Thinking of trees

This area has had day temps in the mid-70s and mornings about 50. There is some high haze from lingering fires; especially for us from the Bolt Creek Fire. However, there are 14 others in Washington, mostly in National Forests in rugged terrain.Most of these will continue burning until the weather changes. That is expected to happen this time next week. The jet stream has been looping to WA’s north giving us the weather mentioned above. Next Friday will see a shift (so forecasters think) so the big curve goes away and the winds will come across the Northern Pacific Ocean and head directly for Puget Sound. 2 inches of rain west of the Cascades will be common and the ridge tops will get up to 3.5 inches. Here, on the lee side, they think we will get about one-half inch over a four day period.
If this happens as projected, fire danger, smoke, and nice weather will end.
There is a rapid elevation change on this side –6,000 feet to under 1,000 (at the Columbia River) in just 50 miles. This makes weather-watching interesting.
Meanwhile the covid situation continues to confound everyone.
On the left side map, Kittitas County is the yellow one in the center of the State. King County (Seattle) is to the west. On the right side we are on the high side of the middle blue color, with 53% of residents completing the primary vaccination series. In King County it is 83%. Our case rate is 39 per 100,000 (The county only has 48,000 people.).
King County with over 2 million people has a case rate of 96. That is almost 2 ½ times greater.
Just one more reason to not live over there.

I cut a tree that fell over a previous downed one. The newly cut one broke when it hit. The result is shown below. In simple terms folks refer to heartwood (the central part) and sapwood (outer parts) and the bark. The first image shows a more complex labeling.

Note the two arrows (green & red), and the green star. The green arrow points to living fibers that are long, flexible, and strong. The green star is on the outer bark. The inside of that has fibers missing from the piece tied with the blue string. That piece had fallen apart.
The red arrow points to the heartwood. It broke because the cells are harder and strong, but less flexible. Often the heartwood is darker, but not so in this relatively young tree. Often the bark will show insect damage and the heartwood will have begun to rot. Larger trees can start to hollow out and become massive animal habitats. See top image.

A Washington Trails Association (WTA) crew was working on a trail relatively close by (45 minute drive) so I had the “Blue Hat” crew leader swing by to pick up some things I no longer need. I’ve worked with Alan dozens of times on numerous trails. I had a dozen things that WTA folks can sort out, and there were a few things that Alan will likely use personally. I passed along 3 bottles of White Heron wine for him and wife Kelly. After 15 years of full-time work with WTA, he is semi-retiring. Kelly has a landscaping business so he is not expecting much rest. Further, his knowledge and skill level is unmatched by any current WTA folks so they will be relying on him for training and special projects for a couple of years.
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Keeping track on the Naneum Fan

Stay safe