Thursday, July 23, 2009

sharber creek

although sharber creek is not on the property it is very close and a sister stream to quimby creek. the biggest difference between the two is that sharber has a slow meandering lower section that is prime habitat for endangered coho salmon. they are a real treat to watch in the fall when they return to spawn.

like quimby creek, the upper sections of sharber creek are very steep and have some dramatic waterfalls that you will not find on any map. this is very remote country where mountain lions far out number human visitors.

these streams can get quite high in the wintertime and are really more like small rivers when they are at full flow. in 2005 they reached flood height and sharber blew out our road. we had to hike about a mile through the woods for a few days to get to our cabin. when the the water went down we realized it had taken a good bit of the road with it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

quimby creek

this picture and the one below are of the same spot in june and in january.

quimby creek is a sizable creek that flows through one corner of the ranch. it is very steep and gets very high and turbid during big winter rains. the lower mile or so is a black slate gorge that is so steep that one nearly needs a rope to get anywhere. the combination of the inaccessibility of this creek and its old growth forests make it one of the wildest areas around here. the bears and mountain lions like to call it home.

the slate gorge

upper quimby creek in winter.

this is the grandfather tree. it is an old growth doug fir that is at the upper end of the slate gorge.

quimby creek lookout

although it is not technically on the property the quimby creek lookout can really only be reached from our ranch. it is a stiff hike up a steep mountain through thick brush but it is always worth it. the view is spectacular. lower quimby creek is truly remote and the lower end is full of old growth trees. the eagles love this spot and when one is sighted one is usually looking down at it as it flys by.

the bird perch



there are two mountains on the property one is called the oak knob and is lower and more of a hill that separates the two lower fields. the other we call the high knob and is much higher and on top is the best look out point of the ranch that we have. it is a rock outcrop that has a birds eye view of the entire valley. every other high vantage point has such thick tree cover that not much of a view can be found. like the river view the seasons just jump out at you from this high vista.



Wednesday, July 15, 2009

the beach

the prize location of the ranch would have to be the beach. during all seasons it is pretty much the perfect place to be. summer gives up the quintessential beach experience with swimming, hot sun and cold drinks chilling in the spring.

just watch out for the tubers. they like beer.

fall is another great time to experience the beach as it is a prime starting point for a driftboat fishing trip to willow creek. the river above the ranch is another fun run with a bit more whitewater to contend with. from the boat there is good fishing in the home pool. i have caught fall steelhead and coho salmon from this spot.

winter is the quiet time on the beach. there is fishing to do at this time as well. when the river is high enough to almost cover the beach the steelhead and sea run brown trout like to come right in close to the shore and fishing can be good casting right from the sand.

spring is the time of the high and swift snowmelt water. the beach is underwater a good part of the spring. during periods of high water the upper sand flat comes into play. during periods of high flow our white water jet boat also comes into PLAY! the run from the ranch to grays falls is a real adrenaline soaker.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

the flats

the forested area between the home and far fields is the area of the ranch that we call the oak flats. they are not really flat, but they aren't the side of a mountain either. this is prime mixed hardwood and conifer forest and one of the few areas where the ground under the trees grows grass is not choked with brush. this type of forest is something rarely seen in the klamath mountains anymore because it requires regular burning to maintain. the doug fir trees dominate the conifer side of things with a few old growth trees still present. the hardwoods are madrone, manzanita, live oak, black oak, white oak and some tanoak. there is a sprinkling of dog woods, big leaf maple and an area of thick red bud which we call red bud alley. eventually as we work the land i hope to return more of the property to this type of tree mixture.

winter flats, post burn

a dog wood in fall color

a coyote on the hunt in the flats

spring red bud in bloom

the piles are ready ....... let er rip!!!

work in progress on a fall night.

upper field

as you can see from these pictures the wild flowers up here in the upper field can be outrageous. some years the field is covered in purple lupine and some years only yellow flowers.
it seems to bloom every year we just never know what it will look like
one thing is certain, it never fails to please......