Sunday, December 23, 2007

On October 28th, Deena and I went out to the MOISTURE site with my colleague and friend, Ashwani who is an environmental planner and professor at California State University, Northridge. As we usually do, we stopped at the CLUI DRS before heading out to the site. We spent our afternoon re-filling the DriWater sleeves (some were completely empty) and planting a few new plants in spots where others had not survived.
We worked quickly and returned home to Altadena to join, Mary, Ashwani's wife for dinner. Here are a few pictures from our day at the site.


On 11-24-07 Deena went out to the MOISTURE site with, Alejandro and Silvina, two members of Argentinian collective, Ala Plastica. The two were in town to participate in the Transitory Publics events in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Mexico.

According to Deena, it was a beautiful day with temps in the low 70s with a slight cool breeze. They left early in the morning from the Rancho Cucamonga studio, arriving at the CLUI DRS at 8:30am. They quickly filled the water jugs and headed out to the site.

Along with the water, they brought out the remaining Acacia Gregii, that Deena started from seed, 3 Yucca Schidigera, 1 Agavi Desertii, and 3 cartons of DriWater. At the site, the planted trees looked good. They were still 'topped-off' with DriWater so the team was able to focus on planting and supplementing the gardens with water.

Deena said that it was clear that Alejandro and Silvina were very experienced working with plants. They were able to easily put 9 plants into the ground, make a second run for water, and they were able to repair a few of the protective cages.
Silvina and Deena wove salt bush around the bamboo cloth that had eroded in the extreme desert conditions.

Silvina proved to be an fine weaver. She came up with a quick solution to weaving and attaching the salt bush to the protective cages. Her method was faster than using the bamboo material alone.

Alejandro practiced his Enlgish with Deena as they discussed the differences and similarities between the Mojave and the deserts of Argentina. They three stayed and watched beautiful full moon rise over the desert before they all headed back to Altadena in the Jeep.

All the images in the previous posting were taken on Deena's trip with Silvina and Alejandro. Enjoy!

Some images from Deena's trip out to the MOISTURE site with the members of Ala Plastica:

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

On Monday, August 13th, Deena and her god-daughter, Amanda, went out into the blistering hot Mojave. It had been unseasonably cool up until that point. They went out to tend to the remaining 8 trees. Yes, that's right, only eight of our little buddies are still alive.

Apparently, the two found a dead mole/kangaroo rat in one of the DriWater sleeves, and Amanda schooled Deena on identifying the scat found at our site. We learned that there are mountain lions present and they seem to be gobbling up critters in the evening hours. Yikes! Time to be more cautious. We always wondered why Lamchop and Zoe seemed so nervous out there.

Until next time,


Thursday, August 09, 2007

We headed out to the MOISTURE site on Monday, July 2nd. The temperature was workable.
The heat was minimal. We made it out the site, after stopping at the CLUI DRS, around 4:00pm. It looked as if this place has received no rain within the last 9 months. The trees were suffering from a very, very dry summer. Most of our 'babies' were low on DriWater, but we quickly refilled the tubes with new capsules. We worked quickly, the Super-Soakers going unused.

A fairly uneventful trip. Deena will be back out on the 13th of August.
Expect another posting soon. Sorry for the delay on this one.
MOISTURE goes on.

--Claude, August 2007

Monday, May 28, 2007

Hello folks,

We are obviously back-logged on our posting to this blog so please forgive us. Since August of 2006 we've been out at the MOISTURE site 3 times: once in November of 06, once in March of 07, and once this month, which is May of 2007. Since we started our work on this site, back in the Fall of 2003, we've never seen the area so dry. Apparently, the 'green' season never came. It seems very little rainfall fell, and though we haven't checked the numbers, we are guessing it's the driest this part of the Mojave has seen in years. Below are some images from our last trips out. The pics at the bottom show Deena talking to some students from UCLA that Emily Scott brought out on the 12th, just a few weeks ago. Lisa Tucker and Nance from Chicago joined us that day to.

Hopefully it won't be so long before our next posting.

--Claude & Deena

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

On Saturday, August 12th, Deena and I left Alta Loma at 1:30pm to head out to the MOISTURE site. We didn’t need to stop anywhere since we had all of the ice and water that we needed. About 20 miles onto Interstate 15, we hit some slowing traffic, but things cleared up. It happened again about 10 miles from Barstow, but this time it was a serious accident. Traffic came to a dead stop and we sat for about 30 minutes while the medevac helicopters came down and picked up the injured. We saw a white truck flipped over as we approached the offramp.

We made it to the CLUI DRS by 4:00pm, and there will filled out water containers and Super-soakers. Arriving at the site around 4:45pm, the temperature was already getting cooler. Deena found numerous trees that had their roots attacked, but were still hanging on. Near other plantings we found the remains of dug-up Nutri-packs. Most of the trees had some DriWater remaining from our last visit, and overall, things looked quite good.

I started refilling DriWater in Garden Six as Deena went around taking off lids and adding water. We moved from tree to tree, she watered and I added the gel caps. We spent about two and a half hours there working and finished with a few pictures just as the shadows were at their longest.

As we were finishing up, I found the headless body of a jackrabbit in the back catchment area. Seemed to be the work of a coyote.

We left the site at 7:30 and headed back to the DRS to drop off our jugs, but not after a quick stop at the 'exploding house' that seems to look more destroyed each visit. After one final stop at the Hinkley Market, we were back on the 15 heading back to Cucamonga. The next day we had to meet Daino in Riverside.


Sunday, July 23, 2006

We are having some problems with large gaps at the tops of our posts.
I hope to fix that. Stay cool. It's hot as hell here in SoCal and we are not in a desert at the present time.

I forgot these images from my last posting. Here are the heavily-chewed caps. Seems some of these animals are ingesting large amounts of plastic.

It's about 115 out in the Mojave and it was 109 in Pasadena yesterday. We gave a talk at UCLA yesterday about MOISTURE. Went well. Small group.
We should be back out at the site in August. Hopefully we'll find some people to come out with us. We'll have to persuade Mark.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

We left on the 11th around 1:00pm. The day was picked because it was to be in the lower 90s. It was above 100 degrees the days before. On our way out, we stopped at Stater Bros. to get ice. It was perhaps the coolest day of the last 15 days, and it was very windy at the site. At first glance, things looked good. The bad news is that 7 trees had roots attacked, and all of the Agave and all of the Yucca Whippli were gone, chewed down. More caps were completely chewed up and strewn around the site. Even worse, two of the 7 attacked trees are dead. We did our best to try and save the other five.

The deep heat summer may keep them from surviving. Nonetheless, the growth is looking good, and most of our plantings are doing more than just surviving. Some had almost no DriWater while other plants had quite a bit left. In Garden #2, we lost 2 of 3 Creosote on the edge. They've been chewed down, but some of the grasses planted years ago are coming back. Some Ephedra are also surviving w/o DriWater. That's surprising.

We did everything in a little under 3 hours. We gave each tree 4 gallons as opposed to the 8 we did last year, and we used almost 4 cases of DriWater. Also of note is the fact that the burrowing animals are digging up the nutrient packs. There are lots of problems, but nothing as devastating as 2 years ago. July of 2004 was a nightmare
and we hope we never have a month like that again.


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