Monday, July 4, 2011

Drought, Pestilence, and Dreaming of Yurts

So we had another wildfire close to our place yesterday. I was quite dismayed and even more so to hear that it was caused by a small plane crash carrying our neighbor, Doc Hamilton, and the pilot. The pilot died on impact but somehow the doctor bailed out and is the hospital with undisclosed injuries. So sad for their families. The wildfire crew was here is less than 2 hours with slurry planes, "smoke jumpers", and ground folks. All day yesterday helicopters and planes flew over our house, rattling the windows and ruffling the chickens. My daughters and I climbed the hill that is front of our place to get a better view. (I've still got my apron on - so handy to pack refreshments.)

The reverse 911 call came at about 6 pm to "prepare for evacuation". Rats! I'm really getting tired of this routine. If we were nomads we would simply pack up the yurt and move to a place where it friggin' rains once in a while. It's hot today and very dry but the winds are down. Another positive is that this fire is very close to the wildfire in 2005 that burned 14,000 acres so a lot of the underbrush and "old growth" is already cleared.

And the very, very Good News is that some monsoonal moisture is making it's way up from Old Mexico! You can see the white vapor coming up in a clockwise motion (it's circling a high pressure area right over Colorado). In the next few days we are promised our summer rains which will hopefully end our extreme drought conditions. If the rains don't come, I'm seriously considering the yurt idea.

As an aside I think you need to know that the natural ant remedy that I made a week ago did have a little effect on the ant population in the garden. 6 tablespoons of sugar, 1/3 cup of molasses, and 6 tablespoons of dry yeast. It was an incredible bait - thousands joined the feast - but we noticed them eating around the yeast for the most part. Still, many, many ants met their demise. And many more were still chomping my vegetables (which has to have something to do with this drought). In desperation I used some pyrethrum and neem oil to spray on the vegetables to protect them from the ants. Pyrethrum is made from chrysanthemums and is supposed to be the least toxic pesticide if one must be used. It was such a relief to go out to the garden this morning and see healthy ant-free plants.

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