I’m continuing to work on the painting for the forestry education art auction. Here is the latest update. The inking is done and I’ve cleaned up most of the pencil lines. I find the pencil lines are very difficult to remove once the paper has been soaked.
The paper has been soaked and stapled onto the frame. Now mounted, it will be ready to paint as soon as it dries. It looks a little mottled from the moisture, but that fades as the water dries.
Nothing left to do but splash a bit of color on it! Hmmm? I wonder how the competition is coming along. Gee, I wish Mary, of Sneaking Bliss, would give me a little hint!
Circa 1940’s, loggers use a two-man chainsaw to fell a large Douglas-fir. Pen and ink.
It’s time for Mary and me to create a piece of art for charity once again. Every year we do something for the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference Forestry Education Auction. This pen and ink is my exploratory drawing for my painting. I like the direction it’s going. The tree and the background still needs some tweaking. I was helped out by the Forest History Society. They have an excellent photo library of vintage logging scenes and were kind enough to allow me use it for art reference.
Last year at the auction Mary and I each provide a piece of art. To liven things up we competed against each other. It was a big success. You can read about it here on Mary’s blog, And The Winner Is!In fact it was so successful that we are going head to head again this year. We’ll both be working on our paintings this weekend. I can’t wait to see the competition this year.
Here’s a sight we don’t see much in California anymore, the log stringer bridge. It used to be the standard bridge for small creek crossings on logging jobs. Most of the old log bridges have been removed and replaced with large arch pipes or metal bridges. This one was put in for a temporary crossing. When the logging is complete the logs will be removed and sent to the mill. The stream channel will be returned to it’s original condition and the approaches will be grass seeded and mulched to prevent erosion. This was an inexpensive solution to access an area that didn’t need a permanent bridge.
Bliss is helping with the log quality inspection. She offered to take care of the tiny logs and left me the big ones.
A perfect Fall day in the woods.
This Summer I’ve been extremely busy and I haven’t had much time to devote to the blog. The near future looks pretty busy too. I might have to put Bliss in charge of it.
In Head to Head Bliss we saw Mary’s work in progress. It’s an original watercolor submission, “Food Chain”, for the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference Forestry Education Dinner/Auction. Now for her competition. This is my work in progress
This is a multi-media piece called “Uncle Sam.” Uncle Sam is the name of the little locomotive in the picture. I made a print of my original pen and ink onto 140 lbs watercolor paper. I expanded and enhanced the print with additional pen and ink.
Next I did a two-tone watercolor painting with sepia and raw umber. The goal is to create an original piece reminiscent of an old sepia tone photograph. Both pieces are being framed right now. Stay tuned for our final pieces!
I had to visit one of our loggers the other day. My route took me through the little hamlet of French Gulch. It was settled during the Gold Rush, but you rarely see any rush around this sleepy little town these days.
Driving through the tiny town of French Gulch there was a doe walking right down the main street. I wasn’t fast enough to get a picture there, but you can see her exiting stage right.
This little forked horn was browsing on the other side of town. I drove past him, then backed up to take his picture. Ten feet away and he could care less.
Only in French Gulch would you park your fire truck in the drive and your cows in the garage.
A bit of much need rain.
Bliss says this is more like it!
We were out visiting a logging contractor. The delimber processes trees into logs.
Bliss enjoys a drop antler on the way home.
We also enjoyed some rain. They say El Nino is coming and we’re hoping so.
The anemometer measures the wind speed and direction.
California is into the fourth year of drought. Wildfire is on our minds in the natural resources community. Hazardous fire conditions are just around the corner and we are already preparing. The state and federal agencies have a system for predicting high fire hazard conditions, and tracking weather and fuel moisture is at the core of it.
A portable weather station.
We utilize local weather stations on our timber lands to get pin point fire weather conditions. Our research department installs them. Some of these stations are permanent and some are mobile. The mobile stations, like the one shown above, can be relocated as needed. We put these at active logging sites so we can measure accurate on site fire weather conditions.
The fuel moisture stick measures moisture content in forest fuels.
Years ago, we used mechanical anemometers to measure wind speed, and fuel moisture sticks weighed with a scale to measure fuel moisture. During the summer season, measurements were taken on the hour by someone on the logging crew. When conditions became severe enough, operations were shut down for the day.
With today’s technology, we have the ability to monitor conditions continuously and have the data transmitted to our office. Changes in fire conditions can be spotted in real-time and radioed to the logging crews. We can collect much more data with the new weather stations than ever before, and respond to changing condition accordingly.
The Ponderosa Fire.
The weather stations won’t eliminate wildfire, but they do assist the logging crews in avoiding being the cause.
A speed chopping contest between Oregon State University and Shasta College students. Logging sports like this were inspired by how it was once done.
Every time I see a news report where the reporter says loggers “chopped” down trees, I want to bang my head against the coffee table. Loggers haven’t chopped down trees since chainsaws took over the job in the 30’s and 40’s.
Using a chainsaw to limb a Ponderosa pine tree.
Chainsaws are still on every logging job, but now they share much of the tree falling duty with the feller bunchers. These machines look more like something from Star Wars. It’s not what most folks would expect on a logging job.
The disk on the front of the feller buncher is the saw blade. This type of saw head is called a “hot saw” because it runs constantly.
This machine is working on a fire salvage operation from last years wildfires. They cut trees all day long.
They grab the trees when they cut them. The trees are then stacked up in a “doodle” for the skidders to take to the log landing.
Life is a lot different for the loggers these days. Working in an air-condition cab is a world away for the days of axes and misery whips.
This tree shear is another example of tree cutting technology. Don’t worry, we let her go.