South Santiam River at Nancy's house

This is the notorious Pacific Northwest winter weather pattern, i.e. rain and lots of it. Since yesterday evening we’ve had 2″ of rain, and as you can see, much more to go.

I don’t have to worry about the flooding because the river in front of my house is controlled by two dams upstream. (A big earthquake would be a different story, if the dams blow.)

In summer the river is so low that you can’t even tell which way the water is flowing. It’s a different story now, and here’s a video to back up that statement.

Hard to believe I’ve been here almost a year! Lovin’ it.

Dying Doug fir threatening power line

I had a Douglas fir around 100′ tall that I could see in June was starting to die, as you can see in the photo above. Depending on which direction it fell, it could have taken out the power lines, my garage or house, my gate, my neighbor’s fence, or just lean precipitously on a neighboring tree. Over the summer I watched smaller trees around it die.

Chain sawing has been banned for the past month because of the extreme dryness, but we had a soaker rain this past weekend, so yesterday my neighbor’s friend Kevin came over to fall the tall one.

Kevin is a professional logger, and he had that tree down in 10 minutes. There was really only one direction it could go where it wouldn’t destroy something, and he placed it right there. The earth shook as it fell. The last photo show him exiting as the tree starts to fall.

Kevin inspected a snag that he also took down and said the tree was infected with Phellinus, a fungal root rot. The fungus can spread to roots of neighboring trees, and once it’s in the ground you can’t replant there. In the photo below, the butt cut of both the tall tree on the left and the snag on the right show a stain similar to the ones shown on the Phellinus weirii wikipedia page.


Apparently I’m not the only one with dead trees; I’ve heard chain saws and thunderous crashes all week.

Speaking of Doug firs, I miss my friend Doug, who used to take down all my big trees on the ranch.