of the northern spotted owls that used to nest and live close to the west on state forest land, and an inspiring talk by conservation elder, Neal Maine. Cold, dry weather in the preceeding weeks brought low flows in Lousignont Creek and the fear that, for the first time, living fish might not be there for the welcoming party. But the fear was unfounded and there were a good number of still fresh coho actively spawning. Photos thanks to Alice Hayes and Ted...

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The Story of a Story

Posted by on Feb 15, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Something happened last weekend that reminds us of the truth in our belief that “the forest has something new to teach us every time we walk through it” – provided we keep paying attention and asking questions and seeking answers to them. In this case we saw something remarkable and rare that we had never seen before – in spite of spending lifetimes walking these and similar woods. As described in the previous post, on this cold, still, early winter’s morning we began to notice white, feathery formations coming like fluffy hair or cotton candy out of bare sticks of a certain diameter. What was this?! On coming home, our minister of science, went to work with her circle of enthusiastic and far flung science nuts and came up with the following conclusions. From Charlie Raymond, retired UW scientist, came this information: “Pretty amazing picture. My guess is that the subject is similar to needle ice that can form in initial phases of ground freezing. Basically on a cold night when freezing is trying to penetrate a porous/permeable solid, the freezing interface can beheld near the surface because it can not easily get through the small pores (holes). Then water is sucked out of the solid toward the surface to freeze on in the small pores, thus the needle-like structure. I actually have seen this same phenomenon on wet sticks several times here in the NW. The cotton-like morphology is pretty startling. Of course, needle ice is more common. I am forwarding to Bernard for a second and more dependable opinion.” Justin Sharp, a wind power colleague of Pam’s, found this link to “frost flowers” on wikipedia – explaining the phenomenon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frost_flower. And finally a member of her book group sent along this youTube link with time lapse footage of it growing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlXfaOFgkd4 It turns out that these super delicate formations can be forceful enough to peel the bark off of the branches. Which is more interesting, the process of frost flowers growing above the spawning coho, or the process of folks sharing information so that we begin to uncover one more mystery in the woods? What’s...

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First Fish to Lousignont Creek

Posted by on Feb 15, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

  It is always exciting to spot the first coho of the year making it back up to the Timber Forest. Sunday Nov. 20th was a clear, cold day and we enjoyed both picking the last of the season’s chanterelles and watching 18 bright, lively, and determined fish. We also spotted some feathery ice formations that none of us has ever seen. Has anyone else? If you want to follow general news of fish returning to the mighty Nehalem, visit:...

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