I love living here in the NW corner of Oregon. It does rain a lot, but I grew up here and so am used to it and I actually like it. Keeps things green. There are lots of deer around, we surprise them on our walks frequently.
It's quiet and peaceful here. Usually. My property borders the State Forest and for more than 30 years I have enjoyed that beautiful second growth forest as my seemingly private playground. It is called second growth as opposed to Old Growth because it has already been logged once and the forest now is what has grown back either naturally or been replanted. State forest is pretty much a tree farm these days. Now they replant immediately after harvesting the trees and it only takes about 40 years (only!) for a tree to grow big enough to be harvested. Things really grow here, it is essentially a temperate rain forest, you can't stop things from growing.
Approximately 40 year old trees.
So I always knew that some day they would be coming with their saws to cut down "my" forest. The day has arrived. This week began with men in hard hats cruising through the woods, putting up stakes marking the boundary between my land and the state forest. On Wednesday the men with the saws showed up. All day long I hear the buzz of the saws and the "plonk, plonk, plonk" of the wedges being driven into the cuts, soon followed by the sound of the last sigh of the tree as it leans over, branches swishing through the air, finally hitting the ground with a loud reverberating crash. I hate that sound.
I am thankful that for now, they are only thinning this section of the forest. I am thankful that I have a strip of land between me and the state forest so I don't have to see the trees coming down. 200 feet doesn't sound like much but it is enough. Otherwise, the photo below shows what I would be seeing when I look out my front window.
We all use products from the forest, either in lumber or paper products. At my house we recycle as much as possible and we reuse lumber until it is too rotted to be of use and then sometimes I carry it back into the forest and lay it down in my paths to help keep my feet out of the mud and let it finish rotting there.
We can get a permit to go into the logged over areas and collect firewood from the leavings for heating our house. The waste in the forest is unbelievable. The pile of wood the men are cutting on above is what they leave. There is twice that still on the ground scattered about. Well, it can rot and furnish nutrients for the next trees that will grow there. I don't have to be happy about it though. I heard a story the other day about a researcher who unknowingly cut down the oldest living organism in the world. A tree, I think it was a bristle cone pine, that was over 4000 years old. 4000 years old! I cried when I heard that. That poor tree, standing there for so long, only to be cut down so a researcher could count the rings. It makes me sick. Well, there are worse things in this world, but I'd rather not think about those things.
We collect a lot of firewood to heat the house and the studio. I don't call my BF Chain Saw Man for nothing!
That saw in his hands is not one he uses. He collects them too and that is one from his collection. Weird, huh.
I feel better, getting all that off my chest. I'm not looking for sympathy here, just keeping you all abreast of what's going on in my life. Tomorrow is my journal making class so maybe my next post will be about that. Until then,