Monday, February 23, 2004

As you can see, there is some amazing cloud formations as these storms move steadily across the desert. Also, you might be able to tell here, that there is erosion around the balls. I imagine what's happening is that they are slowly being "unearthed" .

They're all exposed now, and should there be a grand downpour they will be ready for take off.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Today I tested the CR10X Datalogger in the backyard (here in Altadena) with the five CS616 water content reflectometers (each with 100 ft. cables). I put some damp soil in a few pots and ran the Loggernet program a few times to see what results I could get. Troubleshooting is needed. In a few weeks, we'll bring the CR10X and the reflectometers out to the site along with the SX10M solar panel and the antenna we'll need for the cellular service. Verizon folks have been helpful getting me up to speed on what we'll need to get our AirLink Redwing modem talking with the logger once it's on site. It's been a huge learning process. Hope it all works.

Once we get all the gear working out at the site, we'll spend the next year monitoring the functionality of the water diversion system. More details on this when the time comes.


Monday, February 02, 2004

Thursday January 29,
Claude and I met Bernard at the site at 10:00 AM. We were loaded down with 64 gallons of water, and the remaining 21 plants for gardens #1 and #2. Claude and I first started by giving the plants in garden #7 and #6 the supplemental watering that we were unable to provide on Monday (after planting them with the DriWater).

After finishing that chore, we began planting all the plants for garden #1 while Bernard worked on finishing up the terracing for garden #2. For the center (10-foot circle) of garden #1 we planted 4 Achnathferums and 1 Boutloua Gracilis along with the Phacilia Campanularia and Lathenia Glabrata sprouts planted 2 weeks ago.

There were 8 existing Atriplex bushes growing in an almost perfect circle radiating 11 feet from the center of garden #1 so we spaced 3- 5 gallon Larrea Tridentata and 1 Calliandra Californica between them. We used up all the 64 gallons on those 13 plants so I had to make the 14 mile run out to Jim and Julianne Perkins’ ranch to get more water to finish the plantings and to keep some reserve on the site for plantings that will take place on Saturday. While I was gone Claude and Bernard moved an enormous amount of dirt that surrounded garden #2. When I returned with the water, Claude planted 4 Sporobolus Alkilidgrass in the lower 10 foot center circle while Bernard continued to move more dirt, creating a berm at about 25 feet from the center of garden #2.

He used the rest of the day evening it out and making an entrance so one can easily enter #2. I then gave the center of gardens 1,3,4,5, about 3 gallons of water each sprayed evenly over the entire 10-foot surface areas before the sun started to set. There was a bit of time to kill while the sun set, so as Bernard and Claude loaded up the cars, I began to weave dried Atriplex into the wire fencing to create protection and filtered shade for the 19 small trees that were planted. It was a much-needed meditative activity required to balance out the weeks of extreme physical work. When the sun went down, Claude and I met Jim and Julianne for dinner in Lenwood while Bernard made his way back to Venice (CA).

Saturday January 31,
An exciting day with a great group of interested friends: Antoinette LaFarge, Robert Allen, Ryan Frisinger, Cecile Frisinger, and Erica Cho show up, along with diehard Mark Tsang, to work with us at the site. Bernard showed up just a bit late, but he had good reason: a flat tire and a trip to buy two used tires. We saw him off in the distance with a trail of dust in his wake. Introductions were made and the work began.

We started activities by planting the remaining plants in Garden #2. On the terrace level just above the center 10-foot garden we planted 5 ephedra, 3 chrysothamnus nauseousus, and 5 artemesia tridentata. On the top terrace, Mark, Claude, and Ryan, dug the holes for the 3 Larrea Tridentata, and 3 Calliandra Californica, while myself, Erica, and Antoinette, dug the holes for the lower terrace plants. We had a large group digging and preparing the plants for the Driwater which went in next.

For Garden #2, Bernard dug the trench along with help from Ryan, Claude, and Mark. Next the fence was finally put in, and Garden #2 was affectionately dubbed: ‘Bernard’s Ball-Buster’ after the man who put so much of his sweat into its creation. A little later, smaller fences were put up around 7 of the trees planted last week. Bernard continued refining the terrain.

The conversations with the new company made the day pass quickly. Cecila, Erica, and myself worked on weaving more Atriplex on 3 more tree fences while Claude, Bernard, Ryan and Mark constructed the fence for Garden 2 and 7 fences for trees. Antoinette worked on the DriWater for the Larrea Tridentata and teamed up with Robert, watering all center garden circles ( a very tedious process) since I neglected to lube up the pressure handle last week. We broke a lock on the pressure lid trying to lube up the lid at the beginning of the watering cycle. At the end of the day we used up the 64 gallons Claude and I brought, the 5 gallons that Antoinette and Robert brought, the 8 gallons that Bernard brought, and the 5 gallons that Mark brought along. A total of 82 gallons of water were used for the day’s planting and sprout boost. It was a great day for all who contributed with great amounts of enthusiasm and energy. The entire day gave us a much- needed boost.

As the day concluded, Bernard positioned his bird perch within the site.

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