Look who (what) joined us for Christmas? We call it “Ozzie”. Some of you may have guessed at how we got a picture in a previous post,
but only one person two of you asked. Yes, the new toy is a drone and Eric is in the process of figuring it out. It’s complicated! Needless to say we are having an utter blast with it! You may note the watermark when it indicates that Ozzie’s eye has provided the scene (in case you can’t tell just by looking).
Flying at about 400 ft looking east toward the National Forest. Off in the direction of the wildfire we had last summer.
This time of year, the sun comes up and hits that mist flowing up the valleys. A scene I can’t help but get lost in.
Looking west toward the ocean from up our canyon. With a bit of patience (a quality I need to work on for 2018) and a clear day, perhaps we’ll see the ocean.
The view more or less southward. See the lovely clearcuts? We are pretty much surrounded by tree farms…
…until you head up the road along the creek and eventually end up in the Siskiyou National Forest.
The bridge over the Rogue River just before it goes out to sea. Keep in mind that these are early attempts and we’re still figuring out settings.
A few days later, we’re getting the hang of it a bit better. This is Ozzie’s version of the area from the previous post taken with my camera. Wondering if perhaps we can catch the Super Moon. (Too late now. The weather hasn’t cooperated at all.) It’s a thrill to get to know the neighborhood from on high.
I try to keep it light on politics here, but today I received an email from a local politician with the following image referring to the wildfires I’ve mentioned previously:
What’s wrong with this picture? I mentioned in the previous post that there’s some pretty hot talk about the aftermath of the wildfire which burned 7 homes, but no lives were lost. To me, the above provides a clear example of the sort of cognitive bias we see so much of today. There is no middle ground any more. The current issue is about salvage logging.
Some seem to think that we should just cut all the trees to prevent wildfires. What a concept! I didn’t exactly move here to gaze out at clearcuts all around. Seems there ought to be some middle ground here.
I found the above shot taken by our Public Radio News. It was taken at the recent burn area we couldn’t get into. It seems as though regeneration has already started. Yes, we all use wood products, but there are untold acres/miles of tree farms, or plantations as some call them. It seems that the folks wanting to cut all the trees down feel justified because logging was once the major industry here. It’s far too easy to see this fire as an excuse to invade the few remaining wild places left in order to try to revive this crippled industry. They don’t seem to grasp that most of those logging jobs are gone because of the monster machines both in the woods and the sawmills, not to mention all the logs being shipped overseas. One machine replaces a dozen jobs out in the woods or the sawmills. Those machines also make it far more difficult for a forest to recover. Salvage logging is exactly the wrong way to heal a post-fire landscape since it can often cause erosion that slides into rivers and damages fish habitat and water quality. Once the trees are gone, there’s not much left. It can be difficult, if not impossible for a forest to recover from the intense activity of a logging or salvage operation.
The folks wanting to do the salvage logging overlook tourism and fishing which drives the local economy these days. To quote Dellasala, Chief Scientist at the non-profit Geos Institute in Ashland (link to the full article):
“Fire doesn’t destroy ecosystems. It rejuvenates them,” he says. “It’s Nature’s phoenix, and ecosystems will literally rise from the ashes soon after the burn.”
“That [salvage logging] takes out the big live and dead trees that are essential to re-booting that ecosystem, damages soil, sends sediment into streams, killing off salmon spawning beds from the extensive road network,” he says, “That’s the real catastrophe. It’s not the forest fire.”
End of rant….
We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.
― Henry David Thoreau,