Wednesday, August 17, 2005

On Wednesday, August 10th, Deena and I meet Mark, Arturo and Arthur
in the morning at the Cucamonga studio to pack up and head out to the Moisture site.

After packing some DriWater cartons into Mark’s car and our Jeep we were on our way. We drove directly to the CLUI DRS to get an eye-full of the damage done by the recent storm. Adam Frelin, the artist currently staying at the DRS, had emailed Deena and Matt to tell them about the downed tree. Deena, who had planted the large Cercidium Floridum, was extremely concerned.

After surveying the damage, Deena realized that there was nothing we could do, but photograph the break, and send the images to Arid Tree Zones for further advice.

While Deena was checking the progress of the other DRS trees, I filled up the water containers. Mark showed Arthur and Arturo the fenced-in property and the projects from M1. After doing my job, I filled the Supersoakers so Deena and I could ambush three three in the field. We did a nice job. The three walked away significantly wet. To be fair, I put the guns in their hands and let them have a few shots at me. Their aim was true.

We got to the site a little later and surveyed the selection of animal damage. Six of the Yucca Whippleis were eaten-down. One Cercidium Floridum was also munched upon, but we believe it can be saved. To thwart further attacks, Deena collected some dried brush and created a shade canopy over top a few of the trees. Seems the high winds of the last storm blew through our site. Fences were dislodged and the chewed trees mentioned above suffered the consequences. Depressing indeed.

As a team, we got down to work replacing DriWater capsules in Garden #6, in Garden #2, and we also started replenishing the surviving trees. Deena watered some of the struggling trees and headed back to the DRS to pick up the remaining containers that we didn’t have room for the first trip. We worked slowly and stopped frequently. It was probably close to 110 degrees--we didn’t want o kill ourselves.

When Deena returned, we took an extended break in the shade of the Jeep.
I was feeling a bit of heat stroke so I sat to the side longer than the others.

Deena went to work with the water. She nourished most of the trees and re-installed some of the dislodged fences. By 5:00, we were all beaten down by the heat so we left the site and headed to Mollys County Kitchen (now with a new name) for dinner. After eating, Deena and I headed to the Days Inn for the evening. Lambchop and Zoe came with us. If I haven’t mentioned them, it’s because they spent the day panting under the car, Zoe, or on the back seat, Lambchop.

The next day, Deena and I got up early and swam in the hotel pool. We left by 10:30am to head back to the DRS for a water fill-up. There we squirted each other with the Supersoakers to get our bodies adjusted to the extreme temp. Minutes later we were in the Jeep headed back to the site.

No sign of Adam yet, perhaps we would see him before we left later in the day.

Back at the site, Deena tended to the trees while I took down the tripod.
I noticed evidence of some attempted burning of sensor cables and I saw yet more proof of animal nibbling on the solar panel’s power cord.

The computer was in good shape and the hole it was in had become the home for numerous spiders and other burrowing critters.

At the end of the day, we spent some time making observations of changes at the site. We photographed the two Wild Marigold Baileya Multitradiata
flowers planted almost 18 months ago when the gardens were being prepared for planting.

We also took at look at Adam's Yearning Bush that has ceased yearning. It’s still probably the most hidden aspect of MOISTURE. We almost never find it on the first try.

Back at the DRS, we found Adam hanging out in the AC of the trailer. He told us about his film project and his excursion to buy a disco ball in L.A. We wished we could’ve spent more time chatting with him, but we were exhausted and the dogs were suffering in the heat. They clearly wanted to get out of this place.

We were on the road as the sun was moving down in the sky. We found
ourselves back in Cucamonga in good time. There we showered and within a few hours we were headed back to Altadena.

Apparently, there was another big flash flood out there this past Sunday so we don’t know if there was anymore damage done to our site or to the DRS.
We’ll find out at a later time.


PS: Here are some of the CLUI DRS trees doing quite well.

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