Sunday, May 23, 2004

Saturday, May 22

Deena and I headed out to the Mojave once again with friend Henry Tsang who came along to help out and enjoy the desert before heading back to Canada. Last weekend we noticed that Jackrabbits had eaten the leaves off of many of the small trees that were doing just fine the week before, so the day was set aside just to put up additional fencing for protection. All the trees and shrubs outside of the garden rings were having a difficult time fending off the pests.

We arrived at the site around 2:30pm, and immediately started cutting the fencing into the proper lengths. The Acacia Greggii, Prosopis Pubescens, Larrea Tridentata, and Blue Palo Verde trees all needed protection so we started with them first. The Atriplex shrubs also needed help and we assisted them with what was left over.

It took us approximately 4 hours to put up 20-25 fences. And as the sun was going down, Deena scavenged some dried salt-bush limbs to use as protection for some of the smaller shrubs. Even I ran around during the final moments of daylight making some tiny fences for the Yucca Whipplei. It was time well spent.

We noticed many of the plants doing just fine with their recently replenished supply of DriWater. The grasses in Garden #2 are doing quite well as are the grasses in Garden #6. As we are entering a very dry period, things seems to be going better than expected, but then again, we didn’t really know what to expect.

Over the past 2 months, I’ve been monitoring the entire site via the water-content reflectometer sensors placed at the site which are relaying voltage-data to the datalogger positioned near Garden #2. Dry conditions have been providing me with pretty consistent data, but there is not much fluctuation in the numbers as of yet. We have many more months of collection before we can attempt a proper analysis. More details on this data-collection over the coming months.

Below are some frame-grabs from Henry’s video footage. He was a great help and his presence made the trip quite pleasurable. Thanks, Henry!


As you can see, everyone who visits wants to see the DriWater and how it works.
Few want to taste it, but plants love it.

Monday, May 17, 2004

At the beginning of April I receieved some test tracking equipment from Lotek in Canada. So Margi Scharff and I set out to the site. We found evidence of others at site #2, perhaps drawn to the balls ?

We used these little tags meant for fish and frogs and a radio receiver.

Once it's turned on the tag emits a constant beacon signal at 48,000 khz. The tags for the desert will have a 6 month on, 6 month off cycle, on during the day, off at night. They should last 3 - 5 years.

Then we tested the range. That's me way far in the background

And of course, took notes

Waiting for water


Sunday, May 16, 2004

Saturday, May 15th

Today Deena and I headed out to the site to replenish the supply of DriWater that the thirsty plants have been living off of for several months. Rain Bird came through with the 80 cases they promised us, and so Deena picked them up in Glendale on Friday with the help of Rene. They dropped the cases off at Deena's studio in Cucamonga and that is where we picked them up from Saturday afternoon.

We made the long drive to the site, stopping off at Subway for a bite to eat.
Arriving at 4:00pm we found windy conditions. We've had past problems with wind at our site as it often makes work difficult.

After unloading the 10 cases of DriWater and 2 large water containers, we both went to work. Moving rapidly, we identified all the plants that needed the new gelpaks. Many of the quart containers were bone dry so we needed water to get the process going again.

DriWater did not supply us with quart containers, but the packs work just as well. As the sun was going down we picked up the pace and finished just before 8:00pm.

We noticed that many of the trees we planted have recently become food for the pesky jackrabbits. Next time we come out we will need to bring more chickenwire.

We left the site at 8:20pm and headed off to Victorville to go to our favorite Mexican restaurant. The rest of the ride home was uneventful.

It wasn't such a bad day.

aka Mr. X

PS: Thanks to Rain Bird and Driwater for all of their support. We would be looking at 100 dead plants and trees without them.

Monday, May 10, 2004

May 8th, 2004

This past Saturday was the MOISTURE 'main site' VISIT and mini-party. Partly a celebration after months of work, and also a time to re-charge our DriWater supply that was running low. We had many folks who had expressed interest in seeing the site, but when it came down to the weekend, only a fraction of those who wanted to come actually made it out. Deena and I arrived at the site around 2:00p.m. Adam was already there installing his 'Yearning Bush' that has been under construction for many months. After spending a few hours installing new DriWater quarts for the thirsty plants (we have 80 cases arriving this coming week from Rain Bird) the guests started arriving.

Bernard arrived with his Mother, Laura, and 2 other guests in tow. Mark Tsang and Amy K. also joined us as would Matt C. and Cheryl. Mr. Tsang spent a few hours taking some large format photos of the various site components and we all too a look at the new spot for Adam's bush.

At 6:00pm the food was laid out before the group and we all dug in. Jim and Julianne soon arrived and before we knew it the light was leaving us. At 8:00pm we all scattered. Some of us returned to the coast while others headed to Denny's for further food consumption.


One more shot of the festivities:

We go out again next weekend. More info soon.

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