Forestry Friday … What a difference a Decade Makes

Do you have a favorite spot in the woods that you like to get away to and reconnect with nature?  Somewhere that you’ve camped with your family or just a quiet place to escape the everyday bustle.  The familiarity of that kind of place has a timeless quality about it.  That is part of what makes it happy and comforting.  We want it to always be there and never change.

camping, camp, forest golden retriever

This is where we escape. Blitz gives Mary a snuggle.

As a forester, I work with a changing forest every day.  Some changes come quickly like a timber harvest.   Some come violently as with a wildfire.  Mostly, change comes slowly.  The different seasons transform the forest each year.  This brings about my favorite yearly change, the Spring burst of growth.  The fruits of my labor are on full display, as tree buds elongate and spring forth new needles.  Each year the trees that we planted are a little bigger than before.

forestry, seedlings, growth, forest

Hunter in 2002.

This photo was taken of my old buddy, Hunter, in 2002.  In the background was a newly planted forest.  The trees were harvested from the area directly behind him in 2000 and the seedlings were planted in 2001.  If you look closely, you can see the small pine trees growing.  Lassen Peak is just visible on the horizon in front of Hunter.

forest, forestry, sapling, golden retriever

Blitz, Hunter’s daughter, sits on the same stump in 2014.

Jump ahead to 2014 and Blitz sits on the same stump.  The trees we planted have now grown for twelve seasons.  Many of them are over twenty feet tall.  The view of Lassen Peak is gone.  Blitz was barely able to sit on Hunter’s stump because decay caused it to crumble under her.  The yearly change may seem small, but when viewed over a decade, it’s dramatic.  Expecting the forest not to change is like expecting your child not to grow up.  Forests are dynamic and never static.  Our memories and old photographs may not change, but our forests always will.

57 thoughts on “Forestry Friday … What a difference a Decade Makes

  1. Nice post! Change, ironically, is the only constant in life. Some changes are lovely to behold, and it is good to see the seeds that you sowed mature and bear fruit, and bring forth new resources and renewed life back to the land. Makes me think of the Buddhist perspective, how life is marked by impermanence and how we should constantly plant positive kammic seeds as it is good for ourselves and the world we live in. When I look at Hunter and Blitz, just makes me sigh with a bit of sadness too how time flies. So we should kiss joy as it flies, in order to live in eternity’s sunrise. : )


  2. What a beautifully reflective piece honoring personal and landscape memories! Do you by any chance know the story behind the fire at Bear Valley in Tahoe National Forest? It looks like parts of the burned area has been replanted and, every time we go, I wonder what the timeline is, both for the fire and the replant.


    • I’m not familiar with that fire Vivian. Do you know which district it was on? Also, how tall are the young trees? You can tell the age of the pine trees by counting their whorles. Each node on the stem where the branches come out is a whorle and the pines only put on one whorle a year.


  3. Very nice post. Memorable and educational as well with some wonderful pics of the dogs and Mary. You are fortunate to work in a profession that enables you to enjoy nature and then pass on your lovely thoughts and photos to the public.


  4. That’s a beautiful and wistful post Tim and yes I do have such places to go to, thankfully. They are the source of great peace and much musical inspiration. It must be wonderful to see the forest change over time like that


      • Yes I do see changes but there’s not a lot of woodland because the coast here is too wild and windy, so the changes I see are more like the species diversity of a grassland increasing over time in response to sympathetic management, or certain species populations increasing in range and numbers because of beneficial management. But you’re quite right, being able to work and live amongst it is a great privilege and I guess we both feel lucky to be connected to nature in this way


  5. Love this post Tim … change .. growth .. renewal .. some things will outlast ourselves . Enjoy what is around us and pass on what we can constructively not destructively .


  6. Well said! I was reading your opening lines and thinking of my favorite spots in the woods – Schoolhouse Woods Trail on Wye Island on the Eastern Shore, Cathedral State Park in West Virginia, the C&O Canal along the Potomac River. All have that timeless quality. You took me right to those places and that feeling.


  7. Great one Tim as if you know any other way? I love the story that show that you people not just cutting but also growing back as it should be in your style of story telling and pictures. Have a great weekend.


  8. What a wonderful post! I love these types of ‘time capsule’ pics where you can be in exactly the same spot so many years later. and I think I’ve said it before but let me say it again: your dogs are utterly gorgeous!!! 😀


  9. A perfect post Tim – the comparison speaks loudly about how our forests are replenished and nourished by the same hands that log the wood. Thanks – a wonderful read.


  10. what beautiful changes!
    Thank you for sharing your photographs with us…
    Take Care…You Matter…


  11. Very nice post Tim and great pictures of the goldens & Mary. You are very fortunate to have your office in the forest and I feel very fortunate as it is a great place to go home to. A great author of children’s books once wrote, “Always enjoy the forest” to my niece in one of her books and I think everyone should enjoy our beautiful forest and give kudos to the foresters who manage them for us.


  12. What a dramatic change. Indiana has a reforesting program where they will pay half of the costs. We have done this for two of our properties, planting close to 14,000 varied seedlings (not us personally LOL) on the first one and 10,000 on the second. After about 15 years some of the trees were over 25 feet. Here at the new house its been about 5-6 years and they have started to really spurt up. It takes a few years for them to get established as you well know, but then it seems that they grow leaps and bounds.


    • That’s awesome Ruth. I hope you took pictures when you planted them. I love the before and after shots. You should do a post about it. Although don’t displace your beautiful art, because I wouldn’t want to miss that. 🙂


  13. Pingback: Hunter Puppy | THE FORESTER ARTIST

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