Reub's journey

25 February 2016

Thinning




About a year and a half ago some kids dared each other to toss a match into the dry grass on a hillside forest not far from here.


The ensuing flames quickly became a wildfire that nearly devastated the northwest side of town. John and I watched the flames and smoke from our house.


It was a cautionary tale. As you can see from one of my trail cam pics, our backyard adjoins an overgrown plantation that has the giant invisible words FIRE DANGER! written all over it. The neighborhood association had a discussion with the owner of this woods.




And that is why this week has been noisy around here.


I know they had to do it, and I know it will bounce back into something amazing and different, but oh my gosh.



It's so...organized.


An enormous flail mower came through and shredded all of the undergrowth and small trees. Ed and Reub are a little confused. Where did the rabbits go?



I wonder what the bobcat thinks of it.


The deer will love the changes because there will be so much new stuff for them to forage upon. When the loggers have left I'll have to find a safe place to put the trail cam. Maybe this year will bring another set of twins.


Meanwhile the changed landscape looms behind the house, like an old friend that has gone through a devastating, inevitable divorce. It isn't easy now, but it will be better later.

33 comments:

  1. Wow.. that's jarring. But you're right, it will bounce back. Nature has a way of doing that. Love that bobcat!

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    1. The bobcat was caught by the trail cam just 50 feet beyond our fence; isn't he a beauty? I bet he'll be back once the undergrowth pops up and the rabbits return.

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  2. Did they have to leave all the remaining tres in parallel straight lines? I would be devastated. The silent screams must have been loud.

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    1. I hate the lines of trees. But it's the quickest& cheapest way to do it. Eventually somebody will build houses on this land. :(

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    2. And yeah, it was very wrenching to hear the trees go down, crashing and splintering loudly. The air smells piney with their demise.

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  3. I'm actually wishing they would do this in the National Forest behind my house. They have sections marked but haven't begun to thin out the dead, beetle-killed pines. Each summer, I hope we don't get a forest fire! I bet you'll get lots of new wildflowers in the open spaces.

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    1. The possibility of wildfire just grows with each passing year. Hopefully if they have marked sections you'll see action soon? And YES I'm hoping for some flowers, maybe prairie seeds that have been lying there waiting for a chance.

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  4. I think it will come back even better. I also lobe the bobcat, beautiful animal!

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    1. I hope so Joe! Many of the trees that were removed were shredded on the spot, though, so the place is very heavily mulched. I hope it's not just thorns and poison oak that appears in a few weeks. John says the remaining trees will really take off now, and I guess he should know because he's in the forestry profession.

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  5. Wow, just wow. I guess that is like getting the effectiveness of a forest fire without the fire.

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    1. Heh, yeah, I think you could say that this is a controlled devastation.

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  6. Oh my, what a change! Although it's for the better, I'd be a little sad too.

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    1. Well, that just sums it up, Linda. Exactly.

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  7. It seems to me like a little destruction now will save much bigger destruction some other time. Hard to see those straight lines, though. I hope it regenerates quickly for you.

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    1. Yes it is a trade-off; I must remember what the alternative to no-cutting would be: a likely burned-down house.

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  8. Flowers would be lovely while you are waiting for the trees.

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    1. Wouldn't they? Let's see what comes up.

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  9. Replies
    1. A big change, and one that I look at all the time.

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  10. I am in awe of you capture of the bobcat photo.

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    1. To be honest, the credit goes to the trail cam. I guess I had to know where to place it though, didn't I? :-)

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    1. Goats' amazing ability to eat underbrush has been used around town. They love to eat poison oak! But this tree plantation needed a lot of whole trees removed, beyond the capacity of goats I'm afraid.

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  12. Awwwww, this is so difficult for me to understand....interfering with the natural process. I wonder how long it will take for it to look beautiful again!!

    Amazing capture of the bobcat!!

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    1. Thanks Debbie. We'll have to wait and see what happens, but I think it's gonna be alright.

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  13. no doubt, you and the critters miss the naturalness and cover, but i fear fire, too, so understand...

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  14. There are huge debates here each year about the the amount of winter bring that should be done to reduce the fire risk for summer. What ever people choose to do, it is always wrong according to some people. Hope your woods recover as fast as our do.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. Yes, there is always debate, isn't there? But there was good reason to thin out this neglected old Christmas tree plantation. I still mourn the loss, but look forward to what it will become.

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  15. Great post and love the awareness you raise. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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