Journal for February 2003

A golden eagle today.

We’ve been there long enough to get things dirty!  We spent our first night in the house on Saturday – without kids – they were totally uninterested.  It was fun, and we found out all the things that we need to get or to rearrange.  Today we worked on little projects, and Mike put in speakers.  That’s what really got everything dirty.  But they look much better than holes in the walls, and they sound great, and we’ll clean everything up at the end.  Another day where we didn’t do anything else outside – it’s odd to be so indoors oriented after spending all our time outside for so long.

Last week I planted seeds around and in front of the house.  Mostly short prairie.  I still have to figure out what to do with the area right behind the house, where there isn’t much sun, and the little patch in front of the porch.  I think the area in front of the porch will be for herbs and butterflies.  I’ll add some compost, and try that in the spring.

I’m interspersing the writings from my notebook now – trying to get everything up to date.

Our second (and third) nights here.  Beautiful clear days and a full moon at night.  Saw a planet with 3 moons – Jupiter?  One Golden eagle flying over 3 Finger Valley.  Still no birds at the new feeders.

2/22 & 2/23/03
Still no birds at the feeders, although there was a flock of Juncos on the ground outside our bedroom this morning – probably eating my prairie seeds.

A short few days.  The progressive dinner is next week, so we have to be back for the scheduling meeting on Monday, and Robert had his People to People meeting Saturday morning.  But after we arrived Saturday afternoon, we walked up to Hidden Oaks Prairie and did a burn.  We did it completely casually – we were wearing all the wrong clothes: plastic boots, synthetic gloves, synthetic jackets, and we had no water – we just controlled it by stamping with our feet.  It was pretty silly, except that the woods were still snowy, so even if it had gotten completely out of control, it would have stopped there.  Mike was very calm, and had a great time.  I was scared – especially when we started it and it took off in all directions at once.  It did seem to slow down a lot when it got to the mowed area, and it burned much slower downhill.  I stamped it out before it got past the edge of the mowed area, and then we kept stamping along the edges until all that was left burning was an old juniper.  That took a long time to go out – we waited until it was all burned and all the flames were gone.  It burned most of the east facing slope, and will be a good test of how burning affects the plants.  We went back on Sunday and took pictures.

A herd of deer walked calmly from Western Center Valley field, across the Y to the east.  Jackie says the deer are just starting to emerge after hunting season.

Jackie came over on Sunday and had tea with me in front of the windows.