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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A working April Fool!

And that's no joke. My current project is to fix the two worst spots on the road. The rest I can live with for now. My plan was to put a curb along the left side of the road, so when water rushes down,  it won't wash into the road and wash the road out. The road keeps getting narrower and narrower, and there's a pretty deep arroyo on the right side, so that isn't sustainable.

The curb I'm constructing is on rhyolite (fine-grained granite) bedrock. After I get more done on it you'll be able to get a better idea of what it'll be like. As I build the curb I'm intending to fill in on the road side of the curb so it won't feel as precarious to birders in low clearance vehicles. I impulsively dumped a load of cement in a hole under where the wheelbarrow is. The pickup was above it on the road. So April Fool on me! I had to come down the hill straddling the wet cement with two wheels on the arroyo slope. Good thing I happened to be driving my husbands 4X4 today. It was still scary. But I couldn't drive atop the wet cement, and couldn't fit between the two places I had cemented. Had I given it a little thought, I would have waited to fill that hole after the curb had dried. Oh well, not everyone gets to play an April Fool trick on themselves. I plan to go to the area around the center of the photo where the road isn't as washed out. My distant telephoto lens makes it look a short distance, but it's really quite far.

The fill dirt is some of the silt I cleaned out of the tank. It looks darker than the road because I wet it. There's wet concrete under that section to make sure water doesn't get around the upper end of the curb. Farther downhill, I won't need to do that.

Before I built this road, this was just a slope going down to an arroyo, all solid rhyolite. So the road is made up of fill dirt that my late husband kept replenishing. After padding it with fresh dirt, it becomes a dust bowl, then rain comes and washes it out. I'm hoping this will be a better solution, not to mention I have no one to pad it now, anyway.

I've always favored Texas Madrones, either because they're difficult to grow, or in spite of it. So when they're in bloom, like they are now, I love it. Everything is in bloom.

A really puzzling tree, this TX Persimmon. It planted itself above the lower dam. Seldom does water get up to its trunk, and if it does, it doesn't last long. The dam leaks plus the water soaks into the ground. Well, the tree (on the right) survived the big drought of 2011 to my amazement, then last year it looked dead. I figured water must have stood on it too long. Though I hadn't paid much attention, I think we had two big back-to-back rains, but that's not unusual. I didn't think anything of it. Now I see the darned thing is leafing out. Go figure! I forget what the other tree (left) is. I might walk down there and see tomorrow. Seems like it was a condalia, or something.

The big mulberry tree is loaded with berries so I put the sprinkler under it for a couple of hours today.

Chipping Sparrows bathing under the sprinkler

The apricot tree has tiny apricots on it, but they could still freeze, though they're unlikely to.

UPDATE: Those are both Persimmon trees above the dam.

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