The Smoke Has Finally Cleared

I was out in the Carr Fire burn area today. It’s quite devastating to see the thousands of burned acres of forest. This fire destroyed over 1600 structures, but it also killed millions of trees. We are faced with an epic fire salvage operation that will take years to complete. That will be followed by an equally epic reforestation program

A Rose By Any Other Name Is Just Wrong

wildflowers, Yellow Tarweed

Yellow Tarweed

Just look at this late summer flower. I took this picture near our home and happen to find it beautiful. What I would like to know is who came up with this name, yellow tarweed. That’s a terrible name and it just doesn’t do this flower justice. My favorite flower name of all time is indian paintbrush. That’s a name. It cries out ART! Tarweed cries out stick pest plant. Yuck! It needs another name. How about starburst or golden glory! What do you folks think? Give me some names.

Apocalyptic Sky … Carr Fire

This morning the sky had an apocalyptic pall over it. Colors were shifted from the smoke filtered light. Ash had fallen on our property. Now our home isn’t close to the fire. We aren’t in any danger. Most of our friends are much closer. Many have had to evacuate. With Google Earth I was able to determine that we were 22 miles from the fire as the crow flies. That’s how far the ash had traveled.

Based on latest hot spot map the fire may have spread south of Highway 299 near Redding. This is a terrible development. Hopefully the firefighters can stop the spread. Fortunately, it didn’t reach the forecast high of 113 today. It just made it to 111. Nevernind, I just found out it did reach 113.

Wild Wednesday … Opossum!

It’s been a quiet week around the osprey nest. They’re hunkered down and sitting on the eggs. It’s a good week to share another one of our locals. I ran into this youngster out behind the log decks. I can never guess what animals I may bump into around the mill. Wildlife will exploit habitat wherever they find it.

 

If you like opossums and you want a great children’s book about an opossum I highly recommend Oh No! Baby-O. Written and illustrated by Mary A Livingston.

 

Wild Wednesday … Osprey Nest Update

On Monday morning an osprey returned!

Osprey

He came with no fireworks, no fanfare and no eagles.

The week prior the eagles were notably absent and the osprey hadn’t arrived. Last Monday when he did arrive the eagles had been gone for a week. They must have a nest elsewhere and were using the osprey nest as a private getaway. You can see the eagles here.

Now that he has arrived his vigil begins. The female is fashionably late every year. More osprey news to follow when she hits town.

Wild Wednesday … Wood Rat’s Nest

Bliss and I were out marking trees a few weeks ago when we came upon several wood rats nests. They build these large stick pile akin to a beaver lodge on land. They are very industrious creatures. They are also an important prey species for forest predators.

Bliss, wood rat nest

Bliss was very impressed with this massive collection of sticks. So impressed that she claimed it for herself. Sadly for her it wasn’t going to fit in my vest and she could only carry one stick at a time.

This clever rat built its nest in the trees. No sticks for Bliss from this one.

Bliss found a deer skull under the nest. “No Bliss it’s not a rat skull and no you can’t eat it!”