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Bye-bye, pine trees…

The skidder pulls logs to the loader. (Until today I didn’t know what a skidder is.)

Off to the sawmill.

The view opens up: Behind the pines, beautiful hardwood trees that I won’t touch. The hardwoods will look really nice when the leaves grow out in a couple of months. Californians: the oak, hickory, beech, poplar, and maple trees are de-cid-u-ous, meaning that they grow leaves in the spring and lose them in the fall. Not much of that in coastal California. The tree to the right is called, locally, a cedar, but I believe it technically is a juniper. Junipers, like oak and hickory, are untouchable to a tree-hugger like me and must be left alone.

It’s scary for a tree-hugger to condemn a bunch of pines to the sawmill and see heavy equipment arriving. The loader, they say, weighs 50,000 pounds. The skidder has huge tires filled with fluid. The logger guys have been great, though. They worked very hard to honor my request not to disturb the topsoil any more than absolutely necessary and to avoid damaging the non-pine trees that I want to keep.

By the end of the day today, almost all the pines were down. I’m sure they’ll finish tomorrow. The soil is exposed in the area where the skidder had to run back and forth dragging logs to the loader, but the soil was pretty dry today, and having spent several hours watching them I don’t see how they could have done it any neater than they did. These machines are not exactly small and delicate.

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