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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Oasis maintenance

Most people probably "get" how difficult it is to haul water for a year to keep the oasis alive, but probably people don't realize how much work is required even when it rains. Of course, rain is sporadic so I get a one year supply (ten year supply if I had enough storage) in a few minutes and then no more for weeks or months. So watering is pretty much a constant except for a week or so after a big rain. During winter I water weekly or twice monthly depending on the weather. In hot weather often twice-weekly.

The torrential rain I got in June filled the tanks in short order and the deluge kept going. After the dirt tanks in one arroyo were filled the water ran over the spillway and into a ditch along side the road that goes to the oasis from the outside world. There is no other possible place for the road. The ditch empties into a culvert that takes the water under the road and back into the arroyo. But every few years or so the deluge is so immense that the ditch overflows across the road. The recent rains after 18 months without any rain carried so much debris with it that the ditch totally plugged up like a blocked artery. All that water ran across the road. Eventually, if the ditch isn't cleaned out, the road will wash away. So I worked some on that this morning. Here is the ditch after I had already dragged off a couple of dead yuccas out of it. This view is looking downstream from the spillway.

Here it is looking the other way, toward the spillway and the part that isn't blocked. While I was working down along the road I pruned brush away so vehicles can get through. That's an ongoing chore, too. Filled the pickup twice and not done yet. Had to take a lunch break and hopefully a much needed siesta.

 During a rest break, in which I watered and pulled weeds, I relocated a Powdered Dancer dragonfly that a recent visitor, Melody Lytle, had discovered here. That's a new one for the oasis list. Thanks, Melody!

Saw this neat bug. No idea what it is.


  1. Unknown bug might be an assasin bug.

  2. Unknown bug is a Large Milweed bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus).

  3. I looked up Milkweed bug and that's what it is. Thanks.