Sunday, August 21, 2011

Field Work - Day 1 - Culturally Modified Trees

The plan is to start mapping the old growth cedar stumps.  Mapping always sounds so straight forward when I think it.  But, if one thinks about it too much, one might talk their self out of it.  It is a game of "just do".   I set a datum near the old milking shed where I can sight on several objects that won't move until I am dead and buried, and then run a line down a convenient road through the young cottonwoods., my first station 80 strides out and next to a creek.  This is just a warm up for me, because the road is no longer convenient and I have to head in to the trees to find the stumps.  In the dense young trees my stations are now 10 or 15 strides instead of 80.  That is as far as I can see.  There is a bit of old beaver sign here, a few stumps with the signature teeth marks and what might be an old scent mound.  At my eighth station I can see through the trees a pair of large stumps in a clearing that is up ahead.  There are several more.

C2 and C1

          circumference                 diameter                             height
         at breast height           at breast height (DBH)           of stump
C1           633 cm                      201 cm                              280 cm       
C2           763 cm                      242 cm                              270 cm
C3     est. 790 cm                      251 cm          burned out center cbh measured 690 cm  (Red Axe Stump)
C4           760 cm                      242 cm                              290 cm avg. (steep hill)
C5           no measure - 2nd growth cedar envelopes half - 2nd growth is 114 cm DBH and 35+ m tall.
C6           820 cm                      261 cm                              240 cm
C7     est. 700 cm                      223 cm                       est.  240 cm
C8     est. 800 cm                      254 cm                       est.  240 cm

All of the stumps retain the springboard notches.  C4 with its downhill side nearly a dozen feet high has several where the logger staircased his way to cutting height.

Jewel Weed

As I pace back and forth across the clearing, in the 4-5 foot tall grass, I find a flower that is new to me (I am botanically challenged, having to repeat plant names over and over to remember them).  It is a jewel weed and the small flower is about the size of my first joint on my index finger - shaped like the toe of a moccasin, yellow and orange.  There are many of them.

The day has been hot for this part of the country and it is time to go sit by the river.  This is symposium weekend at the farm and a couple dozen people will arrive today in preparation for tomorrows full day of lectures and discussions.  The core purpose of Smoke Farm is discussion and the exchange of ideas.  I am seeing, in my new relationship, that it is embedded in most anything that happens here.

No comments:

Post a Comment