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!