Bird Box Success!

The holidays hit like a...... well they came and dominated pretty quickly after our bird box workshop, but wanted to post pictures even though the workshop was back on the 12th of November. We had a wonderful time and created a slew of bird roosts for birds over winter, and nesting boxes for spring broods.

Terry shows off a roosting box!!!

Terry shows off a roosting box!!!

We had fun!

We had fun!

Irene and Peggy!

Irene and Peggy!

Thanks for coming!!!

We really enjoyed our 2 day open house for artist Bobby Long! If you are still interested in the work, we still have it so let us know! Thanks for supporting artists and nature.

Images from the opening!

Images from the opening!

Bobby with one of his drawings.

Viewing the work.

Building a Future for Our Streams

What a big weekend!  Last Friday I, that's Kristie, attended the class on Arroyo and Erosion Control with Watershed Management Group in Tucson. It was amazing.  So amazing that I asked if David could come and join us for the hands on portion of the class that was held in and near Sabino Creek on Saturday.  Luckily our teacher, Trevor Hare, said yes.  The group worked hard and learned a lot on a small arroyo that links to Sabino Creek.  We made Media Luna's, Zuni Bowls, One Rock Dams, and learned to read the landscape.  My brain is still buzzing! and we are very eager to apply what we learned to the land at Genius Loci. Looks like we'll be getting more rock! Thanks to Trevor and Watershed Management Group for this great learning experience!

The journey begins early at Sabino Creek.

The journey begins early at Sabino Creek.

Trevor explains the flow on this rill.

Trevor explains the flow on this rill.

More on the rill.

More on the rill.

Work begins on the first one rock dam at the mouth of the arroyo.

Work begins on the first one rock dam at the mouth of the arroyo.

Second one rock dam completed.

Second one rock dam completed.

Later in the day, we completed Zuni Bowls.

Later in the day, we completed Zuni Bowls.

The Zuni bowls with one rock dam in head cut.  I think we may need a lot of these at GL as we have many head cuts!

The Zuni bowls with one rock dam in head cut.  I think we may need a lot of these at GL as we have many head cuts!

OK! I'm Zuni bowl crazy!

OK! I'm Zuni bowl crazy!

After a long, super satisfying and productive day, we finish up at the two one rock dams at the mouth of the arroyo.

After a long, super satisfying and productive day, we finish up at the two one rock dams at the mouth of the arroyo.

20 Years!

Today is our 20th Anniversary!  David and I have lived here in the Sutherland Valley for 20 years today.  I can so vividly recall the day we moved in with help from David's students and my parents.  It was a warm day but the nights were cool.  Cool enough that we started our first fire right away and sat in front of it with our friend Tom playing guitar. 

So much has happened since then.  When we moved here, the two acres we had purchased with our house (fondly called Running Dog Ranch by us) had been almost denuded by the animals that lived here prior.  There were horses, chickens, turkey, sheep, hogs, a donkey, and goats.  There were also dogs, cats, and gerbils.  It's taken time but after 20 years native plants have spread on their own and of course, have been planted.  The grama grass has spread every summer until nearly every foot of the two acres grows it.  We also bought the 7.5 acres that makes up the restoration area of Genius Loci Foundation.  We have so far to go, but we have also come far!  Amazing!!!!

On this very warm March 1, day, following a very warm, dry February, I have to wonder, what will the next 20 years bring? Clearly we are already seeing the effects of Global Warming here in the desert, with an El Nino so big it is keeping the rain away.  By 2036, what will this place be like?  Will our plantings be flourishing? Will wildlife have increased or decreased?  What can we do to help?  To keep helping?  What I do know is that we will keep planting, protecting, encouraging.

Here is to 20 more!  And some photos of how far we have come.

Aspen Fire June 2003

Aspen Fire June 2003

Screech Owl 2004

Screech Owl 2004

August Cows 2005

August Cows 2005

January 2006

January 2006

Fishhook Barrel Cactus in July 2006 - we pulled this off the dumpster pile from the clearing of land for new houses off Golder Ranch Road and planted it here.  It is still alive today.

Fishhook Barrel Cactus in July 2006 - we pulled this off the dumpster pile from the clearing of land for new houses off Golder Ranch Road and planted it here.  It is still alive today.

Wylie up in the loft, May 2007

Wylie up in the loft, May 2007

May 2007

May 2007

February 27th 2011 - Whoa!  A bit different this year!

February 27th 2011 - Whoa!  A bit different this year!

Good News From the Home Depot

HONEY BEES & INSECTICIDES

The Home Depot is deeply engaged in understanding the relationship of the use of certain insecticides on our live goods and the decline in the honey-bee population. We continue to seek scientific facts on the effects of our products on bee health, because we are committed to safeguarding the health of these critical pollinators.

We have been in communication with the EPA, insecticide industry and our suppliers to understand the science and monitor the research. We are encouraged by the improvements in the colony collapse disorder data and support the White House’s Pollinator Health Task Force. We will continue to expand our customer education on pollinator friendly gardens.

Our live goods suppliers have reduced the number of plants that they treat with neonicotinoids, so that now over 80% of our flowering plants are not treated with neonicotinoids. We will continue this decrease unless,
1) it is required by state or federal regulation, or
2) undisputed science proves that the use of neonicotinoids on our live goods does not have a lethal or sub lethal effect on pollinators. Otherwise we will have a complete phase-out of neonicotinoid use on our live goods by the end of 2018.

We’re glad to provide customers with alternative products for their insecticide needs and carry many of those alternatives in our stores and on-line.
View a List of Related Insecticides

We require all of our live good suppliers to label plants that they have treated with neonicotinoids.

We welcome your feedback, so if you’d like to let us know what you think, write to us at Eco_OptionsUSA@HomeDepot.com.

Consider thanking the Home Depot. I did! This is a very important step.