Another stroll through the woods

The east side of our property is a slope down to a valley, mostly covered in trees, about an acre in size. Earlier this week, as the snow was melting, I hiked down the hill, and took a bunch of pictures of the trees. I typically only go down there around this time of year, as it gets a bit overgrown in the summer, plus there are a lot of blackberry brambles, which aren’t much fun when wearing shorts in the warm weather.

But first, I surveyed the fir tree seedlings that have self-seeded on the grassy slope:

Tree seedlings

Including a random lone pine tree:

Tree seedlings

I will soon transplant some of those to more useful locations, e.g. next to the pond. Over time, the ones I leave will grow too big to transplant, like the smaller trees in the middle of this picture (may be a little hard to make out against the taller ones behind them):

Trees

Looking up at the tallest tree on our property:

Tallest tree

Heading down the hill, there are nice groves of ferns:

Ferns

And lots of impressive trees:

Trees

Trees

A mossy clearing:

Mossy clearing

More big trees:

Trees

Trees

Fallen branches crushing the fence at the bottom of the property:

Fallen branches on the fence

More trees:

Trees

Trees

Trees

There are a fair amount of blackberry brambles, too:

Trees

More ferns:

Trees

Looking up the hill towards the tallest tree again, with a couple of shorter ones in front of it:

Trees

Those tall trees keep the underbrush fairly clear; could be a nice spot for a picnic, perhaps, if we were into that sort of thing:

Trees

Trees

The forked base of the tallest tree:

Trees

A vertical panorama of looking up at that tree:

Panorama

But wait, there’s more:

Trees

Trees

Trees

Trees

Emerging from the trees behind the future bee shed:

Emerging from the trees

Speaking of, I will be starting that project soon. Stay tuned for that!

February snow and aerial photos

This morning we woke up to some surprise snow. It wasn’t in the forecast (other than for a much higher elevation), but we got about an inch of snow overnight. Which is melting quickly on a sunny day.

So, of course I felt an urge to fly my drone to capture the winter wonderland in the early morning.

Here are the pond, snowy trees, back lawn, chicken runs, and veggie garden:

Snowy pond, trees, veggie garden

Looking down a bit to see the whole veggie garden:

Snowy pond, trees, veggie garden

From above the veggie garden, looking towards the pond:

Snowy pond, trees, chicken coop

Looking straight down to the chicken runs, veggie garden, and berry cage:

Snowy veggie garden

A bit lower down:

Snowy veggie garden

Snowy covered chicken run:

Snowy chicken run

Above the back lawn, looking back to the grove, and chicken coop:

Snowy grove, chicken coop

Some pics of the pond:

Pond

Pond

Pond

Part of the field, flowerbeds, back lawn, and pond:

Flowerbeds and pond

Higher up to include veggie garden etc:

Veggie garden, pond, etc

From the opposite direction:

Pond, flowerbeds, etc

Looking up a bit at the trees:

Trees, pond, etc

Lots of snowy trees:

Snowy trees

This one might make a nice background:

Snowy trees

Mount Hood and snowy trees:

Mount Hood and snowy trees

Mount Hood, snowy trees, etc

Lower down, with the fountain garden in the foreground:

Snowy trees, fountain garden

Back on the ground (via my iPhone), the path to the chicken coop:

Path to chicken coop

Inside the chicken run; the new(ish) roof netting is holding up well:

Chicken run roof netting

The back lawn:

Back lawn

The pond and ducks:

Pond

Pond

Pond island and ducks:

Pond island and ducks

Sunrise through the grove, with the brown gazebo and the chicken coop:

Sunrise through grove

Sunrise through grove

Sunrise through grove

Finally, the cat house:

Cat house

January snow and aerial photos

Last night it snowed a little for the first time this season. Less than an inch; just enough to give a winter wonderland feeling around the homestead.

So this morning I flew my drone to capture the snowy landscape from the sky, plus some ground-level pictures on my morning rounds.

Here’s my DJI Mavic Mini drone hovering in front of me on our deck:

Drone

An overview of much of the snowy homestead:

Snowy homestead

Angling up a bit to capture the lightly dusted trees and mist:

Trees

Closer to the trees:

Trees

Our pond from above the back lawn:

Pond

Another angle of the pond, and a better look at the ducks:

Pond and ducks

Looking straight down:

Pond and ducks

From further back, you can see the pond, back lawn, and flowerbeds:

Pond, back lawn, flowerbeds

Back a bit more, adding the shop, hoop house, veggie garden, and chicken runs:

Pond, back lawn, etc

Looking down on the white gazebo and dormant flowerbeds; the cat house is also visible in the top-left corner:

Flowerbeds

The back lawn, brown gazebo, grove, and veggie garden:

Back lawn, grove, veggie garden

Down on the ground, here’s the greenhouse, with a sheet of snow sliding off the roof:

Greenhouse

Our beehives; they’re all huddled inside, keeping themselves warm. We’ll see in a few months whether or not they all survive the winter:

Beehives

By the pond:

By the pond

The duck house and pond — the water maintains its temperature well; it needs to be cold much longer to freeze:

Duck house and pond

The white gazebo and flowerbeds, with a glimpse of ducks on the back lawn in the background:

Flowerbeds

Finally, looking across the fountain garden towards the cat house:

Cat house and fountain garden

Aerial photos in November

I flew my drone today. Previous flights this year included OctoberAugustJuneApril, and March.

This time, we’re done with the fall foliage, so there are just the millions of evergreen trees around us.

Lots and lots of trees, to the misty horizon:

Trees

Here’s a glimpse of Mount Hood:

Mount Hood

Zoomed in a bit:

Mount Hood

Our pond, flowerbeds, etc:

Pond, flowerbeds, etc

Pond, flowerbeds, etc

From lower down:

Pond, etc

The junk area in the corner of the property; there’s an old dinghy (that I occasionally think about putting by the pond as a decoration and duck shelter), and a bunch of rocks, pipes, wood, and other stuff, mostly buried under weeds:

Junk area

That rectangle near the bottom is an old potting shelter, that I plan to enclose to make a beekeeping storage shed. Here it is again, along with the beehives:

Beehives

An angled view of the beehives, hoop house, veggie garden, etc:

Beehives, veggie garden, etc

Looking down on the veggie garden, berry cage, and chicken runs:

Veggie garden

One reason for flying today was to investigate a gutter that has come loose:

Gutter

After flying, I got out a ladder and fixed it; all better now.

Here’s me and Rory on the main deck:

David and Rory

Maple fall foliage

Fall is a colorful time of year, especially from the various maple trees we have around the homestead.

Here is a coral bark maple by the front of the shop, that turns all sorts of interesting colors; right now a sampler as some leaves are still green, some yellowing, and a few red:

Tree

A big maple near the fountain garden is well on its way to losing leaves:

Tree

Its leaves cover the ground all around it:

Leaves

Leaves

Plus decorating shrubby trees:

Shrubby tree

Shrubby tree

An October Glory red maple near the pool area; not a great picture, it can really glow in certain light:

Tree

As a bonus, some non-maple leaves covering the pond for the ducks to swim through:

Leafy pond and ducks

Leafy pond and ducks

Aerial photos in October

I flew my drone today; the first time since the end of August. Previous flights this year included JuneApril, and March. This time, some nice fall foliage.

A view of the shop, veggie garden, chicken runs, back lawn, pond, flowerbeds, etc:

Veggie garden, back lawn, pond, flowerbeds, etc

Closer to the pond:

Pond

One reason for this flight was to get an aerial shot of the path to the duck house; I have a hose used to fill the duck’s waterer, which is also arranged as a possible edge of the path. Hard to see in this picture, though:

Pond path area

Over to the flowerbeds; you can see a fallen tree from the big storm that contributed to the wildfires earlier (we’ll cut it up and remove it soon):

Flowerbeds

Closer:

Flowerbeds and downed tree

Part of the field and flowerbeds. The long grass in the field looks like nice soft velvet:

Field and flowerbeds

From higher up:

Field and flowerbeds

I landed the drone to change the battery, then took off again; Rory wasn’t thrilled about that:

Rory

Finally, a few shots of trees, to capture the fall foliage:

Tree

Tree

Trees

Pond and trees

Measuring tree heights

Every year at around this time I wander around the property measuring the heights of select trees, to see how much each has grown. Here’s a post about this last year.

Once again, the incremental growth throughout the year becomes more obvious when compared with measured heights from the previous year.

Here’s my spreadsheet recording the heights (in inches), with columns to indicate the change from the previous year, e.g. the “19 ▸ 20 Δ” column shows the number of inches of growth between 2019 and 2020:

Tree heights spreadsheet

I only took photos of some of the trees this year. Here they are, in the same order and captioned with the name from the spreadsheet. If you compare to last year’s post, you can see some distinct growth in some of the trees. I hope you enjoy some unusual glimpses of the homestead.

Coral bark maple (by front of shop):

Coral bark maple (by front of shop)

Field Leyland NW (corner):

Field Leyland NW (corner)

Field dawn redwood (second row):

Field dawn redwood (second row)

Field tulip (replacement) (second row):

Field tulip (replacement) (second row)

Field scarlet willow (second row):

Field scarlet willow (second row)

Field oak (replacement) (“Thorin 2”, center of field):

Field oak (replacement) (“Thorin 2”, center of field)

Behind white gazebo fir (N of gazebo):

Behind white gazebo fir (N of gazebo)

Next to stream fir (next to pond stream):

Next to stream fir (next to pond stream)

Weeping willow (beyond pond, by cat graveyard):

Weeping willow (beyond pond, by cat graveyard)

Aerial photos in August

I flew my drone over the homestead yesterday. Interesting to compare to when I did so in June and back in April and March.

Let’s begin with an angled aerial shot of the apple trees in the field, the flowerbeds, pond, back lawn, and veggie garden:

Aerial of flowerbeds, pond, etc

The reverse angle, with the shop, hoop house, veggie garden, back lawn, pond, and flowerbeds:

Veggie garden, back lawn, pond

Closer to the pond, with the ducks visible; they weren’t sure what to make of the strange noisy bird hovering and flying nearby:

Pond

Another angle of the pond and ducks:

Pond

And another:

Pond

GIF of flying upwards from the pond:

GIF of pond zoom

One more from lower down; I think this is the first time I’ve hovered over the pond:

Pond and ducks

The flowerbeds and white gazebo:

Flowerbeds

Beehives, greenhouse, veggie garden, chicken coops, hoop house, back of shop:

Beehives, veggie garden, hoop house

Veggie garden:

Veggie garden

Hops taking over the top of the berry cage:

Hops

The berry cage and weather wind speed and direction sensors:

Berry cage and weather sensors

Mount Hood is looking a lot less snowy at this time of year:

Mount Hood

Zoomed in on Mount Hood:

Mount Hood

Transplanting volunteer trees behind the shop and pond

This afternoon I dug up some smallish self-seeded fir trees from behind the shop, and transplanted them around that area, and in a couple of places by the pond.

Previously I’ve transplanted volunteer trees from the “back 40”, what we call the wilderness area on the east side of our property. There are lots of self-seeded trees there, but when I surveyed them today, they were all either too big to dig up, too small, or too hard to access due to blackberry vines.

So instead I went to another seedling nursery, near the south boundary behind the workshop. There are lots of seedlings of various sizes there, so I dug up a bunch that were too close to more established trees.

Here is one of those areas, after I dug up the seedlings. There are actually piles of rocks under the grass and dirt; this area has been left to naturalize, so is rather overgrown:

Dug up trees

I put the trees to plant elsewhere in my cart:

Trees in cart

While I was there, I transplanted five small seedlings into the adjacent grass area behind the shop. I used to mow this area, but have decided to extend the wilderness area by several feet, as I want to encourage trees around all of the boundaries:

Trees behind shop

Part of me thinks there isn’t much point in doing that, since we’re unlikely to be here long enough for them to get to a decent size, but you never know. As the allegedly Chinese proverb goes, “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

I transplanted four of the tallest seedlings in a gap left of pond, where we can see a neighbor’s house from the duck house. If they all survive, they should eventually provide good screening:

Seedlings left of pond

Another angle of the seedlings left of pond, plus existing trees (I know it’s hard to see green against green):

Seedlings left of pond

I added two of the shorter seedlings in another gap behind the pond, replacing a taller one that died:

Two seedlings behind pond

Finally, I was pleased to see a bunch of small self-sprouted seedlings popping up in the slope of the back 40:

Seedlings in back 40

Aerial pictures of the gardens, pond, greenhouse, mountain

It has been nice and sunny this week, so I did a little drone flying, and captured some more aerial photos.

Here’s our fountain garden area, with the bird feeders on the left, cat house under the tree at the top-left, various paths, and the defunct fountain (likely to become a planter soonish):

Fountain garden

A couple angles of the pond (with the ducks visible):

Pond

Pond

A bunch of new plants in one of our flowerbeds:

New flowerbed plants

A shot from 400 feet (the legal height limit for drones) of the flowerbeds, pond, veggie garden, hoop house, shop, etc:

Flowerbeds, pond, etc

The berry cage, veggie garden, and chicken runs:

Veggie garden

The greenhouse and environs:

Greenhouse

Closer to the greenhouse, showing the bee water pool and recent excavations for greenhouse plumbing:

Greenhouse

Looking more horizontally, some distant hills:

Distant hills

Trees and hills

Mount Hood is visible:

Mount Hood

Zoomed:

Mount Hood

Zoomed more:

Mount Hood