Saturday, April 11, 2009

A windscape

click to enlarge any of these pictures

4/11/09 Saturday

Here are some of the sandstorm pictures I took. Lots of interesting things the wind and blowing sand do. There are many weeds I’ve seen out there that had their leaves stripped off. The exposed wood fencing is more deeply etched from being sandblasted. Then the sand covers and fills in where it doesn't strip away. The wind giveth and the wind taketh away.

To prevent the wind/sand from scrubbing all the dirt away from the shallow roots of the buffalo grass I so want to get established I turned on the sprinkler. It had this surprising result. Every blade of grass was coated with sand that, mixed with the water dried to a hard shell. I later ran the sprinkler again with the hopes it would wash off the sand but had limited success. Up north folks would occasionally turn their sprinklers on when freezing weather was coming to create an icy wonderland. You would see the same result only with ice instead of sand.

Hearing from my son brings back memories of how we built a railroad set together, an ongoing project we would add to from time to time. It ended up taking almost half of his bedroom. I would have killed to have been able to reproduce the landscape the wind created. It’s really something else to see the delicate shelves carved out like some wild west movie set. Click on the picture to enlarge it. Really brings it out. If you look carefully you can see the thin unsupported shelf of sand jutting out.

Now that we’ve removed the weeds and tilled up the soil the wind has been reshaping the farm. It has been carving ditches where the landscape focuses the wind. Fortunately that’s often common pathways we use out there. Really cleaned out the area between the house and garage. Now you can see many of the small rocks that probably were put there by my grandfather to make a path. There are many things the wind has uncovered as of late. It’s fascinating to see what surfaces. There’s a ring of rusty tin roof that Rudy had used around the fruit trees they once had. I’m sure he did that to protect them from the gophers. There was a brightly colored ceramic hat with a red bow that went to some kind of…who knows.

Here’s a picture of a small tumbleweed. There’s thousands of them out there. But look how the root is exposed. You can see how much dirt was eroded away. When you look out it’s surreal, a landscape with miniature trees. Again it would have looked good with a model train landscape.

Among the goings on here has been the arrival of a white dove. I've never seen this in the wild before and don't have a clue as to how rare it is to see a white dove. It's been here for two days now. Hope it stays around. We've had a lot of doves around lately, probably because of the water and six hundred pounds of rye seed we've got out. There's still very little of it that has germinated. Walking out there I see lots of the rye seeds lying exposed by the wind. Sure could use some rain out here. Anyway, I got lots of other pictures but only so much room.

One problem I didn't foresee with the rock wall and garden is the sand. Removing this on a regular basis will probably be a cost of having it. If I'm lucky I'll be able to wash it out with a hose.

I'll leave you with a picture of the white dove flying away. Some would say having a white dove coming around has some kind of mystic meaning. I just think it's neat.

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