Hello my name is Madelyn Neuschwander and I am a first-year Starker Forests intern. Although I am a second-year natural resources major at Oregon State, I really enjoy learning about the forestry industry because of how large a role it plays in our economy, and in how natural resources can be managed.
On Monday I found two more sheds that were around one foot from each other. So far, I am in the lead for sheds this summer with a total of three. Although we have not seen any wildlife, besides three very large squirrels this week, deer bones were near one plot today.
Yesterday, a molt of a cicada was found. At first Justin and I thought it was a queen bee, but after showing it to Fred he said it looked like a cicada molt. I was not stung this week, but after an incident with a rogue bee on Friday I have been much more cautious around possible nests and rogue bees. Justin was stung several times in one day, and Kaia was also when she was with us.
In my mental notebook I have written that the largest diameter I have recorded was an 87-inch Douglas Fir. In a three-plot stand, there was one massive tree with a broken top that was on the edge of the stand facing a field. Surprisingly, the tree was fairly easy to measure, compared to other large trees I have measured. Earlier in the day I measured a 53-inch big leaf maple that was much harder to wrangle due to the multiple offshoots that could have been their own trees. The 87-inch tree had offshoots much further up that looked like old leaders from when the tree broke at the halfway point.
At Starker Forests, I have learned about the inventory side of timber management through stocking surveys and timber cruising. In the new property, Euchre Mountain, although it is brushy, the 12-year-old in me is excited to go to work every day. Out there, there are plenty of signs of bear, elk, and deer. Additionally, there are some spots where blackberries and thimbleberries are in season, and where foxglove is being pollinated by bumblebees.
Climbing though salal and over massive logs while witnessing nature in its beauty really makes the days fly by, and makes each day something different and new to experience. Today, we did not see any animals, but we did see a torn-up stump, and several gashes on trees that belong to bears. Several small birds chattered near us at one plot, and when my partner chattered back to them it appeared that they were having a lovely conversation. In the stand we were working in today, the brush was not terribly difficult to fight through, but there were several times when we found ourselves facing a wall of salal or sword fern. Luckily there were not too many sitka spruce in the plots we ran today, but several of their prickly branches caught my arms and legs.
The weather was very temperate all day near the coast. The cloud cover, and canopy cover allowed me to keep my sweatshirt and long sleeves on all day for extra protection against branches and berry vines.