Jun 19

May 5, 2016, Between Rain Events

Posted: under Activities, photography, Plantlife, Water, Weather.
 June 19th, 2016

Most but not all the surface water has dried up, soils that were seeping and running with water last week are dry enough to walk on in regular shoes.

Gaillardia-Qanne"s-lace-05-05-2016
Main grass: Queen Anne’s Lace, gaillardia, scattered bluebonnets
stiff-stem prairie flax, coreopsis, goldthread, Venus’s looking glass,
skullcap, green antelope horns, others


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Jun 19

Earth Day 2016

Posted: under Activities, Land, photography, Water, Weather, Wildlife.
 June 19th, 2016

Lg-main-grass-4-22-2016

Earth Day 2016

It had rained in the day before, and dawned cool, with a northeast breeze–a perfect day to go checking the water quality on the east half of the place.  Not as much rain as the previous weekend, so with some difficulty I was able to make it from place to place in ordinary walking shoes.  In the distance, the line of woods along the seasonal creek; to the left the “dry woods” growing on a hump of rock.  Out of sight to the left, the line of trees along an old ditch dug by a former farmer, intended to carry runoff from the highway to the south property line .   A beautiful day, with signs of recovery from the drought…and signs of much management still needed.

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Apr 13

April on the Land

Posted: under Activities, photography, Plantlife, Water, Weather, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , ,  April 13th, 2013

It was a dry fall, after a dry summer, and a dry winter followed the dry fall.  Other places got rain–sometimes nearby–but we had none for months.  March brought a little–April has brought a little–and now we have some flowers.

hist-adj_bluebonnets

The bluebonnets may be only 4-5 inches tall, instead of knee-high, but they’re there–in a few places–and should be able to make seed for another year.    We had more through most of the dry winter, but many finally just died–or were eaten, since they were the only green thing out there.

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Mar 18

Climate Change & Planning

Posted: under Climate Change, Plantlife, Water.
Tags: , ,  March 18th, 2013

I mentioned on Twitter that more trees had failed to leaf out this spring, victims of the long drought which not only did not provide them enough water to survive, but prevented us from having any supplemental water to give them.   Someone suggested what seemed reasonable–why not plant trees from the next climate zone (or two) to the south of us.    I realized then that the traditional “planting zone/climate zone” concept had taken hold to such an extent that the complexity of keeping anything alive through a rapid change of climate wasn’t being talked about.

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Aug 23

Deep Drought

Posted: under Climate Change, Mortality, photography, Plantlife, Water, Wildlife.
Tags: , , ,  August 23rd, 2011

Roughleaf dogwood & oak thicket in August 2011

East margin of creek woods–August 2011-leaves turning & dropping

Cactus Flat: even the prickly pear is drying out

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Jun 23

Cloud Pavilion: New Rain Barn

Posted: under Activities, Water, Wildlife.
Tags: ,  June 23rd, 2011

On land with no permanent water source, rain harvesting is the only way to provide reliable supplemental water for wildlife.    (Well, you can lug it in on your back or a cart or trailer, but that’s no fun at all when temperatures top 100F day after day.)   And rainwater is a healthier source of water for some (most?) wildlife than treated city water, even if that were affordable and available.  Supplying supplemental water is a key activity in the support of wildlife, critical in times of drought.   So, over the years, we’ve built “rain barns” to capture and store rainwater for this purpose.   We also do rainwater collection off existing roofs (house, carport, horse barn) to provide water for the horses, water garden, and a few trees.

Fox Pavilion: 610 gallons storage max

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Jul 01

More Pond Life

Posted: under photography, Plantlife, Water, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , , , ,  July 1st, 2010

When I went out yesterday about noon, I found four of these lovely pink waterlily flowers open:

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May 24

Amphibians

Posted: under Activities, Climate Change, Water, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , , , , ,  May 24th, 2010

Young Rana berlandieri with last of its tail showing.

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Feb 10

The Land Is Leaking (and Blooming)

Posted: under Land, Plantlife, Water.
Tags: , , ,  February 10th, 2010

dry-woods-swale126

The upstream part of the dry woods swale, with water seeping through the grass on both sides.   This area produces the best water quality, as most of the water has seeped through both rock and soil. Read the rest of this entry »

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