Sunday, July 24, 2005

On Saturday, the 16th, Deena and I headed out to the site from Rancho Cucamonga. With 5 boxes of DriWater, the box of tools, plenty of sunscreen, our desert shoes, and two recently purchased SuperSoakers,
we hit the road during the late morning. Only one stop was required (Hinkley Market for ice) so we made it to the CLUI DRS in no time.

Our water containers were waiting for us in the DRS utility shed along with a few extra boxes of DriWater capsules. The containers were quickly filled as we chatted with Jim and Julianne, whom we passed as we were coming down the road. Deena gave them both a quick tour of the drip system as I prepared the soakers for battle.

We didn’t spend much time at the DRS. The site was calling and we made our way down the dirt roads quickly with Deena’s skillful driving. Deena even drove the Jeep down into the site, a change from our usual park-job up by the main road, so we could easily haul the water containers to the work areas. After only a few minutes of acclimation to the offensive heat we got to work. I carried a box of DriWater to Garden #6 while Deena tended to the trees.

Things seemed to be doing quite well. The Cercidium Floridum, aka Blue Palo Verde, is getting big and green. Only one of the Palo Verde trees is not doing well, and this is due to animal activity underneath it. All of our trees and shrubs with evidence of burrowing animals have usually done poorly. On most occasions, their roots have become snacks for their subsurface neighbors. Only one Yucca, in Garden #6, has had animal troubles. When I went to touch it, it came right out of the ground, its root system totally gone. Aside from that, all of the Baccharis in Garden #6 is looking good, and a few of them have grown past the fence height. Garden #2 also has its problems with burrowing critters, but we still replenished DriWater where it was needed. Our eyes on this most challenged of the gardens.

After about 45 minutes of work, we brought out the SuperSoakers and blasted each other. Twenty minutes later we were both bone dry, but the water did wonders for our stamina.

As Deena worked on the small trees, I jumped into Garden #2 and replenished
the capsules there. Surprisingly, most of the plants still had some supply left.
A few were completely empty.

Within 2 hours we had replenished the needed DriWater and exhausted our water supply so we headed back to the DRS to recharge. Back at the DRS, we loaded up the containers we had filled earlier, and re-filled the ones used at the site. When all was topped-off, we picked our soakers and participated in a little war game. Running around the DRS, we drenched each other for the 4th time. The fun ended quickly and we were back in the Jeep, headed back to the Moisture site.

Again, Deena drove on the same path as before, and we found ourselves very close to the working areas. Water did not need to be hauled very far at all.

The ten water containers we poured on the numerous trees, each tree receiving 2 containers. We moved quickly. I documented the process as Deena applied the proper doses.

With plenty of daylight still left, we packed up and headed out after a quick site survey. We come back in a few weeks.


PS: Here's a chewed cap we found at the site. Seems a critter just had to have
some of that tasty DriWater. With temps getting up to 120 out here, I can't say I blame it.

Some notes from the last trip:

On Monday, June 27th, Deena and Michael Wong headed out to the Moisture site. They left at 8:00am, which was too early for Mr. Wong who stayed up late having fun and getting no sleep.

Leaving from Altadena, they stopped to get something to eat, picked up the usual tools in Cucamonga, along with three cases of DriWater, and headed to the DRS in Hinkley. After filling up with water and checking the trees on the drip, they arrived at the site around 12:30pm.

Deena’s foot was still repairing after surgery, and Michael, being slightly worn out after the previous evening, was struggling with getting the water to the work area from the Jeep.

Getting to work, Deena took the fences off of four trees and filled the Gator Bags for the slow soak. Michael moved around the various gardens, mainly #6, and replenished DriWater capsules.

Running out of water a short while later, the duo headed back to the DRS. There they ate lunch and refilled the water containers. At this time Michael was extremely tired, but Deena got him back in the Jeep and hauled him back to the site for more duties. Feeling for the poor guy, Deena drove the Jeep very close to the site so the water didn’t need to be lugged such a great distance.

Back in action, the duo poured the water on the second half of the trees and
depleted their supply quickly. Michael was only able to get a small section replenished with DriWater before Deena pulled him away to go back to the DRS for another water run. They returned to the site over and hour later and used the last supply for the remaining trees.

Deena noted three inches of growth on most of the trees. Compared to last year, things are going much better for the surviving plants. At 8:00pm the two left the site and headed back home. With Deena’s foot in disrepair and Michael’s body in need of rest, the day was difficult and the work went slower than usual. They returned back to Altadena around 11:30pm without waking Claude, who was unable to take a day off of teaching to help

---Mr. X

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