Tuesday, September 20, 2005

On Saturday, September 17th, Deena and I headed out to the Moisture site from the Cucamonga studio. We stopped and ate breakfast at the BC Café, and then headed directly to the Mojave. The trip out went smoothly, and we soon found ourselves at the Hinkley market to get some sodas to perk up. The next stop was the DRS. I filled the water jugs while Deena checked the trees on the drip. All of them appeared to be doing very well, and the Palo Verde damaged during the past storm seems to be coming back. Matt had moved the tree away and disconnected the drip, but we saw signs of new growth.

We packed the Jeep, filled the Supersoakers, which we wouldn’t need, and headed out to the site. The weather was extremely good--lots of cloud cover and a nice breeze. Ideal for working and much better than the 100+ temperature from the last visit.

Deena pulled the Jeep right up to the site, we unloaded the water, the cases of DriWater and the tools. Each of us got to work on a different part of the site. Our main focus was replacing DriWater and taking notes on the growth conditions. I worked in Garden #6 while Deena concentrated on the isolated trees. Some of the plants I replenished had a good supply of the gel still left, other plants had nothing.

When I finished with #6 and completed the ring around #3, Deena and I worked together on the fenced trees. Those are the most difficult to work with since one person needs to hold the tree back while the other removes the caps and drops in the new capsules. We moved rapidly through the process.

Deena worked a bit more on the trees and I went into Garden #2 to replenish there. Some of the grasses at the bottom are returning and the Ephedras that seemed to be struggling are also coming back. Some of the creosote outside of Garden #2 had their capsule caps lifted off, and we are certain that an animal did not do this. With those, we didn’t replace DriWater, but decided to water only. Once again, human prblems provided the bulk of our troubles.

Some of the Blue Palo Verde’s are getting taller and few have peaked just over their fences. And the Yuccas, so badly chewed when we last saw them, are looking better hidden under piles of dried saltbush.

We didn’t need to return to the DRS for water this time. Our supply was used frugally. Late in the day, Deena did some final watering and we expelled our Supersoakers on our trees rather than on each other. By 5:00pm we were on the road and stopped off at the DRS to drop off our water containers.

As Deena and I were looking at the bird nests in a Cholla in front of the DRS, Jim and Julianne drove by and pulled in. We went to grab a bite with them in Barstow and got back on the road just as it was getting dark. We were back in Cucamonga by 9:30.


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