orchard2012

Showed up in April to adjust water levels and lo and behold, mice had moved into the trailer.  Spent a couple hours cleaning it up - always risky business because the mice can carry the hantavirus.

Underneath the trailer a packrat had piled up enough debris to allow the mice to waltz right in.  Grabbed the rake and pulled it down and then loaded up a few snap traps where the mice were nesting.

What about combating mice with poison?

It's not a bad idea for some situations as I said the mice can be deadly.

However, out here we're trying to create habitat for beneficial critters too.  Mice that get poisoned can end up in an owl's belly or other animal.

Trees look alright but it's hard to tell if they've been growing much.  No vandalism or other surprises.  Quad started right up and Casper and I followed the creek up for some brush removal.

Back home at Hilton Creek, I helped start up the first community garden on county property - it's also the highest elevation garden in Mono County.  We used all sorts of growing methods, high altitude seeds from www.seedstrust.com worked out well.

Received a call from Manzanar and they had gotten around to our offer of help, trees, and/or money to start restoring their orchards just out of Lone Pine on the 395.  I was a little surprised by the amount of work they had already put in down there and was puzzled that they were doing it.  The Park Service up here in Devil's Postpile/Rainbow Falls Monument have been working towards getting rid of old traces of humanity as if packers, miners, and out of shape hikers don't belong messing things up.  On the flip side, Manazar has a whole book of plans to rehabilitate all the non-native orchards on their property and employee two full-time arborists.  They explained that sometimes the NPS changes focus to conserve our culture, rather than our resources.

Needless to say it was all very interesting and we bought 4 trees on the spot for their new welcome center.  An apple, pear, cherry, and peach.

Manzanar currently uses well water to irrigate the trees.  I told the person in charge to start looking at surface water that runs through their land and he thought it was a good idea too.  The Owens Valley needs to use surface water where available to keep things sustainable, groundwater pumping will only go so far because of LADWP and their thirsty straws.

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