I am experimenting with the restoration technique. I am laying down cardboard and then a layer of mulch. Then seeding the mulch with a mix of Blackland Prairie seeds. If it works well this will smother the grass under the cardboard, giving the native seeds a chance to get established. Eventually the cardboard and mulch should breakdown, leaving only dirt and native plants.
This is a variation on my usual technique of laying down muslin fabric and topsoil. I have hopes that this will work as well or better. It is cheaper and uses discarded materials. It is my hope that the mulch is harder for the squirrels to disturb compared to soft soil.
I went to my first prescribed burn today with my friends John and Hazel. Burning the prairie replicates the natural fires that used to burn in the wild. Fire is an essential and natural part of the prairie ecosystem. Plus it damn cool.
Don't try this on your own. We were on a prepared site, with trained wildlife professionals and firefighters on site. As the firefighters said, there is no such thing as a controlled burn.
Last week Eric Paulus and I planted a Bald Cypress tree at Circle Acres. I was really happy to get that tree a good home near some water. They need a lot of water, more than I could responsibly give it at my house. I had it for a few years, it was a replacement tree from Jonsteen trees. I had bought a baby Redwood at Muir Woods a few years ago. It died from me overmulching it. Even though it was my fault Jonsteen kindly sent a replacement tree and suggested a Bald Cypress which is found in Austin. In a way this tree had a very circuitous route to being planted in a forest in East Austin. Hopefully it roots well and thrives. Picking spots to plant trees is a funny thing.
(ignoring my finger in the shot, it's an otherwise good photo of Eric in action)
I was so motivated from planting with Eric that I went home and planted a Chinquapin Oak that I had waiting to go in the ground. It is a replacement for the Redoak in my yard that failed last year. Chinquapin Oaks are native to the area, produce acorns that wildlife love, and I read are “stately” trees. I look forward it becoming a giant in my backyard.
Here is some bonus pics of some mushrooms we saw growing on a log.
I was happy that Tesla was making an electric truck. The direction they decided to go with is a sad missed opportunity. Their other vehicles have been a great way to get a larger audience for electric cars. I drive a Nissan Leaf, which I am big fan of, but I know that the design is not winning anyone over who isn't already into electric cars. To slow global warming emissions big vehicles that use a lot of gas need to be electrified.
Trucks are great, they are functional, and they are beautiful. They are a statement. It is very easy to romanticize trucks. Instead of embracing the romantic and practical aspects of the truck Tesla chose to fully embrace the violent, personal tank, version of trucks. The thing they built is a personal tank, it is not practical for people who use a truck for work. Maybe it will sell well to some market, but it won't be to people who are replacing their F150. Which to me was the whole point.
I am sitting in my car in the parking lot of a Container Store having a very first world problems situation. There are a dozen other people sitting in their cars also waiting for it to open. I am returning some items that were purchased for me with the understanding that I could return what I didn’t want. I really dislike returning things and it baffles me that people buy things with the intention of returning something. That would tie up your time and money in a maybe purchase. Every time I return something I feel like I am trying to trick the store and if they aren’t onto my scheme maybe I’ll get my money back. But even if it goes well I spent time and mental energy to do it. That’s my attitude, but I probably wait too long and overthink things.
Looking back it was quite a month. I had a very important relationship milestone and marked with my first tattoo, the number 10, in a digital font. The tattoo has many layers of meaning for me and the holder of its matching tattoo. It's very special and I feel loved.
At work we launched a new version of our software and had some other productive milestones.
I reached a health (weight) milestone.
All in all I feel pretty good? I've been attempting to insert myself into my own life more.
This lizard lived in my houseplants for a few days before I coaxed it back outside. I thought about leaving it in the house but thought it should be outside with the delicious bugs and its lizard friends. It did motivate me to get more plants and turn the dining room into a jungle. I am millennial, I need houseplants, not a dining room.
I got the clam of my dreams. Really. Actually it isn't a dream come true, because it never even occurred to me I might get this species of giant clam.
Its been nearly two months since I got rid of social media (expect for linkedin... sigh) and I don't miss it particularly. Though not having social media is kinda lonely. I don't know that that gets mentioned in think pieces about giving up social media. I have trimmed a lot of digital outlets and services from my life. I am attempting to get rid of as much as I can so I can see what I miss. In place of social media I have been listening to records and reading fiction. Which is lovely. I also watch a shit load of youtube and scroll through the web. So don't give me medal quite yet.
It feels like I haven't done much with friends this month but I don't think that is really true? The month started with a big party. I've had more time to myself which I think contrasts the time spent with others. Some dear friends had a party to celebrate their marriage. I went to the market with friends a couple times. Walked dogs with friends. I am friends with my coworkers, which is a new one to me. I caught up with my cousin. I politely declined some invitations. My rule has been to go to something if I am at all interested and politely decline if I know I don't want to go. I have hard time saying no. Something to work on.