I recently obtained a new aerial photo, taken in July of 2010:


The most striking differences here are the results of our reforestation efforts along the creek edge in the south center. Here are the incense cedars just west of the driveway loop:


                              2001                                                                2010

Here’s the southwest corner. You can see the gargoyle over the driveway. He’s the little white spot in the center of the driveway.


                             2001                                                                2010

Here’s a blowup of the asphalted area just south of the shop. You can see the tractor (red), a blue tarp laid out to dry in the sun, the yellow brush hog (a giant lawn mower for tackling heavy brush), and the junk trailer next to it. This photo was taken in June of 2010; below it, I attach a shot I took just now. Except for the tarp and the trailer, everything is in pretty much the same place.

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Perhaps you wonder about that squiggly figure along the left edge, center:


This is a demonstration of “conservative weed control”. You see, I’ve been fighting weeds for years, and the large meadow has been badly infested with yellow star thistle, a truly nasty weed that has invaded Oregon from California. When you’ve got acres of it, you don’t use herbicide – that’s a lot of poison to spread on your land. Instead, I use the brush hog. If you cut it at the right phase in its development, you can prevent it from seeding. By 2010, I had gotten most of the yellow star thistle; there were just remnants. I didn’t want to just mow the whole meadow; that reduces the reproduction of the other plants that compete with the yellow star thistle. So instead I go out hunting with the tractor and the brush hog, driving around the meadow looking for targets. This can be a frantic experience; normally I catch sight of the yellow star thistle just before I’m on top of it, so I have to wildly veer about to get it. Think of it as “tractor slalom”. 

One last comparison: the house:


                                     2001                                                        2010

There are several striking things about these two images. First, the house is almost completely obscured in the second photo. The only thing that is visible in both photos is the top of the chimney (a white rectangle just above center). This is partly attributable to the shadows in the second photo; the white decks are visible in both photos, but in the 2010 photo they’re in shadow. The sun is pretty high and to the southwest in the first photo, but lower and to the southeast in the second photo. 

The second striking thing about these two images is the large dead pine in the lower center of the second photo. It was struck by lightning in the summer of 2008 and took two years to completely die out.