Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More photos from Dec. 19 and Dec 20. The water was running high on the 20th, kicking up lots of foam. Where does the foam come from?

We are having record rains, the most in December (mainly in the last 2 days) since the 1930s. The river has risen significantly since Dec. 19 even though no water has been released from Isabella Dam. The hyacinth mats that choked the water have been swept away and trees along the banks are getting their feet wet for the first time in a long time. One can only imagine how it would have been before Isabella Dam!

Friday, November 19, 2010

PV Volunteers--Thanks!

The Panorama Vista Preserve Volunteers Appreciation BBQ (Nov. 6) was a great success despite the windy weather. Of course, PV volunteers are used to adverse weather conditions, so what if the wind blew salad off a plate, a plate into a lap or tattered the paper “tablecloths?” We had a good time! Thanks to Lauren Franconi for putting it together, Carolyn Belli for salad, Bob Rutlege for the deep pit beef and salsa, Sparkletts for bottled water, Pyrenees Bakery for rolls, Lisa Borda of Borda Petites for wonderful cookies, Rich O’Neil for paper goods, and Kathi Parks for tables.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Salt grass

A native salt grass is starting to appear in the 30-acre grove.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Bakersfield Cactus patch

PV friend Larry recently spotted this previously unknown patch of Bakersfield Cactus on an out-of-the-way northern portion of the Preserve.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Before and After

The 30 acre plot was a barren field when the top picture was taken before Christmas, 2009. The second and third pictures were taken in mid-September, 2010 of Section F in the western end of this same field. Bill is making a plant inventory. Cuttings averaged 8-12 inches high when we planted them last spring; many are now taller than Bill, Phil, or Andy.

Spring and Summer 2010 have been busy with the planting of approximately 3000 trees and shrubs on the 30 acre plot. The well and pump are working well, the Natural Resources Conservation Service has given us the first part of its grant money, and the plantings flourished with regular water in the summer heat. We're also excited to see Nature starting to revegetate on its own-- a stand of native California Indian tobacco (in the foreground with yellow flowers) has popped up in the field.

Flooded Out

This soggy looking gopher did himself out of his own home by gnawing through a nearby dripline which then flooded his burrow and forced him up to the surface. Critters like him (her?) find dripline very tasty and snack on it all too frequently. "Walking the line" and repairing leaks is routine maintenance.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bill mowed the 30 acre field in mid-March (see pictures below) after which the well was readied for use, drip lines laid for irrigation, and 6000 holes augured for the plants. We waited in eager anticipation for P.G. & E. to hook up the power for the pump. One postponement followed another (it was not until May 17 that the power company was able to get here!) Since Mother Nature generally waits for no man, not even a P. G. & E. electrician, Preserve volunteers started planting anyhow and rented a diesel generator for the pump. Luckily, M. Nature was a little off her rocker and sent unusually cool weather through April and May, good for the little plants. Higher temperatures (only in the high 80s) arrived only this week and the new plants are generally looking healthy. So far so good. These photos are from the same area shown in the March 21 blog . Thanks to the many volunteers who are helping make this happen. Much more remains to be done, however, so don’t hang up your shovel yet!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

S. A. Camp has finished installation of the 10,000 gallon tank which will provide water for the 30 acre grove. The water comes from a well originally dug in the 1940s or 1950s for a cattle feedlot operation that was nearby; S. A. Camp refurbished it for Preserve use.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mowing the 30 acre plot

The 30 acre grove is getting closer to being planted. The tall grass has to be mowed in order to see where to plant and put the drip lines. River Partners has visited and brought supplies. P.G.&E. still has not hooked up power for the pump.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Old areas where dredged mud has been dumped

The mound you see here is dredged dirt dumped there at some unknown time in the past. A solitary nanus lupine and a few weeds are the only plants growing there.

Care needed when canal is dredged

Periodically the city of Bakersfield has the Carrier (Kern Island) Canal dredged out and the bottom dregs (muck) dumped haphazardly nearby.

Contrary to common belief, this dirt or is not rich with nutrients; as the silt builds up in the canal, the lower layers become oxygen-deprived and lifeless.

So, instead of fertilizing the land on which they are dumped, they smother it. Eventually, enough bacteria may infiltrate the dirt and bring it alive, but only over the passage of time. The thinner the spread, the less time that will take.

Care needs to be taken that the city dredging contractors know this. They also need to know they should not dump the muck into historic river channels. Such care has been lacking.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Recent Bird Sightings

This Great Horned Owl has its head turned 180 degrees and is looking over his back at us. It is perched in a cottonwood tree. The Kildeer was out for a stroll.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Good working conditions on Saturday-- cool although overcast. Predicted rain never materialized. Good volunteer turnout, including CSUB students from Carl Kloock's class; they fanned out and picked up trash. Other volunteers stayed at the nursery and potted native blackberry cuttings or worked on the shade cloth's recent "wardrobe malfunction." Greg took these pictures-- thanks! Meanwhile, Andy drove around and supervised everyone.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A few small lupines have appeared on the side of a bank near the nursery.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Shade cloth goes on

Yesterday the guys installed shade cloth over the native plant nursery! (3/2/10)