Riding Shotgun!

During the last few weeks I’ve had a Siggy and Sailor come to work with me while the weather was cooler. Mostly, it’s been too hot, but we’ve had a few nice days.

Siggy’ s doing some quality control one some poles.
Posing in a pine plantation from my reforestation days.
We visited a logging side for student loggers!
We went through the Ponderosa Burn. It was replanted several years ago and the new forest is well on its way.
On a warm day the Northern Sierras we have to be sure a girl can get a drink.
Sailor got to go visit loggers with me on the Westside toward the coast. He patiently waited in the truck so I can talk to the contractors.
Steeper ground requires yarders for logging.
Sailor thought the creek felt pretty good after riding around.

Forestry Friday … It’s Summer Loggin’ Season

Logging is in full swing and the dust is flying. It’s dry out there and the crews have their fire tools sharp and fire pumpers full.

 

logging, skidding, skid cat

Craig winds his dozer down the skid trail.

logging, skidding, skid cat

A skid of logs chattering toward the landing.

logging truck

A load of logs pulls out of the landing. I hope you don’t mind a little dust.

Forestry Friday … Resilience of Nature

golden retriever, logs, log deck, Blitz

Blitz in the shade of the Pole Plant log deck.

Nature is fragile or is it? Humans certainly have the ability to wreak havoc on our environment, but given time, it heals. I’m not suggesting careless disregard. I believe it’s our responsibility to be the best stewards of our natural world that we can be. The ospreys don’t mess in their nest and neither should we. My experience as a forester over the years has taught me that Mother Nature is a relentless and tough lady. In the natural environment, disturbance often equals opportunity.

In the top picture of Blitz lying next to the pole log deck, it is treeless except for the stacks of logs waiting their turn in the mill. Now look at the picture below. Blitz is sitting in a lovely pine forest. This place was a log deck too, forty-seven years ago. It wasn’t replanted by people. The surrounding forest took it back. The pines invaded this site with no help at all. I was six years old when this process took hold. Now a pine forest stands where a log deck once sat.

Forest, growth, golden retriever, log deck

This was the site of the Little Giant Mill log deck.

Today, by replanting and with proper nurturing, we replenish harvest units and the burned areas much faster than just letting nature take its course. We have a better scientific understanding of our environment and more sophisticated technology available today to manage our forests. We’ve come a long way in forest management over the last one hundred years. Trees weren’t replanted back then, but forests have grown back. Our sustainable forestry practices today are resulting in forests that are more healthy and vigorous.  I’d love to see these forests a hundred years from now.

Forestry Friday … Logcicles!

Gallery

This gallery contains 9 photos.

We store logs in decks during the Summer so we have enough wood to run the mill all year-long.  Logging is curtailed in California during the Winter.  In the Winter logging is restricted to dry rainless periods or hard frozen … Continue reading

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

Loadin’ Logs

Every logging operation needs a log loader and there are all types of them.  This pen and ink is of a Barnhart log loader from back in the railroad logging days.  It was a big steam-powered loader for loading big logs.

Barnhart Log Loader, Loader, Barnhart, Pen and Ink, logging, art

The Barnhart Log Loader

Here are some of today’s loaders.

loader, logging, heel-boom, shovel, loggers

The heel-boom loader is today’s log loading staple. It is also referred to as a shovel by the loggers.

Front-end loader, loader, logging, logger, photography

The front-end loader was the standard for years, but is still common in the woods.

log dolly, Front-end loader, loader, logging, logger, photographyy

The logging truck hauls the trailer, also known as a log dolly, in a piggy-back configuration. Here the front-end loader unloads the log dolly.

Self-loading logging truck, loader, logging, logger, photography

The self-loading logging truck has its own loader built-in.

I thought it was odd that the operator lowered the hood when he loaded his truck.  I assumed it may be running hot.  However, when he finished loading the truck, he went over to the engine compartment and pulled out a stick, which caused the engine to throttle down. He had wedged the stick into the throttle to keep the engine revved up while he was running the loader.  He then put the stick in the tool box and said, “I gotta put it up here or the dog will run off with it!”  Good thing I left Blitz in the truck.

Loading log truck, loader, loader, logging, logger, photography

In this picture, they used a front-end loader to assist the self-loader.  Normally they use the self-loaders when another loader isn’t available.

This old green beast of a front-end loader was barely running, which is why they were using the self-loader.  These were two weary old machines.

Blitz, Teka, golden retriever

Blitz is seriously wanting the throttle stick right now.

The Logger’s Dog

I’ve known Bob for a long time.  Bob is a Logging Supervisor or Woods Boss.  His operations are a going concern.   Bob is all business and his guys make logs in a hurry.   When I go out and talk to his crew about log quality Bob gets nervous because I’m slowing down his operation.  He isn’t the kind of man that one would think of as going around showing off a piece of art, but that is what he has done for nearly twenty years.

logging, logger, log truck, loader, processor, wood, forest, forestry, photography

Bob’s landing, whackin’ and stackin’ .

Twenty years ago Bob decided he needed a dog.  When he got his new dog he told me, “All of you foresters have dogs in the back of your trucks, so I decided to get one for my truck.”  If you have ever seen the back of a logging boss’s truck you would know that his dog would need chemical resistant feet and armor plating. Their trucks are full of hydraulic fluid, oil, truck parts, tractor parts, chokers, cable, tools, and all manner of oily, heavy metal things bouncing around loose in the bed.  So Bob’s dog was special….unique even

chainsaw carving, dog carving, logger's dog

Meet Would, Bob’s dog.

Bob’s dog is named “Would”, not Wood even though he is wood.   If you ask him why “Would”, he will say, “He would bark if he could and he would s–t if he could, therefore he is Would.”  Bob recently got a new work truck and when he didn’t put Would in the truck he caught so much hell that he had to load him up again. Would has been Bob’s constant woods companion for the last twenty years.  He never whines, growls or barks.  He doesn’t need food or water and doesn’t mind all the stuff in the back of Bob’s truck. I think Would has mellowed over the years, even developed a fine patina.  He may be the perfect logger’s dog.

Chainsaw carving, dog carving, dog, golden retriever, Blitz, logger, forester

The forester’s dog and the logger’s dog.

I had Blitz join Would for a group shot.  The two of the got on famously.  Blitz is, after all, the consummate stick dog.  Fortunately, she didn’t chew on his ear.  I tried to get Bob in the picture, but tough old loggers don’t always like having their pictures taken.

Bucking Logs – The Donation A WIP

I have an impending deadline.  I am creating this watercolor painting as a donation to the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference, Education Day live auction.  It is a 1930’s era logger bucking logs with a crosscut saw, also known as a “misery whip”.  I sketched it the night before last.  I stretched my paper yesterday morning.  Last night I started putting paint to paper.  Tonight I have to finish it.  Tomorrow I will need to cut the mat and frame it so that tomorrow night it goes to auction. whewww!  I’m ready for a nap, unfortunately that will have to wait until Sunday.

This part is for any Conference attendees.  I’m posting this to the Conference facebook page in case there are any attendees going to the Education Day Dinner and happen to look online.  We want you to show up with your check books because it’s fundraising time.  You can bid on this if you like it, or bid on something else if you don’t, but bid!

It is a WIP.  This is where I stopped last night, but now I’m back at it.  Updates will be forthcoming.

watercolor, watercolour, logging, bucking, logs, painting, saw, crosscut saw, misery whip, line art, sketch

In the beginning, the line art.

watercolor, watercolour, logging, bucking, logs, painting, saw, crosscut saw, misery whip

The background washes and starting to find some detail.

watercolor, watercolour, logging, bucking, logs, painting, saw, crosscut saw, misery whip

Completed intial washes and adding some background detail.

You may be asking, why did he wait so long to start this?  An excellent question and one to which I have a good answer.  However, I can’t go into that now, because I just don’t have time.  That will be another blog.  Stay tuned.

Hey, You Aren’t Supposed Be Here!

Egret, Cattle Egret, Bully Choop

Who is the brightest of them all?

It is a new year with new pictures to take, and new art to make.  I’m back at work and it is a beautiful, cool and sunny day here in Northern California.  I spend part of my time at an industrial mill complex.  When folks think of an industrial site they rarely think of doing wildlife photography.  Although, it seems counter-intuitive, this site is a magnet for wildlife.  There is water all around the site and the wild areas here, get little disturbance.  This morning I took a few pictures of some of our residents.  I have taken so many pictures of wildlife here at the mill that I am going to start a new catagory called Wildlife At The Mill.

Egrets, Cattle Egrets, Valley Oak

I’m not sure they are speaking to each other.

Logs, sawmill, mist, rails, crane

Mist forms as the icy logs begin to warm

The Great Blue Heron, also known as "The Fly Up The Creek".

The Great Blue Heron, also known as “The Fly Up The Creek”.

moon