Tuesday, December 21, 2010
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
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
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
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.
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
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
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
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.