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A not quite 100-acre wood sits directly across from my house, literally a stone's throw from my front porch (I'm not on Pooh corner, but given the amount of manure I manage, I suppose it's a good name for my corner property). When I first moved here, the tall firs came right up to the road. A one lane, dirt road cut through the firs and then a stand of cedars, and then through a stream that runs roughly east to west through the woods.

Authors note: I came in for lunch and didn't see a Bucket up, so I thought, "Why not an evening Bucket?" and put this together. Hope that's ok. Dawn Chorus was reposted to Backyard Science this morning, and it's well worth a look.

About nine years ago, the timber company that owns the parcel came in and logged all the 80-100 year old cedars. Four or five years later, they were back to take the firs, effectively logging around 45 acres. The rest of the firs, just east of my home, have yet to be logged.

A few of the neighbors were upset about the loss of the trees, especially the old cedars, but the trees are on private property planted for timber harvest, and as far as I can see, the owner of the timber company complied with the laws that govern logging: He left a buffer along the stream, stayed back from the wetland, replanted, and has had crews come back to battle the bracken and the broom. Possibly a token gesture--both are back with a vengeance.

The road remains, and everyone is still free to use it, as they always have been, but the landscape has changed. The regeneration following logging or a fire can be inspiring: Destruction begets creation, and there's beauty in the chaos--nature abides. As a forest regenerates, it's often worthwhile to keep your head down while you're walking to discover what's poking up through the tangle of branches and blackberry brambles.

Join me below the fold for a virtual walk through the 90-acre wood. I took a real walk earlier this morning just as the sun was coming up over the trees.

The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group. It is a place to note any observations you have made of the world around you: insects, weather, meteorites, climate, birds and/or flowers. All are worthy additions to the bucket. Please let us know what is going on around you in a comment. Include, as close as is comfortable for you, where you are located. Each note is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the patterns that are quietly unwinding around us.

The road does not diverge in the wood, but it does meander. You have to hop off of it occasionally to see more of what's growing, though quite a bit happens right along the edge of it. It runs east to west, following the stream for about half a mile or more before it heads north. The trees in this photo are part of the stream buffer. I took this facing east before turning around and continuing on.

The loggers also left snags that have been well-used by woodpeckers and northern flickers:
And big maples, which make great perches for the hawks.
Both Cooper's and Red-tailed Hawks live in the woods. I didn't see either this morning, but spotted roufus hummingbirds, roufus-sided towhees, robins, sparrows, chickadees, swallows, and a deer. I'm not equipped to capture those creatures on camera very well; the doe bounded away before I could get the camera ready.

That's the big picture of the woods. Here's the smaller, less easy to see picture of what's going on in there this spring. If you've spent a lot of time in the forests of the PNW, much of this is commonplace. Getting down on the ground to get photos gave me a renewed perspective--like I saw it through a new lens.

Western Trillium

Red-flowering currant against a background of logging debris
Pacific bleeding heart
Sporophytes of the Juniper Haircap moss (tiny and way down on the ground. A couple of varieties of this moss look alike, so I could be wrong)
Oregon Grape
Salmonberry
Coltsfoot (edited to reflect correct id in the comments. Thanks Milly Watt). These grow near the stream. Crossing the stream marks the end of the walk for my dog for some reason. She crosses, but then wants to go home. I went without her this morning.
Fireweed, so named because they are evident in old burns. Classic plant of forest regeneration. This will put out purple flowers later in the year.
Alder tree
Bracken fern Young plants coming up through a bed of older, dead ferns.
Spider web in morning dew (all kinds of life going on here)
Maple tree The sky really was that blue this morning.
More flowers, like foxglove, will appear around June. The nettles have poked through and are finally tall enough for picking--harvesting a bunch will be part of my early morning walk tomorrow.

Your turn: What's going on in your neck of the woods?





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"Green Diary Rescue" is Back!

After a hiatus of over 1 1/2 years, Meteor Blades has revived his excellent series. As MB explained, this weekly diary is a "round-up with excerpts and links... of the hard work so many Kossacks put into bringing matters of environmental concern to the community... I'll be starting out with some commentary of my own on an issue related to the environment, a word I take in its broadest meaning."

"Green Diary Rescue" will be posted every Saturday at 1:00 pm Pacific Time on the Daily Kos front page. Be sure to recommend and comment in the diary.

Originally posted to Backyard Science on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 04:41 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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