Forestry Friday … Steam Traction Engine


Best Traction Engine, traction engine, pen and ink, logging, old time, logs

The Best Steam Traction Engine in pen and ink.

I’ve always enjoyed old time logging scenes as subjects for pen and ink. The steam traction engine in this picture is the same model as the one in my blog banner.

Horses and oxen were the first source of power for lumberjacks. Then, steam traction engines, steam donkeys and locomotives heralded the age of steam in the woods. The Best Steam Traction Engine came to the woods around 1890. There were many different makes of traction engines during that era but, the Best Steam Traction Engines were the machines that operated in our neck of the woods. They hauled logs from the woods to the mills and lumber from the mills to market. The Best Manufacturing Company was started by Daniel Best, and based in San Leandro, California. They built these tractors until 1908 when the Best Manufacturing Company was acquired by Holt Manufacturing Company. Soon after, C. L. Best, Daniel’s son, then started the rival C. L. Best Gas Traction Company. In, 1925 Holt and Best merged to become Caterpillar Tractor Company.

The first time I saw one of these machines in person, I was amazed by its enormous size. The big drive wheels are over seven feet tall. It was a huge tractor used for hauling huge loads.

Forestry Friday … Otter, Otter, Otter!


This week I’m going to lighten it up. Animals are always fun and what is more fun than a playful otter, except maybe three!

pen and ink, otter, wildlife, nature, ink, pen & ink, drawing, animals

Three otters resting on a log.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted some art. I hope you like it.

 

Otter, photography, wildlife, nature

Bookends!

These are our otters that live at the mill. They travel around the mill site from pond, to river and to canals.  I never know where they are going to pop up next.

Otter, photography, wildlife, nature

Itchy!

Otter, photography, wildlife, nature

The three amigos.

In the forest setting, otters are don’t ever become an issue during our harvest operations. They live in the water and riparian area.  Harvesting is minimal in the riparian zones.

Otter, photography, wildlife, natureOtter, photography, wildlife, nature

Blitz, golden retriever, dog, photography

Blitz says, “Can’t trust em’, they remind me of cats!”

 

Natural Born Retriever


watercolor, watercolour, pen and ink, golden retriever, pheasant, hunting

Blitz follows her nose to the prize.

Blitz took me pheasant hunting last week.  I think she would drive herself if she had thumbs.  Luckily, she needs a gunner tagging along.  It’s my joy to watch this girl living her bliss.  I captured this hunting moment in watercolor, and pen and ink.

Blitz, pheasants, hunting, pheasant hunting

Blitz with her bag.

Forestry Friday … Ever Feel Like You’re Being Watched?


black bear, pen and ink, wildlife, drawing

American Black Bear, (Ursus americanus), the biggest predator in our woods.

When working in the woods I’m usually alone, but really never alone.  Do you ever get the feeling that someone or something is watching you?  I had this big brute spying on me one day.  He didn’t think I noticed him.

Black Bear, nature, wildlife, photography

My neck is tingling! Is someone there?

bear, black bear, wildlife, nature, photography
There’s a sneaky bear it there!

bear, black bear, wildlife, nature, photography

The watcher was a big black bear boar.

Now, to answer the age-old rhetorical question.

Bear Poop

You know the question.  Yes indeed, they do poop in the woods. Just sayin’.

golden retriever

Hey, where’s my fierce guard dog?

Blitz decided she would wait it out in the truck.  She knew the bear would leave after filling up on a yummy forester meal.

Lost Art


When I say “lost art”, I don’t mean a lost skill.  I really mean lost artwork.

Pen and ink, lighthouse, art

Pen and ink of the Battery Point Lighthouse at Crescent City, CA around 1981.  Preserved in a photo.

Have you ever lost track of your artworks.  After decades of doing art, there were some pieces I had entirely forgotten about.  Mary used to take pictures of my art.  It is the only record I have of some of my work.  After all these years I don’t remember where or to whom some of it went.  I never kept track of things in a serious manner, since art was never my first career.  Between selling art, giving pieces away, moving again and again, and years of living life, things fade in memory.  Then, out of the blue I come across a photograph of some lost and forgotten art.  It’s a bit of bliss to me.  All because Mary, The Backdoor Artist purveyor of bliss, had to forethought to record my art.

Forestry Friday … Movin’ Logs Old School!

Gallery

This gallery contains 5 photos.


When steam came to the woods just after the turn of the previous century the logging locomotives were the cutting edge of technology.  They could move logs farther, faster and in much greater quantity than had been done with horse and … Continue reading

Snake On The Plane


gopher snake, snake, wildlife, pen and ink, art, drawing

Gopher Snake

We just returned from a visit to family in Arkansas and Louisiana.  I took my sketch book with me as I usually do.  I don’t get as much art time as I like so I grab it when I can.  I had the brilliant idea that I could draw on the plane.  I worked on one pen and ink, that has been a WIP, on the way there.  The ride was pretty smooth and I will post that picture in the future.

The return trip was a little different.  We had a four-hour leg from Houston to Sacramento.  I decided to challenge myself to complete this snake picture during the flight.  After subtracting the takeoff and landing and a couple visits from the drink cart, no adult beverages were involved, I really had less than three hours.  I had no help from the pilots, whom I am sure sought out as much extra turbulence as they could.  The line work is a bit spastic, but I hope it communicates snake.  Despite the turbulence and sitting in the middle of a three seat row in economy between Mary, small, and some 7’5″ guy on my right, yes I’m right-handed,  I managed to finish it.  It is a good thing for me that snakes don’t have any straight lines!

gopher, snake, wildlife, photography

My model!

I photographed this little gopher snake late this Summer.  It was my “Snake On The Plane.”  Mary thought I should have titled this post “Snake, Rattle and Roll!”  Great title, if it had been a rattlesnake I would have used it.

The Fox And The Song


fox, vixen, pen and ink, art, wildlife, nature

The Gray Fox

When I was a young child my mother had the record album Jimmie Rodgers Sings Folk SongsI loved this record.  One of the songs on it was The Fox And The Goose.

I came upon this little gray fox not long ago, and this song played in my head all day.  I think the fox was a vixen, because she posed like a Parisian runway model.

Fox, Grey Fox, photography, wildlife, nature

The Fox And The Goose

by Jimmie Rodgers

Well, the fox went out upon a windy night,
Prayed to the moon, a gonna give him light,
He had many long miles to go that night,
Before he’d reach-a that town-o, town-o, town-o,
He had many long miles to go that night,
Before he’d reach-a that town-o.

Fox, Grey Fox, photography, wildlife, nature

Well the fox, he came to a great big pen,
Where the ducks and the geese, they were kept therein,
He said, “One of you’s a-gonna grease my chin,
Before I leave this town-o, town-o, town-o,
One, one of you’s a-gonna grease my chin,
Before I leave-a this town-o.”

Fox, Grey Fox, photography, wildlife, nature

Well, he grabbed the grey goose by the neck,
Throwed a duck up across his back,
And he did not mind their quack, quack, quack,
And their legs all a-dangling down-o, down-o, down-o,
No, he did not mind their quack, quack, quack,
And their legs all a-dangling down-o.

Fox, Grey Fox, photography, wildlife, nature

Well old Mother Flipper-Flopper jumped out of bed,
Threw back the shutter and stuck out her head,
And yelled, “John, John, John! Well, the grey goose is gone,
And the fox runs away from the town-o, town-o, town-o!”
“John, John, John! The grey goose, he’s gone,
And the fox runs away from the town-o!”

Fox, Grey Fox, photography, wildlife, nature

Well old John went up to the top of the hill,
He blew his horn both loud and shrill,
And the fox said, “I better hurry up with my kill,
They’re gonna soon be on my trail-o, trail-o, trail-o!”
Yes the fox said, “I better hurry up with my kill,
They’re gonna soon be on my trail-o!”

Fox, Grey Fox, photography, wildlife, nature

Well the fox, he came to his cozy den,
There sat the little ones, eight, nine, ten,
Said, “Pop, Pop, Pop, you better go back again,
‘Cause it must be a mighty fine town-o, town-o, town-o!”
“Pop, Pop, Pop, you better go back again,
‘Cause it must be a mighty fine town-o!

Fox, Grey Fox, photography, wildlife, nature

Well the fox and his wife, without any strife,
Cut up the goose with a fork and a knife,
And they never never had such a feast in their life,
And the little ones chewed on a bone-o, bone-o, bone-o,
No, they never never had such a feast in their life,
And the little ones chewed on a bone-o.

Fox, Grey Fox, photography, wildlife, natureThe End

On The Road To Smith River


dogs, traveling, golden retriever, photography

Teka with the wind in her face.

We have been on the road a lot lately, but it is now time to check in with you all.  One weekend not long ago we took the Blitz and Teka to a hunt test in Smith River, California.  Go a bit North of Smith River and you’re in Oregon.  Here are a few pictures from our travels and a bit of pen and ink.

pen and ink, pen, drawing, cormorant, wildlife, nature

The cormorants moved like poetry in the surf.

yard art, ship, photography

Sailer yard art, you have to love it.

We stayed at a RV park with this ship in the front yard.  I thought lumberjacks had big yard art, but I have to admit the sailors win the “BIG” prize.

cormorants, wildlife, photography, nature, Smith River

A pair of cormorants in the surf were my inspiration.

Blitz, Teka, Golden retriever, photography

Blitz and Teka on the beach near Brookings, Oregon.

Sitka spruce, cones, nature, photography

Sitka Spruce cones.

Blitz chills after an exhausting day of events. "Don't get up Blitz, but I need to get into the refrigerator!"

Blitz chills after an exhausting day of events. “Don’t get up Blitz, but I need to get into the refrigerator!”

Blitz, golden retriever, The Backdoor Artist.

Mary and Blitz take a stroll on the beach.

sunset, Smith River, nature, photography

Sunset where the Smith River meets the sea.

Blitz, road trip, Smith River, golden retriever

On the road home and Blitz dreams of ducks.